Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

MP For North Swindon

Swindon Advertiser Column - Very Proud To Accept Important Role

Last Friday morning I was on a visit in Castle Eaton when I received a surprise phone call to return to the Government as the Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

I was very proud to accept this important role. The UK is the first major economy to have halved our emissions, and I will be focused on ensuring we continue to lead the world in our progress towards Net Zero.

A major element of this is decarbonising the grid, and my first priority will be to build on the excellent progress so far, which has enabled a staggering increase in renewables generation from just 7% in 2010 to 47% today – something Swindon has very much led the way on.

I will also be working to deliver an energy system fit for the future, working in partnership with industry and communities to deliver faster connections, resilient and reliable supply and continue to unlock investment so we can deliver the lowest cost energy – vital for the public and businesses.

It is exciting to see some of the emerging innovation and technology coming forward – this is key to helping reach our ambitious targets, creating new jobs and limiting the impact on our day to day lives. This is why the UK Government has invested £4.2bn directly into research so the UK can be at the forefront of the next generation of jobs, here and internationally. I know there are many local Swindon businesses connected to this crucial work.

When you become a new Minister, you normally have a few weeks to fully immerse yourself in your new brief, through a combination of teach-in’s, meetings with stakeholders (experts within the relevant sectors) and visits. In my case, I had Parliamentary Questions on the 2nd day! That certainly focuses your mind and thankfully I was able to respond to all Questions asked in a busy return to the Despatch Box. Next week I have a Select Committee, I will be representing the Government in the build up to COP 29 and attending a series of panel events with key stakeholders.

As a father of two young children, I know how important it is that the UK continue to lead on tackling climate change, though we should never lose sight of the need to be pragmatic, transparent, and work with, not against, the public and business.

Every year MPs are offered a chance to make a £50 charity bet on behalf of a local charity in the Grand National. I diligently study the form, make my choice, and then watch as my horse falls short! Thankfully, despite my annual loss, they kindly pass on what would be the lost £50 stake to that year’s charity choice. However, lady luck was shining this year and I backed the winner so finally my chosen charity Doing it for Dan won £425!

They are a fantastic local charity, set up in 2016 in memory of 11-year-old Daniel Climance. They provide grants for sports related items such as equipment, kit, coaching and club fees, helping young people to achieve their sporting dreams. They have helped so many local children progress in their chosen sports field – unlocking some fantastic potential, so I am thrilled to have finally picked up a winner!

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