Thursday, December 13, 2007

Xmas WRAP party

As one who often looks to the human cost of various 'Planet Ban-it' campaigns, I take no pleasure from seeing folk lose jobs. Especially at this time of year. WRAP job losses expected in 25% funding cut as Defra budget pressures bite

As some will know, having not been very supported by WRAP to date, despite having an entity that would seem well in keeping with their remit, I have been on occasion a tad critical of how much has been spent and where... or on whom.

Sadly, I am less than reassured that the proposed budget cuts will improve matters, as it is now my experience that, especially within government and quango entities, the cuts are seldom where they should be (the causes of waste, losses or inefficiency) and more often than not in the few areas where some good does get done.

One rather wonders who got employed and on what contract now, that they will need to be unemployed and on what terms soon. Hardly seems very joined up or the best use of public funds.

Also, for a 'not for profit' company, it will be interesting to see how many of the rather extensive bonus-blessed board of all the talents bear the brunt of these cuts.

But I do note that this still means that WRAP’s budget will be about £55-60m.

Perhaps a few less campaigns to raise 'awareness' that is directly connected to bonus targets, and a bit more to actual doing stuff, and paying folk just to do a good job, may be in order?

Call for funding for Hydrogen research

This report from Engineering Talk details how a leading transport expert is calling for significant government investment into research to make Hydrogen a realistic fuel of the future.

"Prof Smith ......... believes hydrogen is one of the best fuel alternatives for the future, but said a significant Government investment is needed now to overcome technical and cost difficulties in sourcing, storing and transporting hydrogen."

Interesting little comment on the Northern Rock support too - "If the Government spent GBP 10 billion - only a third of what they spent on Northern Rock - we could build a high speed railway from London to Birmingham, reducing the need for domestic flights and long-distance car travel."

Now we will have to wait and see whether our gov's plan to surround the UK with offshore wind farms is going to eat all available funds to the exclusion of everything else. However, perhaps we may already have an indication of where the extra revenue to fund such projects may come from?