From HS2 to the King’s Speech – A round up of our clients comments on the latest news headlines
Moore Media’s clients have had a number of press wins over the past few months, discussing a number of relevant topics headlining news outlets across the UK.
Regarding the recent announcement that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be scrapping the northern leg of HS2, our clients shared their thoughts.
Simon Harris, CEO of Avrenim, said:
“We need the right level of infrastructure to succeed here in the north, and the scrapping of HS2 goes against that.
“We take longer to get around our northern region than it does to travel to the extremes of the country in some cases, which isn’t conducive to successful sustainable growth and ease of business. A truly inclusive growth strategy can strive to create a region where opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of background or location, ultimately leading to a more prosperous and cohesive region.
“Since its inception, the Northern Powerhouse initiative, and with it HS2, has brought attention to the regional political landscape, limitations of infrastructure and economic potential of the northern regions of England as a combined entity, and the cancellation of the project is yet again, confirmation of the south being favoured over the north.
“While progress has been made, it’s fair to say that more needs to happen to fully realise the vision of the Northern Powerhouse. Continued collaboration, investment, and dedication to addressing regional disparities will be necessary to drive sustainable economic growth and create lasting positive change within the north, however, scrapping projects like HS2 is going to have a hugely detrimental impact on the northern economic landscape.”
Neil Baines, managing director of Steven Hunt Associates, said:
“The news of phase two of the Manchester leg of HS2 comes as no great shock to the M&E sector, as it is yet another example of the south being favoured over the north. It also shows that the government is incapable of delivering large infrastructure projects on time and within budget.
“As a business leader, I’ve seen the benefits of operating within a thriving north, and so yet another delay to the levelling up agenda and the northern powerhouse railway cannot be brushed over as another undelivered government promise.
“As cities like Liverpool and Manchester continue to grow, the need for a faster, reliable and greener, more sustainable railway is vital to cementing the future growth of new and established businesses in the north.
“14,933,000 people live in the north, representing a growth of 5.1% since 2001. And so, there’s no understanding the impact of scrapping projects like HS2 is not only going to have on business and the northern economic landscape, but also ordinary people whose desire it is to live in a prosperous area of the country.
“It represents a huge missed opportunity and let’s hope that the people most affected by this announcement along with the regional mayors, shadow cabinet and other rival political parties are able to hold the government to account so much that they’ll have no choice other than to reverse this terrible decision.”
Sean Keyes, managing director of Sutcliffe, pointed out that scrapping the project now will still have a cost.
“Several hundred million pounds worth of work will be lost due to this cancellation, not to mention the disregard for the 30,000 employees delivering this crucial project, and the countless businesses and investors across the North West that are currently placing their bets on Manchester as a thriving place to invest based on its promise of increased connectivity,” Keyes said.
The government’s decision is at odds with its levelling up mission, he argued.
“Over 14 million people live in the North, which makes up a huge proportion of the country,” Keyes said. “The workforce in the North of the country needs to be able to fulfil [its] potential by working on an equal footing with the South and so investment and funding of projects such as HS2 is crucial, in order for the country to reach its potential and not just the South.”
The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech highlighted a number of topics, including the housing industry. Sean Keyes, managing director, shared his thoughts:
“Everyone in the UK deserves to live in a decent, quality home; there should be nobody living in a mouldy or cold home, and it should be big enough to support the size of the family living in it.
“In reality, this means we need to build more homes, just as the government has promised to do so. Not only is this a significant benefit to the construction sector, but also for UK society in general.
“Simply, we need more homes.”
Keeping your home warm during the winter
With the winter cold slowly approaching, Rebecca Armstrong, managing director of Making Energy Greener, provided a number of methods to keeping your house cool on a cold night:
Firstly, Becci stated that “Small gaps in your windows and doors can result in significant heat loss. Weatherstripping and caulking gaps can be a simple yet effective solution to making your house warmer.”
“Layering clothes indoors gives you the flexibility to adjust as needed, and don’t forget a hat; you lose most of your body heat through your head.”
“An extra layer of insulation can come from rugs on your floors and blankets on your furniture, making your house feel warmer.”
“Open your curtains during the day to let sunlight in and close them in the evening to keep the warmth in.”
“Change the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise to circulate warm air effectively.”
“Program your heating to turn on shortly before you wake up or get home.”
“Ensure that your furniture doesn’t obstruct radiators or vents to allow efficient heating throughout your home.”
“Keep the kitchen door open when cooking to allow the heat to warm adjacent rooms.”
“An old but golden method. Use hot water bottles as they provide instant warmth and comfort.”
“Reflective foil insulation can help direct more heat into the room rather than letting it escape through the walls.”
Additionally, Rebecca suggested letting your pets snuggle next to you. “The added body heat can make a significant difference. If you’re a family, stick together in one room; the combined body heat will naturally warm up space. Letting young children share beds can also keep them warmer.”
Can we trust Big Oil to back accelerators for climate tech?
On the topic of climate technology, Rebecca Armstrong, managing director, Making Energy Greener, was questioned on whether we can rely on Big Oil companies to support the acceleration of climate technology.
Rebecca said that she is cautiously optimistic, however she is concerned about transparency, and creating a just, equitable transition.
Although she’d love for Shell and others like it to be “not just fuel suppliers, but leaders”, Studio X and other oil-backed accelerators make her wonder: “Are we witnessing a genuine shift or a strategic facade?”
For oil companies to win the trust of Rebecca, they’ll need to provide a “clear and honest disclosure” of their carbon outputs and champion greater equity. She’s firm on this point. For cleantech investment to be anything more than “a shadow play”, Shell and companies like it must “pivot not just their energy sources but their ethos”.