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Environmental scheme funding cut should be reviewed

December 15, 2006 4:28 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has pressed the Government to continue funding the Claren Project - a vital organisation in the fight against climate change locally.

The Claren (Cumbria and Lancashire Renewables) Project works with community organisations across Cumbria and Lancashire to help them develop and implement community scale renewable energy projects. The project was a key partner in the renewable energy scheme unveiled at High Wray village hall in May this year.

DEFRA and the DTI provided funding for the project for three years from 2003 to 2006, and DEFRA has provided additional funding for this financial year. However, the project have been told there will be no DEFRA funding from March 2007, and the project will have to get it's begging bowl out to access grants from local authorities - grants which are currently being cut across Cumbria and Lancashire because of the way that local government is funded by Whitehall.

Tim Farron said: "The Government talk tough about tackling climate change, but when it comes to action is it sorely lacking. The Claren Project provides vital advice and funding for community based renewable energy schemes - exactly the sort of advice and funding we need if we are going to have an impact on climate change.

"I have written to the Secretary of State, David Miliband, to ask him to urgently review the decision to withdraw funding from the Claren Project, and dozens of other organisations like it across the UK. The Government must put its money where its mouth is if we are to make a real difference to the environment."