The meeting was arranged to discuss the uncertainty surrounding the delivery method of Community Benefit for Sedgemoor and West Somerset arising from the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C as well as discussing the future design of business rates retention. This is important to both Sedgemoor District Council and West Somerset Council as traditional ways of government funding to local authorities is changing.
Councillor McGinty said "it was a really positive meeting. Sedgemoor has taken the lead in raising this issue at a national level. We have met numerous officials and politicians over the past 10 years and we try to make sure that our message is being heard loud and clear. We hope that our efforts will ultimately bring more benefits for the local community during the operational phase of HPC. Sedgemoor has been campaigning on community benefit contributions since 2008, negotiating with Ministers, MPs and civil servants, consistently raising this issue in Parliament and making its case to officials, policy makers, other councils and the nuclear industry. We secured £128 million back in 2013 for the operational phase of HPC.
Jake Berry, MP said "Hinkley Point is a major national infrastructure project, so I was pleased to meet with Councillor McGinty and engage in a positive discussion about it. I encourage him to continue to work closely with both my Department and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy."
What is Community Benefit? - Money to compensate the communities of Sedgemoor and West Somerset for hosting what is a major national infrastructure project that will be in operation for 40 years, required in order to meet a national need, but where the impacts are felt locally. The Community Benefit will be shared by the communities affected by the plant. The money could be used for a range of local projects for those who will not see any direct and tangible benefits themselves, such as facilities for the elderly and measures to address fuel poverty.
Where does the money come from? The Government - a formula has been worked out at a rate of £1,000 per Megawatt for the entire operation of the plant. With Hinkley Point C expected to be generating electricity for 40 years, this amounted to £128 million in funding.
How much is it? Up to £128,000,000 for the operational phase, but not thought to be starting until 2025. SDC are now campaigning to get community benefit for the construction phase (2017 until 2025).
Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen
Jake specialised in Housing and Development Law. This valuable experience has enabled him to champion effectively affordable housing and the Construction Sector within the House of Commons.
Jake was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon. Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing and Local Government in 2010. In September 2012 Grant was appointed Conservative Party Chairman with Jake remaining as his PPS.
In April 2013, Jake was asked by the Prime Minister to join his influential Policy Board and advise him on housing, local government and regional growth in Downing Street.