The leader of Eastleigh Borough Council has warned Chris Huhne that his latest u-turn on Feed in Tariffs – the amount producers like Eastleigh Council get for surplus solar energy – will “undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on business and jobs” and that council plans to install more solar panels will have to be axed.
Just weeks ago Keith House posed for photos with Mr Huhne as they celebrated the launch of Eastleigh’s first solar PV scheme but in a strongly worded letter, exclusively leaked to Eastleigh News, Mr House has now described Mr Huhne’s recent decision to slash tariffs as “almost hysterical in approach” and “crude”.
He goes on to claim it will “damage individual household finances” and “derail public confidence in the carbon reduction programme”.
The council had planned to install more PV units on the Pavilion in the Park, Y Zone, Bowls Club and Wessex House but the council leader says it is ‘unlikely’ these will now go ahead.
Mr House finishes by suggesting that councils and public bodies should be exempt from tariff reductions and urges Mr Huhne to “think again”.
Mr House is also leader of Mr Huhne’s constituency party and as such is usually a close ally of the MP, even sharing pizza with him while on the campaign trail but recently he has appeared increasingly uncomfortable with Coalition policy.
Last May Mr House co-authored a letter to The Times attacking the Coalition spending cuts, while several leading Eastleigh Lib Dems have left the party. Last year a group 21 disaffected councillors wrote an open letter to the Daily Echo to voice their concerns over the rise in tuition fees.