Ed Miliband and Franny Armstrong at NES - video and photos

05/May/2010

Last Friday NES hosted an event with energy and climate change minister Ed Miliband and Age of Stupid director Franny Armstrong.

This was one of a series of roadshow events across battleground seats in the south of England. Ed and Franny had already visited Swindon and Oxford before coming to the National Energy Centre, before heading off to Bedford later in the early evening.

The extremely tight schedule of the day, coupled with bank holiday traffic, meant that Ed and Franny were running slightly late and had to forego the presentation part of their visit. Fortunately, this meant we could jump right into the question and answer session that we were all looking forward to so much.

First, we heard from Phyllis Starkey and Andrew Pakes, two Labour parliamentary candidates for the two areas of Milton Keynes. Phyllis' background in the CLG select committee enabled us to dig a little deeper into some of the pertinent issues around our industry and associated areas, including Part L of the Building Regulations and the regulation of utility companies.

The event didn't disappoint, with Ed fielding questions ranging from climate, energy and housing-focused issues to broader consideration of sustainability and other parts of Labour's policy commitments. There was even an opportunity for a question on EPCs for caravans!

I was impressed with Ed's ability to take three different questions, pick out one aspect that he could elaborate on, then go back and answer each question in turn before framing them all in a suitable 'take home' message. Whatever you think of Ed Miliband, the Labour party, or politicians in general, Ed certainly came across as intelligent, interested and energetic. The last one was the most surprising given the frequency of similar events he has been participating in recently.

The event gave several questioners the opportunity to link Energy Performance Certificates back to energy policy. Brian Scannell was also able to suggest that the new Government should include the key improvements from the EPC on all estate agent particulars. This was the first recommendation we made to Government in our Seizing the Opportunity report.

Overall, it was great for NES to have the opportunity to host an event like this and I went away thinking about some important issues. For me, it was interesting to see the amount of time and effort Ed and Franny's 'backroom' team put into monitoring and responding to feedback and comments on sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. This is the first election where these sites have been mainstream, and it is fascinating to see the impacts they have already had. They are certainly helping to spread word quickly and efficiently - most of the world knew about Gordon Brown's 'bigot' comment within minutes of him uttering it. There's not a lot of opportunity for spin when things like that happen and updates are shared so quickly.

See below for photos and video from the event, as well as the opportunity to watch 'Age of Stupid' completely free until Thursday night.

Photos and video

Phyllis Starkey speaking at the National Energy CentreEd Miliband and Brian Scannell at the National Energy Centre, Milton Keynes

Click on a photo to see a larger version. See more photos via our Flickr photostream.

Ed Miliband and Franny Armstrong discuss energy in buildings from National Energy Services on Vimeo.

Watch Age of Stupid completely free

Between now and the close of polling stations on Thursday 6 May, you can watch Franny Armstrong's film 'Age of Stupid' in full on the NES website - for free. Read more about the film, and the decision to make it freely available, here.

The Age of Stupid from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.

The views expressed in this blog article are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of National Energy Services.  When submitting a comment, please be aware of the guidelines provided in our website terms and conditions.

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