SEPD RECEPTION AT THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT - by Bryan Miller
On Wednesday 29th June, my wife and I attended a reception hosted by SSE at The Houses of Parliament. We had been invited as representatives of East Challow Parish Council. The event was staged to highlight the contributions being made to various communities by SSE through their SEPD Resilient Communities Fund.
On arrival we were treated to a light lunch with tea and coffee. Shortly after, Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North introduced herself and made a short speech regarding SSE and the efforts they are making to engage with local communities by funding and aiding in a variety of projects including; the provision of rescue vehicles, flood defences, emergency weather kits, snow ploughs, back up power supplies and mobile radio equipment. This was followed by an introduction from Graham Keddy who explained a little more about the fund and the company’s aims going forward to continue helping local communities improve their local emergency readiness.
We then had the chance to speak to a number of SSE staff members about some of the various projects they had been involved with in the last year. We also chatted with other Parish representatives from across the region who told us of the wide variety of support they had received. Many, like East Challow received small amounts to help with minor specific projects, whilst some received significant sums, and professional advice and assistance with such things as flood relief and defences.
We were then taken on a brief tour of the Houses of Parliament, and although a few areas were not accessible on that particular day it was both fascinating and informative. We finished the day by returning to the dining room where we met with our own local MP, Mr Ed Vaisey.
All in all it was a very interesting day and we came away with a number of ideas that we will pass on to the Parish Council.