This week I met Beatrice Bigois, Managing Director of EDF. Here in Hove we have a complex relationship with EDF because as an energy supplier they have a big impact on the amount we spend on bills, but as an employer with 2,000 jobs based here they are also a key part of our local economy and provide an income for many of our residents. Also, as an energy producer they play a key role in the way we as a country tackles the challenges of global warming.
So we had a lot to talk about!
I had a very frank exchange with Beatrice about the impact rising bills are having on people, particularly those with low and medium incomes, and was impressed with her understanding of the issue. I outlined Labour’s commitment to freezing prices for two years, a policy she was very familiar with as you’d imagine. I was pleased to see how seriously she took the issue of trust between consumers and energy companies and her frank admission that it had been shaken in recent years. These are all issues that I would be very active in engaging with them on your behalf, should I become your MP.
We spoke in some detail about the future plans of EDF in relation to renewable energy, and also their commitment to the workforce based here in Hove. I have met many people whilst campaigning in our communities who live in Hove and work for EDF and I have logged the comments they make. I was able to put these to Beatrice, both the positive ones and those that are more challenging.
As a result of the conversation I have been invited to EDF Headquarters here in Hove to spend time meeting staff and managers and discussing these issues in more detail. I’m pleased to be building a solid relationship with our largest single employer because should I become your MP I hope to use this relationship to fight for more investment in our communities and workforce and represent the challenges our residents face with the cost of living directly to one of the companies with most impact.
Do you work for EDF? Are you one of their customers? Please let me know your thoughts so I can come to my next meeting able to represent the challenges you face or in a position to share with them what works well from your perspective.
All the best, Peter