Welsh Liberal Democrats call for united voice on later light

November 8, 2011 12:57 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for the Welsh Government to back proposals for clocks to go forward by one hour all year round.

The UK Government have announced that Ministers will support a Private Member's Bill which would pave the way for moving the UK in line with Central European Time (CET) for a trial period of three years. They have tabled amendments to the Daylight Savings Bill requiring consultation with the devolved authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Any "clear opposition" would mean the plans were dropped.

The proposals would ultimately mean that clocks in Great Britain would shift forward by one hour throughout the year (GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer).

Shadow Business Minister, Eluned Parrott AM commented:

"We welcome the UK government's commitment to consult with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland formally on this matter. These changes would affect a great number of people, so of course, it is only right that there are wide ranging discussions on these proposals.

"By more closely matching the times when most of us are awake with the times that the sun is shining, we would reduce our daily need for artificial lighting, decreasing Wales' C02 emissions whilst also cutting our electricity bills.

"There is strong evidence that such a move would boost our leisure and tourism industry, illustrating that dealing with climate change can also be good for the economy. Giving ourselves extra daylight after work could potentially make a significant contribution towards driving up outdoor activity rates, leading to a healthier society and reducing road traffic casualties particularly amongst children returning home from school.

"Despite being contacted by the UK Government on this matter, the Welsh Government does not currently hold an established position. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that there are a number of benefits for Wales if the clocks go forward. It is our hope that other political parties will agree with this position, and if that is the case then we can speak with a united voice to Westminster."

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