About Mike

My background

I live in the middle of Bishops Lydeard with my wife and three children, all of whom attend the local school. I have run my own business, focussing on energy and environmental management, for 10 years before which I worked for local authorities and industry in the areas of planning, waste and energy.

I am a qualified Town and Country Planner, Chartered Environmentalist and a Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management as well as holding the current positions:-

I also lead the organisation of the hugely popular annual event ‘Bishops Lydeard Party in the Park‘ along with Chris McKie.

In what time I have left after all that, I enjoy walking our Jack Russells in the fabulous local countryside, skittling, cycling, playing football and playing with my chidren.

15 Responses to About Mike

  1. Jonathan Marshall says:

    Dear Mr Rigby,

    What are your views on the recent rash of solar “farm” developments, and applications for such developments, in the Lydeard Division?

    Yours,
    Jonathan Marshall

    • Mike Rigby says:

      Hello Jonathan, Personally I did not have a problem with either of the two that have been permitted to date. They were in reasonably secluded spots with little in the way of visual impact. Successive studies (the most authoritative of which have been produced by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee) point to the probability of serious shortages of electricity in the next 3-5 years. While the Government has plans to see some of our future energy supply be delivered by means of nuclear, such as the approved plans at Hinkley Point, they are unlikely to contribute until the early part of the next decade, well after the forecast shortages begin to bite. The next few years will see significant closures in coal and nuclear and we need to ensure that the capacity is replaced. Many suggest that the only way of plugging the gap is through gas and renewables and I am inclined to agree. Neglect by successive Governments has meant that we’ve run out of time and only those means of generation that can be delivered quickly can be considered in the short term. Solar PV is one of them.

      • Judy Carroll says:

        99 percent don’t want fracking, your stance on this?

        • Mike Rigby says:

          I have significant concerns about the practice of recovering oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. Much has been made of the impact that fracking has had in the USA, particularly in reducing prices. However, I do not believe that the UK is comparable with the USA, most particularly in respect of population densities. The UK is a series of small islands with few significant uninhabited areas and of the few that do exist, most are treasured landscapes. While, in the US, operators have been able to exploit resources in vast unpopulated plains, we do not have comparable choices. Potential impacts on precious groundwater as well as the noise and smell produced could cause serious problems in the UK. Overarching all of this, though, is that the production of more oil and gas is at odds with the direction that we need to take in reducing our impact on the climate. The current climate talks in Peru (COP20) are discussing the complete phase-out of oil and gas by 2050. There seems little point in aiming at such a target if we are going to spend all the time between now and then burning as much as possible of both. Instead, I believe that we ought to be moving quickly into a future powered by renewable energy. I agree with the former UK Chief Scientist, Sir David King, who recently said that this is entirely feasible if we can find ways of storing renewable energy. Let’s get on with it.

          • I am all for renewable energy, but how much of this improved storage requirement is battery power (“this is entirely feasible if we can find ways of storing renewable energy”), which is also very bad for the environment, with a spill in Poland a few years ago wiping out the ecology in a river.

            How much of this needs to be generation, and how much can be made up with an attitude of allocation (i.e. if a business wants to use 15GW of energy to power a server-farm for websites they are taxed, suitably & reasonably to make up for their infrastructure requirements).

            I have read little that would suggest big business is footing any of the infrastructure bill of energy it is clearly contributing to, when it is clearly business which uses the most energy. As a small business owner, the lower energy costs for larger requirement some of these businesses represent often seems to make little sense, or be at odds with the news about energy crises the news can portray, and in one case my energy supplier EON charges me less for energy if I pass certain thresholds.

            Lastly, how can we ensure that local projects, such as the solar-cell, but also wind-farms can get in-contact with residents looking to be more involved in procuring cleaner energy for their homes and businesses?

  2. Kate Parr says:

    Hi Mike, can you let us know your views on the public funding cuts currently being experienced by ‘quality of life’ services such as libraries and leisure?

    • Mike Rigby says:

      Kate, I have long opposed cuts to the library service. Indeed one of the drivers for me to become involved in local politics was the County Council’s plan to close our local library. I and Others fought a successful campaign on that issue. The recent consultation on the future of the library service does involve some proposed changes but, crucially, there will be no loss of service at Somerset’s fixed libraries. There will be some cuts in the mobile service but these tend to be focussed on stops where there are only a tiny number of registered members and/or users. I am concerned at loss of leisure facilities including the demise of the Sedgemoor Splash, the demolition of which was for nothing now that Tesco has pulled out of buying the empty site. I also opposed North Sonerset Council’s attempt to demolish the Tropiquaria leisure pools in Weston-super-Mare.

  3. Tom Catherall says:

    I would like your views on the Defence budget. Would you consider supporting an increase to the current defence budget (currently around 2% of GDP) in view of;
    1. the increasing instability in the middle east and Ukraine,
    2. to enable the UK to be able to better protect its trade routes on a global basis,
    3. to be able to better counteract recent increased approaches by soviet aircraft and submarines around the UK,
    4. to be able to better assist with humanitarian aid,
    5. to ensure the UK maintains the best military equipment and the training to support it,
    6. to ensure the two new aircraft carriers are both fully fitted and operational,
    7. to fund the military for them to be able to counter cyber attack,
    8. to reverse the current reductions in full time service staffing levels.

  4. Cathryn Howse says:

    hi, please can you tell me your views on the proposed development by Comeytrowe Lane, thanks

  5. Gavin says:

    Hi Mike

    Could you please clarify your position on the Hunting Ban, and whether you would vote to repeal the ban in a free commons vote.

    Thanks

    • Mike Rigby says:

      Gavin,

      I view the Hunting Act as an imperfect piece of legislation but I would not vote to repeal it. I do believe that it strikes a balance, allowing the majority of the economic activity associated with hunting to continue while significantly improving animal welfare.

      Regards, Mike.

  6. lee gibbins says:

    I am adamantly opposed to repealing the hunting ban – hate hunting and everything associated with it. The hills on the days the hounds and horses are out hunting make the area an unhappy place.

  7. Steven Beggs says:

    Hi Mike

    Received your flyer through the post today in Wellington .

    Could you please confirm your position on the failed Badger Cull trials . Would you support the continuation and roll out of the badger culls despite the overwhelming public opposition to it ? For the record I have written to Rebecca Pow the Prospective Conservative MP and she has responded stating that she does support badger culling and she supports a repeal of the Hunting Act hence why i along with enlightened majority will not not be voting for her. Thanks in advance.

  8. Kitty says:

    Hi Mike,
    I just wondered what your views are on the housing developments in Bathpool, West Monkton & Creech St Michael? Thanks

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