Acute housing crisis, social justice and climate change must be the focus of new Ministerial Team at DCLG
Published by Fiona Mannion for TCPA in Central Government and also in Housing, Local Government
Following the Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has a fresh Ministerial team under Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP. The new appointments are welcomed by leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA)– however the Association has called for a renewed focus on the challenges of climate change, social justice, and the acute housing shortages facing the nation today.
Mark Prisk MP, the new Housing Minister, is excellently placed to take on the housing portfolio, having trained as a chartered surveyor and with extensive experience in the property and development sector. His previous role as Construction Minister, including serving as co-chair of the Green Construction Board, will provide a solid background, particularly for helping the UK move towards its zero carbon targets by 2016.
Kate Henderson, TCPA Chief Executive said:
"We welcome Mark Prisk’s appointment to the Communities and Local Government Department. He takes on the housing portfolio at a time when we are building fewer new homes than at any point since the 1920's - and well under half what is needed - with an estimated 4 million people currently on housing waiting lists. With his experience in the Business, Innovation and Skills Department and with a background in the property and development sector it is clear that he understands the scale of the job in front of him.”
“We urge Mr Prisk to build on the Housing Strategy and Cameron’s support of garden city principles as part of the solution to the housing crisis, create jobs and build the high quality, inclusive homes and communities of the future.”
Nick Boles MP, the new Planning Minister, brings an extensive policy background to the role having set up and run Policy Exchange, the influential think-tank.
Kate Henderson said:
“Mr Boles, an advocate of creating new garden cities, will take on the planning portfolio. At a time of great change to the planning system, following the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Localism Act, we urge the new Planning Minister to now focus on delivery of outstanding communities.”
“The TCPA has been working extensively in coalition to produce cross-sector guidance on issues such as climate change, green infrastructure and health to support the new localist approach and we look forward to working with Mr Boles in ensuring the new planning system delivers the homes, jobs and communities we need.”
Don Foster, MP for Bath, and previously the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on culture, media and sport, has also joined the Communities and Local Government Ministerial Team.
Kate Henderson added:
“The TCPA looks forward to working with the new Ministerial Team at this exciting and challenging time for planning and housing as we seek to create jobs and build more and better homes.”