Last night (17 January 2018) marked the launch of a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which has been established to highlight the growth opportunities, as well as the challenges, in Britain’s post-war new towns.
The Housing Secretary, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, spoke at a Parliamentary reception to mark the launch of the new APPG, which was attended by leading planners, urban designers, housing associations and housebuilders, alongside MPs, senior government officials, council leaders from New Towns across the country from Warrington to Stevenage, and Telford business leaders – including representatives from: Besblock Limited, Business Watch Guarding, Plastil UK, Ricoh, and Viessmann Ltd.
Chaired by Lucy Allan, the MP for Telford, the APPG will consider the successes and failures of existing new towns in order to learn from past mistakes and to help shape future government policy. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is providing the secretariat for the APPG and will provide expert knowledge on new towns and garden cities.
Launching the parliamentary reception, Lucy Allan MP said:
“I am delighted to launch the All-Party Parliamentary Group on New Towns in Parliament alongside the TCPA and the Secretary of State for Housing.
“We all share a passion for the vision and ambition that the New Town movement represents and as the housing crisis continues, it is clear that new towns have an important role to play in Britain’s future and in the lives of the next generation seeking to build a better life.
“The APPG will aim to tackle new town challenges such as aging infrastructure, poor private rental housing and connectivity, as well as deprivation, in order to influence future Government policy and keep New Towns centre stage.
“I know that the cross party group will be an effective champion for my constituency, Telford, as well as other New Towns across the country.“
Addressing attendees, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid MP said:
“We all know that the right infrastructure is absolutely vital for New Towns, and I am keen to learn from the important work you’ll be undertaking; to better understand the challenges and opportunities for New Towns, and to consider how we [the Government] can do more to support the people and places you serve.
“Partnerships, between central and local government, between local government and the private sector, are very much the way forward.
“And Lucy’s constituency is showing just what’s possible through initiatives such as the Telford Land Deal - a partnership between the government, Homes England, the local council, and Marches LEP, that will deliver 2,800 new homes and 8,500 new jobs.
“The key thing with this Deal, is that it’s led, not centrally, miles away from the communities concerned, but locally by those who know Telford best – the people who live and work there.
“This shows that government and New Towns can work innovatively to power further growth, and that we’re open to other New Towns coming to us with ideas.”
Kate Henderson, TCPA Chief Executive, said:
“The TCPA is delighted to be working with the APPG to shine the political spotlight on the growth opportunities, as well as the challenges, in new towns.
“The New Towns programme was the most ambitious large-scale town-building programme ever undertaken in the UK, providing homes and jobs for over 2.8 million people. As a set of places, they exhibit a range of urban successes and failures, with some among the fastest growing communities in the UK and others the among the most deprived.
“With the government supporting a new programme of garden cities, towns and villages, the APPG will provide a highly influential, cross-party forum to learn the lessons – good and bad – of past new towns to help shape future policy."
The APPG is very grateful to Places for People and Wei Yang & Partners for supporting the parliamentary reception and the TCPA is grateful to the Lady Margaret Patterson Osborn Trust for supporting the Association’s ongoing work on Garden Cities and New Towns.
During 2018 the APPG will be holding three high-level parliamentary roundtables on key issues: Providing high-quality homes in New Towns, now and in the future; Healthy New Towns – improving the health and wellbeing of New Town residents; and Unlocking skills, innovation and enterprise in New Towns. Key findings will be shared on the APPG website following the events.
You can download Lucy's full speech below.
|APPG New Towns - Speech final21.docx||23.67 KB|