Conservative vision for the environment
A future Conservative government’s plans for England include abolishing regional spatial strategies and empowering local people to take control of their own neighbourhoods, right down to street level, said Conservative Housing spokesman Grant Shapps MP yesterday. There will be an end to the culture of top-down “Stalinist” targets and there will be a cutting back of the quangos through which these targets are put into effect.
Shapps emphasised the importance of design in public space, but stressed that it was only part of what an incoming Conservative government would be trying to achieve. “Great design alone is not the answer,” said Shapps. “Design alone cannot solve social problems, but good design, owned by the people who will benefit from it, gives us the best chance of creating neighbourhoods where people want to live, respecting each other and their common living space.”
He added: “The direction for the next Conservative government is clear. We understand that both the homes and the places we live in affect every aspect of our lives – our health and our children’s health; our job prospects and our children’s educational achievement; our chances of being a victim or crime, or even of committing a crime. All the evidence shows that when people have a real stake in, and take ownership of, the future of their neighbourhood, their community benefits and so does quality of life.”
In July, the Conservative Party launched their Future Countryside initiative. Future Countryside provides members of the public with an opportunity to debate the future of conservation policy and the ways of addressing such challenges as climate change, food production and biodiversity preservation. All are welcome to take part, either by writing an article or joining in the various debates taking place. The Landscape Institute has contributed a feature to the site that outlines the integral role that green should play. For more information, click here.
Click here to read the full speech of Grant Shapps’ speech.