A new cross-disciplinary group has been set up to help forge links between different sectors related to the built environment and to broaden understanding of industry issues

Launched on 7 July at the Construction Industry Council’s (CIC) annual summer reception, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment is chaired by former Environment Minister Tony Baldry MP, who announced that one of the group’s first initiatives will be to establish a commission that will “challenge ideas, thinking and expectation from outside the parliamentary and construction boxes”.

The commission, which will bring together politicians, professionals and industry leaders, will seek to ensure that new projects to improve the built environment are not only of a high quality, but also provide value for money at a time when public finances are stretched. It will work closely with groups representing a diverse range of sectors – from architecture to planning, highway maintenance and gas safety – to provide a holistic view of how to design, construct, manage and maintain the built environment.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the CIC, emphasised the importance of the “inter-connectivity of the built environment and industries”, which he felt politicians often underestimated. He said: “The new group is an attempt to engage parliamentarians and other serious commentators in looking at the big strategic issues affecting the built environment that have an impact upon the lives of every constituent.”


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