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Conservative Party Conference 2018: BSRIA responseOctober 2018

Julia Evans CEO

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said:

On housing:

“BSRIA supports the Prime Minister’s announcement of the ‘opening-up of the £9 billion Affordable Housing Programme to councils, to get them building again’. The scrapping of the government cap on how much councils can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets to fund new developments is especially welcome. Indeed: It doesn't make sense to stop councils from playing their part in solving it.

The Prime Minister said that ‘solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation’ a comment which is commended by BSRIA.

In her speech, the Prime Minister said that ‘we will help you get on the housing ladder’ and ‘we will build the homes this country needs’.

But BSRIA has said time and time again that the UK’s housing shortage needs urgent action, not only to help communities across the length and breadth of the country, but also for the construction industry to attract and retain such key workers.

This announcement will revitalise industry confidence, but BSRIA’s oft-repeated mantra is that, although we must see a spade in the ground soon, housebuilding quantity cannot be at the expense of a reduction in quality. The proof has to be in the pudding and words must turn into deeds and action. It shouldn’t be a case of paying lip service to this crucial societal and industry issue.”

On Brexit:

“Members will judge the government on the clarity they provide on the real-world questions around Brexit and whether the UK will avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU. Members will be reassured that the Prime Minister sees no deal as a bad outcome – but transparency and clarity is needed straightaway if members and the wider industry are to thrive and survive in 2018 and beyond.

Vis-à-vis government’s new immigration rules – members must be able to access skills and talent – at all levels – swiftly and easily when they can demonstrate that they haven’t been able to hire or train the staff they need here in the UK. This will halt more and more unnecessary and messy red tape and bureaucracy.”

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