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Conservative Party Conference - BSRIA responseOctober 2017

Julia Evans CEO

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

“In an attempt to fix Britain’s housing crisis, the Prime Minister announced that the party will meet its manifesto pledge with a 'major boost' to renew the building of council and social housing 'desperately needed', with an allocation of £2 billion. This takes the total budget for affordable housing up to almost £9bn.

This extra social housing money will build 25,000 homes over five years – or 5,000 a year.

Indeed – this is an important first step: undoubtedly – the UK’s housing shortage needs action, not only to help people in communities across the country, but also for the construction industry to attract and retain workers.

This announcement will revitalise industry confidence, but we must see a spade in the ground. Increased housebuilding is an absolute must for the industry and BSRIA members but the proof has to be in the pudding and words must turn into action. It shouldn’t be a case of sticking plasters around the edges of this crucial societal and industry issue.

Regarding the Prime Minister’s intention to intervene in the energy market with the announcement of market-wide price caps – BSRIA is supportive of this – as long as it doesn’t prevent such energy suppliers investing in renewable energy of which BSRIA is supportive.”

At the Conference on Monday BSRIA was encouraged to learn that Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that skills, infrastructure, and housing are some of the keys to “boosting productivity”.

Specifically £300m in new funding towards Northern Powerhouse rail with Crossrail North (Northern Powerhouse Rail/HS3) fully and efficiently connecting with HS2. This is an “important step forward” in ensuring that the longer-term infrastructure ambitions are joined-up and the golden nuggets of business in the north of England is recognised.

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