Secretary of state Jeremy Hunt looks to ’consolidate functions’ of design quango

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is to review the role of design quango Cabe, the culture department said today.

Hunt said he was “considering the role of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and exploring opportunities to consolidate its functions,” in a statement to parliament today.

Today’s statement also announced the closure and merging of a number of other culture department quangos, as well as reviewing the roles of heritage quangos English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The statement did not appear to raise the prospect of Cabe merging with English Heritage, as was speculated in news reports last Friday. The news follows the abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission by environment secretary Caroline Spelman last week.

Hunt said the Government was committed to increasing the transparency and accountability of its public bodies, while at the same time reducing their number and cost. 

He said: “Many of these bodies were set up a considerable length of time ago, and times and demands have changed. In the light of the current financial situation, and as part of our drive to increase openness and efficiency across Whitehall, it is the right time to look again at the role, size and scope of these organisations.”