Labour Party pledges design standards for public buildings, savings on regeneration and moving health spending away from buildings
The Labour Party has committed itself to introducing minimum design standards for all publicly-funded buildings in its election manifesto published today.
However, the manifesto also talks about re-prioritising spending on health away from new buildings and in to front-line services, and making savings on regeneration spending.
The document, entitled “A Future Fair for All” says that the pilot launched last year to introduce minimum design standards in schools will be followed up with similar schemes in all other areas of publicly funded building work.
Since October all schools built under the BSF programme have had to be reviewed by a specially-convened design review panel. The prospect of rolling this out to other areas had been mooted in the “World Class Places” report released last year, but the manifesto commitment means Labour is committing to expand the scheme following the experience of the schools pilot.
The manifesto says: “We will continue to promote excellence in architecture and design, helping to foster civic pride and build world-class places in which people want to live and work. We have introduced new design standards for schools, to ensure the very best architecture and building design; we will extend these to all new government funded building programmes.
Other commitments in the manifesto include:
• Working with housing associations to develop a “new form of affordable housing” to “focus on enabling working people to rent an affordable home at below market rates while they build up an equity stake.”
• Targeted motorway widening programme
• 40% of energy should come from low-carbon sources by 2020 through construction of nuclear, wind and clean coal power generation capacity
• Make “savings in regeneration funding and focus on tackling worklessness”
• Re-focus “once in a lifetime” spending programme on hospitals on to “primary and community services so that we rival the best healthcare systems in the world.”
• Outside of Heathrow airport, no further runway construction allowed