�A new All Party Parliamentary Group on Building Communities has been formed to progress political discussions around good design and placemaking and how they can help solve the housing crisis.
At a meeting at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 18 June 2018, Bob Blackman MP was voted chair, Liz Twist MP (Labour) and Stephen Hammond MP (Conservative) vice-chairs, and Mark Prisk MP (Conservative) as group secretary.
Other members include: Sir Graham Brady MP (Conservative), Baroness Brown (Crossbench), Lord Shipley (Liberal Democrat), Lord Hodgson (Conservative), Andrew Lewer MP (Conservative) and Matt Western MP (Labour). The cross-party group of MPs and Peers will now meet in the autumn for its first session.
The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) will provide secretariat services for the APPG and the group will discuss proposals put forward in ACE’s report, also launched on the same date, Unlocking Housing: Reinvigorating Local Communities through Placemaking.
Commenting on the launch, Bob Blackman MP, the APPG on Building Communities chair said: "I’m delighted to chair this new group which will take the discussion around good design and placemaking to the next political level. We need to find new ideas to tackle the housing crisis and build the homes the country needs. I firmly believe that only a holistic approach which marries community engagement, placemaking and strategic infrastructure spending will enable this."
Responding to the group’s formation, ACE chief executive, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE said: "ACE is pleased to provide the secretariat for the APPG on Building Communities. The group’s formation is a vindication of ACE’s work in championing good design and infrastructure and ACE members should be excited that their views will be heard, discussed and debated in parliament."
Financial support for the APPG on Building Communities comes from ACE members AECOM, Mott MacDonald, Peter Brett Associates, Ramboll, Waterman and WSP. It also supported by non-member Heathrow.