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ICE begins Election “Commit to Infrastructure” campaign

Campaign launched to ensure elected party Commit to Infrastructure following next Election

The Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) has launched a campaign this week which will involve a programme of activity to ensure that the successful party in the next General Election will take into consideration the public benefits of placing infrastructure at the heart of its economic plans.

The “Commit to Infrastructure” campaign started with the launch of a report from ICE which has been sent to all MPs across the political spectrum. The report has the same title as the campaign and aims to enhance the understanding of each MP when it comes to the importance of infrastructure to both local people and the wider UK economy.

The paper sets out a 5 step infrastructure challenge for politicians. These include:

  • To give infrastructure the front seat it deserves. This step outlines infrastructure as a driver of growth and job creation but also a catalyst for regenerating communities and maintaining quality of life for residents.
  • To be visionary. This involves the creation of a long term, evidence based strategic vision and a framework  for achieving political consensus on that vision.
  • To be bold. The third step involves the courage of the political party and how it should be bold as tough decisions will lie ahead on the future of the UK’s energy and aviation policy, driving the delivery of major projects and managing costs and resilience associated with the nations infrastructure networks.
  • To get smarter at engaging with the public. The party should create a proactive programme of engagement with the public to build trust, confidence and creditability into the decision making process when it comes to infrastructure.
  • To build on the progress and momentum achieved in the last 5 years.

A Manifesto for Infrastructure in February will follow the report outlining more detailed policies, building on this initial report and the the State of the Nation: Infrastructure 2014 report.

A twitter hashtag #Commit2Infrastructure has also been created as a platform for debate in the run up to the General Election and for keeping industry, politicians and other stakeholders up to date with ICE’s work.

ICE representatives plan to meet with politicians and partake in forums, debates and hustings across the country over the coming months. There will also be a report on infrastructure resilience and availability published which aims to explore the infrastructure challenges faced by cities around the world when faced with extreme weather conditions, how other countries manage these extremities and how the UK can learn from other countries.

The Commit to Infrastructure campaign follows the launch of ICE’s Transport for Growth report on devolution published in December which called on Government policy makers to accelerate the process for devolution of transport powers in the next Parliament and “seize the opportunity to unlock the potential of our city regions”.

An urge for all parties to consider whether an Independent Infrastructure Body has also been issued by ICE. The institution claims that this body, which would act as a framework for achieving consensus on the UK’s infrastructure needs, could be built on the existing structure rather than starting anew. ICE has said this would avoid stalling the momentum achieved so far and also avoid shaking investor confidence at a crucial time.