Following a far more reaching reshuffle than many anticipated earlier this week, the Royal Town Planning Institute welcomed the new members of the Department for Communities and Local Government team under the Secretary of State Eric Pickles MP. Significantly, the reshuffle also saw restoration of the link between planning and housing under a Minister of State – the last holder of both these portfolios was Labour MP Margaret Beckett in 2009.
Nick Boles MP was promoted from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to Minister of State jointly for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. Baroness Stowell is the new Leader of the House of Lords.
Brandon Lewis MP was promoted within DCLG to Minister of State with responsibility for housing and planning. The former housing minister Kris Hopkins remains with DCLG with a revised portfolio of responsibilities.
Cath Ranson, President of the RTPI, said: “I want to thank Nick Boles and Baroness Stowell for their hard work and wish them well in their new roles, and I want to welcome Penny Mordaunt and Lord Ahmed to the DCLG team. I also welcome the restoration of the link between housing and planning, recognition of the importance of planning to delivering sustainable growth. It is also welcome that both issues now fall under the responsibility of a Minister of State rather than a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State. Although partly symbolic, this matters within Whitehall, affirming the Government's commitment to delivering the homes the country needs.”
Penny Mordaunt MP and Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon are new to DCLG.
The full breakdown of ministerial responsibilities within DCLG:
Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Main areas of responsibility include:
- supporting local government
- communities and neighbourhoods
- local economic growth
- planning and building
Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State
- planning and development
- Ebbsfleet development
- Traveller policy
Rt Hon Baroness Warsi, Minister of State (and Senior Minister of State FCO)
The minister works with religious and community leaders to promote faith, religious tolerance and stronger communities within the UK.
Stephen Williams MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
- integration and race equality
- localism, decentralisation and community rights
- Building Regulations and standards
- empty homes
- climate change and sustainable development
Kris Hopkins MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
- local government
- adult social care
- planning policy and casework in relation to wind farms and solar
- community pubs
Penny Mordaunt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
- coastal communities
- local growth
- high streets, town centres and markets
- enterprise zones
- planning casework (supporting Brandon Lewis, Minister of State for Housing and Planning)
- fire, resilience and emergencies
Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon
- DCLG business in the House of Lords
- European programmes
- productivity, procurement and value for money
- QEII Conference Centre