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Weekly Election Briefing (27 March)

27 March 2015

Josh Rule _RTPI Staff -0559

Josh looks at the week that was in planning and politics.

The fallout from the budget continued into this week as organisations, political parties and commentators’ responses were publicised. If you haven’t had a chance to read ours yet, see what my colleagues had to say here.

We had a planning update and a written statement on planning and housing from Eric Pickles which covered everything from solar energy to the greenbelt and brownfield development. While responsibility for architecture moved from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to DCLG. DCLG have been awfully busy since last week making over 55 announcements. While a Committee of MPs have made a splash with a call for a flooding and drought champion in government to protect homes and infrastructure.

Yesterday was the last day of parliament before the election with the official dissolution on Monday (30 March) marking the formal end to the 2010-2015 parliament. Want to find out more about the shut down of parliament? Check out this summary. In the pre election period there are clear boundaries about we can say and do as a charity, read our summary here.

If you missed Cameron & Miliband: The Battle For Number 10 last night, catch up here and set your recorder for:

  • itv’s seven-way debate with Cameron, Miliband, Ukip’s Nigel Farage, Lib Dem’s Nick Clegg, SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, and the Green’s Natalie Bennett on 2 April
  • BBC’s debate with the 5 opposition leaders on 16 April
  • BBC’s special Question Time with Cameron, Miliband and Clegg will answer questions separately from a live studio audience on 30 April

 Election Mood BritainThe polls remain close and I’ve come across this website which conveniently brings them all together in one place - get your speculation on here. The University of Essex has charted the policy mood (see below) in Britain between 1964 and 2014 arguing (in a nutshell) that the mood moves in the opposite direction to policy so when times are bad people want the government to spend more to stimulate the economy or vice versa, read the full analysis here

Campaign Buzzwords

Our Homes for Britain campaign has had an impact with the public with more identifying housing as a key issue at this election than at the 2010 election. While “first-time buyers” was the biggest campaign buzzword according to Election Unspun (see infographic). 

According to reports, the Conservatives are set to revive the Right to Buy housing scheme first established by Margaret Thatcher in 1980. While the Lib Dems have apparently blocked Conservative traveller policy planning changes. Influential Labour policy thinker, Lord Adonis, has attracted attention for the collection of essay he co-edited on city villages.

Finally, Transport for the North released their Northern transport strategy to “revolutionise travel in the North”.

 Feel like you’re not being heard during the election campaign? Then get tweeting! According to Twitter’s Head of News, Government and Election young voters are turning to Twitter for information. Given this, and the high prevalence of MPs using the social media network, its importance is likely to grow – so get tweeting and have your say! Tweet the RTPI @RTPIPlanners.