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RTPI overview of new UK Government

15 July 2016

Theresa May led UK Government following the decision to leave the EU

Teresa May was appointed Prime Minister on Wednesday 13 July. The Labour Party is about to undertake its own leadership elections.  Teresa May has announced her new Cabinet (see below for a list of appointments) which includes a new government department with responsibility for the future negotiations out of the European Union under David Davis. A second EU referendum has been ruled out. 

RTPI President Phil Williams has welcomed the new Secretary of State

The new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is Sajid Javid (formerly of Business, Innovation and Skills).

Teresa May wants a Britain ‘that works for everyone’

In a major speech on Monday 10 July,  May said that the government under her leadership will build an economy “that works for everyone”. May made tackling Britain’s low productivity a key part of her economic strategy.  Infrastructure, energy and housing policy will be crucial with “more Treasury-backed project bonds for new infrastructure projects”, “an energy policy that emphasises reliability of supply and lower costs for users” and “more house building”.

Her priority will be “a proper industrial strategy to get the whole economy firing. She has stated that her government will have a plan to help not one or even two of our great regional cities but every single one of them”.   

The Government continues its commitment to increase housing supply

Prime Mininster May also referenced that she is determined to increase housing supply to “give people more opportunity” and cut what she described as Britain’s “housing deficit”, even if that meant a drop in house prices, through “ more house building”.

RTPI calls on the government to value planners’ role in delivering its priorities

The RTPI will be calling on the Prime Minister, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid and the new government to value the role of planners in helping to create an economy that works for everyone, a society that works for everyone, north and south, urban, rural, public sector and private sector.   

We will be making the case to establish a new, planned approach, utilising the skills and vision of the planning profession to facilitate the government’s inclusive vision for Britain which avoids further revisions of the planning system.  

RTPI concerned the decision to leave will impact skills shortage in the built environment sector

Between 2007 and 2014, the proportion of EU migrants working in the construction sector in the UK rose from 3.65% to 7.03%.  The Communities and Local Government Select Committee launched a fresh inquiry into the ability of house builders to meet demand this week. Clive Betts, Committee Chair, said potential curbs on EU immigration could create problems for developers.  It will also look into the planning process, after a previous inquiry earlier this year found a growing number of sites with planning permission on which developers were not building homes.

The RTPI will be providing evidence to the inquiry. 

Further clarity on Status of EU Nationals living in the UK

A joint statement from the Cabinet Office, Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been released on the status of EU nationals in the UK

Other Ministerial Appointments:


Philip Hammond has been announced as the new Chancellor for the Exchequer. David Gauke has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Gavin Williamson is the new Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip). 

Philip Hammond’s statement on appointment said that of the economy: 

"It has had a shock as a result of the decision on the 23 June to leave the European Union. That has shaken confidence, it has caused many businesses to pause investment decisions that they were making.

"I think the challenge for us now is to send signals of reassurance about the future as quickly and as powerfully as we can to the international investment community, to British business and British consumers, so that we can get those decisions starting to be made and investment starting to flow into the UK economy again."

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Greg Clark is the new Secretary of State for the new Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, formerly known as BIS. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now been merged into Mr Clark’s department is losing the “climate  change”  part of the name.  The Department has lost responsibilities for overseas trade, innovation, higher education, further education, Skills, training  and Apprenticeships (which have now gone to the Department of Education under Justine Greening ) and is to focus more on overall industry strategy. The former BIS Minister with construction responsibilities, Nick Boles MP has resigned from the government.   

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, said:

“I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.”

Department for Transport

Chris Grayling has been appointed as Secretary of State for Transport. 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Andrea Leadsom is the new Secretary of State

Department for International Trade

A new department headed by Liam Fox

Department for International Development

Priti Patel is the new Secretary of State for International Development

Department for Education

Justine Greening is the new Secretary of State for Education which now includes in responsibilities for higher education, further education, skills and apprenticeships.

Department for Work and Pension

Damian Green is now the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Secretary of State for Scotland remains David Mundell

Secretary of State for Wales remains Alun Cairns

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is James Brokenshire

  • Foreign Secretary is Boris Johnson
  • Home Secretary is Amber Rudd
  • Leader of the House of Lords is Baroness Evans
  • Leader of the Commons is David Lidington
  • Secretary of State for Defence is Michael Fallon
  • Secretary of State for Culture is Karen Bradey
  • Secretary of State for Health remains Jeremy Hunt

Read: RTPI provides further guidance post European Union Referendum