IFG - Government must create a new organisation to involve the public in major infrastructure projects
The Government should create a new commission to involve local people in major infrastructure projects, argues a new report.
How to design an infrastructure strategy for the UK, published last week by the independent Institute for Government (IfG), argues a commission for public engagement would reduce costly delays by giving people a genuine opportunity to influence decisions. It should draw on the example of the Commission Nationale du Débat Public in France, which has successfully reduced public opposition to major projects.
The report also finds that the absence of a national strategy for infrastructure has serious implications. New projects are dreamt up, reframed, scrapped and reinvented, seemingly with little consideration of long-term objectives – a clear example of this being airport expansion in the South East. Co-ordination between different parts of government and regions of the UK is poor, resulting in less beneficial infrastructure.
To resolve this, the Government should:
- develop a long-term national infrastructure strategy that properly co-ordinates the work of central and local government and more clearly spells out the impact on all regions
- reinstate the position of Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, with a portfolio entirely focused on infrastructure and delivering a national infrastructure strategy
- strengthen the independence and mandate of the National Infrastructure Commission.
Nick Davies, Associate Director at the Institute for Government and report author, said:
“With no overarching strategy and projects spread across eight different government departments and various tiers of local government, it is no wonder infrastructure decisions in this country continue to be plagued by uncertainty, delays and increased costs. By strengthening the National Infrastructure Commission, creating a national strategy and better engaging the public, the Government can deliver better infrastructure for the whole country.”
Notes to editors
- The full paper – How to design an infrastructure strategy for the UK – is available on our website
- It is the latest in a series of papers on improving infrastructure decision making in the UK.
- The Institute for Government is an independent think tank that works to make government more effective.
- For more information, please contact email@example.com / 07825 021 538.
Latest News from
IFG - Ministers are undermining their own efforts to increase private investment in infrastructure18/01/2018 09:35:00
Ministers are hampering progress towards their own objective of increasing private investment in UK infrastructure at a good price, a new report finds.
NIESR: Head of UK Macroeconomic Forecasting reacts to the latest CPI inflation data17/01/2018 12:05:00
NIESR’s Head of UK macroeconomic forecasting, Amit Kara said: “CPI inflation eased to 3.0 per cent over the 12 month period to December from 3.1 per cent in November. We think that inflation has now peaked and will gradually drop back towards the 2% target, provided that monetary policy is set appropriately.
JRF - Problem debts: Households in poverty face a difficult 201816/01/2018 14:35:00
Helen Barnard, Head of Analysis at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, responded to the IFS report on problem debt and low-income households
IPPR - Carbon budgets should be devolved so regions can lead UK in realising economic benefits of decarbonisation16/01/2018 13:35:00
IPPR sets out a plan for empowering regions to deliver a national decarbonisation ‘mission’
IFS - Most household debt looks manageable – but a quarter of very low-income households have high debt repayments or are behind on bills or repayments16/01/2018 12:35:00
The size of overall unsecured household debt tells us little about how much ‘problem debt’ there is. Over 60% of unsecured debt is held by households with above-average incomes, and more than half of households with unsecured debts have more than enough financial assets to pay them off.