The new ‘term’ holds much in store…Digital Editor
MP’s return to work today after their 6 week summer holiday. However, there will be no time for our tanned politicians to ease themselves back into their parliamentary duties, as we expect a busy week of political and legislative developments.
At the top of the Government’s ‘to-do’ list is to introduce a raft of legislation that will help carry Britain out of our economic doldrums. The focus of this ‘go-for-growth’ strategy will be on housing and infrastructure development, with a number of policies likely to be introduced, including the Government guaranteeing up to £50 billion private-sector infrastructure and housing development (please note that this policy was actually unveiled in July but will incorporated into the Infrastructure
*Financial Assistance* Bill that will be presented to Parliament this week), as well as streamlining the planning process through encouraging ‘land swaps’ under which local authorities can allow building in the Green Belt if an equivalent area of land elsewhere is safeguarded, and decreasing the length and scope of appeals against planning decisions.
When the Government pushed through the NPPF in May, they faced at lot of opposition from significant interests groups and ended up compromising on a watered down framework. So to return to the issue of planning is a brave move by the PM. As Paul Goodman, the editor of Conservative Home, wrote in the Daily Telegraph today, ‘David Cameron is normally a pragmatic politician, and doesn’t like to pick fights he can’t win. But when it comes to planning, he is starting to look like a boxer who, having being pummelled by an opponent, is staggering back for a second beating.’
So why is David Cameron stepping back into the ring, especially with such low approval ratings? The answer is that the Coalition is now even more desperate to promote economic growth, and new housing, alongside facilitating significant infrastructure development and cutting red tape for businesses are seen as the best of their very few solutions.
Also on David Cameron’s agenda this week is his Cabinet re-shuffle, which is expected to be announced on Tuesday afternoon. The PM will not change most senior ministers, but a big shake-up is predicted among middle and junior-ranks in his first re-shuffle while in office. Interestingly for the property sector Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, is expected to be promoted in the shake up. He is tipped to replace Baroness Warsi as the Conservative Party co-chairman.
With ‘Party conference season’ also starting at the end of September we are entering into one of the busiest and most interesting periods of the political calendar. At Innesco we will continue to monitor and analyse all developments that may affect the property and retail sectors, helping our clients benefit from a greater knowledge of the bigger picture.
Andrew Todd, Senior Account Executive