With a week that sees the publication of all the manifestos and the start of the leaders TV debates, it is full steam ahead for the election. So far Labour have used their manifesto to focus on ‘a future fair for all’ with pledges for targets for affordable housing, green jobs and high speed rail as well as confirming their commitment to architecture and minimum design standards for all public buildings. The Conservatives published their hardback tome to focus on the economy, dealing with the deficit and changes from central targets to a localist approach, for example, local parents and community groups able to set up their own schools. And the Lib Dems today focus too on the idea of fairness, costing their proposals with savings they identify so that they can reduce class sizes, tackle the carbon targets by loans for energy performance for homes and lowering VAT on home maintenance and repair.
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The RIBA has been testing out candidates views with hustings in Brighton and Bristol. In Brighton candidates debated how to deliver for Brighton balancing the needs for conservation and preservation and the increasing requirements for more development of new homes and the need for retrofitting and green measures which might change the look and feel of Brighton as a city. Candidates were challenged as to which cities were their inspiration – they ranged from Copenhagen, Sydney and Amsterdam to Sutton and BedZed but none were as bold as to suggest that Brighton itself was their inspiration!
In Bristol aboard the SS Great Britain candidates from the Bristol West seat focused on housing too – how to deliver affordable and social housing in Bristol. What to do about the need for retrofitting the cities homes and non domestic buildings, thoughts on environmental standards and the role of local communities in development.
Listen to the audio of Bristol Hustings.
To download the mp3 (96MB, 1hr 45 min), right click and select ‘save target as’ then save as mp3.
Next up Plymouth on Friday 16 April. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.