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Construction coalition launches election manifesto

March 30th, 2010

The “More Homes and Less Carbon” manifesto goes further than the current ‘Get Britain Building’ campaign and is a collaboration between the BMF, the British Precast Concrete Federation, the Home Builders Federation, the Construction Products Association, the Modern Masonry Alliance and the Federation of Master Builders.

The manifesto calls upon whoever is elected to: # Complete existing housing projects and build more homes of all tenures. # Promote public-private partnerships that share the risks and benefits of housing delivery. # Identify and release a sufficient supply of permissioned developable land to meet local needs. # Ease liquidity and foster a return to responsible lending to creditworthy borrowers. # Encourage banks in receipt of taxpayers’ money to lend to projects to improve the nation’s housing. # Encourage the refurbishment of existing homes to save more energy. # Bring empty homes back into habitation to cut waiting lists. # Build on the successful lessons learned from the Decent Homes & Warm Front initiatives. BMF managing director Chris Pateman pointed out that the coalition is not asking for direct government intervention or taxpayer handouts. “We seek a firm commitment (from those with the power to make it happen) to create favourable conditions for business to meet the aspirations and needs of voters to live in warm, green, safe and decent homes. “We firmly believe politicians of all colours are not doing enough of what’s required if we are to rescue our companies, save our jobs, retain our skills, safeguard our investments, build our way out of recession, and get carbon out of our homes.

” Mike Leonard of the Modern Masonry Alliance said: “We believe the single most important policy commitment for the new Government is to concentrate on ‘consequential improvements’ to de-carbonise existing housing. The easiest route to accomplish this would be to selectively reduce VAT on home improvements where specific actions to take carbon out of the building envelope are completed. “There is only one housing market and electors need homes -whether new or secondhand. England alone requires over three million new homes by 2020.”

The manifesto was launched in Solihull on Wednesday at one of a series of events for senior figures from construction & allied trades/professions, local authorities, regional development and the building materials’ supply chainwhihc will give them the opportunity to hear direct from candidates.

Attending the launch from the politicians were Jack Dromey (PPC Labour, Birmingham Erdington), Dhiran Vagdia (RIBA Regional Chairman), Lorely Burt MP (PPC and sitting MP for Solihull; Lib Dems) and Maggie Throup (PPC, Solihull, Cons.) Together, the members of the coalition speak for over 50,000 firms that employ approx. 860,000 people, with combined annual sales of £75 billion.

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