Osborne announces plans for a National Infrastructure Commission

 

Chancellor George Osborne plans to establish a National Infrastructure Commission to help advise the government on which projects should be prioritised.

In his keynote address to the Conservative conference in Manchester, Mr Osborne announced that Labour transport secretary, Lord Adonis, has been appointed to lead the Commission.

The Commission is designed to help ‘shake Britain out of its inertia’ and help deliver major schemes including new railways, runways, power stations and homes, Mr Osborne said.

”Local
Lord Adonis

Lord Adonis, who was a key adviser to Tony Blair, has resigned the Labour whip and will sit as a cross-bench peer for the role, in a move that has been described as both a political coup for the chancellor and one designed to take the politics out of the commission.

It's remit will be to consider future infrastructure of national significance, not existing government infrastructure commitments or regulatory price controls. Airport expansion will also be outside of its scope for the time being after the Airports Commission already examined the issue.

The chancellor said: ‘I am delighted to tell you that the former Labour cabinet minister and transport secretary Andrew Adonis has agreed to be the commission’s first chair. He’ll now sit as a cross-bench peer and help us create Britain’s plan for the future – working together in the national interest.

‘Where would Britain be if we had never built railways or runways, power stations or new homes? Where will we be in the future if we stop building them now? I’m not prepared to turn to my children – or indeed anyone else’s child – and say: I’m sorry, we didn’t build for you. We have to shake Britain out of its inertia on the projects that matter most.’

The idea for an independent national infrastructure commission was suggested by Labour in opposition under Ed Miliband, following a report commissioned by the party from Sir John Armitt, former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Mr Osborne's Commission is expected to be modelled on the independent fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility - set up in legislation by the coalition government.

It will be tasked with providing government with a five-year review - setting our plans for project priorities covering the next 30 years - likely to take be published soon after the start of each parliament.

An initial report from the Commission is due before the Budget 2016. 

A Conservative spokeswoman added that the Commission would only focus on projects of national significance and so would not interfere with local plans, although councils will have the opportunity to give evidence to the new body.

The Commission will start work immediately with an initial focus on improving connectivity between Northern cities including high speed rail (HS3), 'large-scale investment in London’s public transport infrastructure' and the UK's energy infrastructure needs of the future, government officials said.

No time limit has been set for the chairman's role. A Conservative spokeswoman said the Government was expecting strong cross-party support for the Commission and its chair.  

Lord Adonis said: ‘Without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a halt. I am pleased to accept the chancellor’s invitation to establish the National Infrastructure Commission as an independent body able to advise government and parliament on priorities.

‘Major infrastructure projects like Crossrail and building major new power stations span governments and parliaments. I hope it will be possible to forge a wide measure of agreement, across society and politics, on key infrastructure requirements for the next 20 to 30 years, and the assessments which have underpinned them.’

The news was welcomed by the Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) director general, Nick Baveystock, who described it as a 'bold and positive move'.

'Infrastructure must be planned for the long term and the pressing need for an independent body, as a mechanism to build political consensus, has been recognised. We look forward to working with the Commission - ICE has already convened a coalition of business, industry and academic leaders to produce an evidence based assessment of the UK’s future infrastructure needs and we hope this can feed into the work. This is about making the right strategic choices,' he said.

In a separate move, Mr Osborne will also reveal plans to encourage the 89 local authority pension funds to pool their resources into half a dozen British Wealth Funds, each controlling assets of more than £25bn.

The move represents another push from the chancellor for pension scheme investment in infrastructure, after earlier attempts to win pension cash stalled.

 

Also see

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highways Infrastructure Manager

Northumberland County Council
£60,253 - £63,540
We have a rare and exciting opportunity for the role of Highways Infrastructure Manager Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Highways Project Technician

Cambridgeshire County Council
£18,795 - £21,166
We’re looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Chief Officer

Leeds City Council
£85,207 to £93,727
We need a Chief Officer with that rare blend of strategic perspective with a genuine talent for engaging and supporting our workforce to be... Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council

Programme Director for Climate Change

Warwick District Council
Up to £91,500
This exciting new role will join our Corporate Management Team to formulate, oversee and implement the Climate Emergency Action Programme. Warwick, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwick District Council

Sustainable Travel Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum
Are you passionate about the environment, and the support services required to keep it safe, clean and green? Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Parks Constable

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,726 per annum
You will have previous experience as an attested police officer or as a Special Constable, British Transport Police or Royal Parks. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Collision Investigation Officer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,844.00 - £38,228.00 Per Annum
Are you excited by the opportunity to make a difference to the roads of Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Transport for Greater Manchester

2 x Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety)

Dacorum Borough Council
£31,218 to £39,786 (Inclusive of London Fringe Weighting) + Car Allowance   
Seeking to appoint 2 x fully qualified Environmental Health Officer’s to work within our... Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788
We seek an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Head of Asset Management (Regeneration & Environment)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£55,856 - £59,773
We have a current vacancy for the role of Head of Asset Management, and we are looking for a dynamic individual to lead the service Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Environmental Education Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
Looking for instructors who complement our enthusiastic, motivated and friendly staff team. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Structures Asset Manager

Kent County Council
£52,713 - £58,774 per annum (salary dependent on experience) 
If you have the ability to succeed in either of these roles and are able to prioritise competing demands and objectives, coupled with... Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Structures Senior Engineer

Kent County Council
Starting salary £33,082 per annum
Providing engineering support for maintenance of highway structures, liaising and working closely across KCC. Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Development Management Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782 per annum
The successful applicant for this post will be capable of taking the lead on work within the team associated with... Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Permit Officer – Place

Enfield London Borough Council
£27,228 - £29,241
You will have the ability to understand and learn relevant legislation and be able to work on your own initiative but also work as part of... Enfield (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Senior Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 – £45,704 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Community Services Manager

Copeland Borough Council
Competitive Salary
Looking for an energised and enthusiastic candidate to lead and focus the service through the challenges set by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Moresby, Whitehaven
Recuriter: Copeland Borough Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager - Highways Network

Bridgend County Borough Council
£37,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Business Support Officers - Transport Team (2 Jobs)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Within the Transport Team you will be required to work flexibly in accordance with the needs of the service, which can men... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Planning Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
ou will have an excellent knowledge and understanding of transport policy at both local and national level. Expertise of both people and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council