Labour plan to ‘reset’ infrastructure development

An incoming Labour government would create a new body for infrastructure development with the aim to “reset” how the public realm is upgraded.

With the general election now taking place on 4 July, and Labour well ahead in the polls, attention is turning to what a change of government might mean for infrastructure, including investment in lighting.

While, at the time of writing, none of the three major political parties had yet published their election manifestos, Labour has given some indications of its future priorities in this area.

The party has said it will merge the National Infrastructure Commission and Infrastructure and Projects Authority to create a new National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority (NISTA).

The move follows a review by the party into major capital projects, which was announced at last year’s party conference.

The proposal was due to be announced by Labour shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones at this month’s UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum. However, his appearance at the event ended up being abruptly cancelled because of prime minister Rishi Sunak announcing the election.

Nevertheless, Labour has said NISTA will focus on “tackling the inertia at the heart of government to get Britain building again” and will “be given new powers and an updated mandate to drive more effective delivery of major projects and infrastructure across the country”.

It will be overseen by an expert board and will be jointly accountable to the Treasury and the Cabinet Office.

Jones in his speech had been due to say: “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset how infrastructure is delivered, and public services are upgraded. We will call time on an era of Tory chaos, waste and decline.

“Our new National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority will be laser-focused on delivery and play a critical role in setting the path we need to drive growth. A Labour government will get Britain building again.”

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