Following the recent reshuffle to the cabinet, PBM has rounded up some of the industry responses.
Boris Johnson made the following new appointments:
- Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rishi Sunak
- Secretary of State for BEIS and Minister for COP26: Alok Sharma
- Housing minister: Christopher Pincher
- Environment Secretary: George Eustice
- Paymaster General – Michael Gove taking over Oliver Dowden’s responsibilities
Reacting to news that the Rt Hon Christopher Pincher has been appointed as the Minister for Housing, John Newcomb, Chief Executive, the Builders Merchants’ Federation, said:
“I congratulate Chris Pincher on taking up the housing portfolio at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Chris is an experienced minister, although he comes to domestic policy from the Foreign Office where he was Minister for Europe and the Americas. The diplomatic skills he brings from that role will be put to good use in persuading local authorities to significantly increase the rate of much-needed new house building throughout England”.
“As Mr Pincher gets his feet under the table, we want the Minister to focus on two major issues that affect BMF members – narrowing the gap between housing demand and supply, and the decarbonisation of heating and electrification of homes”.
John Newcomb noted that Christopher Pincher MP has a steep learning curve and an unenviable in-tray ahead of him. Recently, the Future Homes Standard consultation closed that sought views on reducing carbon emissions from new homes built after 2025 by changing Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations. The main proposal is to end gas boiler connections in six years’ time in favour of heat pumps, heat networks and direct electric heating.
In addition, a major White Paper is due on accelerating planning permission. The Conservatives have a target to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. If this is to be achieved, Mr Newcomb said there must be unrelenting political determination to simplify and speed up planning approvals to increase housing completions. The whole thrust must be implementation, he added, to enable BMF members to invest confidently in the people and materials and products needed.
“The National Federation of Builders (NFB) congratulates the new appointments and looks forward to working with them. We hope that there will be a renewed focus and drive to understand the industry, small business and bring about meaningful change.”
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “This new cabinet has a fantastic opportunity to drive Britain forward and ensure that the first step of levelling up begins on a firm footing. In construction, we expect late payment, procurement and small business to be high on the Government agenda.
In housing, the Government must deliver planning reform, infrastructure investment and greater funding for social homes. It must also redouble its efforts to reduce carbon emissions by investing in renewables and retrofitting and refurbishing our old, cold and energy inefficient buildings.”