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Government 'trying hard, could do better' says RIBA mid-term report

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The RIBA is handing Prime Minister Gordon Brown's new government a 'mid-term report' this evening, which will urge parliament to do more to improve design across Britain.

In 2005 the RIBA published its 'Manifesto for Architecture', which challenged politicians to 'design a better Britain'. The report, to be discussed at Portcullis House, London, this evening, assesses the progress of Downing Street so far.

Speaking ahead of tonight's debate, RIBA president Jack Pringle said the government still needed to do a lot more.

'We've seen a lot of good progress since 2005,' he said. 'Many of our proposals have been adopted, not only by the government but also other parties. But while some amazing buildings have been built since then, we're still worried that much of the record investment in public services is being wasted on badly designed schools and hospitals.'

The report highlights some of the government's achievements such as taxation and regulatory incentives for low-energy buildings, but it also urges Gordon Brown to do more by 'entrenching design at the heart of planning and procurement'.

Pringle added: 'As well as presenting an agenda for the government, we're also setting challenges for the other parties to take up and keep up the pressure. It's a blueprint for Brown - and a checklist for [David] Cameron.'

by Richard Vaughan

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