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New minister for communities gets to work

The government's first cabinet-level minister for communities has made his opening statement in his new role.

David Miliband, the new minister of state for communities and local government, spoke following a meeting with the Local Government Agency.

His appointment has been widely praised in the architecture community as a signal of the government's commitment to high quality design in the Thames Gateway.

The politician has impeccable design credentials, having improved standards of design in PFI and ensured architecture was at the forefront of the City Academies programme while he was minister for schools at the Department of Education and Skills.

'Today I had a purposeful and useful meeting at Kent County Council with LGA Chairman Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart,' Miliband said yesterday. 'We share a vision of partnership between central and local government for the benefit of citizens - leading economic development, delivering high quality services and promoting secure and sustainable local environments.

'This was my first meeting in my new role as minister of communities and local government. It will be followed up with further engagement with local leaders. I am also looking forward to joining John Prescott, other ministers and local government colleagues at next week's Central Local Partnership meeting.

'I look forward to progressing this significant agenda that touches the lives of everybody living in this country,' Miliband added.

by Ed Dorrell

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