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Morgan named on government's new National Infrastructure Commission


High Speed 2 design panel chair Sadie Morgan is among the eight members of the new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) appointed today

Chancellor George Osborne wants the group, which will be led by former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis, ‘to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure’.

The commission will produce a list of priority infrastructure projects at the start of each five-year parliament.

Joining dRMM co-founder Morgan on the commission is John Armitt, the former Olympic Delivery Authority chair who was commissioned by then shadow chancellor Ed Balls to lead a review into the UK’s infrastructure delivery in 2013.

His recommendations included the establishment of a politically independent commission to look up to 30 years ahead and set infrastructure priorities accordingly.

The government announced the launch of the NIC at the Conservative Party conference earlier this month, when the chancellor said he wanted to ‘create a cross-party consensus’ on infrastructure.

The commission will also include former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine.

The other members, set to be unveiled at the commission’s launch in York this morning, are: former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee Tim Besley; neuroscientist Demis Hassabis; former chief economist at the Greater London Authority Bridget Rosewall; and Victoria & Albert Museum chairman Paul Ruddock.

Osborne has used the launch to pledge £100billion of infrastructure spending by 2020; this includes funding the £15billion Roads Investment Strategy.

More details of the projects that will receive government backing will be announced at next month’s spending review, with funding to come from money raised by asset sales.

Initially, the commission will focus on northern connectivity; improving the London transport system, including developing Crossrail 2; and helping balance the energy market.

Osborne said: ‘British people have to spend longer than they should getting to work, pay more than they should in energy bills and can’t buy the houses they want because of the failure of successive governments to think long term.

Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept

‘Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept; it’s about people’s lives, economic security and the sort of country we want to live in.

‘That’s why I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.

‘This is about jobs, growth, living standards and ensuring Britain is fit for the future. We must be the builders.

Osborne added: ‘At the spending review, I will commit to investing £100billion in infrastructure over the next five years and we are creating an independent commission to give us a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs.

‘We need to think long term and deliver a cross-party consensus on what we need to build.

‘I am delighted Andrew Adonis and this world-class group of experts have agreed to come together on the National Infrastructure Commission to help us do that.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • Fabulous news: so encouraging that an architect - from a highly regarded and clever practice - has been asked to sit on such a key commission. Well done Sadie!

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  • As honoured holder of the keys to that city, what does Lord Heseltine think about the glaring omission of Liverpool's Lime Street Station from all HS2 proposals...? And is he indifferent to the consequential disenfranchisement of Merseyside...???

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