Rounding up the latest policy and political engagement activities from ICE.
… in Westminster
Who | Lord Horam (Con) and Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Lib Dem)
What did they say? | Lord Horam: “The broad statement of the Institute [sic] of Civil Engineers about this being a move in the right direction is correct. But it also says that in the next 12 months there should be a detailed analysis and working out of what should happen. I hope that the minister will commit the government to doing that. It is essential that we now get a move on.”
“But if one wants an objective view, the Institute [sic] of Civil Engineers had it just about right when it said it was “a step in the right direction”.”
Lord Wallace: “This is neither integrated nor really a plan. I wish to correct the noble Lord, Lord Horam; the Institution of Civil Engineers actually said that this was “at best … a step in the right direction.””
From the past 3 months
ICE gives evidence on energy policy to UK Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
Who | ICE’s Director of Policy, Chris Richards, gave oral evidence to the UK Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee’s inquiry into the government’s amendments to the Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs).
These seek to translate the government’s Energy White Paper – its long-term strategic vision for the energy system, consistent with net-zero emissions by 2050 - into its infrastructure and planning policies.
Our second panel has just started.December 7, 2021
What did they say| Following ICE’s written submission to the inquiry, Richards told MPs: “Whereas historically we have focused on developing infrastructure on a sector-by-sector basis, there is now a recognition that we need to start thinking about the wider infrastructure system.
“We need to start moving away from having single NPSs and towards having an overarching and coherent national infrastructure policy statement.”
When | UK BEIS Select Committee oral evidence session on Energy NPSs on 7 December 2021
ICE informs Lords debate on National Infrastructure Commission’s baseline report
Who |Civil engineer and officer of ICE’s APPG Infrastructure, the Rt Hon Lord Berkeley OBE (pictured below)
What did they say? | “One of the most interesting things which has come out of a briefing from the Institution of Civil Engineers is that only 10% of British adults think that the right conditions are in place for infrastructure to transition to net zero - 10% is not very good. Only 31% of British adults think that the government have a plan for net zero; they should be worried about that, and perhaps the Minister will have views on it.”
When | Lords Grand Committee debate on 2 December – ‘To ask Her Majesty’s government what plans they have to address the concerns in the report by the National Infrastructure Commission, The Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report, published in November.’
NIC and BEIS meet ICE policy calls on climate change and new nuclear
Who |National Infrastructure Commission; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
What did they say? | The independent UK National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have recently met ICE policy calls – on the importance of curbing greenhouse gas emissions and making assets resilient to climate change and how we finance new nuclear, respectively.
When | BEIS on 26 October; NIC on 15 November
Who | Helen Whately, Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury.
What did they say? | The new UK minister for infrastructure outlined her priorities to industry leaders, following the Spending Review and COP26.
When | ICE Presidential Breakfast, 17 November 2021
Who | HM Treasury, Transport Committee, and Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) Committee.
Huw Merriman (left) and Clive Betts (right), chairs of the Transport and HCLG Committees, respectively.
What did they say? | The Treasury met ICE calls to include net-zero in the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC’s) remit.
Plus three separate Select Committee reports - two from the Transport Committee and one from the HCLG Committee – referenced ICE policy calls.
- On net zero: 'Institution of Civil Engineers fellow Jonathan Spruce explained that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, “priorities will change … it is how you might accelerate certain things, like active travel, to help achieve your net zero ambitions. Just because a strategy is set does not mean that the programme of delivery should be set”.'
- On skills: 'Institution of Civil Engineers fellow Jonathan Spruce explained that because the UK did not have a long-term plan for electrification of the rail network, skills "disappeared from this country" and as a consequence "restarting that programme was really difficult". He added that an infrastructure "needs assessment" will be key to industry for "getting people of all shapes, sizes, genders and ethnicity ready to deliver the infrastructure we need to deliver a net carbon future".'
- On smart motorways: 'Many informed witnesses agreed with the government that the part-time use of the hard shoulder is confusing and that a consistent environment would be beneficial.'
When | Spending Review on 27 October; Transport Committee on 29 September and 2 November; HCLG Committee on 29 October
Who | Rachel Maclean, former UK Transport Minister
What did they say? | “I noted ICE’s discussion paper with interest, in particular its observations that high quality public transport has a key role to play in reducing emissions, improving air quality and tackling congestion.”
When | Written Parliamentary Question, 15 September 2021
Why this matters | The then-transport minister supported ICE’s calls for an urgent debate on public transport funding post-pandemic.
We are pleased to see policymakers recognising the urgency of the #TransportFunding debate...— ICE (@ICE_engineers) September 20, 2021
Here's ICE’s discussion paper on #PublicTransport funding post-#Covid19 getting endorsement from@sarahjolney1 MP and @redditchrachel
MP 👉 https://t.co/Av1Vm4B2ru pic.twitter.com/lNWxGbEpM1