Widely picked up across regional media and supported on Twitter by #Commit2Infra, the debates brought together parties from across the political spectrum to discuss infrastructure priorities for the next administrations and beyond.
The London Infrastructure Debate took place on 4 April at ICE’s Headquarters One Great George Street. It provided a platform for the main Mayoral candidates or their representatives with the chance to set out their stalls on issues surrounding housing, transport, airport capacity, skills, climate change and a number of other infrastructure issues. In March, ICE London's Infrastructure for London Manifesto set out ten recommendations for the Mayor and London Assembly ahead of the Elections.
Candidates Caroline Pidgeon AM, Cllr Sian Berry and Peter Whittle were joined by Rail Minister Claire Perry MP, who was representing Zac Goldsmith, and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross AM CBE, representing Sadiq Khan at the Debate which was attended by over 300 people with many more watching live online.
Watch a full recording of the London debate
Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre hosted a Built Environment debate on 5 April, organised by ICE, RSUA, RICS, ACE and RTPI. Sinn Féin's Daithí McKay, the SDLP's Connor Duncan, the UUP's Steve Aiken and Alliance's Andrew Muir all responded to questions from the floor, debating key built environment issues of importance to Northern Ireland. Many of the candidates supported recommendations set out in March’s 2016 Manifesto, ‘Building Our Quality of Life’. The report by ICE Northern Ireland was widely reported in regional news.
The following day, representatives of the main political parties in Wales came together to express their vision and aspirations for the future of Wales. The event was chaired by Geraint Talfan Davies, Chair of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Chair of the Welsh Arts Council, board member of Welsh Water and current Chair of Welsh National Opera. It follows the publication of ICE Wales ’Manifesto for Infrastructure in Wales 2016: Prosperity, Growth and Jobs’. The Manifesto features vital recommendations for the next Assembly term, which focus on improving resilience, skills and infrastructure delivery.
Watch a full recording of the Wales debate
The debates were concluded on 19 April in Edinburgh, where Lib Dem candidate Katy Gordon, the SNP’s Marco Biagi, Labour Councillor Monica Lennon, the Scottish Green Party’s Maggie Chapman and Conservative candidate Iain McGill debated subjects such as skills, delivery and resilience, themes which echoed some of the recommendations set out in ICE Scotland’s Manifesto for Infrastructure: Scotland 2016. The publication sets out a vision of what needs to be done to ensure Scotland has transport, energy, waste, water and flooding networks fit for the future and challenges the nation's policy-makers to commit to infrastructure.
Watch a full recording of the Scotland debate
ICE is helping to set the long term agenda for UK infrastructure as part of its National Needs Assessment, a project to provide a cross-sector assessment of the UK’s national economic infrastructure – energy, transport, communications, water, waste and flooding needs to 2050 and identify options for how they can be met.