Bypassing politics won’t work

Today Sir John Armitt proposed the creation of an independent body to tackle Britain’s poor record on the planning and delivery of major infrastructure projects.

Sir John has a strong pedigree, having chaired the Olympic Delivery Authority for the 2012 Games. His National Infrastructure Commission aims to remove big strategic decisions about transport, energy or telecoms schemes from the political bear pit.

And that’s where it starts to unravel. Planning – especially where big landscape-changing projects are concerned – is inherently political. These decisions can’t be ducked or handed over to committees of the great and good. Plans need to be talked about, fought over and – in some cases – thrown out if that’s the decision people want to make. You can’t take the politics out of planning.

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4 Responses to Bypassing politics won’t work

  1. i think it’s terrible that time,money,and well intentioned ideas get jettisoned away with the reshuffling of ever changing governments…it’s the time the political world evolved to the point where it can have the courage of it’s own convictions….i know it’s surely a major conundrum to find the solution,but i’m glad it’s become talking point and pressing issue….up until now the nullifying of yesterdays expensive work seemed like something everyone sort of accepted .

    • I think it’s good this government is pushing on with the HS2 concept, inherited from the last government (although I think they need to bang some heads together – on cost and how the project is communicated – which has been beyond woeful).

      • sometimes it seems midwifing an idea is all in the explaining…apparently the sliced pan loaf was around 14 years before someone told the right story for it to catch on.

  2. DST says:

    That’s true – you need a good brain-worm to get the idea in there… This morning my cupboard is very bare of such brain worms.

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