Institutions to host election debate on Building a Better Britain

By Anita Jaynes on 20 February, 2015

Four professional institutions have joined together to host a local political debate in the lead up to this year’s General Election.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have organised a breakfast debate, sponsored by Ibstock Brick, in Bristol on the morning of 27 February.

The debate will be hosted by David Garmston of BBC Points West and will be attended by Charlotte Leslie MP (Conservative), Darren Jones (Labour), Stephen Williams MP (Liberal Democrat), Darren Hall (Green) and Michael Frost (UKIP).

Jon Watkins, Regional Director for RIBA South West, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to offer the public, including our members, the opportunity to meet with local candidates in the lead-up to the General Election.

“We are keen to find out their views on the built environment and what commitments they plan to make if they are elected.”

Miranda Housden, incoming ICE South West Regional Director, commented: “This event will give people the opportunity to ask questions of key candidates from the local area, not just their own constituency, regarding their commitment to supporting infrastructure.

The debate complements ICE’s national ‘Commit to Infrastructure’ campaign which outlines five infrastructure challenges for politicians, including better engagement with the public. The debate offers an excellent opportunity for the voice of local people to be heard and taken on board prior to the General Election.”

Paul Barnard, South West Chair of RTPI, added: “How we plan for the future of our cities and rural areas is becoming of increasing concern to local people. We face a crisis in delivering new homes to meet people’s needs; we face challenges in creating genuinely sustainable ways of living and working in the face of climate change, and we have not resolved fundamental issues of equality in how local people are meaningfully involved in shaping the future of their neighbourhoods.

“This debate will provide some insights into how politicians intend to respond to some of these issues.”

The debate, which is free to attend and will include breakfast rolls and pastries for delegates, will take place at Bristol’s Arnolfini. Bookings for the event, which will be held between 8.30am and 10.30am, are being taken online at