Our call to action

“We need to be ambitious for the economy. But equally important, we need to be ambitious for the growth that drives it. Unless growth prioritises equitable wellbeing and protects the planet, it undermines rather than strengthens the economy.”

It may have been a snap election, but there has been time enough for a sea of words, multiple TV debates, hard hats and factory visits, claims and counterclaims, caution when we might have hoped for more, recklessness when we might have expected care. And, of course, the bungee jumping.

At LDA, we’ve used the run-up to set out five of the changes we would like to see. Changes that are bold but achievable, and close to our hearts and the work that we do.

There is one word that we would love to ring out loud and clear in the months and years ahead, and that is ambition.

The challenges ahead are huge, and untapped potential is central to them all. Anti-poverty charity, the Trussell Trust report record numbers of people using their foodbanks, doubled from five years ago. Nearly 300,000 people, including more children than ever, are homeless or living in temporary accommodation. Schools are providing sleep space because exhaustion, a symptom of poverty, leaves children too tired to concentrate. The number of families with three children or more living in poverty has risen by 13% to 46% in the last decade. NHS waiting lists are at an all-time high. Social care is struggling to give ageing the dignity it deserves.

Nature is floored. Our coastal towns – make that all of our towns – need to become climate resilient. Too many jobs are poorly paid, and there are too few in green industries. Productivity in the UK is weak, lagging behind France and Germany.

Solving this array of challenges demands investment so we need to be ambitious for the economy. But equally important, we need to be ambitious for the growth that drives it. Unless growth prioritises equitable wellbeing and protects the planet, it undermines rather than strengthens the economy.

Good, secure affordable housing is the base from which all else flows. It needs to be supported by an efficient, respected planning system. We need to reverse the under-investment in infrastructure, to get more green energy, sewage systems that protect our waterways, reservoirs and better public transport. No one can be left behind. No more forgotten towns. No more isolated new developments.

So here is not just what we hope for, but what we are working towards and campaigning for. We are seeking out those with the big hearts, nous and vision to partner with us to make them a reality.

  1. Wellbeing needs to be at the heart of housing and the heart of our economy. Housing is never just about numbers; we need to raise the bar on the kinds of places we make and the futures we are creating.
  2. Put nature at the heart of policy, so it stops being “othered”. We are part of nature, not separate from it. Understanding this changes everything. It takes us from reactive to proactive. It gives us all a role to play.
  3. Make infrastructure about people and place because investment in infrastructure projects is actually about society, culture and environment. If we get this right, we will get a good, productive economy.
  4. Put respect back into Planning because lasting change comes through collaboration. with all sides working together with a shared sense of purpose
  5. Make our towns and cities playful because when they start to work well for children and teenagers, they work well for everyone. Often the best way to deliver on a broad ambition, such as for healthier and more inclusive places, is to put the focus on people who are under the radar.

Download our five-point call to action.

 

 

 

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