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Parliamentary taskforce issues call for evidence on improving suburban areas

Words: Laura Edgar
London / iStock-931497792

The Suburban Taskforce has launched a 'call for evidence' in support of creating a suburban renaissance across the country. 

The cross-party taskforce, chaired by Dr Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central & Acton, and David Simmonds, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, intends to support the long-term sustainability of suburban areas, with the government consider its recommendations.

It will seek to identify national trends, particularly in London during the first phase of work. In identifying solutions, the taskforce said it would pay attention to current social, economic and environmental circumstances and the policy tools available, such as the planning system and taxation.

The taskforce’s work will be supported by UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning, the All Party Parliamentary Group for London’s Planning and Built Environment, and an expert advisory board.

Huq, MP for Ealing Central & Acton commented: “Our suburbs are the home of the majority of our population and at risk of being overlooked and neglected. It is net curtains for representatives who ignore the plight of suburbia; the majority of those in parliament represent precisely such constituencies.

“The traditional vision of the suburbs as an ideal balance between town and country is being challenged conceptually, visually and operationally. Suburbs have been considered unproblematic and left by themselves under the pressures of austerity and are now facing the problems of inequality and underfunding whilst still being under pressure to expand or intensify.

“This taskforce draws those from all political backgrounds to focus on the suburbs, seeking to understand what ‘suburban’ really means in modern Britain. Now, as we emerge from a pandemic which may well redefine our relationship to the places in which we live, work and play is the right time for that."

Academic advisor, UCL’s Dr Lucy Natarajan, added: “The purpose of this consultation is to hear from suburban areas about the challenges and opportunities facing them. This is vitally important to the taskforce, in order to work towards a shared understanding of the unique situations facing suburbs in the UK today and what this means for achieving aspirations of equality.”

More information can be found on the Suburban Taskforce website.

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