An Office for Resource Management should be created by the next Government to entrench the circular economy, according to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
This proposal is one of 10 key policies out forward by the ICE as part of its manifesto that it would like to see the next Government implement to improve UK infrastructure following the General Election in May.
ICE wants the Office for Resource Management to entrench a circular economy ethos across all departments and promote resource management as a driver of growth.
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Among other policy proposals, it wants to see the creation of an independent infrastructure body and improvements on apprenticeships, energy market reform and transport.
ICE director general Nick Baveystock (pictured) said: “Infrastructure is the foundation of all modern societies –it not only boosts GDP and job creation but regenerates communities, connects people and places and equips future generations with desirable skills.
“The benefits of infrastructure investment are now well established across political divides, resulting in some welcome schemes and initiatives and infrastructure rightly positioned high on the political agenda. We are however at a critical time – where the scale of the UK’s needs is large and growing, public finances remain tight and we are slowly emerging as an attractive market for infrastructure investment – it is vital therefore that we do not lose impetus.
“Whichever party wins the General Election, infrastructure should form a central plank of its economic policy – building on the progress already made and using infrastructure to realise the UK’s full economic potential. Failing to give it a front row seat, or opting for shorter term electoral wins, could lead to other competing nations taking our edge and the UK’s resilience diminishing.
“This is no time for the faint hearted – the next Government must establish a long-term vision for infrastructure and a framework that facilitates cross-party consensus. We need to build the UK’s resilience, rebalance growth, and secure a world-class engineering workforce. There are also some tough decisions ahead – not least on the UK’s aviation policy and our future energy mix. But with concerted political commitment, challenges can become opportunities, and we can deliver the infrastructure we need for the 21st Century and beyond.”