7 April 2006
Prominent MPs from across the political spectrum have called for 'outstanding' new public building projects to be entered for the 2006 Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award. The call comes as the final date for entries - 20 April - draws near.
Following the launch of this year's Prime Minister's Award at a parliamentary reception on 1 March, support for it has gathered momentum. Ed Vaizey MP has submitted an early day motion - a way for MPs to put their opinion on a subject on record - urging fellow MPs to nominate public buildings in their constituency for the award. Any public building that has been completed since 1 January 2005 and come into use by 31 January 2006 is eligible.
Twenty eight MPs from various political parties have now signed up to the early day motion. The signatories include prominent Conservative backbenchers such as Nigel Evans and former minister Peter Bottomley; well known Labour backbenchers including Jeremy Corbyn and Ann Cryer; Liberal Democrat shadow to the ODPM, Andrew Stunell; and MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party.
The motion also reflects an increasing understanding among MPs of the important role design can play. It notes that outstanding public buildings 'help improve the environment for everyone, serve as a focus and source of pride for the whole community, and significantly raise the profile of a town or city.' It congratulates CABE on the launch of this year's Prime Minister's Award and says that the work of CABE in promoting better building and urban design 'is vital for enhancing the nation's quality of life.'
Commenting on the MPs' support for the Prime Minister's Award and the looming deadline for entries, John Sorrell, chair of CABE, said:
'I am delighted that the value of the Prime Minister's Award has been recognised by MPs from across the political spectrum. I urge everyone who is proud of their new public building to enter it for the Prime Minister's Award before 20 April. This is a valuable chance to get recognition and inspire others who may be just setting out to procure a public building.'
Peter Fanning, deputy chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce which co-sponsors the award, said:
'This is a prestigious competition and I would urge those involved in procuring built environments to enter their projects. Previous winners have demonstrated how the "Achieving Excellence in Construction" initiative can deliver whole-life value for money schemes that are also sensitive to social and environmental requirements. Ultimately, this means that we enjoy better public services.'