Taskforce to investigate challenges facing UK suburbs

A cross-party group of MPs and peers is to examine the challenges and opportunities facing suburbs around the country.

The Suburban Taskforce will seek to identify national trends but, in first phase, have particular regard to London and has launched a ‘call for evidence’ to help chart a course towards a suburban renaissance across the country.

It will pay attention to current circumstances, as well as policy tools available, such as taxation, investment and the planning system).

The taskforce 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.

‘Our suburbs are the home of the majority of our population and at risk of being overlooked and neglected,’ said taskforce co-chair, MP Rupa Huq.

‘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.’

The groups’ academic advisor, UCL’s Dr Lucy Natarajan, commented: ‘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.’

Photo Credit – Quicksandala (Pixabay)

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Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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