Sustainable Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 5th February 2003.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Local Government and the Regions, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:31 pm, 5th February 2003

On right to buy, we have made our proposals, but that is not the end of the matter—we shall want to consider exactly what our surveys show. Many local authorities are telling me that they believe that the measure should apply to them instead of the 40-odd that I mentioned. I will have to assess that further, taking into account the hon. Gentleman's point.

On sustainable communities, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning and Local Government Select Committee produced a report on new towns that showed that although they were excellent in their time, unfortunately they became dormitory towns as people moved from place to place. We have to ensure that jobs are provided, that the infrastructure is in place—whether for roads, hospitals or schools—and that houses are better designed than they have been in the past and meet the energy and water resource requirements. I have seen all those things embodied in the millennium village concept, which will provide quite a contrast with towns such as Milton Keynes that were built to the old standards of the new towns: here are new requirements for a new millennium. That is what we intend to do, and that is what sustainability is all about. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the report, which will give him more information.