Motion Z

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Commons Amendments and Reasons – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 23 October 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Pinnock Baroness Pinnock Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government) 8:15, 23 October 2023

My Lords, I thank the Minister for the detailed arguments he has put towards Motion ZB1 in my name, which I recognise have substance. However, the levelling-up Bill, which includes missions relating to education and health, means that we need to think about the quality of the public buildings provided, because they have a substantial impact on the quality of the services that are then received by those in both schools and hospitals. To have higher-quality buildings inevitably leads to better outcomes for patients, students and children.

Given that, there are two issues. One is that these are public buildings that are publicly funded, and there ought to be greater transparency for users and employees in those buildings of the state that they are in. The Minister has carefully explained the vast data collection that goes on regarding the buildings, both in the school and NHS estates. He is right—there is a vast collection of data. However, there is not transparent, easily accessible data for people who use those buildings and work in them. If, as he said, safety is paramount—I totally agree—the public need to see that there is transparency around the data on the state of those buildings.

I am asking the Minister and the Government to accede to easily accessible data concerning these public buildings because of safety concerns. That has been highlighted by the recent RAAC issue, and more and more buildings have been discovered with RAAC as a safety issue. I do not intend to press the amendment to a vote today, but I hope that the Government will consider greater publicity and accessibility of the data that they collect already so that people can see what state their buildings are in.