A special Quality of Life Policy Group has been launched by Conservative Leader David Cameron, as he prepares the ground for a fresh policy agenda on key issues including transport and housing, urban planning, the environment and countryside, and energy and climate change.
The group will be chaired by former Environment Secretary John Gummer, who will be backed up by Zac Goldsmith, the environmental campaigner and editor of the Ecologist magazine.
Announcing the move during a visit to the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, Mr Cameron explained that the new body would investigate all aspects of the quality of life agenda, and he said: “We want to make sure we get these challenges right, and that means listening to the views of as many different people as possible.”
The Conservative Leader declared: “I made clear throughout the leadership campaign that the environment and quality of life are central components of my political agenda. The importance of quality of life is one of the six biggest challenges we face, so I am delighted to announce that the Quality of Life Policy Group will be led by two of the most respected and charismatic figures in the green movement.”
Pledging to put the environment at the heart of his policy programme, he rejected suggestions that he was deliberately delaying the formation of policy. Mr Cameron added: “The real test will come in 18 months time. We have got to have growth in the economy but we have got to make sure it is sustainable growth and it is green growth. The point of the policy review is to work out how we can deliver this.”
Mr Cameron has also signalled that he wants to adopt a consensual approach, and is seeking to co-operate with both the Government and the Liberal Democrats on policies to tackle climate change. “We are not going to do this in a four to five year political time period. We need political parties to actually agree about some of the steps we have to make. Let’s try and agree some of the steps that are necessary to take this out of politics.”
Visit the Quality of Life Policy Group website