Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer: 'Getting Britain building again is critical for economic growth.' Credit: House of Commons via CC BY 3.0

‘We are the builders’ says Starmer at Labour conference

Promising the delivery of 1.5m homes, planning reform, and the end of “sticking plaster politics”, Labour Leader Keir Starmer rallied his party in Liverpool on Tuesday.

Starmer described Labour as “a party of service” that would put the country first, party second if it came into government.

“We are the builders”, he told Labour Party Conference attendees.

Starmer added later: “Getting Britain building again is critical for economic growth. It is our most important mission.”

With that in mind, here are some of Starmer’s key promises from the speech:

1.5m homes will be built within five years.

Starmer noted that there are numerous obstacles to delivering so many homes, citing the “restrictive” planning system, lack of local plans, and land banking as culprits. He also highlighted the fact that some people don’t want homes built near them. To those individuals, he had a message. “A future must be built,” Starmer said. “If we continually wash our hands of this task, we all end up in a rut. It’s time to get Britain building again.”

The Green Belt will be re-examined.

Starmer said that the delivery of the much-needed homes for Britain would not come at the expense of the Green Belt. Instead, it was the “Grey Belt” that was in jeopardy – sites that are designated as Green Belt but are actually brownfield.

More development corporations are planned.

Starmer said he would increase the number of these public sector companies, which are dedicated to driving development schemes in their area.

Britain will be rewired.

The National Grid will get much-needed upgrades to increase its capacity and ability to handle more clean energy. That will be necessary, as Starmer also promised to create a publicly-owned energy company, GB Energy, that will be based in Scotland.

The next generation of Labour New Towns is coming.

Starmer promised “shovels in the ground” and “cranes in the sky” to deliver on this promise.

New infrastructure will be delivered in partnership.

Starmer said Labour would create a National Wealth Fund, which would invest in critical infrastructure projects. “As we share the risk, we must also share the rewards,” he said. “We will make sure the British people will retain a stake in our investment.”

No quick fixes.

Starmer noted that “long-term solutions are not oven-ready” in his speech, and urged his party to stay the course. Labour has a plan, and it is, in Starmer’s words, “a plan for a Britain built to last.”

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