Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has formally inaugurated a new all-party parliamentary group to address the issues faced by historic high streets and town centres following the economic crisis caused by Covid-19.
Announcing the APPG’s inauguration, Layla said “this is a perfect opportunity to look at regeneration issues in historic town centres such as Abingdon and Kidlington in my own constituency.”
The APPG on Conservation, Places and People will meet monthly, and is supported by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). Layla, as Chair, is joined by Paul Howell MP (Conservative, Sedgefield), former Head of the Civil Service Lord Kerslake (Crossbench) and Alex Sobel MP (Labour, Leeds North West) as Vice Chairs.
The objective of the APPG is to support built and historic environment conservation as the means to deliver successful places, which are economically environmentally and socially sustainable. This includes using heritage to help places adapt to the diverse needs of current and future communities, whilst supporting enterprise, transport connectivity, health, climate change efforts and quality of life.
Its particular initial focus will be on raising the profile of the policy barriers to the regeneration of historic communities and find ways to overcome them.
Layla Moran said: “I’m delighted to have launched the new APPG on Conservation, Places and People this month. We’ll be looking at how we can better support historic communities through this crisis and beyond. This is a perfect opportunity to look at regeneration issues in historic town centres such as Abingdon and Kidlington in my own constituency.
“I look forward to getting to work, and hope MPs from all sides, including those in Oxfordshire, join the effort.”
IHBC chair David McDonald said: “The APPG’s focus on ‘Conservation, people and places’ represents the three pillars that can ensure a sustainable future following the pandemic. The APPG’s core aim is to help communities manage and benefit from local places and heritage as powerful drivers for physical, social and economic sustainability, regeneration and progress.
“Clearly we want to address the key issues of today as well as the longer-term challenges and challenges society faces, and the opportunities offered by fully integrating conservation with people and their places.”