There are major changes in British politics which will have a real impact on your region and every RIBA member. Whether it's on the economy and where budget cuts are made, on how the planning system works, the way in which the government procures public buildings or how central government works with local authorities, the effects will be felt nationwide.
These changes require a coordinated and collective response. RIBA needs to be proactive in how it tackles the new political world. As well as a new government, there are now 233 new MPs in parliament.
RIBA regional offices
Regional offices are going to be working with a small number of MPs. All new MPs will be at pains to be visible in their constituencies and be seen to be visiting local businesses, community groups and engaging with local issues. One of the most effective ways of demonstrating to MPs the value of good design, the role of the architect and the way in which they engage with clients and the local community will be to arrange a visit to a practice and an interesting project taking place in their area.
Arranging visits to public building/spaces or new housing developments with the architect that designed them can give politicians a real insight into the process of procuring, planning, designing a building. It is an opportunity both to showcase the best examples of British architecture, but also to illuminate the candidate on some of the barriers and challenges faced by practitioner.
If you are interested in being involved please contact your region or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips on meeting an MP
Research – most MPs will have their own campaign website, providing useful biographical information and information about their campaign and priority issues. This would help identify areas of mutual concern/interest and a useful steer on how to approach the meeting.
Discuss the manifesto themes – our main objective should be to introduce candidates to the work of the RIBA and our core issues, as outlined in the manifesto and contextualised with examples at a local level.
Outcome – ideally, we would like to get MPs to understand the value of architecture and come away with some specific ideas or tasks, you might be asked to do the same.
Feedback – feedback from meetings with politicians is extremely useful and can help the RIBA's longer-term campaigning objectives.
Feedback and further information
So that the RIBA can make the best use of any contact made with candidates, it would be very useful if you could feedback to the public affairs team. This will ensure that we have a record of the contact, which will inform our work in Westminster.
Similarly, if you require any further information on the election process, guidance on purdah, details on RIBA policy or advice on how best to engage with local candidates please get in touch with Anna Scott-Marshall or Will Fox from the Public Affairs team at email@example.com or 0207 580 5533.