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CALL TO NOMINATE 'OUTSTANDING' NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS

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MPs from across the political spectrum have called for 'outstanding' new public building projects to be entered for...
MPs from across the political spectrum have called for 'outstanding' new public building projects to be entered for the 2006 Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award. The call comes as the final date for entries - 20 April - draws near.

Following the launch of this year's Prime Minister's Award at a parliamentary reception on 1 March, support for it has gathered momentum. Ed Vaizey MP has submitted an early day motion - a way for MPs to put their opinion on a subject on record - urging fellow MPs to nominate public buildings in their constituency for the award. Any public building that has been completed since 1 January 2005 and come into use by 31 January 2006 is eligible.

Twenty eight MPs from various political parties have now signed up to the early day motion. The signatories include prominent Conservative backbenchers such as Nigel Evans and former minister Peter Bottomley; well known Labour backbenchers including Jeremy Corbyn and Ann Cryer; Liberal Democrat shadow to the ODPM, Andrew Stunell; and MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party.

The motion also reflects an increasing understanding among MPs of the important role design can play. It notes that outstanding public buildings 'help improve the environment for everyone, serve as a focus and source of pride for the whole community, and significantly raise the profile of a town or city.' It congratulates CABE on the launch of this year's Prime Minister's Award and says that the work of CABE in promoting better building and urban design 'is vital for enhancing the nation's quality of life.'

CABE chair John Sorrell said:

'I am delighted that the value of the Prime Minister's Award has been recognised by MPs from across the political spectrum. I urge everyone who is proud of their new public building to enter it for the Prime Minister's Award before 20 April. This is a valuable chance to get recognition and inspire others who may be just setting out to procure a public building.'

Peter Fanning, deputy chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) which co-sponsors the award, said:

'This is a prestigious competition and I would urge those involved in procuring built environments to enter their projects. Previous winners have demonstrated how the 'Achieving Excellence in Construction' initiative can deliver whole-life value for money schemes that are also sensitive to social and environmental requirements. Ultimately, this means that we enjoy better public services.'

Notes

The full text of the early day motion (EDM 1743) reads: 'That this House congratulates the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) on the launch of this year's Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award; notes that any public building that has been completed and come into use between 1 January 2005 and 31 January 2006 will be eligible; urges all hon. and right hon. Members with such outstanding public buildings in their constituencyto nominate them for this award by downloading a form from www.betterpublicbuilding.org.uk before the closing date on 20th April 2006; further notes that outstanding public buildings such as hospitals, schools, libraries and museums help improve the environment for everyone, serve as a focus and source of pride for the whole community, and significantly raise the profile of a town or city; and concludes that the work of CABE in promoting better building and urban design is vital for enhancing the nation's quality of life.'

The Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award is sponsored by CABE and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). The closing date for entries is 20 April 2006, with judging in May, a shortlist announced in July and the winners in October 2006. Projects eligible for the PM's Award must have been completed by 1 January 2005 and come into use by 31 January 2006. The award is open to any project commissioned by or on behalf of central or local government or by a grant-aided organisation regardless of size and budget. The PM's Award is a special category within the British Construction Industry Awards. For more information on criteria and how to enter, please visit www.betterpublicbuilding.org.uk

CABE is the government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. As a public body, we encourage policymakers to create places that work for people. We help local planners apply national design policy and offer expert advice to developers and architects. We show public sector clients how to commission buildings that meet the needs of their users. And we seek to inspire the public to demand more from their buildings and spaces. Advising, influencing and inspiring, we work to create well-designed, welcoming places. www.cabe.org.uk

OGC's mission is to work with the public sector as a catalyst to achieve efficiency, value for money in commercial activities and improved success in the delivery of programmes and projects. www.ogc.gov.uk For more information contact Adrian Ient on 020 7271 1366, or Adrian.Ient@ogc.gsi.gov.uk

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