Bishop of Rochester says regenerating housing estates is about investing in more than just buildings

On 9th February 2016 Baroness Janke asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they will provide further information on their proposals for renewal or replacement of failed housing estates, following the announcement by the Prime Minister of £140 million funding; and whether any additional funding will be made available.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a follow up question:

RochesterThe Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I speak as one who lived on one of these estates for some 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s at a time when significant public money was invested in that estate. My memory, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, is that we probably gave relatively too much attention to physical investment and not enough to investment in other kinds of infrastructure. Will the Minister assure me that, while attention is given to the physical fabric, whether that is new or renewed, equal attention—maybe even over and above the £140 million, or another £140 million—will be given to such matters as educational, social and economic infrastructure?

Baroness Williams of Trafford: The right reverend Prelate makes a really good point about regeneration being about not just the physical structures that are in place but some of the social structures that are in place to support communities, and other amenities, as he said, such as schools, hospitals and GP surgeries, that so often are not thought about when we think about regeneration.