Ecology’s open letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minster

On Friday morning in the UK we woke up to a changed political landscape and congratulations on your win.

Now, as you yourself pointed out many times during the election campaign, the real work starts.

But the new government doesn’t need to shoulder that work on its own.

You’d already recognised that to deliver on your stated core missions you would need to partner with businesses and civil society.

One of those missions is to build 1.5m new homes in the next five years and to build them well, with your aspiration for “exemplary development to be the norm not the exception”. Your own manifesto defines that as “high-quality, well-designed, and sustainable homes and creating places that increase climate resilience and promote nature recovery”.

If you want to know what that actually looks like, you only need to cast your eye over the thousands of developments that have been made possible by our Members over the 40 years of our existence.

We know how to fund the building of sustainable places to live, places that breathe life into communities, tackle climate change and increase biodiversity, so this is a plea in two parts.

Part 1 is for your government to put that knowledge and passion to good use, visit some of the amazing developments we’ve helped bring into being and be inspired by the template they provide for what those 1.5 million homes could and should be like.

And part 2 is simple – please don’t be seduced just by the new. The UK has the oldest and least energy-efficient homes in Europe and it’s costing us the Earth in every sense. Four in five of the homes we’ll have in 2050 have already been built today, and retrofitting these is the lowest-carbon solution. We have an amazing opportunity to use the drive towards net zero to increase the energy efficiency of existing and new homes, and cut fuel bills for those struggling with the cost of living. Creating a revolution in renewable home energy can provide a massive boost to the green economic growth you want to place at the heart of our recovery as a country.

You’re not going to be short of advice, pleas or offers of help and support today and for the rest of your time leading the government. But if you really want to realise one of the core missions at the heart of your manifesto then ours is one you shouldn’t ignore.

Let’s start the conversation – we’d be happy to hear from you at any time.

Gareth Griffiths
CEO, Ecology Building Society

Published: 8 July 2024

Author: Gareth Griffiths