Brokenshire ‘job swap’ with Michael Gove

Communities Secretary and environment secretary tipped to swap jobs amid speculation over beefed up house building role for MHCLG.


James Brokenshire and Michael Gove are tipped to swap jobs with MHCLG pitched to beef-up house building as a priority.

Gove gets the nod from Westminster insiders with a Johnson government banking on his reforming zeal to overhaul the housing crisis.

Brokenshire, who today (July 22) announced new eco-principles for housebuilders, is seen as a safe of hands to hold a brief like environment.

And MHCLG may have to do without current housing minister Kit Malthouse who’s in the frame for a cabinet job, possibly International Trade Secretary.

Malthouse was close to Johnson as a Deputy Mayor of London and won plaudits for his ‘Malthouse Compromise’ bid to end the Brexit impasse.

Meantime, May loyalist Brokenshire goes on, getting two policy pitches in.

The new Community Framework sets out how his successor will lead on work with local and national partners such as businesses, faith institutions, councils and volunteer groups to help build “stronger, more empowered and integrated communities” across England.

With house building the priority, a second plan protects wildlife from the boom, setting out expectations of developers to preserve specific species.

Amongst the principles of the Communities framework are:

  • Holding a ‘national conversation’ with communities post Brexit with an emphasis on what local and national government can do to support t communities to thrive
  • Establishing a series of Civic Deal pilots to test the principles of this Framework in local areas, by putting communities more in control of decisions and by strengthening local partnerships and civic infrastructure
  • Publishing a Communities White Paper to renew the government’s focus on building stronger communities across England

The key element of the wildlife plan is the long-term impact of developments on local ecosystems – during and after construction.

This includes greater emphasis on using innovative ways to allow nature to thrive, urging developers to plant more trees and green meadows – giving vital insects such as the British honey bee a safe haven to thrive.

The plan – published as guidance – builds on the government’s planning rulebook adopted last year, which set out the concept of environmental net gain, where developers have to ensure space for wildlife is provided in addition to the new homes they wish to build.

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