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ICE launches radical manifesto

THE ICE last week revealed its all new election manifesto, a weapon built to fire the Institution into the political melting pot in time for the general election and beyond.

Heralded by communications director Keith Brogan as a 'revolutionary step in the future of the ICE', Agenda for the future sets out 38 priorities for government across transport and transport safety, energy, waste, water and flooding, urban regeneration, health and safety and the skills shortage (see box).

Launching the manifesto at last week's annual dinner, president Joe Dwyer drove home its importance: 'I began my presidency with the theme of relevancy. To be relevant engineers must be recognised for their skills, and for the fact that we are the ones that will deliver the solutions to provide a better quality of life.

'To this end, Agenda for the future is an important step forward in placing the ICE and civil engineers at the forefront of the educational and political debate.

It gives us a platform from which we can have a voice in the forthcoming Parliament and beyond, ' he enthused.

The agenda makes a series of bold demands, none more so than the ICE's plans to arrest the skills shortage. The lynchpin for this the abolition of student loan debt for those entering the civil engineering profession.

The manifesto also takes a hard line on the future of London Underground, urging investment under one unified management structure to maximise spending on safety through track improvements.

And it takes a realistic view of the uptake of renewable energy sources based on the current capacity of the national grid, but nevertheless recommends a 3% increase on the government's current target of 10% by 2010.

On waste the manifesto is far more radical, calling for a total re-engineering of the UK's approach. It recommends a 20 year strategy to reduce reliance on landfill, including a change to government policy on planning approvals for incineration, energy from waste and waste reprocessing.

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