Westminster Social Policy Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc - economic development, infrastructure and housing

March 2020

This conference will assess next steps for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

Delegates will discuss priorities for the transport and housing infrastructure, and wider issues for the development of the Arc and economic growth in the region.

It is timed to assess progress since the Joint Declaration of Ambition between Government and local partners in the regionv- which establishes a long-term vision for:

  • housing,
  • wider infrastructural development, and
  • unlocking the Arc’s economic potential.

Further sessions look at how the Arc needs to fit into the Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy - now expected to be published alongside the first Budget.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to consider the next steps for the Arc’s four Local Industrial Strategies - for Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Buckinghamshire and South East Midlands - that were launched last summer.

Speakers and chair

There will be keynote addresses from: Bridget Rosewell, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission and Councillor Barry Wood, Leader, Cherwell District Council and Chair, The Arc Leaders Group.

Further speakers include: Professor Chas Bountra, University of Oxford; Rob Brighouse, East West Railway Company; Jeanne Capey, Environment Agency; Sarah Greenwood, Homes England; John Gourd, Cambridge Network; Adrian Hames, WSP; Richard Harrington, Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Richard Wade, Blake Morgan.

We are delighted that Rt Hon the Lord Adonis, former Chair, National Infrastructure Commission and John Howell MP, Member of Parliament for Henley, have kindly agreed to chair this seminar.

The agenda

  • Next steps for developing the Arc;
  • Collaboration and spreading the benefits of the Arc to communities across the region;
  • Realising the full economic benefits of the Arc - innovation, collaboration, and linking the four Local Industrial Strategies:
    • Engaging business, attracting inward investment, and driving forward Local Industrial Strategies;
    • Establishing the Arc as a global-leading innovation hub; and
    • Attracting and developing high-performing industries, investing in skills, and maximising productivity.
  • Developing and delivering infrastructure to unlock the Arc’s potential:
    • Strategies for housing delivery - making best use of land and improving affordability;
    • Progress of East West Rail and the challenges ahead;
    • Thinking differently about transport infrastructure in the Arc: connecting people and places;
    • Engaging businesses and communities, improving connectivity, and reducing barriers to growth; and
    • Biodiversity net gain in new developments and species and landscape protection.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Social Policy Forum conference has attracted strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: MHCLG; DfT; Infrastructure and Projects Authority; BEIS; Cabinet Office; Defra; HMRC; Homes England; Innovate UK; NAO; Office of Government Property; the Regulator of Social Housing; DCMS; DIT; DWP; and HMPPS.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Social Policy Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates