There was a sense of deja-vu in Jeremy Corbyn's leader's speech; with echoes of statements we heard at last year's Labour conference in Liverpool: Brexit, housing, nationalisation and electioneering.
A year is a [very] long time in politics; but it seems that not a lot has changed in the last 365 days. The key issues are now carried over to 2019; with a continuing lack of detail on built environment proposals. Labour should have added more meat on the bones of their bold policies announced over the last year.
The key difference of this year's speech, however, was the bringing forward of the timing by a day, following the ruling on the government prorogation, therefore, using the opportunity to challenge the PM and lay out domestic priorities.
In last year's speech, we heard great ambitions for the domestic built environment agenda, but RICS was disappointed with the lack of detail in Labour proposals.
The proposals, as in most announcements this year had great ambition, but no detail. Corbyn's well-versed agenda of nationalised utilities – water, rail and the national grid – was green-lighted, and the conference delegation was informed that a future labour government would steer significant capital investment into the built environment; to the sum of £250bn into upgrading transport, energy and broadband infrastructure. A bold and ambitious investment which is very much needed to counter the infrastructure deficit in the UK. Whether these infrastructure projects would be nationalised or not, it would be prudent of a future labour government to consider the development, maintenance and whole-life costings of infrastructure projects, and how the International Construction Management Standard, 2nd Edition, should be used to approximately assesses the optimum construction cost of design and whole life-cycle costings for sustainable infrastructure.
Aside from domestic issues analysed below, Brexit was key; with the Labour leader clarifying their approach: if elected, to secure a deal with the EU, then take it back for a public vote. Certainly, one approach to take as a means to balance both sides of the debate within the party's membership and public.