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Government discontinues role of chief construction adviser

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has announced the role of chief construction adviser within the Construction Leadership Council will not be continued after the incumbent Peter Hansford’s tenure ends in November 2015.

The council was created in 2013 to work between industry and government to identify and deliver actions to improve efficiency, skills and growth in UK construction.

According to BIS, the new membership of the council sees a reduction from its previous 30 members to 12, in response to calls from the sector to make it more effective and business-focused.

SEC Group Chairman Trevor Hursthouse said the CCA role was introduced in 2009 as a response to a recommendation of the then House of Commons Business and Enterprise Committee.

He added: “When recommending the role, the key reasons given was that there was a need to enforce best practice procurement in the public sector and to provide a main point of engagement between government and industry. These reasons remain equally valid today.”

Whilst supporting the government’s desire to improve productivity and to maintain in place a body charged with industry improvement, SEC Group is urging government to immediately begin a dialogue with the industry’s representative body – the Strategic Forum for Construction – to determine goals and objectives.

“I hope we are not going to create new initiatives since solutions are already out there; the priority now must be delivery of those solutions within agreed timescales,” said Mr Hursthouse.

Skills minister Nick Boles (who co-chairs the council), said: “The construction industry recently saw its 24th month of consecutive year on year growth, and is key to our plan for increasing Britain’s productivity and prosperity.

“We will work closely with the newly focussed Construction Leadership Council, with its top business expertise, to deliver that plan and drive growth for the sector and wider economy.”

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