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What is the Farmer Review?
At the end of 2015 the Government asked the Construction Leadership Council to identify actions to reduce the industry’s vulnerability to skills shortages. The review was carried out by Mark Farmer of Cast Consultancy, which resulted in the publication of the Farmer Review in October 2016. The report focuses in particular on housing although it suggests that the skills shortage can be found throughout the entire construction industry. Farmer believes the industry does not make enough money, which leads to underinvestment in training, development and innovation.
Having just taken over as the leader of Deloitte’s UK Local Public sector business MIPIM 2017 presented a golden opportunity to undertake a serious city health check. Deloitte employ around 6000 people across our 17 UK offices outside London and we have ambitions to grow this figure at least another 2000 by 2020. Clearly each of the Cities exhibiting at MIPIM this week have been keen to establish their credentials in the uber competitive inward investment market – so had did they fair?
Liverpool’s renaissance in the past decade has been well documented, from the Capital of Culture to Grosvenor’s award-winning Liverpool One scheme and more recently Peel Ports’ game-changing Liverpool Two expansion. It is this continued renaissance that fills the Liverpool delegation with confidence as we return to MIPIM with our largest delegation, a real energy in the public-private sector collaboration, and involvement from the wider City Region in the form of Wirral MBC and the Liverpool LEP. Collaboration and confidence, a great partnership.
Undoubtedly, Manchester is seen by many as the leading contender for UK’s second city, something that can be attributed to the strong leadership that has continued to drive forward regeneration relentlessly over a distinctive 20+ year period. During this period, city centre living has certifiably returned to Manchester and this has been underpinned by strategic investment and positioning of land, diversification of employment markets, harnessing Manchester’s strength in key sectors, creating partnerships to drive delivery and perseverance through difficult times. Sir Howard Bernstein had a key role to play in all of the above and those responsible for continuing his legacy must ensure the city continues to deliver on its key priorities.
Yet again transport investment and real estate value forms a key discussion topic at this year’s MIPIM with representation from all of the major transport investment projects. The projects aren’t new, so what has changed since last year?
I have been reflecting on whether the Government’s latest housing proposals will achieve Sajid Javid’s ambitions for “radical, lasting reform” and create a “new, positive, mindset to house building”.
A new EIA Directive 2014/52/EU will be transposed into UK legislation by May 2017. Included within the Directive will be the requirement that ‘proportionate’ and high quality EIAs are undertaken across the EU. We consider how this change may affect EIA professionals in England in the context of what is a “competent expert”1.
The Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’, published on 7 February 2017, identifies that compulsory purchase law gives local authorities extensive powers to assemble land for development and that recent and proposed legislation (the Housing & Planning Act 2016 and Neighbourly Planning Bill) is reforming CPO process to make it clearer, fairer and faster. As a result, planning authorities are encouraged to use these powers, particularly in areas of high housing need.
The White Paper provides the clearest support yet for Build-to-Rent (BTR) development. A consultation paper on Planning and Affordable Housing for Build to Rent has been published alongside the White Paper.
Breaking up is hard to do: maintaining business integration when your organisation is geographically dispersed
20th century organisations often succeeded by operating from a single location. Take the newspaper industry as an example. For journalists, Fleet Street in London was the centre of the universe. They would mingle and eavesdrop, returning to their offices with fresh gossip. Not only were their headquarters based on the street, but their printing facilities were located within a stone’s throw of their type writer. The Daily Express and the Daily Telegraph, and other household newspapers, operated almost entirely from a single street.