Government lands a whopper

The question I get most often from the industry while doing this extraordinary job of mine in the Secretary of State’s Extended Ministerial Office (and I get asked it almost daily) is why isn’t the government releasing more land? There is a general perception that HMG is hanging on to all its land holdings for […]

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A cross-party approach to devolution

It has always been a mystery to me why Her Majesty’s Opposition never had a shadow minister for devolution.  Or for cities, come to that (Greg Clark is the only front bench spokesman for cities that we’ve ever had). More partisan (and certainly more clever) folk than me have attempted to explain this by saying […]

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Reasons to be cheerful in 2016

A belated Happy New Year to one and all.  I have a good feeling about 2016 and I hope you do too.  As far as I can see, the market cycle and government policy seem to be in alignment; which is no bad thing.  And that’s before you factor in the sheer weight of both […]

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There is much to do in the mission to rebalance resi

I was in Nottingham on Friday (regular followers of this blog know my commitment to Nottingham is total; it is always one of my most favourite places to be). I was the guest of Graham Allen, the tireless MP for Nottingham North (he’s been a member of parliament for 28 years – can you imagine?) […]

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Why the east is full of promise

My job is greatly entertaining sometimes. I attended THE most diverting event in Norwich the other day.  It was a conference masterminded by Richard Bacon, the ebullient and effervescent MP for the vast constituency of South Norfolk, at the Maids Head Hotel (valued partners to the project) and it was entitled “How Should Norfolk Grow?”. […]

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Some important additions to Team Clark

I feel compelled to remark upon some sparkly appointments recently…. We in Team Clark are very excited about Andy Street joining the department to become our “lead non-executive director”.  Andy is a great mate to all of us in the gang, and to the devolution agenda generally. A proper market-facing person, having been the managing […]

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A brave new world of devo-deals

Greg Clark’s devolution agenda continues apace.  He enjoys the loyalty of a very committed band of public servants working in his Cities and Local Growth team who are tireless in pursuit of his devolution deals. With a fair wind (these things are all a negotiation, after all, so it can never be entirely certain) there […]

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Cuba or Croydon, an economy needs a plan

In what has been rather a strange interlude in my life, I’ve been in Cuba these past few days. Yes indeed. Of course, my timing was impeccable: I returned just in time to watch my uber-clever colleagues in their last frantic scramble to sort out the Spending Review. And didn’t they do well? My visit […]

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Inspirational Ipswich is getting so much right

I was rather flattered to be asked to speak at the Ipswich Vision conference a few days ago, run by the very potent Ipswich Central Business Improvement District, which is actively working in partnership with a further six local authorities and agencies concerned with the wellbeing of the town. It is a great success story. […]

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BE Inspired to reduce the skills gap

I have written before (see blog 15 June) of the widening construction skills gap and the excellent People and Money report by Mark Farmer of Arcadis (that’s EC Harris to those of us who still think in old money).  The industry has commended his report as an accurate reflection of the problem.  And it is […]

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