Making an ideal space for last-time buyers

Last Friday’s City AM carried an uncharacteristically complimentary editorial from editor (shortly to become deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph) Allister Heath. It concerned our friends over at Legal & General (see also blog 10 October 2013).  “Most companies have a bland or predictable worldview” writes  Mr Heath, “not so Legal & General, the insurance […]

Continue Reading

Devolution’s exciting future

So… It is official.  Devolution is the new sex.  This week heralded cross-party support for devolution to the English cities and towns. Had to happen really. When Greg Clark was giving evidence to the communities and local government select committee last week (see also blog 1 April) he was asked about a comparison between what […]

Continue Reading

Birmingham and the joy of ‘biophilia’

When I think of Birmingham, a lot of things come to mind…. Birmingham has a lot of qualities. A lot of redeeming features. But green? Well, not exactly. Apparently (and I learnt this from a press release sent to me the other day,  it can be huge fun being a faux journalist sometimes) Birmingham is set […]

Continue Reading

Mr Cameron’s timely show of support

There was a bit of excitement (well, I should say, even MORE excitement than usual) last week in the Greg Clark camp, as we travelled to Manchester for a breakfast meeting on Thursday  with the Local Enterprise Partnership chairs and… the prime minister. Oh yes.  It is official: I am now seriously great ’n’ good. […]

Continue Reading

We should be so lucky to have Pete on board

Pete Waterman is my new hero. No, he really really is. Be assured I haven’t just discovered Kylie Mynogue (being more of a Doors woman actually). Nor have I converted to trainspotting (although I’ve certainly  had my moments, there was this bloke you see…). But Pete Waterman is my new poster boy for urban regeneration. […]

Continue Reading

It’s not just pilots – localism is catching fire

At midnight last night, we hit the deadline for the submission of bids from the 39 LEPs for the £2bn Local Growth Fund. Never mind the fact that the fund will be massively over-subscribed, the anxiety was that the electronic overload on the Cabinet Office systems at 11.59pm might have caused an IT meltdown. You will […]

Continue Reading

Take it as read – City Deals are a big deal

Perhaps a little confusingly, as well as visiting all 39 of the LEPs in the past three months, Greg Clark is also in the midst of signing 23 individual City Deals. At some point, for all you market-facing types, I will attempt to make comprehensible how the regional growth fund sits with the City Deals; […]

Continue Reading

HS2 must be happy to have LCR on board

Having worked closely with London and Continental Railways (LCR) during my strange sojourn at Kent Thameside, I was thrilled to see the news this week that LCR (which was of course the brilliant team behind the delivery of High Speed 1) is to join forces with HS2 Ltd to develop proposals for a regeneration company […]

Continue Reading

Humbling and exciting – life with the minister

I genuinely thought I was a hard worker.  That is, I genuinely thought that, until I started working for the Minister for Cities. I have seriously never seen anything like it. Greg Clark makes me look like a sloth on Mogadon. The other day I drafted a piece for him for some journal. I knew […]

Continue Reading

Making a big deal of Leicestershire

There isn’t much similarity between my new life with the minister for cities and my old gig running UKR, save for the fact that I WAS back on the East Midlands Line again yesterday morning.  And it was if I’d never been away, although of course being with Greg Clark rather than Gill Marshall, the […]

Continue Reading