My thanks to all who have written, hopefully we can harness all of what you offer and suggest, for the future good of the regeneration sector and the UK economy. You're a lovely mob really. I am truly grateful.
One of the things we are going to have to make some serious inroads on is the fraught issue of public sector procurement. One of my colleagues summed up the British attitude to procurement as "bordering on obsessive", and "colluding to achieve the worst possible outcome" and the fact that 50% of all OJEU submissions come from the UK would certainly bear this out.
OJEU procurement was of course introduced to ensure that organisations using public funds ensure fair competition, probity and value for money. But it is met with widespread fear and loathing (and if the Scandinavians can find a way through without compromising on integrity of process, then I'm not clear why we're so stuck in the mire).
One of my loyal correspondents tells of me he has identified a specific issue relating to the Buying Solutions Framework (the old OGC) described as the National Procurement Partner for UK public services. Just as with OJEU, this framework certainly seems to disadvantage SMEs. The main reason for its use by many public sector bodies is that it avoids the need to follow an individual OJEU route for procurement and instead allows public sector procurers to tap into an existing arrangement which is already OJEU-compliant, thus saving time and money in procurement. His contention is that this framework operates against the interests of SMEs, who in practice find it impossible to secure a places on the framework for contracts. It would be invidious to name names here, but UKR is compiling a dossier of such examples where SMEs have applied in force, but the analysis of the lists of approved suppliers would confirm their absence.