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Chaos means opportunities – 2017 could be a turning point

Greetings to 2017. And a very Happy New Year to all you out there in EG land. Did you want to come back? I certainly struggled. Was it a longer break than usual this year? Or did it just feel that way? In the midst of my Seasonal Affective Disorder (and the fact that I […]

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Government funding is just the beginning

Lord Heseltine’s work on a national strategy for regenerating deprived housing estates got published today. And there is to be an additional £32m of new funding released, to bolster the original £140m Estate Regeneration Fund announced last January. I was nose to the grindstone in Communities and Local Government when the thing first got launched […]

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Inspiration is hard to come by, but it is there

Seriously back in the swim now. Have laid waste to the in-tray. But I must say I find I am struggling to find inspiration. You sure can keep your Black Fridays and your Cyber Mondays. What a crock of nonsense. I think I might go back on holiday. And I can’t even BEGIN to deal […]

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The real cost of SDLT… but is anyone listening?

We all find ourselves rather diverted by today’s front cover of the Estates Gazette, a (presumably eye wateringly expensive) advertisement paid for by Residential Land. As one of my housebuilder mates commented, pithily and somewhat wearily: “Well done Bruce Ritchie – but is anybody listening?” Well, my very real hunch is that they are. And […]

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Housing – beyond the fringe, on every agenda

Well now! Just how wrong can you be? The Conservative party conference was NOT bothering with the issues of ageing, as I had rather daftly suggested in my last blog. In fact, the issue of our aging population barely got a look in (although one glance at the demographic of the party faithful certainly confirms […]

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Fighting talk from our new minister

Gavin Barwell, our new housing and planning minister seems to be universally highly regarded by Those in the Know. I have only met him once, at his request, and I came away with the impression of a chap open to new ideas, with a formidable intellect and a serious drive to make a difference. He […]

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The benefits of 30 months in Whitehall

During my 30 months in Whitehall, I had the benefit of traversing three departments (Cabinet Office; Business, Innovation and Skills; and Communities and Local Government) in hot pursuit of the great Greg Clark, in my exulted positon as his policy adviser on urban regeneration. My last billet was in CLG of course, where Greg was […]

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Older women and a new way of living

It has been nigh on six years since we started out on the journey of UKR.  And right from the get-go, we have been grappling with the issue of how people are going to live together in the future.  Most pressing of all trends in housing, of course, is that we are all living so […]

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Mrs May gives reason to be cheerful

Further to Monday’s blog post of optimism, I find more reasons for the property industry to be cheerful this week. Well, I reckon it is a choice. We either put our best foot forward and make things work in this weird new world, or we collapse and slide into recession. And I choose the former! […]

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It’s taken a while – but Ebbsfleet is on its way

I have written before of my – ahem – character building sojourn as the chief executive of Kent Thameside, a “local delivery board” in the Thames Gateway in the early noughties.  I started there in late 2003, under the chairmanship of the sainted Sandy Bruce Lockhart (proof positive that every cloud has a silver lining), […]

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