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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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A grown-up and authoritative response

I attended my last meeting of the Commercial Property Forum yesterday. This is the group that sits between the Department for Communities and Local Government and the British Property Federation to discuss areas where the government can work with the property industry to support growth in homes and jobs. There is always the danger that […]

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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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The question now, is what next?

Technically I am a civil servant. And I will remain as such, until I leave HMG to return to UKR at the end of July (more of what comes next for Sadek in future blogs, naturally). And, as a civil servant, I am bound by the Civil Service Code, which means it is my duty […]

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Lord Heseltine’s people power proposition

The first meeting of the newly formed Estates Regeneration Advisory Panel was convened last week, on a blustery February morning, in the community hall of the Winstanley estate in Wandsworth, SW11, under the authoritative eye of its chairman, “The Daddy”, Lord Heseltine. You may have picked up that he had made a speech in Leeds […]

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Building a proper construction industry

I have written before (blog 15 June 2015) of my great admiration for the work of Mark Farmer in trying to focus the minds of the property industry on our most looming time bomb: that of the severe lack of capacity in the construction industry. The problem is simply massive. And getting bigger by the […]

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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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A victory for Team Clark

So, as the dust settles on MIPIM UK 2015, what is the general verdict? Well!  Sorry to be a bit self-centred, but Team Clark claims victory. Simple as that. The Department for communites and local government cities and local growth team (to which I belong) believe, to a woman and a man, that the strength […]

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After years of despair, optimism abounds

It was a huge privilege on Monday to sit in the box at the back of the Speaker’s Chair to hear Greg Clark give his triumphant statement to the House of Commons, as he said these stirring words “The components of each growth deal will transform the prospects of local economies. However, the whole is […]

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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 […]

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