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The skills gap is nothing new

A recurring theme in all the recent debates about the housing crisis is the seriously worrying construction skills gap, nay chasm, that is opening up before our very eyes. The ever brilliant Michael Auger of Muse raised it as one of the biggest challenges facing the industry at the recent Estates Gazette Birmingham regeneration round […]

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Remembering the truly great Connie Hunt

My blog today pays tribute to the life of a great woman. The woman who first put me firmly on the straight and narrow in respect of dealing with communities. Connie Hunt, a famous community leader in the 1980s, the scourge of the proposed London City Airport, and the London Docklands Development Corporation (and the […]

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Decades on, Hackney shows what is possible

One of the things about being a quasi-journalist is that I get all sorts of strange and diverting press releases coming across my screen each day. It can be a lot of fun. I was sent a rather entertaining thing this morning from an organisation called “Property Property Property” run by an outfit known as […]

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Is the Olympics Media Centre the Dome Mark II?

A feeling of profound unease descended at this morning’s reports that confidence in security firm G4S is so eroded that the government is sending 3,500 troops in to bolster operations for the Olympics.  That, together with the vicissitudes at Heathrow and the closure of the M4 (signals being that it might be for the whole […]

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I’d like to make you an offer, Mr Rahman

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I started a hare running with my (admittedly somewhat intemperate) remarks about Tower Hamlets a few days ago. I have had a huge response to this, both in public and in private – mostly in private, and mostly supportive of my spluttering sense of exasperation. I am […]

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A humble approach and a warm welcome

It’s been a busy couple of days in UKR circles, with a lot going on. We had a great outing at the first Place East London conference on Wednesday, which showed the immense opportunity that still exists in the patch, and set out some key challenges for the East London regeneration community (several hundred of […]

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A Towering obstacle looms over the East End

As we gear up for the Place East London conference over in Stratford Town Hall later today, the forces of goodness and light begin to coalesce over in London E15.  We will find new paradigms for East Enders, I promise, and we will forge a new path for wealth creation for all.   But I […]

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Come and take your place at Place East London

We are a bit hoist by our own petard with our up-coming Place East London conference, which is being supported by the UKR Forum.  This event, which I am privileged to be chairing, is being held on 20 June at Stratford Town Hall (yikes! I’ve just realised that’s tomorrow!). It is a half-day conference, starting […]

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Do as I say, not as I do

I was immeasurably saddened by last night’s (truly excellent) television programme on BBC2, “The Secret History of our Streets”, which laid out the background to the so-called “slum clearance” of Deptford High Street.  It was the age-old story.  Row after row of perfectly serviceable terraced houses, in a legible street pattern giving space to a […]

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There are plenty of people just as cross as me

Further to last Wednesday’s blog (and I must apologise for the increasingly rabid nature of these postings, but spare a thought for me sometimes – it really is wearing being this incandescent with rage the whole time). Dr Evans and Twitter drew my attention to the truly excellent definition of the Thames Gateway to be […]

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