Tag Archives | UKR

Sorry for the blackout, I’ve been feeling the earth move

I must apologise for my absence. For the past four weeks I have been in New Zealand. It was a holiday-of-a-lifetime sort of thing. I had always wanted to go. And I was in such a workaholic frenzy in the run-up, trying to leave everything neat and tidy in UKR, that I ran out of […]

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Welcome appointment at RIBA

In a highly Top Secret process, the team at UKR is gearing up to appoint master-planners to design our new scheme. It is very Secret Squirrel as we are in a hugely collaborative partnership with the host local authority and we are, above all else, totally respectful of their timetable for residents’ consultation on their […]

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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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Why I’m keeping away from the LEPs

I am carefully keeping away from the negotiations of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) over their Strategic Economic Plans (SEPs).  So I genuinely have no idea at all of how it is all going. This is partly because I love good news and, being nothing if not a sharing sort of person, I would […]

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Wolfson prize’s inspirational shortlist

I’ve been tardy in not commenting on the shortlist recently announced for the Wolfson Economics Prize for the delivery of a garden city (see also blogs of 17 January, 29 January and 3 March). My apologies. And I hastily reassure you all that this is because I have been busy scurrying around the corridors of power, […]

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The incalculable value of communities

The PRS Task Force held a rather successful seminar on viability and trying to help unlock local authorities, with a panel of investors and valuers, last Wednesday morning at Hogan Lovells. I was unable to attend (given my new billet with HMG) but naturally UKR was out in force. The PRS Task Force is to […]

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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 […]

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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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Lots of tea and plenty to toast at MIPIM

Back from MIPIM. Usual sigh of relief.  And frankly I feel like I’ve done 15 rounds with Mike Tyson. Everything aches. But we sure had a great show. For my own part, it was nothing short of a week-long sign off from UKR. And Gill Marshall and I did a simply marvellous job mobilising all our friends and relations […]

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I’ve only gone and said Yes, Minister…

Certain readers of this blog (basically, those enjoying the sunshine in France right now) will know by now that something amazing and wonderful has happened to me.  Amazing and wonderful.  And wonderful and amazing.  In a somewhat surprising development, Greg Clark, the Minister for Cities and the Constitution has asked me to join his Cabinet […]

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