Government scraps chief construction adviser role

The government is scrapping the role of chief construction adviser and will instead rely on a slimmed down Construction Leadership Council.

The chief construction adviser role was created in 2008 to support joined-up working between government and industry, and to add expertise to the role of government as construction customer. The role will end when current incumbent Peter Hansford’s tenure ends in November.

The Construction Leadership Council was created in 2013 to work between industry and government to improve efficiency, skills and growth in UK construction. The new membership of the council sees a reduction from its previous 30 members to 12.

The council’s industry co-chair, David Higgins, said: “I’m delighted the government has responded to calls for a smaller, more business-focused Construction Leadership Council. The new council of 12, with its business leaders from across the sector, will be best placed to drive the skills, innovation and productivity outcomes to help the industry build on its recent growth”.

Council members will lead a workstream to deliver improvements to industry working practices. New council members and their workstreams include:

  • Madani Sow, Bouygues UK – supply chain/business models
  • Anna Stewart, Laing O’Rourke – skills
  • Mike Putnam, Skanska – sustainability
  • Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail – innovation.

They will be joined by the chair of UKTI’s Construction Advisory Group (who will lead the trade workstream), a volume housebuilder, a supply chain small/medium business and the council co-chairs: skills minister Nick Boles and Sir David Higgins, executive chair of High Speed 2. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will hold a permanent place on the council.

Discussions are in progress with the Strategic Forum for Construction about identifying an individual who would connect the forum to the council and bring a manufacturing perspective.

The new council will meet with ministers four times per year to advise and update on efforts to drive improved productivity and growth across the industry. Council members have committed to attend the council for a two-year period.

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