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Construction Parliamentary Update - 17 April 2009

A round up of all the construction news from Westminster this week brought to you by the Madano Partnership.

REGENERATION
The CBI held a regional policy group meeting to allow members to put questions to One NorthEast’s senior management team. (15 April)

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published looking after town centres guide. (14 April)

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham outlined plans to help stem the tide of town centre degeneration. The scheme allocates £3 million for small grants of up to £1,000 for the renewal of vacant shops (Press Release). The British Property Federation (BPF) called again for the removal of rates on empty properties as a first priority to stimulate regeneration (Press Release). (14 April)

The Home and Community Agency (HCA) announced it hit targets in its national housing and regeneration programme during 2008/09 (Press Release). (14 April)

 

HOUSING
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published its housing market survey which it said demonstrated significant but tentative signs of pick-up activity. (15 April)

DCLG released its house price index showing average prices 12.3% lower than in February 2008. (15 April)

The National Housing Federation (NHF) predicted that the number of people living in overcrowded homes in England would rise by 15% over the next two years as recession leads a drop in affordable home construction (Press Release). (15 April)

EDUCATION
Balfour Beatty and the Laing O’Rouke/John Laing joint venture were announced as the final bidders for the £500 million multi-council Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton Building Schools for the Future (BSF) deal in the North-west (Construction News). (15 April)

TRANSPORT
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson and Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon published plans to boost electric and hybrid cars, that included £20 million directed at relevant infrastructure (Press Release; Low Carbon Vehicles Paper). (16 April)

The Times reported that Jim Cornell, the chairman of Network Rail’s remuneration committee wrote to all 104 members of the company’s supervisory panel defending its bonus scheme for directors. Earlier the Times had reported that the Government would put pressure on Network Rail to reduce or cancel bonuses of more than £1 million that are about to be paid to its directors. (14 - 16 April)

The Department for Transport has appointed Jacobs Engineering as the project representative for Crossrail (Construction News) (15 April)

OLYMPICS AND 2012
The European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a £225 million loan to help fund construction of the 2012 Olympic village (Building). The Scottish Government voiced concerns that lottery funding would be diverted from other projects in Scotland to fund further London Olympic projects (Press Release). (14 April)


WASTE AND UTILITIES
London Mayor Boris Johnson announced a code of conduct for Utility companies aimed at cutting delays caused by roadworks in the capital (Press Release). (16 April)

The Environment Agency published a report entitled ‘Biomass - carbon sink or carbon sinner?’ The report particularly singled out straw-fired power stations for criticism (Press Release; Summary Report). (14 April)

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Friday 17 April 2009
DCLG consultation on excluding new council housing from Housing Revenue Account Subsidy and Pooling

Fri 17 - Sat 18 Apr 2009
Homes for Good conference

Monday 20 April 2009
CLG’s consultation on the list of statutory consultees for National Policy Statements ends.
Commons Culture, Media and Sport questions
Commons debate on Defence Procurement
NEW! Lords questions on further education colleges building programme

Tuesday 21 April 2009
Commons Communities and Local Government questions
Westminster Hall debate on Transport in the North West
NEW! Lords questions on development of high-speed rail

Tues 21 April - Friday 24 April - Tues 28 April 2009
British Property Federation less Waste, sharper design workshops

Wednesday 22 April 2009
Budget Statement
The Cabinet meet in Glasgow, Scotland

Thursday 23 April 2009
London 2012 conference on Business Opportunities, Involvement and Support, The Attlee Suite, Portcullis House.

Friday 24 April 2009
RICS ‘Renaissance Awards’

NEW! Commons Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill

Friday 24 - Monday 28 April 2009
Conservative Spring Conference, Centaur Centre, Cheltenham

Sat 25 - Sun 26 Apr 2009
Conservative Party Spring Forum