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Construction Parliamentary Update - 8 May 2009

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

GENERAL PPP/PFI
The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) held a conference on the role of PPP in protecting critical infrastructure. (07 May)

PLANNING
Northern Ireland Department for Environment Permanent Secretary Stephen Peover said during a hearing by the Northern Ireland Environment Committee that fees for planning applications will rise by 20% (Minutes). (07 May)

The Communities and Local Government Department (DCLG) began their consultation on Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Prosperous Economies, which aims to combine combining all national planning policy on economic development in urban and rural areas and town centres into one Planning Policy Statement (PPS). The consultation closes on 28 July. (05 May)

CONSTRUCTION
Wales set national efficiency standards for buildings. From 1 September 2009, all new homes will have a mandatory energy-efficiency requirement that will reduce their carbon emissions by 31% compared to buildings constructed under the current regulations. Welsh Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister Jane Davidson said the rules would cut down waste water and promote the use of sustainable materials (Documents). The Welsh Assembly Government also announced a Consultation on the draft Technical Advice Note 22: Planning for Sustainable Buildings, to close on 31 July. (06 - 07 May)

Responding to a question from Labour MP Jim Sheridan, Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed to hold meetings to discuss illegal gangmasters in the construction industry and referred to the operation of illegal blacklists in the construction industry for the second week running during Prime Ministers Questions (Hansard). (06 May)

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) criticised the Government for failing to support small and medium sized engineering contractors (Press Release). (30 April)

Construction orders fell by 20% in the three months to March compared with the previous three months, according to official Government figures. (07 May)

REGENERATION
The Communities and Local Government Committee published the Government’s response to their ninth report of the 2007-2008 session on new towns (Press Release). (07 May)

HOUSING
A report from the Scottish Rural Affairs and Environment Committee on Scottish rural housing criticised the Scottish planning system saying that it had shielded the countryside from development and exacerbated a serious shortage of housing in Scotland’s rural areas (Press Release). (07 May)

The Fabian Society released a report that criticised the housing policies of the last century and set out its own policy proposals. (06 May)

Communities Minister Sadiq Khan published a long-term strategy for delivering new homes, jobs and infrastructure in the South East by 2026. The paper outlined how to deliver 654,000 new homes to the region (35% of which are planned to be ‘affordable’) by 2026 (Press Release). (06 May)

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) held an event on the life cycle costing of buildings. (6 May)

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) London Board promised to invest over £13m and £3m respectively to Clapham Park in Lambeth and Hale Village in Haringey to sustain these projects through economic difficulties (Press Release). (05 May)

The HCA called on pension funds to invest in the private rental sector in a bid to help boost the housing market (Press Release). (01 May)

Kier was named preferred bidder for a £600m contract to repair and maintain social housing stock in North Tyneside (Press Release). (01 May)

EDUCATION
The Education Buildings Development Officer Group (EBDOG) held a two day conference featuring a presentation on Capital Investment as Part of a School Improvement Strategy from Partnerships for Schools (PfS). (07 - 08 May)

A £44 million project to construct new education facilities for the Belfast Metropolitan College officially began this week (Press Release). (06 May)

HEALTH
Balfour Beatty, Brookfield Multiplex and Laing O’Rourke were reported to be in the running for the publicly funded £550 million New South Glasgow Hospital scheme (Contract Journal). (06 May)

Balfour Beatty reached a financial close on the £170 million Fife General Hospital and Maternity Services PPP project for NHS Fife (Press Release). (01 May)

TRANSPORT
The Financial Times reported that the terms of the Business Rates Supplements Bill would ensure that companies in London would not have any choice over having to pay £3.5bn towards Crossrail after the London Mayor received guarantees from Local Government Minister John Healey. (07 May)

Kier Construction was awarded a £27 million contract by Network Rail to renew the large barrel-vaulted glazed roof at King’s Cross Station (Press Release). (07 May)

The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) hosted a seminar on climate change and local transport. (06 May)

Airport operator BAA announced an increase in profits by 28% in the first three months of 2009 despite a 10% fall in passengers at London airports (Press Release). (05 May)

The Evening Standard reported that Crossrail could be delayed by an incoming Conservative Government as part of a wider package of spending cuts (05 May)

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced it had prevented further development on the Maidenhead to Reading so that Crossrail could be extended there if the Government wished (Press Release). (01 May)

Tube Lines appointed Dean Finch as chief executive, to take over from Terry Morgan who is leaving after seven years to take up the role of non-executive chairman at Crossrail (Press Release). (01 May)

There were calls for increased Government road repair and maintenance spending, in the wake of research by the Asphalt Industry Alliance revealing the state of the nation’s roads in the 2009 Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey. (30 April)

OLYMPICS AND 2012
Olympics Minister, Tessa Jowell, visited Glasgow to see whether businesses were benefiting from the 2012 Games (Press Release). (01 May)

London 2012 has called for help to find a sustainable solution for the use of materials, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), needed for temporary buildings and the temporary elements of permanent Olympic venues (Press Release). (01 May)

Construction workers gathered outside the 2012 Olympic Park project in Stratford protest the use of agency workers on the site. GMB official Tom Kelly demanded all Olympic construction workers “should be employed on a PAYE basis” (Construction News). (06 May)

FLOODING
The Welsh Assembly’s Flood Risk Management committee met to consider its response to the Welsh Assembly Government consultation on the draft Floods and Water Bill (Press Release). (01 May)

FUTURE EVENTS

“Winter” The Audit Commission publish their report on Service Families Accommodation.
‘Early 2009’ Consortium DTZ reports on the potential regional economic impacts of a Severn tidal scheme in Wales

Friday 08 May 2009
Deadline for submission of responses to the DECC consultation on their Heat and Energy Saving Strategy (HES) and the consultation on CLG’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP)
Welsh Assembly Government consultation on proposed changes to the Hazardous Waste Regulations closes

Monday 11 May 2009
NEW! Communities and Local Government Committee hearing on proposed changes to Planning Policy Statement 6 on town centres
BPF seminar on driving local economic development: understanding the impact of the governance changes

Monday 11-12 May 2009
Contract Management, Performance Monitoring & Dispute Resolution for PPP/PFI Projects Conference

Tuesday 12 May 2009
Welsh Housing Related Support Strategy consultation closes
Holyrood conference on Apprenticeships and vocational training: Skills for sustainability
Policy Exchange event on simplifying waste management

Wednesday 13 May 2009

NEW! House of Commons Adjournment debate ‘Gangmasters in the Construction industry’
Consultation on European Commission proposals to recast the EC Directives on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS)
British Property Federation master class series delivering successful regeneration in challenging times

NEW! Commons Transport Committee hearing on the future of aviation


Thursday 14 May 2009

WEETF event on the future of UK airports
All Party Urban Development Group inquiry on regeneration industry closes
All Party Urban Development Group oral evidence session on the regeneration industry


Friday 15 May 2009

Transport Group quarterly meeting

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