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Construction Parliamentary Update - 16 October 2009

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

GENERAL
The UK Parliament returned from its Summer Recess. (12 October)

Conservative MP for Orpington, Kent, John Horam announced that he will stand down at the next general election (BBC) (12 October)

GENERAL PPP/PFI
Partnership UK hosted their Annual Conference, the event focused on the issue of developing public services through improved procurement. (15 October)

PLANNING
Property Week hosted the Planning for Prosperity conference focused on the role the planning system will play in helping to improve the UK’s property industry. (15 October)

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced the appointment of John Saunders as Chief Executive of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (Press Release). (13 October)

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) closed responses to the Consultation paper on a new planning policy on Development and Coastal Change. (12 October)

CONSTRUCTION
The Health and Safety Executive held a series of seminars on ‘Coping with health and safety legislation: manual handling, COSHH and work equipment’. (15 October)

The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill continued its passage through the committee stage of the House of Lords, including a line by line examination of the Bill and discussion of amendments (Hansard; Press Release) (15 October)

The London Central Employment Tribunal awarded a blacklisted bricklayer the first round of his compensation fight against Balfour Beatty, the firm was one of 14 to be issued with enforcement notices by the Information Commissioners Office preventing them from using personal data supplied to them by Ian Kerr (ContractJournal). (14 October)

The UK Green Building Council announced the appointment of three senior-level construction and property industry CEOs, Bill Bolsover, CEO of Aggregate Industries, John Frankiewicz, CEO of Willmott Dixon and Daniel Labbad, CEO of Lend Lease Europe have joined the Council’s statutory board (Press Release). (14 October)

Constructing Excellence held its annual members convention which included the launch of the review of the 1998 report ‘Rethinking Construction’. Sir Michael Latham, Sir John Egan and Nick Raynsford carried out the review the findings of which stated that the construction industry had much more to do if it was to fulfil the vision encapsulated in ‘Rethinking Construction’ (Press Release). (14 October).

The Institution of Civil Engineers published the Client Best Practice Guide which offers guidance to construction firms on how to ensure better value for money for the taxpayer during the planning, development and implementation stages of projects. (13 October)

The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill completed its Report and Third Reading stage and has now been passed to the House of Lords for consideration of amendments. (13 October)

The HM Revenue & Customs consultation on ‘Self Employment in Construction: Taxation of workers’ closed. (12 October)

The Institution of Civil Engineers released its annual salary survey which showed that the average basic salary for civil engineers dropped for the first time in seven years (Press Release). (09 October)

REGENERATION
The Welsh Assembly Government’s Sustainable Development Branch held a sustainable development event for business leaders in Cardiff. The event covered issues including a sustainable development charter and a discussion paper on how Welsh organisations, communities and individuals can support sustainable development in Wales. (14 October)

HOUSING
The Scottish Government announced that acclaimed designer, Andres Duany has been appointed to help with government plans to create low-carbon communities. Projects in Dumfries, Aberdeen and Fife will reshape existing neighbourhoods and create new housing developments and transport links to schools (Press Release). (14 October)

The Homes and Communities Agency released £51m in the second wave of schemes to be unlocked through round one of the Kickstart Programme. Housing Minister John Healey also announced that a further 2000 new homes will be built on sites that had previously stalled as a result of the economic downtown (Press Release). (13 October)

The London Assembly Planning and Housing Committee met to discuss issues such as the exercise of the Mayor’s powers relating to planning decisions and to review the London Plan Public Consultation Draft. (13 October)

A property consultancy released figures forecasting a dip in house prices with a recovery not expected until 2012 (The Financial Times). (12 October)

EDUCATION
The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, approved the next stage of development for four new Academies and agreed to further development for two new Academy proposals in Plymouth (Press Release). (12 October)

TRANSPORT
The Welsh Assembly Government closed the response stage for the Welsh National Transport Plan consultation. (12 October)

Following the release of the Committee on Climate Change annual report, the Climate Change Committee Chief Executive, David Kennedy, said that the Government needed to consider introducing policies that will change lifestyles including road pricing (Telegraph). (11 October)

BAA confirmed that its planning application for the third Heathrow runway would not be ready before the next general election, this decision followed the pledge made by the Conservatives to scrap plans for a third runway in their general election manifesto (Telegraph).

OLYMPICS AND 2012
The practical learning arm of the London 2012 education programme launched Stem Challenges a scheme that aims to inspire the next generation of British engineers. All secondary schools in the UK will be urged to take part in a series of ten challenges to encourage pupils to explore challenges involved in delivering the London 2012 Olympic Games (Press Release). (12 October)

WASTE AND UTILITIES
The Welsh Assembly Government closed responses to its consultation of the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive in England and Wales. (09 October)

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn MP delivered the keynote opening address at the Marketforce and Institute of Economic Affairs 10th Anniversary Conference - Water 2009, which focused on the issues and challenges facing the water sector. (14 October)

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) closed responses for the Hazardous Waste Strategy consultation. (13 October)

The Health and Safety Executive hosted a conference on ‘Health and safety in waste management’. (13 October)

FUTURE EVENTS
Monday 19 October 2009

Workers Memorial Day consultation closes
Public Accounts Committee Oral Evidence Session on the Department for Transport: The failure of Metronet
NEW! Public Accounts Committee: Department for Transport: The failure of Metronet, One-off oral evidence session announced.

Tuesday 20 October 2009
LGA Housing Finance Conference - one year on
Transport Committee meeting

Tues 20 October 2009 - Wed 21 October 2009
Regeneration & Renewal’s Northern Regeneration Summit 2009

Wednesday October 2009
The APM Project Management Conference - Delivering Projects Professionally

Thursday 22 October 2009
Crossrail Business Rates Supplements consultation closes
BPF Overcoming the Downturn: The Challenges Facing Affordable Housing Delivery conference
NEW! Constructing Excellence event; The Change Agenda

Friday 23 October 2009
Fair and flexible - Draft statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England consultation closes