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Signoff: David Taylor

IT HAS probably escaped the not ice of most Const ruct ion News readers, but the Construction Clients' Group is about to merge with Constructing Excellence to create a big, super-mega-large lobby group to promote private and public sector construction clients by 'backing best practice and sponsoring business performance improvement'.

So what? Well don't ask me ? I've no idea what difference it's going to make. I didn't even realise that Constructing Excellence was a client's group; I thought it was a luncheon club. Even so, this merger is very important and should be welcomed by all construction professionals. Because where there were two talking shops there is now one, and that can't be bad.

While we're at it, this is an opportune moment to review the various campaigning organisations and ask: where are they now?

nConstruction Industry Board was the first organisation to take advantage of Sir Michael Latham's Constructing the Team report and start siphoning money out of the exchequer to fund its 'good deeds'.

At tempts to kill it off failed in 1998 when Sir John Egan published Rethinking Construction and the boys on the Board realised there was mileage in it yet. When funds started to dry up, CIB was morphed into? n the Movement for Innovation, which was eligible for a fresh round of public sector funding. Careful this time not to put all the Treasury eggs in one basket, M4i started to divide and grow like a well-nourished bacteria, into six other organisations. The main one was? n The Construction Best Practice Programme, whose role was to raise awareness of the need to change. It kept doing this until it too recognised the need to change, and merged.

Enter Be, a strange organisation that never had a real name but eminated from a fusion of the Design Build Foundation and Reading University. The inscrutable Zen wing of the reform movement, its role was simply to 'Be' ? until such time as Construction Excellence came knocking and it merged to become? n Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment, an organisat ion that, as its name suggests, has a very high opinion of itself. This will now merge with CCG to provide a powerful lobby group for private and public sector clients.

How the clients managed to take over the whole thing is a mystery but it looks like the contractors aren't getting much of a look-in these days.

Keeping track of these organisations as they mutate and multiply is an impossible task. I've only mentioned a few ? here's a few more I haven't mentioned: the Construction Industry Council, the Strategic Forum, Working Well Together, the Local Government Task Force, Respect for People, Kicking Construction Ass and Rethinking Construction itself. OK, so I just made one of those up.

The sooner they all merge to create one body (may I suggest Yo! Construction? ), the better.

NOW there's just t ime to rem ind you to get out your ladder and a stiff brush ready for November 25.

What do you mean you don't know what I'm talking about?

We do this every year. National Maintenance Week starts on the November 21, and November 25 is the highlight: National Gutters Day, when everybody climbs up a ladder (haven't they been banned? ) and clears their blocked rainwater goods.

It's traditional. It's sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, so it must be.

Oh, and don't forget November 26 ? that's National Falls from Height Day, when all those who were clearing their gutters the day before visit casualty.