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Hodder: 'Abolition of chief construction adviser leaves significant gap'

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RIBA president Stephen Hodder has warned the government’s decision to axe its chief construction adviser will ‘leave a significant gap’ at a ‘crucial time’

It was confirmed today (16 July) that Peter Hansford would officially step down from the role in November as part of the government’s drive to trim its Construction Leadership Council.

Hansford, who succeeded Paul Morrell as the UK government’s chief construction adviser in November 2012, was instrumental in pushing forward the Construction 2025 agenda - a long-term joint strategic action between government and industry.

Responding to the shake-up RIBA President Stephen Hodder said: ‘The loss of the chief construction adviser role at this crucial time will leave a significant gap in terms of drawing together the skills of the sector. The industry needs to look at how the workstreams announced will be coordinated to avoid silos developing in the new approach.

‘It’s therefore vital that the work of the new Construction Leadership Council is informed by the whole of the industry and the professional services sector has strong representation.’

He added: ‘The Construction 2025 agenda has played a major part in helping the UK Construction sector rise to the challenge of getting Britain building.

‘If we are to tackle the housing crisis and deliver the infrastructure needed, it is vital that government works with the whole sector, including architects and other professional services, who coordinate, enable and drive this work.’

The refreshed leadership council will now have just 12 members and will be co-chaired by skills minister Nick Boles and existing co-chair David Higgins - the executive chairman of HS2.

Higgins said: ‘I’m delighted the government has responded to calls for a smaller, more business-focused CLC. 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.’

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