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Party time

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Start-of-season parties were in full swing last week, with a splendid event in the Serpentine Pavilion hosted by Stanhope. Peter Rogers was on good form, and looking forward to his role as head of the construction industry's Strategic Forum in succession to Sir John Egan. (Thank God Sir John is going, by the way.When asked at a press conference last week, he said design was about 'making buildings look pretty' - which he then tried to qualify, but the damage was done). Many of the same party faces were guests of Arup at a terrific dinner on the top floor of London's City Hall on Thursday, celebrating the completion and opening of the building. The AJ's Paul Finch gave an after-dinner speech which, among other things, attacked the way in which we seem to have abandoned the old mantra of 'predict and provide' in favour of predict and don't provide. Hence the housing mess in London, and crazy traffic congestion which is threatening Ken's mayoral job.

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