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10-year economic strategies approved

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The Government has approved the 10-year economic strategies of the regional development agencies. But the Government appointed regional planning agencies which will fund infrastructure projects aimed at economic growth, are still said to be awaiting responseto their bid for an extra £270M on their £772M budget from April.

High profile VIP visits to refugee camps are disruptive and unwelcome, according to a senior disaster relief engineer speaking at the ICE this week. Irrigation specialist Gino Henry, who has worked on refugee camps around world for engineering disaster relief agency RedR, cited VIP visits as one of the main problems when trying to provide shelter for disaster victims.

Trees planted along motorways 20 or more years ago may have safety implications unless they are subject to active management, according to Tilhill Economic Forestry. The firm is working along the M5 and M4 in Bristol and Avon for the Highways Agency to maintain driver sight lines by thinning or replacing original trees while retaining the original planting objectives.

West Coast Main Line programme manager Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed Bob Janowski as WCML project director. Janowski takes over from Jim Doebler, who returns to the US after leading the firm's successful WCML bid (NCE 30 September 1999).

Contractor HBG has secured the £20M PFI contract for construction of West Lothian College's new campus at Livingstone. Construction starts this week and is scheduled for completion mid-2001. Design is by architect RMJM.

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