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Bring back municipal engineers…

I was very pleased to see your comment on the need to reinstate powerful municipal engineers at the heart of local authorities. The issue is more relevant today than at any time in the past.
This is true at all levels of local authority procurement and infrastructure development.

I consider myself very fortunate to be from a generation of civil and municipal engineers who could work for and receive approved training from a range of borough and county surveyors.

Over the years, we have seen technical functions gradually removed from district councils and the transfer of many traditional civil and municipal engineering functions to consultants.

The current opportunities to actually train and work in local government are extremely limited. If we are to attract chartered engineers back into local government then a clear professional and technical base work load must be established.

As a start to that process I suggest the ICE and NCE should start a debate about where responsibility should lie for all drainage functions. As we have seen from recent events, the overlapping and sometimes less than clear responsibility for maintenance led to many of the problems faced by residents this summer.


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