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Construction officer must act to unite

The new chief construction advisor will play a vital role unifying the voice of the industry, said Egan report review team chairman Andrew Wolstenholme.

He said the role could carry equal weight to that of the chief scientific officer.

“When I look back at the impact the then chief scientific officer Sir David King had, from a public point of view, he was firstly very clear in his message. Secondly, he had a clear grasp on core science, and thirdly, he came across well in the media.

“The person needs to be a big thinker, still a part of the industry and someone respected by politicians.”

Andrew Wolstenholme, Constructing Excellence

“The construction industry doesn’t have the position in society that science does and we need someone who can change that. The person needs to be a big thinker, still a part of the industry and someone who is respected by politicians and civil servants.”

Wolstenholme wouldn’t be drawn on who he would prefer to see in the post, but said that someone with the stature, experience and respect of Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt would be “exactly the profile of the person we [the industry] are looking for”.

Wolstenholme hoped the advisor would address the government’s problem of presenting a consistent face to the industry.

Eight people have been construction minister since 2001.

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