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Construction tsar post must ‘not be political’

ICE director general Tom Foulkes warned that the appointment of a chief construction officer – recommended by the Commons Business and Enterprise select committee report Construction Matters – must not be political.

"It is essential that this is not a political appointment and does not change with a change of government. Planning, developing and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure requires a long-term perspective, beyond that possible within the life of a single parliament or even a government," he said.

The Construction Matters report, to which NCE contributed evidence, recommended the creation of new government post for a chief construction officer, who would champion the concerns of the industry in Parliament.

The report also highlighted the government’s failings regarding procurement methods, including a lack of resources for ensuring best practice. "We have been calling for an independent adviser to be appointed since 2003, who would work to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure vital for economic competitiveness and quality of life," said Foulkes.

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