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Find a welcome in the hillsides

WALES ASSOCIATION is still seeking members to get involved in the new look political scene after an appeal for volunteers at last week's AGM received no response.

Getting members involved in actively promoting the industry to the public and building up relationships with the politicians is critical for civil engineering in Wales, said David Crompton, ICE chief executive for Wales.

Crompton has been in charge of the Welsh office since its inception in May, mirroring the changes to the ICE in Scotland (NCE 14 September). Crompton though is a very different animal to Scottish supremo Wylie Cunnigham.

Crompton brings with him 20 years of experience in urban generation schemes worth over £1bn. The last 12 years have seen him in charge of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation which, he says, has not only made him known in the area, but meant that people 'understand that I deliver things'.

What Crompton has to deliver now is a way of getting the Institution's views inside the Welsh Assembly and having real influence in the allocation of funds.

Crompton is not expecting it to be an easy task, particularly given the openly anti-roads stance taken by secretary for the environment, Sue Essex.

He is being hindered, he says, by a lack of willingness from Assembly members to make themselves available for meetings, resorting instead to lobbying members at committee meetings and assembly.

However, he emphasises that he is just one man and ICE membership in Wales is 2,500. Getting members to work for their industry is his goal and achieving this, he says, will need the full support of the local association.

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