The ICE’s calls for an independent construction adviser in Whitehall have been answered with the government’s announcement last week that a chief adviser for construction will be appointed by November.
The ICE has been campaigning since 2003 for the creation of a role within government to ensure the delivery of vital infrastructure.
“The appointee will need to adopt a cohesive approach to bring an end to unpredictable stop-start construction procurement.”
Tom Foulkes, ICE
ICE director general Tom Foulkes welcomed the announcement but stressed that if the chief adviser is to improve the industry’s ability to deliver much needed upgrades to the UK’s transport, power, water and waste systems, it will be essential for the role to have a strategic focus.
“The appointee will need to adopt a cohesive approach with initiatives already in place, such as the National Policy Statements for Infrastructure and the Infrastructure Planning Commission, to provide a long-term strategic vision and help bring an end to unpredictable stop-start construction procurement,” said Foulkes.
“This, combined with a secure funding model such as a National Infrastructure Investment Bank, as proposed in the US, can drive efficient and best value delivery of nationally significant infrastructure projects.”
Foulkes continued, “It is essential that the government provides this clear picture of long-term demand in national infrastructure to give industry the confidence to develop a workforce with the necessary skills, implement new innovative practises and ultimately carry out the government’s investment in a more cost effective fashion.”