Government scraps leadership council and chief adviser

New ‘business-focused’ group to replace CLC

The government has scrapped the 30-strong Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and replaced it with a slimmed-down panel of 12 individuals. It will also abolish the post of chief construction adviser (CCA) in November when the incumbent, Peter Hansford, steps down.

The council was created in 2013 to work between industry and government ‘to identify and deliver actions to improve efficiency, skills and growth in UK construction’, but skills minister Nick Boles – who co-chairs the council – said the move was in response to calls from the sector to make it more ‘effective and business-focused’.

The new members have been drawn from large construction firms, such as Laing O’Rourke, Bouygues UK, Skanska and includes Crossrail boss Andrew Wolstenholme. They will be joined by a major house builder.

‘The UK’s construction sector is growing and leading the way in many fields, but productivity and skills are big issues we need to address and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the council to achieve this,’ said Bouygues UK chairman Madani Sow.

But SMEs will be nervous about the changes, according to the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES).

‘It would be rash to leave everything to market forces – there has to be close liaison between industry and the government to ensure the supply chain functions well and quality standards are enforced,’ said Rob Driscoll, the association’s head of commercial and legal affairs.

CIC chief executive Graham Watts said he could not see ‘any circumstances that have changed to negate the need for the role [of a CCA]’.