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We need more houses in the UK, especially affordable homes. One estimate of the gap between what we have and what we need is as high as 290,000 new homes. That’s a considerable challenge.
The recent announcement of Aecom’s acquisition of URS, followed quickly by news of approaches to purchase Hyder by Arcadis and Nippon Koei, continues the trend towards consolidation in the engineering consulting market. These events have the potential to radically reshape the industry and significantly impact the talent landscape.
The water industry is not immune from the attention of government and regulator in the drive to get all utilities to deliver better value for their customers.
Over the past two decades, London has been transformed by a transport revolution. Great new places have been created and existing centres have been reanimated by a massive expansion and reinvigoration of public transport provision across London.
Many of us have spent small fortunes developing our energy businesses, be it wind, wave, nuclear new build, decommissioning or waste and recycling. The rate at which projects are coming to market is disappointing to say the least.
Starting this winter and continuing for the next four years, the National Grid is planning to offer financial rewards to the UK’s heaviest energy users in return for cutting their consumption at peak times.
Ministers have proclaimed the first round of the £2bn Local Growth Fund as the centrepiece of a new decentralised approach. But many of the projects receiving money are reheated old schemes which central Government ditched over 20 years ago in the face of widespread public opposition.
The logic behind compulsory sustainable urban drainage systems (Suds) is clear: past generations of drainage engineers adopted the approach of trying to dispose of surface drainage as quickly as possible with rapid discharges to receiving river channels which cannot cope with the volumes.
There is empirical evidence to prove that profitable businesses have balanced teams of people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. When they bring their diverse perspectives to the table, they spark ideas, challenge each other, make better decisions and, in turn, create a high performance culture.
In recent years there has been increased scrutiny on public spending and the way the government carries out its procurement and delivery on major projects. Quite rightly we have seen a greater focus from government to deliver ‘more for less’ to get the best possible value for the taxpayer.
Innovation is a word on everyone’s lips in our industry. There’s a danger it simply becomes a buzzword with little meaning and even less action. However, it will be vital if we are to successfully tackle some of the major challenges around infrastructure and cities that will shape our future.
The UK’s 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round is eagerly anticipated. Shale gas is very much on the agenda. The possibility of secure, low cost energy for the next few decades and billions of pounds of tax and other revenues will attract the attention of many.
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