The Government needs to redirect spending from expensive EA schemes in to smaller local community led projects, where greater flood reduction value can be achieved, even with lower budgets. Those EA engineers who have valuable engineering skills could then find even more rewarding opportunities in helping to deliver these sustainability projects with small local private consultants. A massive cut in spending to the EA could transform the industry for the better.
Comment on: Why are engineers too boring for TV?
I was interviewed by the BBC just this week, after they read articles I wrote for my website. http://www.wilsham.co.uk Civil Engineers are not engaging enough with the press. They are gagged by HR and legal into staying absolutely nothing of meaning. Once you get right to the top of many engineering consultants, the CEOs are not qualified engineers at all and therefore find it difficult to provide sensible informed opinion.
It is not that Civil Engineers or the work is boring, it is the constant corporate pressure from HR and legal departments on Engineers to not give their views or risk upsetting possible clients. Since I created my own leading independent civil engineering consultancy, I have had the press contact me to discuss the engineering topics of the day. They read about the projects I put on my company website (www.wilsham.co.uk) and want to find out more. In fact, my website is listed by Google as one of the top 10 in the UK for "civil engineering consultants", in under 2 years and with a marking budget of zero. What does that say about large civil engineering consultants? Just this week I was interviewed by the BBC on the flooding at Gatwick and Oxford. During the coverage, I did see ICE members give opinion, but it was bland and meaningless. Engineers must be free to give their real opinion. Some may not agree with it and some will not. That is healthy debate. Only by standing up for our views will we be respected.
Given we (at Wilsham Consulting Ltd - www.wilsham.co.uk) have decades of designing leading sustainable drainage solutions, we can't wait for the SABs to come in fully. Hopefully this should raise standards across the field.
Comment on: Future proofing the UK water sector
Dealing with water, be in greater water security or too much water (flooding) is and will continue to be an important issue around the world. The public understand the importance of water control and security. What they don't agree with is that the only way this can be achieved, is by rapidly increasing water bills. Instead the public and Government suggests that the UK Water Industry deals with the main issue - which is the enormous capital investment inefficiencies. Independent studies across the EU and when compared to other civil market sectors, such as housing, shows the UK Water sector to be one of the least efficient. The core problem is inappropriate use of mega frameworks, where free and fair competition is restricted to only a handful of expensive, largely non UK owned, multinationals. The solution - break the cartels and frameworks. Split up projects in to separate design and construction packages and tender the work in an open, free and fair way. This will introduce competition and innovation, largely from higher quality smaller consultants and contractors with inherent lower overheads.