CEW Recognising the work of Jane Hutt

Milica Kitson explains the important role played by Jane Hutt in the achievements of CEW, particularly the No Turning Back report of 2010

9th November 2017

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Milica Kitson explains the important role played by Jane Hutt in the achievements of CEW, particularly the No Turning Back report of 2010

For many of her eighteen years as a Welsh Government minister, Jane Hutt AM, had something to do with Welsh construction and certainly, when she was responsible for finance, CEW came into close contact with her and her team. She was (and is, as she will remain as an AM representing the Vale of Glamorgan) a very principled politician – something publicly recognised by friends, colleagues and the Conservative opposition in the press this week.

She provided a clear-cut business case, or in many situations when an economic, environmental and social argument, was made, she could be relied upon to support many of the initiative and ideas advocated by the CEW team and its wider stakeholders. To that end, her contribution to the change agenda and reform of the construction industry in Wales is very important. Three things stand out for me and are worth stressing in writing as she steps down from ministerial office.

Mrs Hutt was always willing to listen to the industry – but what she needed was one voice and an organised, unified approach to make a case. Secondly, if the argument was well constructed she would do more than listen – she was willing to make a change. That was borne out in one of the most important pieces of work we delivered in the past 15-years or so, the commissioning and backing of the No Turning Back report in 2010. In the face of some concerns about its recommendations, Mrs Hutt accepted the findings and established the Construction Procurement Steering Group.

I am sure that without her support many of CEW's achievements may never have occurred or taken much longer and so affected the ability of the Welsh construction industry to deliver what our country requires. What we need to do now is adhere to some of the principles Jane Hutt advocated and push harder to build on the work of the Construction Procurement Steering Group and demand even closer collaboration across the supply chain.