CEW E-Bulletin Introduction - 12th January 2018

Welcome to 2018 and our first newsletter of the year.

Welcome to 2018 and our first newsletter of the year.

The big news at the end of last year was the announcement by Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport of the creation by Welsh Government of a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICfW) to support independent, better informed advice on a longer-term strategy of infrastructure investment, which enshrines the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The NICfW is a non-statutory, advisory body. Its remit is to focus on the economic and environmental infrastructure needs of Wales over the next five to 30 years. It is a big task, but one that we applaud. It is also an initiative within which you should consider playing a part.

We have reproduced the statement from the Cabinet Secretary in full later in the newsletter. It is worth checking the link and reviewing the different PDFs around the appointment of the chair and the composition of the commission itself – because for the NICfW to be effective it needs to be made up of people with experience from around the world on a variety of schemes, not just Welsh projects.

Members of the commission will have a unique opportunity to look at Wales' long-term economic and environmental infrastructure needs, shaping future infrastructure networks by making formal recommendations to the Welsh Government on strategic linkages, dependencies and priorities, including the relationships with social infrastructure such as housing. Such a role requires vision. Ideally that vision needs to be rooted in experience of major infrastructure programmes that Wales can learn from.

For NICfW to punch its weight; for it to achieve the goals outlined by Ken Skates we need a team of people and a chair who are prepared to challenge convention, test boundaries and cut through politics and red tape to argue for the best solutions. There are many of you amongst CEW stakeholders who have such experience that would serve the commission well. I would urge you to think hard about what role you can play to help the NICfW succeed.

Meanwhile, it is CEW Awards time again. We are calling for entries and you only have approximately six working weeks to complete your application. Don't forget, if you have any queries about the process or need advice about which category to enter, do call our team on 02920 493322.
It is almost two full weeks into 2018, but it is still important to wish you all a happy New Year. It is always thought of as a time for resolutions and positive change, but across the CE movement that is something we advocate all the time.

For example, any resolutions you make now regarding the construction process, you should have already been adhering to – that is one of the reasons at CEW we focus so hard upon sharing learning. The best practice we make known to people via events, Exemplars and the CEW Awards can make a real difference when it is applied to the conception, planning, design and build of a project. One constant we should all be striving for is the sharing of ideas. We need to make sure that we collaborate and create integrated teams. That is the way forward and how construction will deliver the targets set by Welsh Government and deliver a built environment fit for future generations.

Please. Do not stop looking ahead.