Welcome to our February E Bulletin

Andrew Brown, Director of CEWales, sets the scene for a busy few months as Welsh construction gets busy, CEWales celebrates another year of its new format and the industry seeks a new CEO of CEWales

It’s all change in the UK Government cabinet. We have a new chancellor and the tenth housing minister in almost as many years. We are still living and working in fast moving times. But are we changing? Are we adapting as an industry? Are we moving forwards? There is still too much talk amongst the numerous CEWales working groups established now that “we are still building the same old type of new buildings.” This is not good. It implies that the decisions made at the procurement stage are not as bold as we wish. Perhaps they are not adhering to the principles embedded in legislation such as the Wellbeing Future Generations Act, let alone serve as a proportionate response to the climate emergency. It might be worth everyone up and down the supply to chain to thoroughly review how decisions are made and the criteria they are judged against. Are the benchmarks up to date? Is what was written in good faith a few years ago in a plan, contract or framework fit for purpose now we know more about carbon, climate and wellbeing? We need to adapt; we need to modernise or die. We need leadership.

The future could be radical thinking from the young professionals in G4C Wales. We have new co-chairs now – Jonathan Edwards, Aecom and Lauren Clarke, Rio Architects – and we have asked them to take part in the new look CEWales operational board that will be led by Paul Maliphant of Mott MacDonald.

We are looking to our members to speak out on issues and volunteer to drive change. We can afford to be bolder now as an organisation. No longer are we constrained by grant funding from Welsh Government. We remain their constructive friend, but perhaps we need to be more critical of our leaders in local and central government to shape decisions and improve the business of construction.

That requires leadership and we are still looking for a new CEO of CEWales as Milica is stepping down at Easter. Applications close on 21st February and interviews are 3rd March in Cardiff. Details are here and you can see more in the final article of the newsletter.

CEWales has real momentum now. More events, more focus groups, more attention from Government and Welsh public sector clients and more members. The future is bright – work with us to shape it.