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Positive Outcomes

18 Aug
17:29

One Public Estate

Submitted by Peter Hogg, EC Harris, Head of Government and Municipals

The One Public Estate pilot project is providing huge benefits to local economies by encouraging councils and local public services to aggregate and share buildings in order to cut running costs and generate capital receipts from selling surplus property.  The first wave of the project has already saved councils an estimated £21 million in running costs and generated £88 million in capital receipts, and with 20 more councils selected to take part... Read More

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One Public Estate
8 Aug
14:22

Early contracts for renewables generators: the right decision in an imperfect world

Submitted by Paul McQuillan, EC Harris, Partner, Head of Renewables

Was the Department of Energy & Climate Change right to award early contracts, without competition, to eight renewable generation projects in May 2014? Or did it unnecessarily commit a large portion of the Government’s budget for renewable generation in advance of the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) regime, expected to be live in October 2014? In a recently published report, the National Audit Office (NAO) said it was “not convinced that the Government sufficiently protected... Read More

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Early contracts for renewables generators: the right decision in an imperfect world
23 Jul
05:30

A UAE Market Update

Submitted by Chris Seymour, EC Harris, Partner, Head of Property and Social Infrastructure

The UAE has experienced a shifting momentum of activity over the past decade with 2009 onwards being difficult years for the market. After a timid 2013, the market is finally showing real signs of recovery and prospective growth suggesting that the construction market will remain strong this year. The construction sector appears to be returning to near full-capacity, with a number of major megaprojects in the pipeline and the ramping up of social infrastructure spend.  The UAE’s... Read More

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A UAE Market Update
18 Jul
10:49

Michael Gove's move - what does it mean for the sector?

Submitted by Marcus Fagent, EC Harris, Head of Education and Children's Services

The move of Michael Gove is a shock.  There had been speculation about his future in Education but no commentators went as far as predicting that he would move. The surprise expressed by Michael Wilshaw evidences that his move had not been trailed or perhaps prepared for.  Whilst as many people hated him as loved him there is no doubt that he was a consistent agent of change and everyone understood that he firmly believed in what he stood for.  His departure leaves a vacuum... Read More

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Michael Gove's move - what does it mean for the sector?
17 Jul
14:38

Programme managing LEPs to success

Submitted by Peter Hogg, EC Harris, Head of Government and Municipals

The Government’s announcement of £6bn funding is another welcome acknowledgment of the significant growth and returns that can be driven by the UK’s regions. Although a substantial sum, delivering sustainable growth by ‘joining the dots’ of activity will be all about taking a programme-based approach to delivery. Without a fully integrated programme in place, built around a clear vision & strategy and connecting all participants within the region as well as... Read More

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Programme managing LEPs to success
15 Jul
11:33

ESOS Regulations have come into force but will they deliver the benefits?

Submitted by Richard Shaw, EC Harris, Account Principal, Renewable Energy

The Government has issued its response to consultation on the Energy Savings Obligation Scheme (ESOS). These new Regulations are in response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and amongst other things it mandates all non-SME’s to undertake internal energy audits by December 2015 and every 4 years thereafter. The regulations are driven by DECC who have asked the Environment Agency to administer the scheme which requires firms to assess all energy used in buildings, industrial processes... Read More

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ESOS Regulations have come into force but will they deliver the benefits?
2 Jul
17:20

Making intelligent use of assets to deliver improved public services - the golden rules

Submitted by Peter Hogg, EC Harris, Head of Government and Municipals

Austerity has posed challenges to the public sector and although we are making positive strides towards economic prosperity, the harsh reality still remains that small government is here to stay, which means small allocations of Treasury funding.   Given that citizen demand for services remains high, public sector organisations must shift from reducing costs to a focus on generating income. Smarter service delivery and increasing commerciality adds up to transformational change... Read More

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Making intelligent use of assets to deliver improved public services - the golden rules
30 Jun
10:32

The school place crisis - radical and innovative solutions are required

Submitted by Marcus Fagent, EC Harris, Head of Education and Children's Services

The recent primary and secondary school place allocations further highlight the ongoing pressures of meeting the demand for such places. The shortage remains the Government’s most urgent education challenge as large numbers of children across the country failed to secure a place in their first choice of school. The problem looks set to continue with the Local Government Association’s recent analysis of Local Authority data suggesting that almost half of school planning areas will... Read More

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The school place crisis - radical and innovative solutions are required
27 Jun
12:12

Elite universities plough £9bn into facilities to keep up with Asia rivals

Submitted by David Ludford, EC Harris , Account Leader, Higher Education

The Russell Group report, headlined around plans for £9bn investment in capital and infrastructure projects, is academically spot on in terms of its arguments for more funding, but may be a long way from political reality.  The Group’s arguments are compelling. The UK already spends a lower proportion of GDP on higher education than our rivals and our universities are already doing more with less.  Government used to provide nearly half the capital funding just a few... Read More

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Elite universities plough £9bn into facilities to keep up with Asia rivals
4 Jun
17:26

Making the public, private

Submitted by Ed Baldwin, EC Harris, Partner, Health Sector

While the recommendations of the recent report by the Committee of Public Accounts on contracting-out public services to the private sector are welcomed, they are of no surprise. An evident lack of the necessary skills and experience within the public sector at both central and local level hinders delivery of the required outcomes. In defence of the public sector however, this lack of expertise has been influenced by the legacy of Compulsory Competitive Tendering introduced by the Thatcher... Read More

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Making the public, private

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