Government names construction czar

24 November 2009

24 November 2009 | Allie Anderson

The UK government has appointed its first chief construction adviser, it has been revealed this morning.

Paul Morrell will be responsible for securing better value for money in public sector building procurement, promoting innovation and sustainability and ensuring Whitehall takes full account of the impacts of the regulatory regime in the industry.

His first task will be to lead the Low Carbon Construction Review, announced by Lord Mandelson in September, which aims to help the industry cut carbon emissions. The review's first findings are expected next spring.

He will also chair the new Construction Collaborative Category Board, which will build on the work of the Public Sector Construction Clients Forum (PSCCF) established in 2005 by the OGC, to drive the implementation and further development of best value government construction procurement.

Morrell, a quantity surveyor and former senior partner at construction consultants Davis Langdon, had been hotly tipped for the job by industry insiders. He was confirmed in post today by construction minister Ian Lucas and economic secretary to the Treasury, Ian Pearson.

Morrell said: "I am delighted and excited to have been selected for this role, which presents a real opportunity for the sector to work with government, and to prepare for the skills, growth and other challenges facing the construction industry.

"This is a tough time for the industry, but I know we have the capability to rise to two of our biggest challenges: to get more value out of our product, and to take more carbon out of its creation and use - getting more for less in both cases."

Pearson and Lucas welcomed the appointment. Lucas said Morrell "will play a vital role in championing the sector with government and work with industry to ensure we have a strong, sustainable construction sector in the UK".

Morrell is a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and served between 2000 and 2008 for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the government's advisory body on architecture, urban design and public spaces, both as commissioner and deputy chairman.

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