I had great pleasure today in attending the launch of the London Construction Programme (LCP) in Kensington Great Hall. This was the culmination of a project which started over two years ago and has involved nearly all of London’s 33 local authorities, together with authorities in other regions too. Lots of people have been involved, but it is fair to say that it was the Procurement Director, Michael Wood, that really got this project going. Michael was also the architect of the award winning London Energy Project which has transformed the way the public sector buys energy.
The great thing about today’s launch, apart from its professionalism, was the messages it sent out to a packed audience. It also showed clearly that cost reduction and the promotion of social value are not incompatible. Haringey is already doing its bit on apprentices, local businesses economic regeneration etc and this is reflected again in the LCP.
The other thing that came across today was the message that refusing to collaborate was no longer an option for public bodies. There are absolutely no technical reasons for going it alone or worse still replicating what others have already done. London is unique in being the only region where the councils could all be expected to join forces to shape markets, drive out cost and achieve far greater social value. The LCP follows on from the recent success with highways and the London Highways Alliance Contract (LoHAC) in gaining new ground. The next step is to drive up the standards of contract management to ensure these great gains are delivered in full.