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May Overview – James Beckly

As a recently elected Board Member I am delighted to have been asked to write the opening to this month’s CESW newsletter.  Constructing Excellence continues to have an important role in our industry to drive change, development and crucially collaboration.  In my view, a healthy and prosperous CESW programme is vital, and I would encourage you all to engage and support as much as time allows.

It has been an incredibly difficult period for many of our members with the demise of many businesses, including Midas, and the negative impact that has had on employees, families, suppliers, contractors and clients.  I have been heartened by the way the industry has rallied at what is an incredibly challenging time.

In April, the CE Devon Club gathered business leaders from the area to discuss what has led to this current instability in our sector.  The debate was healthy, and the key issues highlighted stem back to trust, collaboration, contractual risk and how it’s apportioned, procurement (including tender) and project leadership.    Sound familiar?

I believe we should reflect back to the days of Latham and Egan as many of the problems tackled then have, once again, resurfaced. Their findings on a similarly troubled sector were a catalyst for change. Perhaps it is time to take an honest and hard look at ourselves as an industry, adapt and make positive change once again. Constructing Excellence should and will continue to be at the forefront of this, but to do this we need maximum engagement from the industry whilst, in my view, taking additional perspectives from outside.

I recently attended a Boardroom 2030 multi-sector event, which closed by asking those individuals leading businesses to keep thinking about:

  • Practising the art of thinking about the future, today
  • How business can give back more than it takes
  • Bold action we can take NOW for the future
  • Ways to involve different people to make better decisions for the future

These questions seem pertinent to our industry and some of the challenges we face whether structural, economic or environmental.  I am sure you will agree to effect change we need to challenge, disrupt and collaborate to ensure that the industry thrives and resolves the issues now and in the future.  Again, I believe passionately that CESW should be at the forefront of helping our industry adapt, evolve and improve.  During the few months I have been involved it’s been exciting to see the plans CESW have developed to help meet these challenges head on.

To this end, it is fantastic to see the take up from members on site visits, webinars, conferences, leadership dinners and networking events to name a few.  There are some key events coming up in May that may interest you including:

  • The CESW Housing Summit on 18th May in Exeter
  • Building Growth Southwest Construction Summit 2022 on 11th May in Bristol
  • CESW Spring Soiree on 26th May in Frome

I look forward to meeting you at a future event!

Finally, I have had the pleasure of being part of the judging panel on some of the CESW Awards and it has been an enlightening experience so far. I have learnt so much about the many fantastic projects and initiatives that you have been leading in our region.  Truly inspirational.

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