In recent years the construction sector has largely been focused on developments located in London and the South East of England. Many of the large nationwide firms, such as Barratt, Miller and Crest Nicholson, once operated regional offices in more northerly regions of the UK, until the financial crash of 2007 brought about their closure. However, the situation is about to change, with construction in the North West predicted to grow by 10% in 2017, as developers once again look towards the North for future projects.
A few weeks ago my company, Remarkable Group, moved its northern office from Salford Quays to the City Centre. As a result, my commuter bike ride from the south of the city shifted. Instead of going through Chorlton, I now cycle down Oxford Road past the universities. And I love it.
After the whirlwind of the 2017 Party Conference season, the Government was looking to the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) for a positive economic forecast to provide stability during the Brexit negotiations. However, certainty is far from what they received. The OBR’s Forecast Evaluation Report, its first to consider “the initial response of the economy to the Brexit vote” found that productivity had grown by just 0.2% in the five years from 2012, far less than expected, and consequently estimates of future economic growth have been revised down.
This week we witnessed the painful spectacle of Theresa May giving what was widely seen as one of the most catastrophic speeches a party conference has ever seen: coughing, pranked, and finally the letters of the Conservative slogan falling off the wall.
With the average age of a Conservative Party member now rumoured to be at 71 – 20 years older than the average Labour Party member – how to reconnect with voters under the age of 35 was a recurring topic of conversation this week.
Even before the Conservative Party conference started, The Canary – a Corbynite website of dubious value – was falsely attacking BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg for speaking at a fringe event (she didn’t).
The Labour Party’s members descended on Brighton this week in buoyant mood, a mood echoed by their leader, Jeremy Corbyn. For the first time since 2014 Labour held a conference that was not in the shadow of a leadership contest, and the Leader was finally able to revel in his victory knowing his position has never been safer.
John Healey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, has a blunt message for the house building industry:
This week the Welsh Government, led by First Minister Carwyn Jones, published the ‘Taking Wales Forward’ five-year national programme which sets out how the Government will build a more ‘prosperous, secure, healthy, ambitious, united and connected Wales’ through a stronger economy, a more sustainable Wales and reformed public services.