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24.04.13

Create Department for Infrastructure – Arup

The UK should create a department for infrastructure, head of transport at Arup has argued.

In a blog published on the Huffington Post, Alexander Jan has urged the Government to create the new department, to support investment in a number of high-profile projects. It could improve leadership and joined-up working, he adds.

Jan said: “A Department for Infrastructure should be created. This super ministry would provide more than leadership for spending departments. It could consolidate infrastructure resources and talent spread thinly through the rest of Whitehall. It would give the prime minister a mechanism for knocking heads together and ensuring delivery.

“It could oversee the development of effective frameworks including reforms already in train, to bring in private sector investment to boost growth and competiveness across the countries and city regions of the UK. It could be the agent for delivering a big part of Lord Heseltine's forty billion pound “challenge” fund. It could provide a strong delivery partner for the all-powerful Treasury.

“With firm delivery objectives that would not be lost in departments' business plans, its minister would be high profile. It would be a potent department of state that senior politicians and civil servants would fight over. There would be a real sense of urgency to get things done and join them up with local government.”

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Comments

Edward Harkins   24/04/2013 at 15:46

Would not the creation of an entire new Government Department entail significant bureaucracy, cost, set-up delays (with knock-on effects on potential projects) and inevitable politiking? Would it not, instead, be less costly and have more impact, and quicker impact, to instead re-visit and strengthen the remit of the existing InftrastructureUK? IUK’s core remit is: - to provide greater clarity and coordination over the planning, prioritisation and enabling of investment in UK infrastructure; and - to improve delivery of UK infrastructure through achieving greater value for money. http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/infrastructure_about.htm

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