No rest for RICS during recess
Parliament’s summer recess is traditionally a time of reflection, but not for RICS' UK Government Relations team.
Trends from around the globe show rapid urbanisation across the developed and developing worlds. Cities are more than ever before becoming the focus of national governments' growth strategies.
In the UK, this is evidenced by the government's regional approach to devolution and industrial strategy, the concept of a Minister for Cities, and the proclamation of the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine Room.
Cities have great potential to be the foundation for property-led regional growth which, in turn, will feed up to the wider national economy, and this is foundation policy of UK government administrations.
All of the UK's regions have metropolitan centres which act as their heartbeats; and a small but growing number are now governed by a Metro Mayor who provides strategic oversight for their locale. With new powers, access to funding and political clout they have a reputation for getting things done.
RICS is building its presence in those areas; both to build influence with regional powerbrokers; and to showcase and support the work of our professionals who contribute their trusted insight when operating in and around these centres.
There is no better time to focus on the metropolitan centres than an election year, and 2020 will see Metro Mayoral elections taking place in four of England's biggest economic powerhouses; West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Tees Valley and Liverpool.
Our election programme is part of RICS UK City Strategy, which has the principle objective to build presence in, and offer support to, the key metropolitan centres.
To do this, RICS will build stakeholder networks and better relationships with Mayoral teams to enhance collaboration and support delivery. Our work provides a foundation for confident markets.
To start with we will be undertaking a cross-sector needs assessment – looking at the current infrastructure provision and pipeline projects to produce a report on what the regions' infrastructure priorities should be.
From there, we can advise on projects – whether they are shovel-ready or simply aspirational – that will generate the highest economic impact.
Furthermore, we will look to engage with regional stakeholders to ascertain what they think their local built environment needs. Both outputs will feed into the representations we will make to existing and potentially future Metro Mayors.
Aligned to this is our aim to host city-specific events to showcase our offer to the regions, and undertake Mayoral hustings, with a focus on the built environment, prior to the election.
Policy Manager (North & Midlands)
Geoff is part of the RICS UK External Affairs team which addresses policy, public affairs and press activity to support the organisation’s aims of building influence, credibility and profile to gain recognition of professional standards. Working closely with RICS members, Geoff identifies the challenges and opportunities facing those working in the profession in order to support the delivery, within a public interest mandate, of a vibrant and sustainable land, property and construction sector.