Construction minister says he will speak to Morrell about future of construction adviser role in November

Construction minister Mark Prisk was non-committal over the future of the role of chief construction adviser at a talk at Ecobuild on Wednesday.

The department of business later said that while the minister wanted the position to continue no cast-iron commitment could be given that it would.

Pressed yesterday to confirm that Paul Morrell’s contract would continue beyond November when his contract runs out, he said: “I very much value his role”.

“He’s staying to the end of the contract and then we’ll sit down and talk about his role,” he said.

Industry bodies privately fear for the future of the chief construction adviser as the government cuts back on expenditure.

A spokesperson for the department of business later said that Prisk would like Morrell to stay but could not speak for him.

Regarding the role, he said: “He [Mark Prisk] can’t categorically, 100% say it’s going to continue, but he wants it to continue.”

Morrell has been in his position for 15 months of his two year, £120,000 a year job.

Stephen Ratcliffe, chairman of the UK Contractors Group, said Morrell was making good progress in his position and the post should survive.

“It would seem rather strange to pull the carpet from under Morrell now,” he said.