Multiplex boss Martin Tidd misses his own bash, while Richard Steer travels half way around the world to attend one he doesn’t want to. Thank goodness Geoff Irvine knows how to celebrate

Separate lives

So Wembley contractor Multiplex has finally achieved practical completion of the stadium. But, amid the (perhaps slightly muted) celebrations, one man has been conspicuous by his absence: Martin Tidd, the company’s outgoing UK construction boss. Apparently Tidd, who is still technically working on Wembley, has not spoken to Multiplex’s project director Ashley Muldoon for two months, let alone visited the stadium. It will be interesting to see if he gets a seat in the Multiplex box come match day.

Tim’s school fees

The league table of the highest paid executives in local authorities, published last week by pressure group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, made for interesting reading. In at number four was a certain Tim Byles, the chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, who earned a tidy £204,165 in his previous position as chief executive of Norfolk council. It makes you wonder how much it took to drag him away …

A dangerous line in obvious questions

Construction minister Margaret Hodge brought the house down on the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday night. Upon being questioned by a member of the audience on the government’s track record, Hodge replied, ingenuously, “So what is it you don’t trust about the government?”Still, it was good to see Hodge (who, lest we forget, juggles responsibility for many industries apart from construction) being allowed out. Perhaps it is time to ask again how much time she dedicates to the built environment, especially after the scrutiny received by her predecessors Alun Michael, Brian Wilson and Nigel “No Nukes” Griffiths.

Credit: Scott Garrett

My kind of hangover cure ...

I hear that Geoff Irvine was a little the worse for wear on Thursday morning after completing the sale of Irvine-Whitlock, the £60m-turnover bricklaying firm he and a friend built from £20 in 1963. Irvine completed the deal with materials giant Hanson, which is run by his old school chum David Szymanski, on Wednesday and then went on to celebrate in and around the West End. Sensibly, he was planning to fly out to Mauritius at the weekend to recuperate ...

What are you doing here?

I hear that, despite ranting in Building last year that Mipim wasn’t worth bothering his bottom about, Gleeds boss Richard Steer was due in Cannes this week (he was just passing on his way from Australia). Apparently, Steer is not a registered delegate this year, so I assume he will just be trying his hardest to enjoy the champagne and partying.

Return of the Mack?

Word reaches me that Murray Coleman is trying to lure Bovis’ former Holyrood boss Alan Mack back to the fold. Mack has been overseeing the Dubai Festival City project for Carillion, but Coleman is hoping to start a recruitment drive by tempting him with a major project in southern England.

First love, last rites

Still with Bovis, and a salutary lesson that buildings can show your age as well as their own. After more than 40 years in the industry, Bovis project manager Andy Batehup, 67, is now in charge of the demolition of the first project he worked on. It was 1966, at the start of his career at Taylor Woodrow, and the building was the former P&O headquarters on Leadenhall Street in the City of London. What goes up must come down.