Mark Clare is staying, Ross Brewer is leaping, Lawrie Haynes and Boris Johnson can’t be seen, a female engineer is attracting attention and the Department of Health is getting hot under the collar
On your Marks, get set…
I was heartened to see that the two Marks at the top of Barratt haven’t lost their sense of humour. This, despite rumours swirling in the run-up to last week’s trading update that chief exec Mark Clare and finance director Mark Pain were about to fall on their swords. When a colleague popped into Barratt’s office last week, Pain apologised and said he was just on his way out. “Come on, the results weren’t that bad,” quipped the witty hack. Both Marks were able to laugh – for the moment, anyway.
We should be so lucky
It’s good to see that even though the economy’s prospects get gloomier by the day, the government is still looking on the sunny side of life. This week we had the publication of the Department of Health’s Heatwave Plan after a weekend in which temperatures in the capital soared to a sweltering 140C. The plan recommends, among other things, “greening the built environment”, using green roofs, solar shading and the provision of “cool areas” in hospitals and nursing homes. Perhaps the government is hoping for a scorching British summer to take our minds off the wintery economy.
Snubbed by Boris Johnson
Property tycoon Irvine Sellar’s Shard of Glass party last week was a veritable who’s who of the capital’s development industry – with one notable exception. Gossips noticed that while former mayor Ken Livingstone was there toasting Sellar’s success in getting the development off the ground, new mayor Boris Johnson was not. Apparently, the mop-top had been invited but was represented instead by one of his many deputies. When in power, Ken was a zealous advocate of the 310m high Shard, whereas it is well known that ‘BoJo’ has a less favourable opinion of tall buildings. Could Boris’ snub spell trouble ahead for the London Bridge project?
My cups overfloweth
As is at least fairly well known, the modern brassière was invented by a structural engineer, one Henry Lesher. How heartening to see, then, that one noted engineering firm is following in Lesher’s footsteps. When a female colleague complained that a picture taken of her for company literature failed to sufficiently emphasise her bust, a gentlemanly colleague used the wonders of Photoshop to add a few inches to her décolletage – with her approval, it must be added. It’s always good to see well-honed CAD skills being used to their best advantage in the workplace, I must say.
I’d imagine Lawrie Haynes, the chief executive of White Young Green is not a man accustomed to being snubbed. But last week, when the former boss of the Highways Agency and British Nuclear Group went to Turkey to meet the British ambassador, his meeting was cancelled at the last minute to allow for the visit of an even higher ranking dignitary – (clue: she’s got a crown and corgis). Well … at least it wasn’t Keith Clarke of Atkins.
All you construction workers who still insist on a daily fry-up, look away now. These are pictures of the opening of supplier Parker Merchanting’s South-east London branch this month.
Guests were invited to watch, or wince, at a display of athleticism by champion British gymnast Ross Brewer, who performed all manner of manoeuvres involving traffic cones, plastic barriers and a noticeable absence of PPE.
The connection? Parker hopes its branch will be well frequented by Olympic contractors. So, nothing to do with the hair-raising balancing act of the 2012 budget, then?