What a jolly end I had to last week, dear reader.
While most of you probably spent your Friday afternoon slaving over columns of figures or assessing the impact of an alphabet soup of obscure building regulations, I was enjoying a couple of glasses at a Greater London Authority press do. Oh, what fun to mix with politicians and national broadsheet hacks! But it was Nicky Gavron, former deputy mayor of London and Red Ken's likely running mate in the coming elections, who caught my eye. After a few vinos I have to admit I was a shameless flirt. She, however, preferred to talk up Labour's chances at the polling booth.

If Nicky is right, this year will mark another defeat for Tory mayoral hopeful Steven Norris. The Jarvis chairman, as you will know if you are a regular reader of this column, could use a bit of a boost, as he has been presiding over a falling share price since he took over in November.

This week Norris has, he will hope, reached his nadir at Jarvis – the company issued a profit warning on Wednesday. But the chaps and chapettes in the City were already prepared for the worst – its shares fell a mammoth 44.75p on Tuesday, to close at 139.25p. As I write this, the price continues to tumble. A former Tory transport minister running into trouble at a leading rail and road infrastructure firm? Surely not … Another faller in support services was Laing. Despite a (surprise, surprise) upbeat trading statement last week, its share price slipped 1.4% to finish on Friday at 189p. Given that its year-low was 113p, it is probably not yet time for panic stations.

A Costain–Laing joint venture won a £38m road contract in Caerphilly this week. Expect profits

Hunch of the week

Indeed, it was a tough time for many in support services. News that a proposed £28.5m management buyout of agent Lambert Smith Hampton from Atkins had collapsed was perhaps one of the reasons for a 3.1% slip in the megaconsultant's price. The hiccup meant that Atkins was at 505p by close of play Friday.

It was not all bad news, though – multidisciplinary consultant White Young Green gained 7.3% to reach 183.5p after its acquisition last week of structural engineer and project manager Cetec of Southampton.