Leading industry figures have set up an infrastructure taskforce to advise the government on its housing regeneration programmes.

Dennis Lenard, chief executive of Constructing Excellence, is to chair the group, which will have seven members, including Peter Woolliscroft, NHS Estates’ head of construction and David Mosey, head of construction at law firm Trowers & Hamlins.

The taskforce could offer advice on all public sector projects throughout the country, but it will pay particular attention to the transport and social infrastructure required for large regeneration projects such the Thames Gateway.

Lenard said: “We have asked the construction minister [Nigel Griffiths] to consider setting up a taskforce. He is very supportive, but there is an election coming up, so we have got to set it up ourselves.”

Lenard hopes to make recommendations to the government on areas such as infrastructure financing by the end of February.

He said: “We will hit it hard. Infrastructure is one of the things we haven’t attacked in the construction industry.”

Others on the taskforce hope that it will continue beyond February.

Steve Rowsell, procurement director at the Highways Agency, said: “I expect meetings to happen three or four times a year. There is a need for various sectors to come together and identify common issues.”

Other taskforce members are Mark Farrah, corporate development director of Birse, and John Anderson, head of engineering at Dudley council. Constructing Excellence is looking to add people from the Prison Service and Ministry of Defence.

  • The Construction Clients Group launched its Clients’ Charter this week at a joint conference with Constructing Excellence and the DTI.
  • The Clients’ Charter is a web-based tool aimed at encouraging clients to embrace the principles of Rethinking Construction, the 1998 report on the industry by Sir John Egan. It is available on www.clientsuccess.org/home.html.