Peabody Trust development director Dickon Robinson questioned the wisdom of forming partnerships and conducting consultation exercises. In his speech to the RIBA conference, the newly appointed CABE commissioner said:

“Partnerships produce a lot of platitudinous stuff and slow you down. What’s more, socially excluded people cannot be reached by consultation exercises, because they are not part of the existing community.”

Robinson also criticised the inflexibility of grant institutions, which he claimed absorbed most of the creativity of his staff.

Surprisingly, Robinson’s jibe against partnerships was backed by English Partnerships’ chief executive, Paula Hay-Plumb. “Don’t include parties in partnerships unless they have a role to play,” she said.