Construction Minister Nick Raynsford has announced the formation of a taskforce to promote the Egan agenda in local government.

The 18-member body, which will be chaired by Ted Cantle, chief executive of Nottingham City Council, includes John Hobson, head of the construction directorate at the DETR, and representatives from English local authorities.

Alan Crane, head of the Movement for Innovation, has also been asked to join, along with Treasury official Mike Burt and David Crewe, chief executive of the Housing Forum.

The Local Government Taskforce, as it is called, held its inaugural meeting last week.

Raynsford said: “Local authorities are major clients for construction. Their determination to introduce innovative methods of procurement will be a key driver for a change in construction.”

Cantle stressed that the taskforce would need industry co-operation to be effective: “It is important to remember that the initiative involves everyone in the construction procurement process, not just local authorities. On major construction projects, contractors are from the private sector, so we have to ensure that we create proper partnerships between local government and the private sector. We’re a big player, but all the strands have to work together.”

A taskforce insider was more bullish and insisted that the body offered the best way to introduce Egan-inspired innovations.

He said: “Local government is a major client for construction, and with a spend of around £16bn a year, we are big purchasers. That kind of spending power gives us a significant role in the innovation debate, one which really can affect how the industry operates.”

The taskforce will begin to select demonstration projects and demonstration authorities in the coming months.

Crewe said the Housing Forum, responsible for implementing the Egan agenda in that sector, aimed to include 80% of the housebuilding industry within three years.