Special Roundtable with Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Highways England

Tuesday 24 November 2015

The Forum was delighted to welcome Jim O’Sullivan, recently appointed Chief Executive of Highways England, for a special roundtable to follow up the themes set by Colin Matthews at Hartwell House and explore next steps in Highways England’s strategy and development.


With transport high up the policy agenda and the transformed status of Highways England proving a significant new model the opportunity to exchange ideas with Jim O’Sullivan about his plans and approaches as Chief Executive was very much appreciated by the Forum.

Cities and Regions Working Group: Lessons on financing infrastructure from the nations

Wednesday 4 November 2015

The Infrastructure Forum’s Cities and Regions Working Group gathered to explore the lessons learnt from innovative financing methods and structures found in Scotland and Wales that might be applied to help kick-start the development of crucial projects in sub-central areas. We were joined by Barry White, Chief Executive of Scottish Futures Trust, and Steve Davies, Head of Financial Innovation in the Welsh Government.

Local Devolution Infrastructure Finance

Wednesday 21 October

Issues of local finance for infrastructure projects are high up the policy agenda. Against this background we were delighted to be joined at a special dinner discussion with Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the Local Capital Finance Company.


The discussion dinner gave us the opportunity to examine new approaches to local devolution and infrastructure finance whilst learning from insights produced in a new report prepared by Tim Pugh of BLP for The Infrastructure Forum which looks at means of unlocking projects across a wide range of areas which have been developed so far and the possibilities for the future.

2015 Hartwell House Infrastructure Policy Summit

Thursday 2 to Friday 3 July 2015

In 2015 we met on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 July, a timing which allowed us to assess the outlook for UK infrastructure policy following the General Election and the changes in both personnel and policy which may result from it.   Among the themes addressed were airport policy, energy market reforms, financial devolution and the role of cities and regions as well as the impact of technology on infrastructure and development in procuring network infrastructure.  


Speakers included:  

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service; 

John Penrose MP, Parliamentary Secretary, Minister for Constitutional Reform, Cabinet Office;

Rt Hon Lord Adonis, Adviser to the Labour Party’s Policy Review on Industrial Strategy;

Sir Amyas Morse, KCB Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office;

Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman of National Grid;

David Gray, Chairman of Ofgem;

Paul Massara, Chief Executive Officer of RWE nPower;

Steve Allen, Managing Director, Finance of Transport for London;

Colin Matthews, Chairman of the Highways Agency;

Philip Rutnam Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport;

Sir John Armitt on behalf of the Airports Commission;

Mike Putnam President and CEO, Skanska UK and

DrvDavid Quarmby, the transport and infrastructure expert. 

Financing Projects Locally

Monday 18 May

On Monday 18 May, The Infrastructure Forum’s Cities and Regions Working group, Chaired by Steve Cooper, Vice-President, Europe, of Skanska, was delighted to welcome Sir Merrick Cockell, Chair of the UK Municipal Bond Agency and Darra Singh OBE, Chair of the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance, to a special roundtable discussion on the future prospects for sub-central financing of infrastructure projects.


The rise of localism, the disconnect between spending and accountability, the role of devolution and how reform is currently not radical enough were all discussed. In addition, tax and business rates, and how they interact with local governments were debated by members of the group. 

Special Roundtable with Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Transport

Monday 19 January 2015

John Hayes MP joined a roundtable of The Infrastructure Forum to examine future roads policy and financing. Roads are of interest to many of our network, and the delivery plan for 2015/16 to 2019/20 sets out national priorities and plans for the strategic road network; replaces the Highways Agency with a new strategic highways company intended to transform it into a world class infrastructure company; and creates a new highways monitor charged with ensuring that public money is well spent and the Highways Authority delivers efficiencies.

Special Roundtable with Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Tourism, Energy and Enterprise in the Scottish Government

Monday 12 January 2015

Fergus Ewing MSP is a long standing leader of the SNP, who has been responsible for developing policy on business, legal and taxation matters.  His visit coincided with the developing debate on devolution of policy and finance in the rest of the United Kingdom.


The roundtable provided an excellent opportunity for those in our network with Scottish interests and investments and also those concerned about the development of policy on devolved matters to exchange perspectives with an experienced and well informed Scottish Minister.

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Special Roundtable with Tony Meggs, CEO of the Major Projects Authority

Tuesday 17 November 2015

The government’s Major Projects Authority, provides a new level of transparency about major government projects, seeks to build project delivery skills and capability; and clarifies roles and makes individuals accountable for delivery. The government attaches high importance to the work of the Authority which covers 188 projects with a combined life cost of £489 billion.


Tony Meggs, the Chief Executive of the Major Projects Authority, kindly joined a special roundtable of The Infrastructure Forum to exchange perspectives on the MPAs work and plans with our network.

Special Roundtable with Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP

Thursday 29 October 2015

The Infrastructure Forum was pleased to welcome Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP who joined us for a roundtable on Thursday 29 October. 


Oliver spoke about the organisation of Whitehall, the introduction of private sector skills and approaches and the development of the theory and practice of economic regulation and our policy and machinery of government interaction with the European Union.

Energy Working Group: EU's Energy Union Strategy

Monday 14 September 2015

In the wake of the progress of the EU’s Energy Union strategy, The Infrastructure Forum’s Energy Working Group met to address the intersections and fault lines between UK and EU energy policy, as well as the UK’s role in impacting upon EU energy policy in light of the proposed EU referendum.


Martin Crouch, Senior Partner at Ofgem, led the discussion. As the Senior Partner, Electricity Transmission, Martin leads the team responsible for regulating the electricity and gas transmission networks and also has a co-ordination and leadership role on European issues across the organisation - representing the UK on the ACER Board of Regulators and serving as chair of the ACER and CEER Electricity Working Groups.

Special Roundtable with Andy Rose, Chief Executive, Homes and Communities Agency

Wednesday 27 May 2015

The Forum welcomed Andy Rose, from the Homes and Communities Agency to discuss government policy on housing. Housing supply, the debate around decentralisation and devolution and the difference between policy and delivery were all discussed. 

Advisory Council dinner discussion with Sir John Armitt CBE

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Sir John Armitt’s proposals for an Infrastructure Commission have attracted wide interest and support amongst our network. His working group recently concluded a consultation exercise on how The Armitt Proposals might be streamlined and aligned more closely with the existing National Infrastructure Plan structure. This dinner provided an excellent opportunity to discuss a wide range of long term and strategic issues across the sectors.

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