Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

TM GE 17

Snap Election Briefing

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TM GE 17

Snap Election Briefing

Theresa May announced her intention to hold a General Election on 8th June. Unlike the days before the Coalition Government, the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 means that the Prime Minister no longer has the authority to call a General Election simply by asking the Queen to dissolve Parliament.

Instead, Mrs May must go to the House and secure a 2/3 majority in favour of ignoring fixed terms and calling a General Election. Already, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have all said they will back a fresh election and one would assume that the PM would not have made such an announcement without getting her ducks in a row with her own MPs.

In terms of impacts on development, the first thing to consider is how this morning’s announcement has upped the ante with the County Council on 4th May, giving a much more national edge to campaigning and very possibly driving up turnout as election fever grips media coverage. There is already speculation that the inaugural Metro Mayoral elections in areas such as the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Manchester, will be postponed from May to June.

Secondly, there will be seats which will now be key battlegrounds, in particular between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Internal polling from the Conservatives recently showed that the Tories would lose most of the 27 seats it gained in 2015, including seats in Hampshire, London and the West Country. Doubtless that amongst the clashes over hard or soft Brexit, development will be a key battleground for candidates.

Despite this, it would look likely that on 9th June we will be waking up to a much more convincing Conservative majority and a much reduced Labour Parliamentary Party.

If you have any questions about how this might affect any sites you have, get in touch on info@curtinandco.com or call 0207 399 2280.

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: P***** As a Newt

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tom3c70f0c3ca84

Afternoon,

It is about this time of year that the Great Crested Newts come out of hibernation. Well, guys, its hasn’t been a great Spring so far.

You probably missed this on your newt-phones, but Article 50 has just been invoked. And Mrs May and Mr Davis are busily building a bonfire of EU red tape. Unfortunately, this will also include the European Directive to protect our favourite reptiles.

As you know, there is a shortage of GCNs across mainland Europe, but there are plenty of you in the UK. So developers, who have been hampered by your ponds, will now have free rein. And you won’t get the benefits of free relocation packages as you had until now when the EU was in charge.

90be5e35-d794-4acd-a292-5f31dd9b840fNo. Now you have to take your chances with the trusty builders of Britain (mostly mainland Europeans ironically).

It’s also bad news for NIMBYs who have been anecdotally known to translocate the poor GCNs to get protection for a site.

And if I were a developer, I could ironically see that land with GCNs would now attract a premium as it would be unrestrained.

Have a great weekend,

Tom

 


Alan Partridge Living
Barnet flats to be smaller than a Travelodge

Billboards for luxury developments in London don’t quite reflect the capital

Mayor of London launches £8bn partnership with L&Q to build 20,000 homes

Major supermarket chains are all getting into housing development

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: Why we should have more referendums

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Why we should have more referendums.
tom3c70f0c3ca84

Afternoon,

We are beginning to find out, referendums (or referenda if you went to a posh school) are dangerous things.

Now that Parliament is crumbling, why don’t we just abolish the Commons and Lords and move to a government by referendums.

That’s more or less what the Swiss do and they seem to be thriving. 

The cuckoo-clock makers wanted a new fleet of fighter aircraft (at more than £30-£50 million a pop), the people said ‘no’. So it’s back to the take-off zone for the ministry of defence. 

To trigger a referendum all you need is 100,000 signatures – about 1% of the population. Transferred to the UK, that would be about 700,000 signatories. 

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I am certain that there would be no problem at all getting that many people to have a referendum on Trident, HS2, Terminal 5 or Hinckley C.  Ironically the referendum  might speed up the process given the resistance of governments to approve these. In fairness to Mrs M she got two out of four in her first couple of months. 

So what else might we have a referendum on? The flugelhorn blowers can always give a good indication, so how about:

– The legislation of cannabis; the Swiss rolled up to vote two to one against;
– Flexible state pension age, allowing people to retire early. Nope – make old codgers work longer;
– The Swiss were also not that keen on enhanced legal protection for animals.

I think the Swiss use the referendums as a social occasion, its’s a great chance to catch up with your friends and go for a beer every few months or so.

Have a good weekend,

Tom


Sheffield storms forward 
How one council is beating Britain’s housing crisis

Young don’t benefit
Housing benefit cuts ‘put young people at risk of homelessness’

Go, Go, Go
Mayor green lights two refused London housing schemes

Gardens for all
£2bn Cardiff ‘garden village’ homes plans approved

Pupil premium 
Best schools add £18,600 to average house price

Not so relaxing!
MP warns of housing strain caused by holiday lets

And Finally…

John Bercow picks on the Hon Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip


Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: Come the devolution, brother

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Come the devolution, brother
tom3c70f0c3ca84

Morning,

A nation holds it’s breath… who will be the new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough? Or indeed Dunstable, Tees Valley or the West of England?

Well, you’re about to find out on May 4th when they are elected. In all, there will be six new Mayors with wide-ranging powers, including economic development, transport and housing.

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But these powers are constricted by the combined authorities who make the decisions. So the new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (don’t try this with a few drinks) will have the Leaders of seven existing local authorities – both Counties and Districts, to help guide his or her path.

Confused? And so you should be. Unlike Sadiq Khan in London, these Mayors will not have call-in powers… and here’s the important word: yet.

The cynic (moi?) will ask if we really need another layer of local government, when the existing one is already complicated enough.

Remember the good old days of County Structure Plans. Well, we’re not going back there, but we are on the road.

But a larger tranche of the UK will be ‘unMayored’, if that’s the right term. So, except for Civic Mayors (pay attention at the back) whose role is mostly ceremonial who wear chains and have plush cars, places like Surrey, Sussex and Kent won’t have a new-style Mayor.

And like New York, Peterborough is so good that it will be ‘Mayored twice’: one newly elected Mayor and alongside the existing Civic Mayor of the City of Peterborough.

What a tangled web we weave.

Have a good weekend,

Tom


Fosun continues to build its links with real estate investors
Fosun builds global network for Chinese investment

Historic pubs shielded from last orders 
Permitted development rights removed from pubs in Southwark

Save Britain’s Heritage blames CGI’s for development
Councils ‘dazzled’ by attractive CGI images of planned developments, heritage charity warns

Will Article 50 trigger a collapse in development?
What impact will Article 50 have on the property industry?

Bellway profits boosted by shortage of housing in the UK 
Shortage of housing in the UK and the government’s Help to Buy subsidy scheme has supported demand

This week at Curtin&Co

Horsham Football Club
Curtin&Co was delighted to be part of the team that helped secure consent for Horsham Football Club for a new 1,300 capacity football stadium and 58 new homes from Horsham District Council. Congratulations to all involved.


Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: From rags to riches

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From rags to riches
tom3c70f0c3ca84

Social media is a bit like an alluring, illicit lover (sorry if I shocked you). It is so easy to be convinced that if you have a webpage, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, then your communications problems are over.

But who are the key people reading; those who influence your business and your life. Do Theresa and Phil sit down in Downing Street to update their Facebook and Instagram accounts with selfies?

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And how about councillors – especially those that sit on planning committees?–What are they like? What are they reading?  What is their profile?

A bit like me, they are male, pale and stale. Two out of three are male; the same are over 60 and a whopping 96 percent are white.  And our representatives are getting older – the average age has jumped from 58 to 60, according to research by National Council for Educational Research.

So what are they reading: I’ll almost guarantee you it is the ‘local rag’. There is nothing that causes more consternation in a council chamber than even the mildest rebuke from the ‘penny paper’.

Sure, circulations are falling like a stone. But the survey also showed that only one in three have access to Facebook.

So before you get carried away with the allure of social media, spend 40p on the local rag as well.

Have a good weekend,

Tom


The sun beams in France
MIPIM: The sun’s still shining despite Brexit shadowCalled in by Khan
Khan approves two housing developments

Foundations crumble
Berkeley sees housing starts fall 30% in London

Ponteland powers forward
Ponteland green belt 2,000-house development approved

And Finally…

 Nick Clegg ends up as model in bizarre US airport poster


Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: Going ooop North

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Going ooop North

Afternoon,tom3c70f0c3ca84

Westminster is falling down. So The Honourable Gentlemen and the noble peers will have to decamp. And, of course, so will the whole circus of civil servants, advisers, lobbyists and general liggers.

One suggestion is to move them all onto a boat on the Thames, although no one has yet suggested a hot air balloon.

But I have another idea. Why not move the whole shebang ooop North. Say, Manchester, ‘ull, or Newcastle. 

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But, I hear the circus caterwaul; you cannot disturb people’s lives like that. Well, according to the House of Commons Select Committee, the reconstruction of Westminster is going to take 32 years. So, a young civil servant coming down, as they do, from Oxford or Cambridge, could just be nudging retirement (allowing for the usual over-runs) when he or she goes ooop North.

The reconstruction would cost £5.7 billion, which would be just the kick-start the Northern economy needs. It would take pressure off house prices in London and the South East.

It would also stop the brain drain to the South – in the last 10 years about 75,000 graduates packed their bags and headed South, according to a recent poll.  

But here’s the scary bit: the government has allocated £1.8 billion of funding for the regions, (that’s £30 for every woman, child and man (note the political correctness). But, three out of ten graduates don’t know what the Northern Powerhouse is. Indeed, two out five adults in the North of England have never heard of it.

But when the noble peers and MPs decamp there, they’ll know all about it and will also find out that the Northern Powerhouse is not a new electricity generating station.

Have a good weekend, 

Tom 


Rents rise whilst incomes freeze
Rents are ‘out of step’ with incomes, housing bodyFab Homes
Builders turn to bolt-together homes in Brexit Britain

Housing ‘debacle’ in Mid Sussex
Labour calls for entire Tory cabinet to resign over housing ‘debacle’

Spring Budget fails to fix ‘broken housing market’
Spring Budget 2017: no mention of ‘broken property market’, housing shortage or stamp duty pain

Benefit cuts could make youth homeless 
Housing benefit cuts ‘put young people at risk of homelessness’

And Finally…

Childish
Professor’s BBC interview gatecrashed by children 


Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: Mary Berry

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Afternoon,tom3c70f0c3ca84

Our housing system is broken, according to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State, but it’s been broken for years by my reckoning.

Now that we’ve acknowledged it, how do we go about fixing it? The person to do that is Mary Berry from the Great British Bake Off. Now, Mary is practical woman and she’ll start with her ingredients, which she will lay out neatly.

There will be flour – an essential ingredient in any form of baking. She will also have raising agents, such as baking soda or yeast, chocolate, eggs, and other bits and pieces.

The problem that successive governments have had is that they start with the minor ingredients, forgetting that flour is the essential ingredient without which you cannot proceed.

And what is the flour in the ‘broken housing building’ system?  Simple, it’s land.

And we’re not Dutch, so we’re not making any more of it. And that’s where the recent Housing White Paper falls down. It does not robustly tackle this issue.

Instead it concentrates on the minor ingredients such as:

–    Land hoarding by developers (a bit like Tesco refusing to sell beans);
–    The slow planning system (it’s not getting planning that’s the problem, it’s sorting out the legal agreements – the so-called Section 106s – that takes the time);
–    Lack of resources for Local Authorities (what’s new?);
–    The need for more rented properties.

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Governments have consistently failed to tackle the lack of flour – or land. Although the White Paper waves a stick at the Green Belt, the issue has not been tackled.  Sure, there may be Green Belt reviews but they will need special circumstances.

And that’s going to take a while – probably taking us up to the election in 2020 – whoops. Now where’s the long grass?

Not that sprawling urban conurbation is the answer.  However, the Green Belt itself is suffering from ‘creep’; the amount of Green Belt land has increased by 32,000 hectares since 1977. That’s enough for 160,000 new homes. Today, more of the country is Green Belt (13%) than is actually developed (11%).

And if we can’t have flour then we need baking soda or yeast, the raising agents. If we can’t go out, then we will have to go up. And then you’ll find the good people of Richmond objecting because any central London development will ruin their view of St Paul’s Cathedral.

So Mary, now that your colleague has bolted for the lucrative fields of Channel 4, your time has come as joint Housing Minister with Gavin Barwell, henceforth known as Bakewell.

Oh, and don’t forget the flour.

Tom


Unaffordable housing 
New homes ‘unaffordable for eight out of 10 locally’

Housing threatens the nation
Why Britain’s disastrous housing shortage is the economy’s top threat

Bain buys builders’ merchants
Bain boosts bet on British housing market

UN speculates on speculation
Financial speculation led to unsustainable global housing crisis, UN expert says

Taylor Wimpey builds on solid foundations
Taylor Wimpey builds on solid housing market as it posts profit surge

And Finally…

This is the man who is claiming to be the King of Wales


Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288


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60 Second: Who said statistics were boring?

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Who said statistics were boring?

Afternoon,tom3c70f0c3ca84

It’s an old trick question for politicians: how much is a pint of milk? It’s one that even flummoxed Brexit Boris. He just said: ’so what?’

Chicken tonight: If the price of a chicken kept pace with houses, then you would be paying £50 for your white-meat treat. As for KFC, it would be up there with Heston Blumenthal as an outrageous splurge.

Minimum wage: This is allegedly £7.30 per hour. Well, don’t waste your time. If you own a house in London, it is earning £22 an hour (yes that’s an hour) in the working week, according to Gavin Barwell MP, the Housing Minister. As Del Boy says: only fools and horses work.

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Economic bombs: It costs an average of £30.23 per day to raise a child from birth to the age of 21, according to The Money Charity. Send ‘em down pit, I say.

Savings: £1.78. The amount of interest someone on the average salary would get if they saved 5.6% of their income and put that in an instant access account for a year after tax.

Sneaky one: Employers with a wage bill of over £3 million will have to pay 0.5% extra to fund the apprenticeship levy. Remember income tax was introduced as a temporary measure.

Price of milk: In 2012, when the then Agriculture Minister Jim Paice was asked about it, he famously said: “No, because my wife buys most of it. But I have checked where it comes from.” Milk comes from cows as Jim found out when he joined First Milk, the dairy co-operative on £125,000 a year.

Oh, by the way, a pint of milk is 45p-49p.

In that case, I’ll have a latte.

Have a good weekend,

Tom


London has fallen
London house price growth falls to 6.4%

From barracks to billionaires
Record £2bn housing plan for Household Cavalry’s Hyde Park barracks

Build-to-rent
Wembley housing scheme will be biggest ever ‘build-to-rent’ development

Sitting on their lands
Third of London homes granted planning permission not built

Billionaires not buying
Foreign billionaires in London choosing to rent to avoid stamp duty

And finally,

Paul Nuttall by-election


Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Katy Katani on 0207 399 2288