Ahead of the Street Works UK Conference and Awards next week, Chief Executive, Clive Bairsto CBE, previews the Conference and writes about his highlights of the year.
The thing that has struck me the most during my first six months in post is the scale of quality work our members are delivering on a daily basis, which keeps our country moving forward.
I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting members of Street Works UK and the wider industry, which has helped me get to grips with the many issues facing the sector. We face unprecedented challenges to help deliver vital infrastructure projects, all while the UK’s road network is under severe pressure.
It is clear to me that to meet these challenges, all street works stakeholders need to work collaboratively and constructively and we have already taken steps to achieve this. Our conference is the perfect place to bring members together to help inform and discuss these developments, ensuring that we are then able to represent the industry at this crucial time.
While change is largely welcomed, we must work with government and our partners to shape what it looks like. This year, Street Works UK has been delighted to work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Joint Authorities Group (JAG) to tackle barriers preventing broadband rollout. This has culminated in a toolkit for local authorities, operators and contractors, designed to showcase good practice. It’s clear to me that if we set aside competing priorities, we can often find a common way forward by working together.
This year’s conference will also be showcasing the very best of collaborative working, as Cadent’s Paul Gerrard will lead a presentation and workshop with Department for Transport’s (DfT) Sally Kendall on the next steps for Street Manager. Paul’s work on secondment at DfT has driven the project and helped to ensure the voice of our members has always been heard. Furthermore, I’m delighted that Chris Train, Chief Executive at Cadent will be our keynote speaker and our conference will also hear from officials at DCMS and DfT, illustrating the rising importance of street works issues and the ability of our organisation to bring people together to address them.
For the first time ever on the same day as our conference, we will also be honouring excellence and innovation with the Street Works UK Awards. This is a great forum to celebrate the achievements of colleagues, and I look forward to learning more about the ways our members have continued to be at the forefront of innovation in the sector.
If you haven’t signed up to attend our Conference and Awards – the must-see attend event in the street works calendar – it’s not too late. For further details, please register at:
I look forward to welcoming you all next week.
Clive Bairsto CBE
Chief Executive, Street Works UK