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A thank you note to all the temps and consultants along the way

by on May 25, 2010

You will all be aware of the recent public commitment to cut back on the use of temps and consultants to support Government work. We have been anticipating this development and for some time have been winding down our supporting resources.

In a few days time our last remaining “temps” will leave us and as they do I thought I would reflect for a moment on the contribution they and their predecessors have made to the Portals success.

When I joined the Portal back in 2002 we were a small team, most of us joined from the private sector, whilst a small number of existing civil servants showed us the ropes.

At that time there was a moratorium on permanent recruitment and much to my annoyance we employed a number of consultants to form the beginnings of what became the RAMs team. Those expensive guys shared their experience freely and imparted a huge amount of knowledge that helped drive the Portal for years to come.

Later on we began to employ technical specialists in testing, development, support and project management, we even employed a former UN peacekeeper whose knowledge of excell and scenario modelling bordered on ninja mastery.

Some temps went on to join the Portal permanently whilst others came, contributed and moved on. Almost without exception they left us better off, more secure and fitter than we were. For our part they were welcomed into the team as equals which I believe resulted in better outcomes for the business and a more rewarding working environment for them.

So Sarah, Rosie, Dave, Julia, Richard, Tom, Jason, Rory, Ken, Sean, Shirley and all the others that played their part thank you.

And finally a special mention for John Adler.  John has contributed to the technical development of the Portal for longer than any of us ever imagined and no one has contributed more to the development of 1App. His special approach to managing risk, his absolute dedication to the job in hand and his personal warmth have given John a unique place in our story.

I am not bemoaning the new circumstances, I completely agree that we need to pare back, I simply wanted to take a moment to thank all of those that have helped us along the way.

Huge Thanks


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  1. David Rosemont permalink

    Over the last 15 years or so the planning “system” has become a jobs creation scheme for those who love telling others how to “do it” without generally having the slightest idea how to actually do it themselves and probably without the slightest chance of employment outside the public sector, even under the guise of consultants. We don’t need “design officers” without design qualifications. We don’t need ever longer lists of requirements before applications are registered (and then the papers are not read or ignored). If we have consulations let them be equable. Has the world become a better place- no! Has it become a more expensive place- yes! Can the UK afford so many levels of interference and added cost-no! The country needs massive investment, confidence, new homes, and better buildings. Maybe all of these will be more possible now. The wringing of hands some predicted years ago is finally taking place. You just can’t do anything without a willing and confident private sector!

  2. I am a retired Lawyer who specialized in Town and Country Planning matters for over 25 years. In essence Town and Country Planners hold the key to economic growth and this Country will never get back on its feet until there is a major shake up in the Planning System with an emphasis on permitting projects which generate wealth and meet the needs of ordinary people. In particular those living in rural England. We have an ageing population who need affordable housing and and the private sector can also deliver. In my experience Planning Officers do seem to dream up reasons to object at times and force applicants into long drawn out Appeals which either lead to some kind of agreement being reached or quiet often success. This procedure stifles economic growth and employment in many cases. Therefore the impact on the economy and employment should be key factors in deciding planning matters and should not only be dealt with under Policy alone as we do live in a fast changing society and some policies soon become outdated.

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