HCA cut in half as war on quangos continues

Grant Prior 14 years ago

Running costs at the Homes and Communities Agency will be reduced by 50% over the next two years as the body becomes the latest victim of a financial clampdown on quangos.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps confirmed a reduction in its running costs by half saving the taxpayer over £100m by 2014-15.

Key elements of the plans include:

a 50% reduction in HCA running costs from over £80m per year to around £40m per year

reducing the number of HCA Directors from 12 to six, with the potential to reduce this further over time

a reduction from 17 to four core HCA offices

Shapps said £6.5bn will still be invested in housing including over £2bn to make existing social homes decent; £4.5bn to fund new affordable homes, including the new Affordable Rent tenure; and a further £1.4bn invested in communities through the Regional Growth Fund.

He said: “We are committed to building more affordable homes and regenerating local communities. The HCA will play a vital role in delivering this radical agenda, but with a new working ethos of communities in charge, drawing on the expertise that the HCA has to help them achieve their priorities.

“The plans we are announcing today will enable local communities to do just that – while also saving the taxpayer over £100m.

“Like all areas of the public sector, the changes I am announcing today mark the start of a process, not the end. HCA will need to remain flexible to deal with new challenges that will continue to emerge in the coming months and years.”

The HCA acted swiftly to the budget cuts today with a new slimmed-down structure due to come into effect on December 1.

The existing structure of eight regions (excluding London) will be reorganised into five new operating areas of North East and Yorkshire; North West; Midlands; East and South East; and South West.

The HCA’s London region is already in the process of being transferred to the Greater London Authority as part of government plans to move investment decisions to the Mayor.

The five new area executive directors will be:

Executive director, North East and Yorkshire – David Curtis

Executive director, North West – Deborah McLaughlin

Executive director, Midlands – Paul Spooner

Executive director, East and South East – Terry Fuller

Executive director, South West – Colin Molton

David Lunts will continue as executive director, London, until the transfer of the region to the Mayor of London takes place.

David Edwards, currently director for the South East, will leave the organisation in December and Margaret Allen, director for the East Midlands, will report to the chief executive leading a team implementing the organisation’s overall change plan including the transfer of the HCA’s London region and the regulatory functions of the TSA.

The HCA has already cut its corporate directors to two with the recently announced departure of Trevor Beattie.  Richard Hill, currently director of investment and renewal, will now become director of programmes and deputy chief executive; while Richard Ennis will remain as director of finance and corporate services.

Chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “We have quickly moved to reorganise our operating structure to maintain existing strong relationships with local authorities and to align with the emerging LEPs.

“Through this reorganisation we will improve efficiency and remain well placed to support the work of local communities.  Unfortunately, any restructure can result in a loss of good people and I would like to pay tribute to David Edwards who has been an excellent director and a valued colleague. I wish him well for the future.”

The HCA also plans to discuss its proposed new area boundaries with local authorities  to get feedback on the changes.

Further widescale changes to the Agency’s structure below director level will start to be implemented in early December with a formal staff consultation to follow in the new year.

In addition, as part of its efficiency commitment, the Agency will be assessing its office accommodation, maintaining four core offices supported by a series of shared spaces for locally-based staff, probably within other government and public sector buildings.

Latest news

M&E sector leads rise in subcontractor tender activity

Tender activity grows in first quarter but concern about project delays remain
6 hours ago

Funding deal for Salford Michigan Tower job

Vermont Construction to build first 34-storey tower for developer X1
7 hours ago

Court fight continues for specialist hit by CCJ blunder

Screeding contractor still fighting bureaucracy seven months after incorrect filing
6 hours ago

Morgan Sindall bags £60m raft of NHS projects

Mid and South Essex NHS Trust plans six projects
23 hours ago

Peri buys shoring and temporary bridge specialist Mabey Hire

Scaffolding and formwork specialist expands offer
1 day ago

Steel contractor Embrace targets £100m revenue

Growing structural steel specialist appoints COO
7 hours ago

Vinci/McAlpine go-ahead for £312m Midlands hospitals revamp

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust gets full business case approval
1 day ago

Lendlease puts construction arm up for sale

After two decades of global expansion Lendlease retreats to Australia
2 days ago

Mount Anvil seals Isle of Dogs estate rebuild

Firm will build 300 new homes at East London's Tiller Road Estate
1 day ago

Northumbria Uni invites bids for £75m CHASE project

12-storey student block to be demolished for new Centre for Health and Social Equity
1 day ago

Civils firm Akela appoints former Robertson director as MD

Framework expert Robert Ogg to lead growth at Scottish contractor
1 day ago

McLaren to build new Hertfordshire primary school

Contractor to prioritise local suppliers on High Leigh Garden Village site
1 day ago

Developer picked for Stafford town centre regeneration

ION Developments will draw up detailed plans for mixed-use Eastgate scheme
1 day ago

Former Crossrail boss Mark Wild to lead HS2

Wild to bear down on spiralling costs and bring rejigged scheme in on time
3 days ago

Receivers in at £125m Manchester tower developer

Domis Construction walked away from scheme following doubts over funding
4 days ago

Costain A1 £260m dualling job finally gets go-ahead

Ministers sat on planning inspectors report for nearly three years
2 days ago

Election delays decision on Lower Thames Crossing

Planning decision on £1.2bn Luton airport expansion also pushed back six months
2 days ago

Caddick steps-in at former Lane End housing job

Contractor to restart phase of £262m scheme hit by administration
2 days ago

Plans in for Leeds iconic Tetley building revamp

Former brewing giant's HQ to become indoor market and offices
2 days ago

BAM wins first phase of North Devon hospital revamp

New staff accommodation to kick-off hospital redevelopment
2 days ago

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
1 week ago

Strabag UK suffers further big trading loss

Austrian contractor is gearing up for major presence in the UK market
6 days ago

Durham Uni picks UPP for £130m student scheme

Firm will deliver 1,000 self-catered bed spaces
6 days ago

Architects now upbeat after 10-months of work gloom

Larger practices see rising workloads in next three months
6 days ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
7 days ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
1 week ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
1 week ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
1 week ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
1 week ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
1 week ago

Contractor services