I had the pleasure of meeting Lord Deighton on Tuesday morning at our Market Insite event in London. He was a guest alongside Simon Rubinsohn, the Chief Economist at the RICS. We presented our 2014 facts and figures to an invited London audience.
It was really interesting to hear Lord Deighton respond to our take on the market – this was our 4th roadshow in the space of a week. Over 400 people came to the events!
Lord Deighton’s next appointment was in Downing Street co-hosting an event to match 50 investors with three regional cities – Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds. He was good enough to suggest that if it were a success then it would be rolled out and could include Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.
I did get an opportunity to ask Lord Deighton about HS2 – he chairs the HS2 Growth Task Force – about HS2.
If you follow the story you probably know that the original proposal was for a station at Toton – wedged between our three East Midlands cities. This may have gone off the boil (my view not Lord Deighton’s – he can’t comment).
My question was ‘how do we ensure that the East Midlands actually gets a station? ‘
And his answer was really interesting – he suggested that the three cities needed to work together and offer a united solution. In other words if the three cities try to steal a march on each other then the Government may see this as ‘too difficult to deal with’. They want us to make it easy for them. They want us to propose a solution which is fully supported by all.
This requires a very brave step. A step away from local interest small minded politics to thinking bigger.
I do wonder if this can be achieved – but it is pretty clear that if we don’t make it easy then it might not happen. Time for some grown-up joined-up talking?