Sunday, 22 November, 2020


Jamie Ounan

We believe that the best solutions are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. That is why we prepare organisations for change and help them implement it. We do this through an intimate understanding of their business, a relentless focus on delivery, the use of techniques that challenge the status quo and bridge traditional disciplines. We provide a range of services to public and private organisations including project and programme management, property consultancy, change management and strategy development and strategic advice. Contact us to discuss a project.

Sunday, 22 November, 2021

Diversity, Determination, and Decarbonisation



Thank you very much to my team who recently lead the Sunday Edit takeover.  They are part of the generation mentioned by former President Obama in the recent BBC interview who cannot fathom or tolerate negative judgements or loss of opportunity based on external factors like the colour of your skin, gender, or your background. They teach and inspire us in lockdown and beyond.


More is to be done, so on the subject of learning, Inner Circle’s training programme now encompasses specific elements for the women in our business. We are pleased to have the Olympian and Around the World Sailor, Annie Lush on our team as coach and training partner – her stories and training techniques are mind blowing. Our L&D schemes are all open to clients as part of our partnering proposition, so please get in touch if you wish to join.


We’ve been taking more inspiration from James Lawrence who started off running around the block in his 40s, and has since achieved 50 ironman in 50 states in 50 days. Growing up with little means, he took inspiration from his family’s experience in an economic crash. His case is extreme, but the everyday heroes showing grit, determination, and persistence in seeing something through or helping others can help all of us hold our nerve, maintain our decorum, and keep on delivering the locally-led economic recovery. It is sometimes seen as unhelpful to be optimistic when the effects of the pandemic are felt so hard by so many, but we believe that we can best serve the public sector by focusing on how better things can come from this pandemic.





To that end, the government has put a renewed focus on decarbonisation. The Prime Minster has effectively announced the end of the internal combustion engine. Who knows whether this move is to align with the President-elect or as a result of an epiphany to the effects of climate change or as a politically advantageous moment where job creation, economic policy and public opinion convenient align. Whatever the reason, let’s press on.

  • We keenly await to hear more the Chancellor’s Green Investment Fund tomorrow.
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a further £175m of funding for walking and cycling schemes in England. The funds can be used to deliver ‘School Streets’, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, cycle lanes and improvements for pedestrians.
  • It was London Climate Action Week this past week and the team put on a great programme of events with much material coming out of the sessions.
  • The Inner Circle Team has been helping Birmingham City Council with their Route to Zero road mapping which will be launched in the new year.
  • Having helped Islington’s Bunhill heat recycling scheme to launch in award winning style we are now appointed to help others including Pydar in Cornwall. Find out more about the team’s work right here.


Back to where we began. Universal and comprehensive education on the topic of climate change is essential and there are plenty of books. We’ve been reading What We Need to Do Now for a Zero Carbon Future by Chris Goodhall and Mark Jaccard’s brilliant The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success, which is available as a free e-book here.



Joanna Averley, MHCLG’s Chief Planner, confirmed that the Ministry had received in excess of 10,000 responses to the White Paper consultation and that it would take at least two years to implement changes, given that primary legislation that would be required. Given that scale of response, it will take some months before we see the next layer of detail emerge. With this uncertainty (and recent government resignations) our advice to our local authority partners is to crack on.


Ealing Council has approved of a 50-year, £390m business plan, supported by £99m secured from the GLA in 2018, for its housing development company Broadway Living. Ealing hopes the plans will deliver at least 1,300 affordable homes over the next six years and the business plan outlines how schemes will pay for themselves over the course of the next 50 years.

The Mayor of London has published details of the City Hall’s draft budget for 2021/22, underlining that it will have less money to work with – £38m less, to be exact, from £640m the previous year down to £602m. This has enormous implications for large infrastructure programmes, including cancelation of the Bakerloo Line extension, a vital line for South London. However, it’s not that London has had too much infrastructure investment, but rather other areas have has too little. Let’s keep mass transit projects on the table alongside clear plans for Birmingham, Cornwall, Bristol and elsewhere as part of the next wave of green investment announcements.


In the light of Croydon Council’s bankruptcy announcement, our next edition will be dedicated to Local Government finance.


In the meantime, stay safe and keep other safe too.