_BCC

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by _BCC's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from _BCC is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.bccqs.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | DMA HEALTH & SAFETY
For clients with small budgets and
multiple hazards, this risk management
can lead to something of a challenging
environment.
Changes in the sector
During recent years, the rise of
machinery has gradually changed
access-at-height strategies as well as
built construction forms. In supporting
offices, the welcome shift from paper
to electronic media has hopefully saved
otherwise healthytrees.
The erosion of quality control via
clerk-of-works-type roles and the
move towards design and build
construction has affected the industry,
with no shortage of instances where
cost-cutting has led to questionable
decisions being taken.
Mobile phones, which were used
at first as emergency call devices,
have become a continuous presence,
intensifying work (along with their
email counterparts) and arguably
decreasing the quality and skill of
general communication. The free time
that computers were supposed to
create for us is not yet apparent, and
neither is their application to reduce
travel by remote conferencing.
Looking forward
Our main initiative is to continue
managing health and safety. The
industry is being tasked with more
polarising topics, and these are things
we’ll have to bear in mind as we move
forward – for example, mental health
and nutrition being advocated by some
as the employers’ responsibility and
by others as state interference, which
some regard as loss to capitalism of
community, religion and in some
casesfamily.
We often find that people are being
asked to do more with less, and the
rewards their demanding careers
were supposed to bring are being
swallowed up by increased orders and
workplacestress.
One of our key challenges remains
keeping a healthy work-life balance.
Running a small firm, the hardest part
of this can be balancing enquiries with
forecast workload, and on occasion
explaining to prospective clients that
there is an amount of time which is
not available for sale.
We intend to take enough time to
ensure the buildings we assist with are
safe to build and to maintain, and in
turn that they are built and maintained
in a safe manner. In the process, we
hope that we can protect operatives
and others from the various injuries
that work can cause them and, in
doing so, reduce overall suffering. This,
at root, is what we at DMA Safety are
all about. For as long as we commit
to this ethos and keep on top of all
developments in the industry, I foresee
yet more success to come.
The free time
that computers
were supposed
to create for us
is not yet
apparent, and
neither is their
application to
reduce travel
by remote
conferencing
Health and safety starts in
the design phase
33_BCC |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Managing Director NeilHickey
Wexford County Council
Based in Glasgow, _BCC provides quantity surveying and
project management services to a wide range of clients. It was
founded in 1998 by Neil Hickey, who grew up surrounded
by architectural and interior design books, scale models and
design. His entire family are involved in the arts; his father was
a successful architect and his brother is an architect, while one
of his sisters went on to become a successful model in London
and the other went to art school. Neil, however, started working
in quantity surveying at 16 and went to college to complete a
quantity surveying degree. Following his part-time degree, he spent
a six-year period working in London as a quantity surveyor, then
returned to Glasgow and opened his own practice: _BCC.
The whole ethos of the practice is based around the arts. Strangely, we did not set
up to do this intentionally; however, looking back it seems obvious that this was
the direction the practice would take. We work on high-end design projects that
need an understanding of what the artist is trying to achieve. Architecture and
interior design touch everyone: walking down the street, turning a corner and then
entering a building is a journey through architecture and design. The difficulty in
these industries for the designer is time and money, which are in a constant battle
with design and quality. This is where we fit in.
We understand the client’s budget and time constraints as well as the designer’s
dreams and aspirations. How we connect these aspects is not found in any formula
for others to copy: it lies in our unrivalled passion for all the parties involved. We
search out a successful resolution between parties and manage the process to
FACTS ABOUT
_BCC
»Managing Director: NeilHickey
»Founded in 1998
»Located in Glasgow, Scotland
»Services: Quantity surveying
and project management
»No. of employees: 6
»Have worked on projects in
Australia and the United States
as well as all over the UK
_BCC
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | _BCC
ens ure the desired outcomes. Project
management is not on our top ten
list of enjoyable services; however, we
seem to be pretty good at it and if we
are managing the process it is easier
to keep control of the budget. A lot
of management entails understanding
the people and companies who are
involved, recognising their strengths
and weaknesses and ensuring they
provide what the designer and client
are looking for. Blame culture only ever
arises on a project if this gap is not
being filled.
We also provide standalone quantity
surveying services on other high-end
design projects, mostly customised
house designs, although we have also
worked on Wexford County Council
headquarters. This was designed
and redesigned pre-contract and we
managed to get everything to align,
before the tenders came back on a
31-million-euro budget. The reason
we can deliver something as bespoke
as this project on-budget is because
of our ability to picture what is in the
architect’s mind and what they are
trying to achieve. It won’t all be on
paper and will likely change, but our
ability to understand the process is
where weexcel.
A career with potential
One of our main issues as a company
is an extreme shortage of quantity
surveyors, and every year there are
fewer students undertaking degrees
in quantity surveying. In Scotland,
there are only a few universities that
offer a BSc course and in Glasgow
there is only one. For a profession that
dates back to the 18th century, with a
growing demand for talent and career
potential, it is perplexing to see such
adecline.
It may not be as prestigious as
architecture or design, but there is
huge value in a profession that, despite
technological advances, remains
important and well-paid.
We think it is vital that the government
shines a spotlight on the quantity
surveying field, so young people
heading to university, or those
looking to retrain, are aware of the
role and the scope of jobs available
post-graduation.
Quantity surveying and architecture
students must have a good
understanding of each other’s skills. I
have been a guest lecturer in quantity
surveying for the architecture students
at the Glasgow School of Art for a few
years now and have seen the benefit
this understanding brings to aspiring
architects. It gives them an insight into
the more hands-on, practical approach
that they will encounter at work.
This year, I spoke to a group of
quantity surveying students about
the importance of design and there
was such a positive response as they
had rarely heard a surveyor discuss its
importance. Perhaps highlighting this
importance will result in a resurgence
for the quantity surveying field. For
us, a further complication is that
we as a company are looking to
recruit surveyors who have a passion
for design, and this has proved a
difficulttask.
_BCC office
The whole
basis of the
practice is
based around
the arts
35_BCC |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Australia
In 2007, we were approached by a
group that wanted to build a number
of five-a-side football centres in
Australia. We have history building
the Goals centres in the UK and threw
ourselves passionately into the project.
We had to get to the office at 6am to
be able to communicate on Australian
time but had to first wait for the land
to be found. It became clear that
we would have to find the land and
negotiate the deals, rather than just
being responsible for the build.
I travelled to Australia about three
times a year between 2007 and 2017
and since then two centres have been
built and are running with profit.
Putting this business together on the
other side of the world started with
one phone call, passion, drive and
a willingness to succeed. It’s a great
example that nothing is impossible if
you simply put your mind to it.
Looking ahead
We love what we do and the projects
we work on. Wexford County Council
was so enjoyable and the fees allowed
us to buy our office and refurbish it.
The larger projects are no more
difficult than the smaller projects; there
is just more material to measure.
We can’t understand why and how
other large-scale projects spiral out
of cost control. This is why, on our
projects, we like to get in early and
understand the goals..
We recently worked on a project in
Edinburgh with Lazaro Rosa-Violan,
who runs a Barcelona design practice.
Lazaro is one of the top ten designers in
the world and works all over theglobe.
Lazaro’s office in Barcelona is a
wonder; the practice has grown
organically in an old, large apartment
as the projects have come in.
Lazaro’s practice can decide which
projects they want to work on
now and they can charge fees that
represent their position in the industry.
This has always been what I feel _BCC
can do – we would like to work more
globally on the best design projects.
We love what
we do and the
projects we
work on
»NOTABLE PROJECTS
We have been working with SWG3
for seven years. SWG3 was an arts
centre in a run-down old building in
Finnieston. The building had a leaking
roof, windows sealed with polythene,
no heating, a scrap yard on the ground
floor full of old bikes and a venue on
the first floor for bands, which had no
toilets. The artist studios had plywood
up to about two metres separating the
areas as pods. I met with SWG3 one
cold morning in 2013 on the top floor
of the old warehouse, the meeting taking place around a paraffin heater as they described their goals for the
building. The owner’s enthusiasm was addictive and his passion for what he was doing was unequivocal. He told
me that they had £20,000 in investment, so we agreed upon a plan and got to work.
Both of us wanted the project to happen so much that we just made it happen. The owner’s enthusiasm helped
achieve more funding and we arranged the works in phases, to allow increased revenue to fund the next stages
and this has gone on for about seven years. The venue is now one of the best for music and arts in the UK. It’s
one of my proudest achievements.
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | _BCC
ens ure the desired outcomes. Project
management is not on our top ten
list of enjoyable services; however, we
seem to be pretty good at it and if we
are managing the process it is easier
to keep control of the budget. A lot
of management entails understanding
the people and companies who are
involved, recognising their strengths
and weaknesses and ensuring they
provide what the designer and client
are looking for. Blame culture only ever
arises on a project if this gap is not
being filled.
We also provide standalone quantity
surveying services on other high-end
design projects, mostly customised
house designs, although we have also
worked on Wexford County Council
headquarters. This was designed
and redesigned pre-contract and we
managed to get everything to align,
before the tenders came back on a
31-million-euro budget. The reason
we can deliver something as bespoke
as this project on-budget is because
of our ability to picture what is in the
architect’s mind and what they are
trying to achieve. It won’t all be on
paper and will likely change, but our
ability to understand the process is
where weexcel.
A career with potential
One of our main issues as a company
is an extreme shortage of quantity
surveyors, and every year there are
fewer students undertaking degrees
in quantity surveying. In Scotland,
there are only a few universities that
offer a BSc course and in Glasgow
there is only one. For a profession that
dates back to the 18th century, with a
growing demand for talent and career
potential, it is perplexing to see such
adecline.
It may not be as prestigious as
architecture or design, but there is
huge value in a profession that, despite
technological advances, remains
important and well-paid.
We think it is vital that the government
shines a spotlight on the quantity
surveying field, so young people
heading to university, or those
looking to retrain, are aware of the
role and the scope of jobs available
post-graduation.
Quantity surveying and architecture
students must have a good
understanding of each other’s skills. I
have been a guest lecturer in quantity
surveying for the architecture students
at the Glasgow School of Art for a few
years now and have seen the benefit
this understanding brings to aspiring
architects. It gives them an insight into
the more hands-on, practical approach
that they will encounter at work.
This year, I spoke to a group of
quantity surveying students about
the importance of design and there
was such a positive response as they
had rarely heard a surveyor discuss its
importance. Perhaps highlighting this
importance will result in a resurgence
for the quantity surveying field. For
us, a further complication is that
we as a company are looking to
recruit surveyors who have a passion
for design, and this has proved a
difficulttask.
_BCC office
The whole
basis of the
practice is
based around
the arts
35_BCC |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Australia
In 2007, we were approached by a
group that wanted to build a number
of five-a-side football centres in
Australia. We have history building
the Goals centres in the UK and threw
ourselves passionately into the project.
We had to get to the office at 6am to
be able to communicate on Australian
time but had to first wait for the land
to be found. It became clear that
we would have to find the land and
negotiate the deals, rather than just
being responsible for the build.
I travelled to Australia about three
times a year between 2007 and 2017
and since then two centres have been
built and are running with profit.
Putting this business together on the
other side of the world started with
one phone call, passion, drive and
a willingness to succeed. It’s a great
example that nothing is impossible if
you simply put your mind to it.
Looking ahead
We love what we do and the projects
we work on. Wexford County Council
was so enjoyable and the fees allowed
us to buy our office and refurbish it.
The larger projects are no more
difficult than the smaller projects; there
is just more material to measure.
We can’t understand why and how
other large-scale projects spiral out
of cost control. This is why, on our
projects, we like to get in early and
understand the goals..
We recently worked on a project in
Edinburgh with Lazaro Rosa-Violan,
who runs a Barcelona design practice.
Lazaro is one of the top ten designers in
the world and works all over theglobe.
Lazaro’s office in Barcelona is a
wonder; the practice has grown
organically in an old, large apartment
as the projects have come in.
Lazaro’s practice can decide which
projects they want to work on
now and they can charge fees that
represent their position in the industry.
This has always been what I feel _BCC
can do – we would like to work more
globally on the best design projects.
We love what
we do and the
projects we
work on
»NOTABLE PROJECTS
We have been working with SWG3
for seven years. SWG3 was an arts
centre in a run-down old building in
Finnieston. The building had a leaking
roof, windows sealed with polythene,
no heating, a scrap yard on the ground
floor full of old bikes and a venue on
the first floor for bands, which had no
toilets. The artist studios had plywood
up to about two metres separating the
areas as pods. I met with SWG3 one
cold morning in 2013 on the top floor
of the old warehouse, the meeting taking place around a paraffin heater as they described their goals for the
building. The owner’s enthusiasm was addictive and his passion for what he was doing was unequivocal. He told
me that they had £20,000 in investment, so we agreed upon a plan and got to work.
Both of us wanted the project to happen so much that we just made it happen. The owner’s enthusiasm helped
achieve more funding and we arranged the works in phases, to allow increased revenue to fund the next stages
and this has gone on for about seven years. The venue is now one of the best for music and arts in the UK. It’s
one of my proudest achievements.

www.bccqs.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster