The Indepen Forum on 10 July 2018 will cover issues of resilience in the infrastructure of the south east of England and the role investors can play.

There are many good arguments for relying on private investors to fund long-term infrastructure. The policy has worked reasonably well in the UK for the last few decades but of late this appears to be changing with dissatisfaction rising on all sides – government, investors, customer and stakeholders.

There may be fundamental reasons for this - tighter resource and environment constraints as the natural capital on which we depend deteriorates, more demanding customers informed by faster media, and fractious politics that are more polarised.

The problems of addressing future resilience with inherited creaking infrastructure are prevalent in the south east of England – the powerhouse of the UK economy.

Technology development, big data, advancements in engineering and customer demand side response to name a few, all provide tools to address regional resilience.

For larger ticket items - runways, train lines, tube lines, energy network renewal and a reservoir are proposed or under development to improve service, provide for a growing population and rising customer expectations. There will be a big pay-off for getting them better organised and delivered.

A good outcome will depend on much better understanding of future requirements and past problems on both sides as well as better incentives and conduct generally.

We hope the Forum can add value to this process.

Some of the questions we will seek to answer include: 

  • How can investors and government have a better dialogue about the diagnosis and then the cure?
  • Is it government’s job to set levels of resilience? If it is, how can government commit?
  • If not, who should be involved?
  • Do we need to reinvent independent regulation or replace it? If the former how, and if the latter with what?
  • If we reinvent it can we join it up across sectors? Should we have a regulator for the south east?
  • How can we better align incentives in this tricky area of long-term investment?

The discussion will be chaired by Steve Norris, Partner, Norris McDonough LLP, former transport minister and now a member of a number of company boards and a strategic advisor in transport, infrastructure and property. Joining him on the panel will be Simon Cocks, Independent Chair of Water Resources South East; Andrew Rose, Chief Executive of the Global Infrastructure Investor Association, and Robert Hall, Executive Director of Resilience First.

For attendance details please contact Ann Bishop: Ann.Bishop@indepen.uk.com