Register Here for CBH 5

CBH 5 - Mark Farmer and other speakers will address MMC/OSM,, procurement and the skills shortage in the development process.  

Join us 28th September 2020

Councils Building Homes is back for 2020 with our largest event to date. The 5th forum in the series welcomes Mark Farmer, author of the white paper 'Modernise or Die' as one of the keynote speakers. Mark, alongside others will address the current skills shortage by exploring best procurement routes and explore the benefits and challenges associated with MMC/OSM.

Mark Farmer was appointed as the Government’s Champion for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in housebuilding late last year so was the perfect choice to help lead our discussion. Mark’s appointment comes at a turning point for MMC as the government launches its biggest ever investment into an off-site manufacturer to boost production and the UK sets a world record for the tallest modular building. Airey Miller’s own MMC / OSM working group will be present at CBH5 to share their lessons learnt and present real world challenges and solutions from their years of working in the sector.

Rebecca Rees of Trowers and Hamlins will also keynote, Rebecca co-heads the Public Procurement practice.  Named as a 'Leader in the Field for Public Procurement (UK-wide)' by the Chambers and Partners' Guide to the Legal Profession 2018, we look forward to her address on latest best practice.

As with our previous forums we'll break into round table discussions to knowledge share, discuss the speaker's topics and to inform you what we have learned from working closely alongside Local Authorities since the formation of the Councils Building Homes initiative.


We are now taking bookings from Local Authorities and Registered Providers for CBH5 and invitations to our previous guests will be sent out shortly to join us on the 21st April 2020 at the Local Government Association building in Westminster. The forum will likely once again meet capacity so to avoid disappointment please email to book your place. Please feel free to contact us here to discuss CBH membership, sponsorship opportunities, workshops and our online forum.

Why 'Councils Building Homes'?

In response to client feedback and in the absence of any forums targeted at solely supporting Local Authorities to deliver their housing development programmes, Airey Miller has established Councils Building Homes. 

This forum brings together speakers, experts and councils from across the country to share lessons, challenges and successes on how to overcome some of the common barriers to successful programme delivery.  

The Councils Building Homes forum provides Local Authorities with a platform for informal peer to peer learning and crucial knowledge sharing.

Our mission is to support your mission; using best practice to build and deliver more quality affordable homes for councils.

How Airey Miller Supports Local Authorities:

We are a multi-discipline organisation with a long and successful track record delivering a variety of professional services to Public Sector housing clients.


Since 2014 we have utilised the skills within Airey Miller to become an “in-house, out-sourced resource” to Local Authorities and their housing companies. The range of our skill set encompasses the entire development process from strategic planning and viability to project monitoring and asset management. 

We provide resource capacity and capacity building for however long our clients require, helping them to client effectively by properly scoping, employing, managing and obtaining value from the consultants and contractors they require.

Our role is to assist Local Authorities and their housing companies as a critical friend and in a time of skill shortage, to establish a programme to once again enable “Councils Building Homes” for their communities.



  • Client Side Programme & Project Management 

  • Financial Modelling & Viability Appraisals  

  • Commercial & Design Management

  • Capacity Building & Training 

  • Developing Intelligent & Capable Client Functions

  • Information Management, BIM & Document Control

  • AMBespoke Financial Modelling

  • Process Mapping & Full Business Support

  • Risk Management Strategy & Implementation 

  • Principal Designer

  • Project Monitor Services

  • Funding & Grant Acquisition

  • Asset Review & Development Optimisation


To discover how Airey Miller can help support your developments please speak to one of our Senior Partners here.

On Tuesday 2nd July Councils Building Homes forum welcomed the then *Deputy London Mayor for Housing and Residential Development James Murray to address 33 local authority participants of the forum at the LGA office Westminster. 


James Murray offered encouraging words on what the Mayor’s office is doing to support “Affordable” home building and to support councils to meet what are arguably ambitious housing targets.


The Deputy Mayor acknowledged the limitations of the existing model of housebuilding, suggesting that council home building has found its time.  This is evidenced by the variety of models being used and the number of councils across the country taking more of a leading role to bring new homes forward. 


“councils building homes is the right thing for us to be doing”

The support being offered to councils in the form of the lift on the HRA borrowing cap, the Capacity Building Fund and the GLA Building Council Homes Fund will help to create what the Deputy Mayor wants to see as a steady state of much higher home building, so that any successor programmes can go even further.   There was also an acknowledgement that these measures alone will not be sufficient to build the homes needed, so the case  will continue to be made for more support for councils.


The Deputy Mayor, who oversees the Mayor’s £4.8bn affordable homes programme, concluded his speech by offering to support future CBH Forum events where possible, recognising that “councils building homes is the right thing for us to be doing", and we look forward to welcoming him back. 


Building a Safer Future and the 'Golden Thread'


The supporting speakers at Airey Miller’s CBH forum included Bill Flood - Managing Director for Wokingham’s three development companies, joined by Serena Simon and Vikki Everett - Westminster City Council sharing their respective experience of councils as clients, and the importance of councils developing that ‘intelligent client’ function.  Mark London of Devonshires Solicitors gave a truly ‘eye opening’ account of the MHCLG’s response and consultation proposal to the Hackitt Report Building a Safer Future.  Mark also spoke about the need for a change of culture, greater responsibility by Clienting organisations and a requirement to embrace the concept of the ‘Golden Thread’.  All speeches provided an invaluable contribution to the CBH Forum which has become a true knowledge sharing platform for councils.



The keynote speeches were followed by experts across the housing industry invited to chair round tables discussions on procurement issues, taking care with joint ventures deals, how to be a good client and financial models, all topical issues for Councils Building Homes 


Participants of the CBH Forum have been invited by Airey Miller to attend bespoke workshops on topics of their choosing, and most of these have already expressed interest.

* James Murray became MP for Ealing North in the December 2019 general election, leaving his position as Deputy Mayor.

Councils Building Homes Welcomes James Murray

Who attends the Councils Building Homes forums?

The Forum attracts keynote speakers with a proven track record in overcoming common challenges to deliver quality new homes on time and to budget, often by implementing innovative initiatives. If you would like to speak at our next event, or you'd like to suggest somebody you would like to hear from, please contact us here.


The Councils Building Homes forum provides Local Authorities with a platform for informal peer to peer learning and crucial knowledge sharing. Over 50 councils from across the country have visited our forums, each at a unique stage of their housing development programme and each implementing their own particular tools. We have learnt that by open discussions and by inviting industry experts to advise on their specialist skills the forum can help suggest best practise to build more, better quality affordable homes.

Scroll down to see what some of our guests have had to say about their forum experience.


  • Arun District Council 

  • Ashford Borough Council

  • Barnet Homes 

  • Barnsbury 

  • Be First - Keynote Speaker Pat Hayes

  • Brick by Brick 

  • Brighton and Hove City Council

  • Bristol City Council - Keynote Speaker Councillor Paul Smith

  • Broxbourne 

  • Devon County Council

  • Devonshires Solicitors - Speaker Mark London

  • Elmbridge 

  • Greater London Authority - Keynote Speakers James Murray David Lunts & Jamie Ratcliff

  • Hastings Borough Council 

  • Homes England

  • Homes for Lambeth 

  • Homes for Reading 

  • HTA Design 

  • London Borough of Bexley

  • London Borough of Brent 

  • London Borough of Bromley 

  • London Borough of Camden 

  • London Borough of Enfield

  • London Borough of Hackney 

  • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham 

  • London Borough of Haringey 

  • London Borough of Hillingdon

  • London Borough of Lewisham 

  • London Borough of Redbridge 

  • London Borough of Southwark 

  • London Borough of Sutton 

  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets - Keynote Speaker Mark Baigent

  • London Borough of Waltham Forest

  • Maidstone Council 

  • Mid Sussex District Council 

  • Newbridge Advisors 

  • PRD Solutions 

  • Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead 

  • Slough Borough Council 

  • Southend-on-Sea

  • Spellthorne 

  • St Albans City & District Council 

  • Thurrock Council 

  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council 

  • University College London - Keynote Speaker Janice Morphet

  • Westminster City Council - Speakers Vikki Everett & Serena Simon

  • Winchester City Council 

  • Wokingham Housing - Speaker Bill Flood


"I am relatively new in post and found the event both highly informative but also inspiring in terms of achieving housing aspirations and different approaches to doing this. Thank you so much for organising and allowing me to attend."

Kate Lowman

Devon County Council

"I found the forum highly informative, supportive, creative and very worthwhile. The opportunity to discuss common issues with an experienced cohort public and private professionals was refreshing. I will certainly attend again in the future."

Terry Fuller

Homes England

"councils building homes is the right thing for us to be doing."

James Murray

Greater London Authority

"The Councils Building Homes forum is an excellent platform for like-minded organisations to share experiences and to learn from one another. The topics discussed have real relevance and this is welcomed at a time when public sector housing delivery has an increasingly important role to play in the sector."     

Mark Green 

Homes for Reading

'As more and more councils are providing homes through a variety of means, these sessions provide an invaluable source of advice together with experience gained by other local authorities. They are an opportunity to network with other councils and discuss different ways that councils are supporting their housing delivery'


Janice Morphett

University College London

The Councils Building Homes Forum is a knowledge sharing platform, therefore we would love to hear from you which housing challenges you are facing and what topics you would like to be explored, let us know here.

Discussion Topics and Key Challenges


The Councils Building Homes forum explores the emerging topics and key challenges facing our industry. We are also open to any suggestions from our guests as to what they may want to discuss at the next forum. Over the last 12 months we have examined the following:

  •  HRA & General Fund - Delivering New Council Housing  

  • Approach to Governance - Delivery Structures

  • Setting up a Development Company

  • Key Challenges to Commercial Developments

  • HRA & General Fund - Delivering New Council Housing

  • ​Approach to Governance - Delivery Structures

  • Setting up a Development Company



  • Key Challenges to Commercial Developments

  • Procurement and Frameworks

  • Funding and Financial Models

  • Taking Care with Joint Ventures and Package Deals

  • How to be a Good Client   

Speak with our Partners

The Councils Building Homes Forum is a knowledge sharing platform, therefore we would love to hear from you which housing challenges you are facing and what topics you would like to be explored, let us know here.

Councils Building Homes is led by three Senior Partners:


Caroline Pillay  MSc MAPM

Senior Partner

Caroline has a wealth of experience in the delivery of urban regeneration projects, both as a consultant and client side. Her team provide development and project management services and a complete strategic, commercial and technical advisory service. An example of which is one of the largest regeneration projects in London where we are supporting Homes for Lambeth.


Peter Airey  MRICS IMaPS

Managing Partner

With 40 year's experience, Peter provides his knowledge, expertise and support in all areas of our technical and professional activity. He specialises in procurement, where he provides innovation, vision and a pioneering approach. 

John Murray  MRICS

Senior Partner

John has a wealth of knowledge in the residential sector and a particular specialism with developing registered provider clients. He has significant experience co-ordinating regeneration bids and uses his skills to lead the team to successfully broker new opportunities, deliver on joint venture partnerships as well as lead partner with our PRS clients.

Councils Building Homes is sponsored and chaired by Airey Miller in collaboration with 3Fox International.