by Paul Winstone, Consultant
Originally published by Henry Stewart Publications
The opinions expressed in this paper may be familiar or controversial to some. They reflect my own personal viewpoint.
I have recently retired after over 50 years as a building surveyor, and this is my last opportunity to pass on some of the lessons that I have learned — some painful — and my aspirations for the future of our profession. I am fortunate to have had a varied career, initially at the long-defunct Greater London Council (GLC), short stints in two London Borough Councils, and latterly 43 years in a major and leading private practice. Although London-centred, my work has been throughout the UK.
My mentor has been Ted Watts, the first building surveyor President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), whom I am proud to say remains a good friend. I have sat on numerous working groups of the RICS and given a great many seminars and papers on diverse topics as varied as defects in buildings, asbestos, the Construction (Design & Management) (CDM) Regulations, and latterly external cladding and issues arising from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
In my latter years, I have specialised as an expert witness, encountering the mistakes of surveyors, architects, and employers. This sounds like a CV … hopefully not an epitaph, but I hope that it gives some credibility to this paper. Most importantly, I have worked through major changes that have significantly affected our profession, some not for the better.