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Ex-Tory minister to chair DfE property arm for £1k-a-day

The education secretary has appointed a former Conservative MP and minister as chair of government property company LocatED.

Former business and housing minister Mark Prisk took up the three-year role at LocatED earlier this month, after getting the nod from Gillian Keegan.

The arms-length body is responsible for buying and managing school sites on behalf of the Department for Education.

It has in recent years also been tasked with investigating how disused school land can be used, and how to decarbonise the school estate.

Prisk, who represented Hertford and Stortford from 2001 to 2019, will earn £1,000 a day for an estimated 25 days a year at LocatED, the DfE said.

He replaces outgoing chair Michael Strong, who has held the post since the organisation’s creation in 2017.

In a press release, LocatED said Prisk “brings a wealth of experience having worked across the real estate, housing and construction markets both in the UK and internationally”.

New chair praises company’s ‘positive impact’

Prisk is a strategic adviser to Handley House, an international group of architects and designers, and is the independent chair of Saltaire Housing Ltd.

He also chairs the Joint Group for Non-Standardised Construction Products “which is seeking to improve the regulation in the construction sector”.

“Since its inception, LocatED has had an incredible, positive impact on the education estate, providing expert property advice to the DfE and educational bodies,” Prisk said.

“As the organisation tackles important challenges such as decarbonising schools, I look forward to leading the board in this exciting time.”

Lara Newman, LocatED’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have Mark join us and look forward to benefitting from his experience and knowledge and to working with him over the coming months and years.

She thanked Strong “for his work over the last seven years as the board chair of LocatED and wish him every success for the future”.

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