Les Guest

lesLes Guest helps and advises the utility sector and has specialised in Street Works issues for many years.

Les was previously employed by National Grid for over 30 years and has extensive experience across the gas sector. In recent years he has been the business lead for IS in the procurement, development and implementation of new work and asset systems, advising and supporting the continual enhancement of those systems and exploiting them to improve the performance of the business.

More recently, as Street Works Policy Manager, Les led on the implementation of the Traffic Management Act and prepared the company to be ready for essential changes to ensure National Grid led the way in complying with the new requirements. In addition, and in conjunction with Brian McNamee, Les embarked on a performance improvement programme across the whole of National Grid Gas, ensuring Street Works was understood by all and compliance brought to the highest possible standard, not only enhancing the company’s compliance and reputation, but also minimising unnecessary s74 charges and fixed penalty notices.

Les has also been an active member of the National Joint Utilities Group Ltd (NJUG) for many years representing National Grid. In 2003, when NJUG became a limited company, Les was appointed as a Director. Two years later in 2005, he was appointed as Chairman of NJUG Ltd for a two year tenure and from April 2009, has again been appointed as Chief Executive.

NJUG has carried out some fantastic work ensuring that Legislation, Regulations and Codes of Practice are fair, robust and reasonable and do not place an onerous burden on utilities. NJUG has also challenged Government and Authorities to ensure that any of these essential changes are carried out for the right reasons, and through strong lobbying have ensured that the Impact Assessment process for new regulations is much more robust and thereby meets the government’s aim of better regulation.

Les has led on a number of these campaigns and has represented the utility sector in key meetings with politicians and officials to help them make informed decisions. In addition, Les has been an active member on numerous HAUC (Highway Authority and Utility Committee) working groups at a national level which recommends changes to the Department for Transport and other devolved governments.

Street Works affects all of our lives and adding more legislation is not the only answer. Whilst working hard to ensure the legislation is robust, Les has also promoted other opportunities to improve Street Works and minimise disruption. In particular, Les has led on advanced planning across London and the West Midlands and this is also being developed in the South West, North West and Yorkshire. For the first time, this simple initiative brings together long term plans from utilities to look for opportunities for joint occupation.

Through his position in NJUG, Les has also introduced the NJUG Awards to recognise good practice in Street Works. These new awards were presented to the winners at the NJUG Parliamentary Reception in December 2008 by Transport Minister, Paul Clarke and the second awards in 2009 presented by Transport Minister Sadiq Khan.

Reducing injuries, digging less holes and of course saving money is extremely important and the National Underground assets Group (NUAG) was formed to find a way to record and share data between all those that work in the vicinity of underground assets. With other leaders from industry, Les is on the NUAG Steering Group which brings together a number of initiatives and will culminate in a one stop shop for all to access records in a timely manner.

Throughout his career, Les has made many contacts related to the utility and highways community and Les Guest Associates will use this expertise to meet your needs, whether it is:

· Specific Street Works advice,

· Street Works performance Improvement

· Working to recommend changes to Bills and Acts related to the utility sector and associated lobbying

· Underground Records improvement

· Programme Management and Project Delivery