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A tribute to Lord Kerslake

It was with deep sadness that I learnt over the weekend of the death of Lord Kerslake. Bob was a real supporter of Core Cities UK and the loss will be felt by many of us.

I had the privilege of working for and with Bob over a number of years. I remember from my first meetings with him when he was in charge of the Homes and Communities Agency how he exuded warmth and wisdom. Through our interactions in his time leading the Civil Service, particularly during the Coalition period, I was a direct beneficiary of this, being inspired by his leadership. In his elevation to the House of Lords, he continued his commitment to public service and I welcomed the chance to discuss the work he was championing, whether on the Civic Universities Commission or on UK 2070.

Bob was a great advocate of our cities, particularly Sheffield, and his commitment to devolution and a respect for local government has been instrumental in the progress that has been made in the last decade. Bob was also a firm believer in the civil service values - honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity - vocally defending them when they came under attack and willing to admit when the civil service fell short of where it needed to be.

We and many others in the urban policy community will miss Bob greatly. However, when we launch our UK Urban Futures Commission with the RSA in September, fittingly in Sheffield, we will do so standing on the shoulder of a giant.

Rest in peace SBK.


Director, Core Cities UK