The Thames Gateway is the largest urban regeneration programme in Western Europe, posing challenges to its government sponsors on an unprecedented scale: quality management vs. the need to deliver new homes quickly; infrastructure requirements vs. an aversion to major public expenditure commitments; effective project management vs. local authority fiefdoms; and accommodating London’s middle class exodus vs. local demand for affordable housing. If this one can’t be done right, what hope is there for any major Government programme? Are politicians and civil servants up to the task? Do they care? Nigel Kersey will discuss these issues. He is Director of the London Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and author of the report ‘Thames Gateway: From Rhetoric to Reality’ .