welcomed the political stability that the Coalition government had brought since the election and urged the industry to respond positively to the recent cuts in public spending which he said were inevitable given the government’s desire to address the structural deficit.
Even though £25 billion was expected to disappear from public capital spending on construction over the next four years, Bolsover reminded his audience that this was only 6 percent of construction spend, and that most companies in the industry had had to adjust to reductions of much more than this over the last couple of years. He said; ‘Surely we can make up from the private sector far more than we are losing from the public spending, given the many major projects that have to be delivered.’
These projects included, Crossrail and the replacement of Terminal 2 at Heathrow, as well as the eight nuclear power stations that the country needed and £3.5 billion of office development that was expected to be built in London alone.
Bolsover went on to say that the industry supported the government’s desire to rebalance the economy with a greater focus on manufacturing, as well as its commitment to provide a framework for increased investment in the energy efficiency of the existing building stock through the proposed Green Deal.
He praised the progress the industry was making in delivering innovative solutions, and the export opportunities that had arisen because of this, including Pilkington supplying glass for solar panels to Asia and Saint Gobain’s major order for special glass to Qatar.
He also referred to the latest edition of the Association’s Construction Products Innovation and Achievement publication, which he said ‘demonstrated how innovation from the industry has improved health and safety, helped deliver enormous savings in energy and carbon, continued to deliver improvements in site efficiency and led the way in achieving greater resource efficiency.’
In conclusion Bolsover called on the industry with support from the Association to play its part in helping deliver the economic recovery. He said; ‘I want to see the Association more prominent in creating a climate in which society recognises the benefits that will accrue from the improvements in the built environment.’