CPA chairman Bill Bolsover has called for the creation of a single trade association for the entire construction supply chain to give the industry a stronger voice in lobbying government.
Sounding like his old Tarmac boss Neville Simms in the early 1990s, Mr Bolsover said there was a “need for the whole construction industry to have a more effective and co-ordinated voice to government”.
He added: “I am therefore asking you all to play your part in persuading others across the construction industry of the need to pool our resources, our thinking and our influence. To create a platform – a kind of ‘Construction Industry Association’ - a body that government at the highest level will want to engage with because it knows that it is talking to the whole industry and to the people that matter.”
He said: “The UK construction industry’s best chance of succeeding in the future is if we unite together. And my aim before my term as chairman of this association ends is to set the construction industry on this road to a united industry.”
Mr Bolsover, who is also chairman of Aggregate Industries these days, is attempting what other industry leaders have tried and failed to do several times over the years. Attempts to improve construction industry representation often the result in the demise of effective organisations, such as the Building Employers’ Confederation and the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, and their replacement with something less effective, like the Major Contractors Group. The challenge Mr Bolsover faces is that different parts of the construction supply chain often have little in common and have conflicting agendas.
Mr Bolsover addressed this: “Some people across the industry will say we need to find a common agenda. Well perhaps those people haven’t read the association’s latest Construction Forecasts – decline in output this year; even greater decline in 2012; and no start of any recovery until 2014. And it’s hard to find anyone who seriously disagrees with these predictions."