UKCW 2018

NEC BIRMINGHAM   09-11 OCTOBER 2018

Elections2017

So uncertainty remains the new normal! We should be used to that by now.

The issues debated in this election campaign were not how we envisaged them just eight weeks ago, partly due to some high profile gaffs and policy alternations, and partly due to the two horrendous and tragic terrorist attacks. This election was meant to be about Brexit, but that was largely side lined, and in the latter stages of the campaign we heard far less on housing, infrastructure and solving the skills shortage.

As we seem to be headed for yet more political uncertainty, so the construction industry will and must defy the odds as it has been doing effectively for the last three years. Construction output in May was higher than many expected and continued a nine month period of growth whilst in a period of incredible uncertainty, so there seems no reason why the election result should make any difference in the short term.

With three big votes in three years the main theme for each has been division. So once the dust has settled and the government gets back to work, it will be important that the regional growth plans such as the Northern Power House and Midlands Engine do not lose impetus.

We know from our General Election survey a few weeks ago that the construction industry will be concerned at the loss of Gavin Barwell as Housing Minister, one of the few certainties from last night. Let's hope we see some swift reassurances here from whoever takes the helm of this vital department for construction.

Longer term, it just means we have to keep banging the drum, even louder, on skills, renewable energy, housing policy, and bold infrastructure planning. UK Construction Week is fast approaching, so we will get on trying to work out which ministers need to hear your voice at the event this October, when we know who they are! What better time and place at the heart of the UK to tell them what you think this industry needs to get on in post Brexit Britain.

 Nathan Garnett, Event Director of UK Construction Week.

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