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ACE urges members to lobby MPs on construction investment

Leading construction industry business association, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), has urged its member firms to use the power of the pen and write to their local MPs in a bid to prompt the government into supporting the construction industry with increased investment in infrastructure projects and the built and natural environment.

ACE is urging its 800 member firms to contact their local MPs and has also written to the construction minister at the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Ian Pearson MP. Nelson Ogunshakin, ACE’s chief executive, today described the move as “necessary”, and said: “It’s important we’re clear - ACE is not in the frame of mind to stir up or cause trouble - but the consultancy and engineering sector is in great need of the injection of finances it has been promised. For every day that passes, another project gets delayed or more redundancies are announced. It’s time to stop the rot”.

ACE’s letter highlights the fact that construction contributes around £100bn to the UK economy annually and points out that construction activity contracted by 20 per cent during the last quarter of 2008.

ACE has called on the government to:

• Use its influence over banks to ensure private investment in construction resumes;
• Quickly implement necessary reforms to prevent waste and duplication in public procurement in light of the difficulties of the Learning and Skills Council, M60 PFI and the Building Schools for the Future programme, which is two years behind schedule;
• Commit to underwriting capital projects;
• Put in place reforms to planning procedures;
• Ensure delivery agencies carry through their investment programmes.

If all of these points can be accomplished, says Ogunshakin, the road to recovery in the consultancy and engineering sector could become much clearer. “There is no getting away from the fact that some tough questions are being asked of ACE members and consultancy and engineering in general in this current economic climate. ACE sees it as part of its role to work as hard as it can to find the answers to these questions, and the government has to show that it is receptive to any progressive steps to improve the sector’s and the economy’s chances of a quick recovery”.

Email: comms@news.acenet.co.uk


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