The Builders Merchants Federation has welcomed the news that the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) is to set up a Construction Council.
However, BMF managing director Chris Pateman stresses the importance of the new body acting for the whole of the construction industry.
“It’s important, though, that this new voice should take the opportunity to act as a focus for the whole construction industry,” he says. “Too often we find government and the press think of ‘construction’ in terms purely of tower cranes, office blocks and building sites.
“We are already talking to the CBI about this new opportunity, and we will be doing everything we can to encourage a definition which also understands the importance of vehicle movements, stock-holding, bulk-breaking and trade credit — in other words, one which embraces the input of the merchant trade as a vital element of the greater industry.”
The Council will represent contractors, house builders, civil engineers, component and product manufacturers, designers, builders merchants and support services. It will start work in September and be chaired by John McDonough, chief executive of Carillion plc.
The plan is to work closely with the major construction trade bodies strengthening their efforts to represent the construction industry on a range of issues from the economy to land use planning and climate change.
The Construction Council will provide a group within CBI to inform about issues affecting the construction industry and ensure that the industry’s issues are better reflected in CBI policy statements.
The UK construction industry consists of over 250,000 firms, employing 2.1 million and accounts for almost 9% of GDP.