Red tape hampering builders

RED tape and poor procurement practices are “seriously hampering” some contractors from cashing in on the current construction boom, the National Federation of Builders has warned.

RED tape and poor procurement practices are “seriously hampering” some contractors from cashing in on the current construction boom, the National Federation of Builders has warned.

The latest figures from the Department of Trade and Industry reveal that the general UK construction sector in the year to November 2005 grew by 10% compared to 2004, with infrastructure-related orders increasing by 45%.

Much of the future demand in the Eastern region will be driven by schemes such as the Thames Gateway, which is expected to create 150,000 jobs and 200,000 homes over the next 10 years, and other large-scale projects including the expansion of Stansted and Luton Airports and multi-million pound investments by Cambridge and Ipswich Universities.

Nationally, the Government is also investing £42billion between now and 2010 in local authority housing as part of its “Decent Homes Standard”.


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Gary Amer, regional director of the NFB in the East, said contractors were coming under increasing pressure due to tightening regulations.

“Contractors are under increasing pressure and many of them are having their existing markets eroded,” he said.

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“New construction laws, changes to accountancy rules and increasingly complicated health and safety guidelines are adding a great deal of pressure to the Small and Medium Enterprise builder sector.

“When escalating costs, slow activity from some utility companies and poor procurement methods are added in, it's easy to see how their long-term profitability is being affected.”

Without the right practical support, companies don't have sufficient time and expertise to rise above these challenges and tap into growth areas, or expand within their established marketplace, he said.

“The NFB is campaigning extremely hard in these areas in order to make a difference. By doing this, we believe our members are in a strong position to overcome the key obstacles and take advantage of the growing sector now and also in the medium term,” he said.

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