We need stability, consistency and certainty from next govt – Balfour Beatty CEO


Industry leaders have issued a series of demands from the next UK Government in the way it will do business and manage the public purse when it assumes power.  

They called for “stability, consistency and certainty” to ensure the health and longevity of the British economy and contractor viability, as political leaders set out their stalls ahead of a General Election on 4 July.  

Balfour Beatty Group chief executive, Leo Quinn. Credit: Balfour Beatty.

Balfour Beatty group chief executive, Leo Quinn, welcomed the prospect of a general election, saying the next administration will have the chance to provide a clearer vision of the future so the construction industry can ready itself for business under a new regime.  

He also asked political leaders to “commit, commit, commit” to supporting the Infrastructure sector, by providing assurance about their plans as well as a firm stance on delivery, as billions of pounds is funnelled into the UK’s biggest projects. 

Quinn said: “It’s good news that we have an election date. This election is an opportunity to provide a clear map of the future for our country and allow business and industry to plan and respond accordingly. What is needed is stability, consistency, and certainty. 

“With the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) seeing planned and projected investment of £775 billion in the Infrastructure sector – specifically in the Energy and Transport sectors – my ask of future government policy is simple: commit, commit, commit.  

“It is a sure-fire way to boost growth and future-proof our economy, and the industry is more than ready to deliver.” 

Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) director of operations, Marie-Claude Hemming, echoed Quinn’s call to back the Infrastructure sector and major project delivery, demanding a full commitment from the next administration within its first one hundred days of office, to ensure a stronger economy and job creation. 

Hemming said: “Today’s news will allow all parties to focus on the coming election campaign but must also sound the starting gun on a new focus on the UK’s infrastructure needs, allowing all parties to set out how they plan to deliver a stronger economy for the future. 

“CECA has been campaigning on our policy recommendations since the start of this year and we stand ready to work with whichever party or parties form the next government to ensure that an ambitious agenda to deliver world-class infrastructure is rolled out. 

“In particular, we would like to see the next administration make clear-cut commitments to infrastructure delivery within its first one hundred days of office, as communities in all parts of the country are relying on the economic growth and job creation that only investment in infrastructure can guarantee. 

“Recent years have seen unprecedented shocks to the UK economy, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis prompted by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. 

“That’s why it is more important than ever that we take the UK’s infrastructure needs out of party-political considerations, and work to ensure the requirements of businesses and communities will be met irrespective of the makeup of the next UK government. 

“CECA stands ready to work with all parties to ensure that our nation’s infrastructure needs are dispassionately assessed, and to empower our world-class civil engineering contractors to get spades in the ground on infrastructure projects across the UK. 

“It is only by backing infrastructure delivery, and our infrastructure sector, that the next government will be able to build a stronger economy and unlock the potential of our communities and businesses across the country.”  

While the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Muyiwa Oki, called on political leaders to deliver “bold and comprehensive” policies on Sustainability imperatives, by drawing on the expertise of the Built Environment sector, to ensure a fresh perspective on retrofitting the nation’s social housing stock. 

Oki said: “This is a pivotal moment for our country as we move into a General Election. As our manifesto makes clear, we urgently need decisive action to deliver a built environment that meets people’s needs, both now and in the future.   

“Policies that usher in the next generation of social housing and establish a National Retrofit Strategy must be at the heart of this election campaign and delivered by the next government. The clock is ticking – the time to act is now.   

“All political parties must set out bold and comprehensive plans to deliver a sustainable built environment, using architects’ expertise, that strengthen communities and enrich people’s lives.”   

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