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Tories risk taking country down with them, says Scape chief executive

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive.

The chief executive of public sector procurement organisation, Scape Group, has described the Conservative party as “descending down a path of self-destruction” and “being at risk of taking the country down with them.”

Mark Robinson’s comments followed the publication of today’s ONS construction ouput figures, that highlighted a fall in new construction work in April and output being propped up by private sector housing work.

  • Construction output increased by 0.4% in the three-month on three-month all work series in April 2019; this increase was driven predominately by the all repair and maintenance series, which grew by 1.0%.
  • The increase in all repair and maintenance in the three-month on three-month series in April 2019 was driven by non-housing repair and maintenance, which increased by 2.3%.
  • New work experienced minimal growth, increasing by 0.1% in the three months to April 2019, with the growth in infrastructure (3.6%) and public new housing (4.7%) being counterbalanced by falls in private commercial new work (negative 2.2%) and public other new work (negative 2.3%).
  • Construction output decreased by 0.4% in the month-on-month all work series in April 2019; this was due to a 2.1% fall in repair and maintenance, which was offset with growth of 0.6% in new work.
  • New orders grew 9.6% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019 against the previous quarter; this growth was driven by a 16.1% increase in other new work, offset slightly with a fall of 4.6% in housing new work.

“While it is very promising to see that all new work increased by £153m on the quarter, activity began to falter again in April. And now we are continuing to rely on private housing to prop output up,” said Robinson. In order to avoid the slump turning into a prolonged trend, the industry needs direction, but it’s looking unlikely that the government will be getting its act together anytime soon. Farcical political party infighting is continuing to derail not only progress on Brexit, but everything else on the political agenda. 

“And over the past couple of days, it has become very apparent that the Conservative party is descending down a path of self-destruction and are at risk of taking the country down with them. It is important we remain resilient in the face of adversity, and construction firms should press ahead with jobs where they can. However, in order for the country to move forward, we do need clarity not only on big-ticket infrastructure decisions but also on the future of local authority funding so our towns can continue running efficiently and effectively. Internal affairs should not interfere with the upcoming spending review," Robinson said.

Click here for further information on the ONS report.