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Industry welcomes new Cameron led Tory Government

David Cameron

The new Tory government was urged by industry to move quickly to maintain investment in infrastructure and create long term certainty of future workload.

Infrastructure business leaders signalled thier support for a Conservative administration as the best option for the sector in the latest Infrastructure Intelligence/Deltek Pulse survey released on Wednesday.

Last night's Election victory by the Tories means the party now has five years to demonstrate that the confidence placed in it was well founded.

“It is now vital that we continue with the infrastructure investment that will embed the economic recovery and reposition the UK as the economic power of Europe,” said ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin.

Ogunshain co-chaired the National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum with former Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasurey Danny Alexander over the last five years. Alexander lost his seat to the Scottish National Party last night.

"The industry needs the government to honour the electorate’s wish for political stability and policy continuity to attract investment in much-needed social and economic infrastructure,” Ogunshakin added.

“It is now vital that we continue with the infrastructure investment that will embed the economic recovery and reposition the UK as the economic power of Europe” - Ogunshakin

“Notwithstanding, it is crucial that infrastructure continues to enjoy the cross-party support that has characterised the past five years. It must remain above the fray when progressing with the planning, financing, funding and execution of the current project pipeline contained in the National Infrastructure plan," he said.

“ACE and the wider industry will continue to be a strong advocate for working with the ruling government and opposition, Treasury, Infrastructure UK and other key delivery departments to drive forward investment in infrastructure,” he continued.

“We hope the newly elected government will also be keen to strengthen this relationship."

Ogunshakin’s views were echoed by Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alastair Reisner.

“The last five years have seen a steady push to improve the way infrastructure is managed through visibility of investment and workloads. This has created long term certainty, allowing for investment in skills, equipment and innovation, reducing delivery costs and making savings for the taxpayer,”he said.

“It is now imperative that an incoming government recognises the importance to the market of maintaining long term certainty for, and fully commits to, the existing project pipeline.

“The cloud of uncertainty that precedes a general election and adversely affects our industry has now lifted" Nick Baveystock, ICE.

"We look forward to working with the new Government to build on this and continue to deliver the infrastructure the UK needs for economic and social growth," he said.

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Director General, Nick Baveystock, also supported the arrival of certainty.

“The cloud of uncertainty that precedes a general election and adversely affects our industry has now lifted and we are confident the new government will move swiftly to reassure industry on the post-election outlook. Continuity is the single most important thing for the infrastructure supply chain and investment community'" he said.

“We look forward to working together, building on the relationship established, and the progress made. We must start moving towards a longer-term vision for infrastructure – one which underpins a rebalanced, low carbon economy and is shielded from political short termism.”

AECOM head of government and public John Hicks added: “Although the election result brings great change for the UK, very little has changed for the property and construction sector. The urgent issues around the housing shortage and infrastructure delivery remain.

 “A stable government is good for business. Major infrastructure projects require bold decisions – and a majority government should help deliver this,” he said.

He continued: “After months of political uncertainty, now is the time to deliver on the multi-billion promise of infrastructure spend. The focus must now be on addressing how planning can support housing and on delivering the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP). The NIP provides a vital piece of stability for our industry with its planned, predictable pipeline of projects.

 “Industry must continue with rolled-up sleeves to deliver.”

“The biggest threat to our long-term economic well-being, however, remains the prospect of leaving the EU" EEF chief executive Terry Scuole

Chief executive of manufacturers’ organisation the EEF Terry Scuoler highlighted the need to have ministers in place that understood the value of capital investment.

 “There are many issues to tackle for a new business and industry secretary, which is why we need a really big hitter in that role. He or she will have an in-tray which will include the need to tackle some of the issues which will help Britain embed and build on the recovery. These include reversing the trade deficit, tackling an energy policy which remains a mess and redoubling efforts to deal with a creaking infrastructure by getting on with important projects, especially building a new airport hub," he said.

“The biggest threat to our long-term economic well-being, however, remains the prospect of leaving the EU. Mr Cameron will be under pressure to call a referendum as soon as possible, possibly bringing it to next year," he added.

"The new administration must move quickly and campaign on the back of a strong and positive case for Britain’s continued membership. Any drift or dithering on this issue will mean uncertainty for British businesses, which would be very unhelpful for the long term prospects of the economy.”