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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 6   
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Is indecision putting the
construction industry at risk?

Roger Lindley, Editor

The construction industry and UK manufacturing as a whole has recently won worldwide acclaim for delivery of what some people are saying were ‘the best Olympic Games ever’.

Once the Paralympic Games are over, contractors will once more move back on site to undertake phase II of the legacy plan. This involves removal of temporary structures, internal finishing of the Olympic Village, landscaping, and basically turning the Olympic Park in to the Queen Elizabeth Park for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Having eradicated a blot on the London landscape, a legacy of the investment will inevitably see further expansion along the river banks to the east - a benefit to the contractors and communities.

During the construction phase contractors and suppliers where not allowed to promote their involvement and technical editors were virtually barred from any serious engineering articles on what the contractors were doing.

This seems a little ironic as, according to the national newspapers, some of the organisers have already been asked to help with the Russian Winter Olympics Games and the next Olympics in Brazil, so they benefited from promoting themselves.  I am almost tempted to say 'jobs for the boys'  but I am only going by what I read in the newspapers.

What now for the contractors?

The works associated with the London 2012 Olympics gave a much needed boost to the construction industry at a time when the economic downturn was beginning to hit. Now reality may begin to set in. Where are the next major projects?

The perilous state of the construction as highlighted by the recent Office of National Statistics, which show for the 2nd quarter of 2012, ALL sectors of the construction industry shrunk by 9.5% in a year. Could it be coincidental that major works at the London 2012 Olympic Park were winding down at this time last year?

Government planning is not for any short term commitment although they are announcing schemes to start in several years time, on the assumption that there will be UK contractors to do the work. Could this be one reason why they are talking to China about help with constructing nuclear power stations? British contractors built the existing nuclear power stations that are coming to the end of their life . . . such was the quality of build that there have been no serious accidents. So why cannot they do it again?

London Mayor, Boris Johnson Should Contractors take the initiative?

London Mayor, Boris Johnson (left), considering getting back in to main stream politics, is very much on the side of the construction industry.

He believes that it is British companies, using British suppliers that should be building advanced infrastructure projects. With London developing east as a result of the Olympic Park, all the more reason to consider the development of Boris’s Thames Estuary airport.

 

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Publisher: Roger Lindley
Content compiled and edited by:
Roger Lindley MCIM

Page updated: August 2012

 

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