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ACE urges consultants to plead with MPs to back construction

The Association forConsultancy and Engineering (ACE), is urging its members to write to their local MPs, urging them to demand the government backs infrastructure projects and the built and natural environment.

In addition, the ACE has written to the construction minister at the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), Ian Pearson to ask the same.

ACE’s chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin described the move as “necessary”, and said: “It’s important we’re clear - ACE is not in the frame of mind to stir up or cause trouble - but the consultancy and engineering sector is in great need of the injection of finances it has been promised.

“For every day that passes, another project gets delayed or more redundancies are announced. It’s time to stop the rot,” he said.

Ogunshakin’s letter stresses the £100bn contribution construction makes to the UK economy every year, but contracted by 20% during the last quarter of 2008.

ACE wants the government to:

  • Use its influence over banks to ensure private investment in construction resumes;
  • Quickly implement necessary reforms to prevent waste and duplication in public procurement in light of the difficulties of the Learning and Skills Council, M60 PFI and the Building Schools for the Future programme, which is two years behind schedule;
  • Commit to underwriting capital projects;
  • Put in place reforms to planning procedures;
  • Ensure delivery agencies carry through their investment program m es.

Ogunshakin says these measures will start the road to recovery.

“There is no getting away from the fact that some tough questions are being asked of ACE members and consultancy and engineering in general in this current economic climate.

“ACE sees it as part of its role to work as hard as it can to find the answers to these questions, and the government has to show that it is receptive to any progressive steps to improve the sector’s and the economy’s chances of a quick recovery,” he said.

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