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Conservative majority allays fears of disruption

David Cameron is to form the first fully Conservative government for 18 years with the shock results of yesterday’s general election providing a boost for civils firms that were concerned about the effects of a forecast hung Parliament.

The Conservatives’ shock General Election victory last week provided a boost for civils firms concerned about the effects of the forecast hung Parliament.

The Tories clinched a 12 seat majority enabling them to form a government and avoid the uncertainty that followed the split vote
five years ago.

A poll by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Ceca) last month found that six in 10 firms thought a delay in forming a government this time round could be problematic for the sector.

Ceca chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

Institution of Civil Engineers director general Nick Baveystock said: “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.

“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.”

Nelson Ogunshakin, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), said: “The people of UK have spoken and they have elected a Conservative government. The ACE congratulates them and all the candidates who won their respective seats and now calls on all parties to begin working as soon as possible on governing the country.

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

He added: “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.

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

The election of a Conservative government would appear to save two major road schemes from the scrapheap. Labour sparked outrage with plans to delay the A27 Arundel Bypass and A358 Taunton-to-Southfields dualling schemes for five years if elected.

 

 

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