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Industry demands bigger say in construction reform

NEWS

GOVERNMENT EFFORTS to reform construction will fail unless the industry is given a bigger say, construction professionals warned this week.

The Department of Trade & Industry is consulting on plans to unify quangos like the Movement for Innovation (M4i) and the Construction Best Practice Programme (CBPP). It published a consultation document two months ago.

But the Construction Industry Council (CIC) said this week that it and other industry representatives must have a role in running the new umbrella body.

CIC chief executive Graham Watts said that the value of the body - to be called Rethinking Construction Ltd - would be lost unless there was 'complete ownership' from industry bodies.

'There is far too little emphasis (in the consultation document) on working through existing client/industry institutions to achieve the objectives. It is the only way to achieve widespread saturation of culture change in such a diverse and complex industry, ' he said.

The CIC wants Rethinking Construction Ltd to be disbanded after two years, leaving a tight timetable to meet its targets. To avoid confusion, it would become the operational arm of the Strategic Forum for Construction, set up by former construction minister Nick Raynsford two months ago under the chairmanship of Sir John Egan. 'The concept of a Strategic Forum for Construction and a quite separate Rethinking Construction Strategy Group is entirely unacceptable and will perpetuate the perception of a confused structure, ' said Watts.

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