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NCE Live News Updates Thursday 10 October 2013: Eight major construction firms forge blacklist compensation plan

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci to establish scheme to compensate victims of blacklisting.

5pm: Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has urged the government to reassess the potential of geothermal energy.

The IME believes the government needs greater awareness of the geothermal energy potential.

“The UK needs to catch up and use its world renowned drilling and geoscience expertise to exploit the potential of geothermal source, to help secure energy supplies and provide UK investment and jobs,” said IMechE head of energy and environment Tim Fox. “Government needs to reassess its approach and stimulate growth in this area so that the industry can begin to fully exploit its potential.”

It has advised that geological data should be made more available to encourage exploration, that geothermal licensing should be introduced and that a treaty should be sought to purchase geothermal sources energy from Iceland.

4.45pm: Amey wins £200M Highways Agency contract

The Highways Agency has awarded Amey a £200M, five year contract to improve and maintain the road network in the East of England.

“The award of Area 8 supports our on-oing strategy to grow our market share in this sector,” The Highways Agency is a key client to Amey and this, along with the recently awarded Area 6 contract, strengthens our platform with the agency, providing us with significant opportunities to further develop this relationship and help move the industry forward.

12pm: The Sharjah Directorate of Public Works and the Sharjah Transport in the United Arab Emirates has awarded Aecom a $4M (£2.5M) contract to develop the Sharjah Transport Masterplan over the next 22 months.

The masterplan will create a preferred transport strategy and schemes for implementation until 2030.

10.46am: There is now one pothole for every mile of road in the UK, according to new report by Britannia Rescue.

The report was compiled by the insurance company after submitting a freedom of information request for the data.

The report has found that:

  • There is now one pothole for every mile of road in Great Britain
  • Councils have paid out a total of £2.5M in compensation to motorists in the past financial year for pothole damage to cars
  • One in ten (9%) people have suffered car damage as a result of poor road surfaces in the past 12 months

“Britain’s pothole epidemic has resulted from years of underinvestment in our roads and has been exacerbated by recent harsh winters. Local authorities face difficult choices in the roads they prioritise for repair and we now have around 200,000 potholes on UK roads,” said Britannia Rescue managing director Peter Horton.

10.30am: Welsh infrastructure is to receive a funding boost of £617.5M

The announcement by finance minister Jane Hutt includes £62M for phase one of the new South East Wales metro system, £40M towards dualling the A465 between Gilwern and Brynmawr, £40M of improvements to the M4 Brynglas Tunnels and £17M for improvements to the A55.

Some £20M is also being allocated to flood and coastal defences.

“In addition to developing a range of innovative financing schemes to boost our capital investment, we will also take every opportunity to use European funding to maximise our investments in essential infrastructure that support growth and jobs across Wales,” said Hutt.

The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) has supported the scheme but has called for further investment in the Welsh transport system.

“Other parts of Wales need joined-up transport too, such as improvements west of Pont Abraham (the end of the M4 motorway) and support for the A470, making sure Wales is connected up and economic growth is across Wales,” said Iestyn Davies from the FSB in Wales.

10am: Eight large construction companies have apologised for using secret blacklist and are working on a compensation plan to benefit those affected.

The blacklist had been compiled by The Consulting Agency (TCA) and was seized by the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2009.

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci have issued an apology for their “involvement with TCA and for the impact it may have had on any individual worker”.

In a joint statement the companies say they will work with unions and individuals to establish an effective means of compensation.

“The companies have joined together to establish The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme.  The scheme is intended to make it as simple as possible for any worker with a legitimate claim to access compensation.

The companies have invited workers’ representatives to enter into a period of engagement to ensure that the proposed terms of the scheme are fair and effective. The group is also engaging with other interested parties.”

The companies have not admitted liability for the creation of the list.


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