Now, more than ever, the industry needs to stand up and make a noise about the benefits of infrastructure, says Andy Walker in his latest editor's comment.
In normal times, when the chancellor of the exchequer stands up in parliament and promises an “infrastructure revolution”, the whole of the construction sector would sit up, take notice and get very excited. However, Sajid Javid made his spending review pledge in the middle of the latest Brexit political maelstrom, so we’ll have to see whether his promised spending bonanza actually happens.
More than three years on from the UK’s vote to leave the EU, Brexit continues to dominate politics and affect business confidence. The latest construction figures are dire and there are reports from businesses up and down the country of confidence plummeting, staff lay-offs and workloads drying up. And all this before the further uncertainty of a potential no-deal exit from the EU.
Against such a background it can be hard to be optimistic, but the construction sector by its very nature is optimistic and forward thinking. We build things from scratch where previously there was nothing and we shape the future of our built and natural environment. The industry instinctively knows that it is infrastructure development that will drag the country out of its Brexit malaise and see the economy flourish again.
We need to continuously press the case with politicians - preoccupied though they may be - for good and sustainable infrastructure that will improve the lives of citizens and provide a much-needed shot-in-the-arm boost for our embattled economy.
We might not be living in normal times, but that’s no reason not to stand up and make a positive noise about infrastructure.
Andy Walker is the editor of Infrastructure Intelligence.