In anticipation of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) and Autumn Statement, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, said:
"This review marks an important moment for the engineering sector and the future of British infrastructure more broadly. The Government has made commitments to improve transport links and grow the housing stock. The CSR will be a key signpost to the sector as to whether this promising rhetoric will be matched in spending plans.
"Our sector is hopeful that the CSR will provide greater certainty across a number of crucial projects. Specifically, ACE welcomes the Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative but would like further details on its delivery. Indications that work towards a decision on airport expansion or the provision of further funds for Crossrail 2 would likewise be a useful barometer. Indeed, the Government’s prioritisation of housing, especially in London and the South East, is a welcome move but specific details have been sparse.
"The review also has implications on devolved infrastructure as the Department for Transport (DfT) provides important block grants to more local bodies. Assumed cuts to DfT will likely trickle down to the devolved regions, in particular London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The consequences of cuts to DfT need to be fully understood in the context of modern devolution.
"The Comprehensive Spending Review must deliver certainty and send a clear message that the Government is keen to establish Britain as the most attractive country in the world to invest in infrastructure. Working together with industry in close collaboration through the National Infrastructure Plan, the new National Infrastructure Commission, and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, will ensure the Government’s plans are fully realised.”