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INDUSTRY NEWS 5


Government announces measures to remediate “unsafe” cladding


since November 2017.


The June PMI revealed that new orders in the construction sector rose at the fastest pace since May 2017, with residential remaining the best performing area. Commercial building also performed well to boost construction output, expanding at the fastest pace since February 2017. Civil engineering activity only rose slightly in June, with the rate of growth easing to a three-month low. The PMI reported positive signs for


growth in the near-term, signalled by the strong rise in new orders and the largest upturn in input buying for two and a half years.


Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, commented on the news: “With the fastest rise in new orders since May 2017, it appears the brakes are off for the construc- tion sector.


Measures to speed up action on the removal of unsafe cladding on private high-rise residential properties have been announced by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire.


Government monthly data has indicated that 297 private sector residential high-rises currently have unsafe cladding, with a “small additional number” expected to be confirmed. So far, remediation work has begun on


21 of these buildings, of which four have been completed.


Intending to speed up work on this, the Government have announced a new taskforce to oversee a national programme of remediation in the private sector, to be chaired by Ministers. Members will include the Local Government Association, National Fire Chiefs Council, London Councils, local authorities and industry representatives. News of an inspection team backed by


Government funding, to consist of experts from environmental health, building control and fire inspection to support individual councils, followed the release. Letters are also to be sent to all relevant private sector building owners to remind them of their responsibility to make their buildings safe.


The Secretary of State commented: “The safety of residents is my main priority


and fire and rescue services are working with building owners to ensure residents are safe now. But I want to see swifter progress in removing unsafe cladding which is why I have announced further action to support councils as they work with owners of high-rise blocks.” Brokenshire added: “I have been clear that leaseholders should be protected from unfair costs and we expect the industry to do the right thing. If they don’t, I will continue to explore other routes and I am not ruling anything out.”


“Despite being hampered by economic uncertainty, firms reported an improved pipeline of work as clients committed to projects and hesitancy was swept away. “Input prices were a challenge with the biggest inflationary rise since September 2017, so the pressure was on to build up stocks of materials rising in price and becoming more scarce. This resulted in a heavy impact on suppliers unable to keep pace as deliveries became laboured and purchasing managers were at their busiest for two and a half years.”


Kit Malthouse appointed to Housing after shock Cabinet resignations


PMI shows June construction output growth hitting seven- month high


The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.1 in June, up from 52.5 in May, the sharpest overall rise in construction output


Kit Malthouse has been appointed as Housing Minister, replacing Dominic Raab who was announced as Brexit Secretary following the resignation of David Davis. Malthouse, the MP for North West Hampshire, was first elected in 2015, and has recently served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions. Commentators have expressed concern regarding stability in the housing sector, with Malthouse being the eighth Housing Minister since 2010. Davis resigned from his post in the wake


of Theresa May’s ‘softer’ Brexit plan, followed shortly afterwards by Boris Johnson who left his role as Foreign Secretary.


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