The general industry consensus on tomorrow's Autumn Statement is that "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects will feature highly.
As picked up in the excellent Small Scale Big Impact report from Balfour Beatty (find out about it by clicking here), these projects should provide an immediate boost to the industry, which will be welcomed at a time when construction output is at it's weakest in four years (click here to read more on ONS report on construction output).
Building Magazine leads today with a call from industry for the government to make faster decisions on infrastructure projects.
Having sat at the bidding end of protracted procurement processes, and seen projects delayed endlessly due to internal wrangling, political interference and under-resourced client teams, I can't agree with this sentiment enough.
Our industry has committed to deliver 50% quicker in line with Construction 2025, but this can only happen if everything in the process speeds up accordingly. The burden to deliver faster, cheaper and more efficiently can not purely rest on industry alone.
I'm undecided on whether devolving decision and making to regional authorities responsible will ultimately make a significant difference.
I've unfortunately not seen much difference in decision making times between national and local government. Often, the cuts to resource, and hence reduction in capability, often hits regional and local bodies the hardest, and therefore devolved decision making has to be accompanied by increased training and funding to ensure the government isn't just passing the buck.
Industry leaders have called for a boost in infrastructure investment, faster decision-making, and more control for regional authorities in rail and road spending ahead of tomorrow’s Autumn Statement. Infrastructure will be a key focus in chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement, with £1.3bn of extra investment in the country’s roads among programmes expected to be announced. Many observers think the government will focus on “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects which can be delivered within the current political cycle.