July 18, 2016

ICE tells government to hold its nerve and prioritise infrastructure plans

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has appealed to the government to hold its nerve and prioritise driving through the country’s infrastructure plans as it negotiates Britain’s exit from the EU.

According to a high level report from ICE, the government has a good route map for balancing growth in the country, provided it can avoid damaging the economy by reverting to stop-start construction

Adrian Coy, vice president of ICE, and chairman of its ‘State of the Nation: Devolution’ report, said: “Providing we can smoothly replace EU strategic funding for infrastructure, the picture does not need to be gloomy.

“In many ways the European super state did not fit the regional devolution model favoured by government of taking infrastructure development and decision-making to the most appropriate level.”

He said that the government’s effort to rebalance the economy with infrastructure as the key driver and new combined authorities and transport bodies as deliverers, remained the right strategic path.

“It is right that infrastructure investment is the driving force behind government’s plans to rebalance the economy and we hope to see ongoing commitment to the devolution agenda during the EU exit negotiations, so momentum is not lost.

“Looking forwards, combined authorities must now take the helm and deliver these benefits locally. This will be no mean feat, but with the right frameworks, investment and skills in place they can succeed. “

“We would like to see the restrictions on combined authorities accessing additional financing streams lifted, so they can invest in infrastructure – and skills – that can really transform a region.”

Adam Davis, a Partner with Palmers who specialises in construction law, said: “With so much uncertainty post-Brexit, ICE’s sage words of advice will hopefully remind both central and local government departments that there is much work to be done in terms of driving through construction projects which have already been given the green light.”

For information on issues relating to project delivery and disputes please contact Palmers specialist construction team.