I’m intrigued by the Prime Minister’s launch of a consultation about late payment. I thought a lot of this was raised when the new Construction Act came into force. Hard to believe that any business would agree to a payment schedule where you have wait 120 days to receive payment. I must have a word with my local about this type of terms.

Bad payment just about sums up the unbelievable mess the UK construction industry is in. No wonder you’ve seem some major names pull out of contracting. If you speak to contactors in other countries they can’t believe the way we operate in the UK.

You have clients crying out for innovation and better quality. But nobody seems prepared to pay for it. We’ve debated this point many times and in the last issue we heard that relationships have to be built on trust. I’m not sure I’d fully trust someone who looks at every opportunity to avoid paying me.

This mistrust (possibly misunderstanding) at every tier in the supply chain has to disappear. And it must start with people paying what they owe. I run out of fingers when I count the stories about poor payment.

How interesting it was to see stilts in use on BBC TV’s DIY SOS programme. They’re quite common on domestic sites and tradesmen I’ve spoken to say they are easy and safe but misunderstanding and misuse can restrict use.

To use either stilts or any technique properly it is essential that tradesmen receive proper training. Up and down the supply chain ensuring that jobs are installed correctly and not over engineered to increase costs is critical to developing the trust we all need.

And what welcome news we are getting from both FPDC and AIS. They both want to see a fully carded workforce by 2020. It’s a bold statement and an example of where partnership working can make a difference. Now where have I read that one before?


Adrian JG Marsh