I read with interest your recent article about how the growth of the UK economy is hindered by a shrinking construction industry (“Construction decline holds back UK economy”, 23 April) but I think that it gives the wrong – and worrying – message to our industry

As I have previously suggested, in order to pull itself out of the recession, the construction industry must not just sit back and accept the situation but be active and confront it head-on. 

Successive governments of all persuasions have failed fully to recognise the significant contribution construction makes to the economy but these recent figures from Office for National Statistics demonstrate the impact construction has on our country’s financial position, and it is high time that this is taken on board.  

While the downturn continues, some decisions will be forced by market conditions and are out of our hands. Nevertheless, we need to work with the government to tackle the problem to the best of our abilities. Whether we consider streamlining or alternative markets, such as international expansion, it is only when we take this proactive approach that the construction industry will play a role of improving rather than hampering the UK economy.

Steven Barker, senior partner, Robinson Low Francis