The Government has failed to hit five main targets in its spending programme, according to a Construction Products Associations report
The report, which tracks the delivery of government's spending promises on capital projects in the health, housing, education and infrastructure sectors, highlighted missed targets such as:
  • Making 90% of the health estate compliant with health and safety rules by March 2002. The target has been missed and no further information is available.

  • Reducing road congestion by 2010 – a target ministers have admitted is now unlikely to be met.

  • Implementing a hospital building programme: work commenced on only 19 of the 31 hospitals scheduled to start in the first two years, 2001–03.

  • Reducing the disrepair on the NHS Estate by 25% by 2004. Most trusts will struggle to meet this target, according to the Audit Commission.

  • Improving 1000 railway stations by 2004, when only 68 stations are forecast to have minor improvements by that date.

The report also awarded the five main sectors of public construction work star ratings of between one and five, but only the school- and road-building sectors came away with any credit (see "CPA's sector spend ratings").

The report warned that the government was in danger of losing the confidence of the industry and the public by not meeting its spending targets.

CPA chief executive Michael Ankers called for the government to continue investing in schools, hospitals and infrastructure at its spending review next year. He said: "Funding must be made available in the spending review in 2004 to ensure that the targets that the government itself has set are met."

  • Construction workloads were up in the third quarter of 2003 thanks to rising housebuilding and infrastructure activity, according to an RICS survey published this week. A balance of 13% of surveyors across the UK reported rising activity in the period, up from 10% in the same quarter last year.

    The survey found that Wales, the Midlands and the east of England saw the biggest increase in activity. But the authors claimed that surveyors' profits were unlikely rise in the next quarter because of continuing skills shortages.