As construction waits for clarification on Brexit, infrastructure and possible action on the housing white paper, Building looks back to a clearer time when the construction minister Nick Raynsford saw fit to talk directly to the industry

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As construction waits for clarification on Brexit, infrastructure and possible action on the housing white paper, this week’s coverage shows there are fears the political party conference season will bring no answers. Building looks back to a clearer time when the construction minister Nick Raynsford saw fit to talk directly to the industry, writes Helen Burch.

Raynsford was an old friend of the magazine – a former columnist – and “industry leaders were delighted” the housing specialist continued with the role he had shadowed. 

However, Raynsford had to spend a lot of the interview defending deputy prime minister John Prescott, who had a slightly less loving relationship with the sector. Prescott’s comments questioning the competence of the British construction industry after a major Millennium Dome contract went abroad “had riled industry leaders”.

“Maybe John puts it in a slightly more abrasive way than others, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Raynsford. “There are people who’d like a nice cosy relationship where government pats everyone on the back. I think that’s the slippery path to extinction.” We suspect anybody who had their back cosily patted by Prescott would have ended up with rather large bruises.

To read the full article from 12 September 1997, click on the PDF below.

 

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