Government minister Baroness Vadera has apparently.spotted ‘green shoots’, but what about CM readers?
The short answer is no. I’m looking for green shoots all the time, but always seeing the opposite. We carry out refurbishment jobs and have had three large jobs postponed by clients affected by the credit crunch. Enquiries for new work in the new year are massively down on 2008 when we had so many we were even turning down jobs. Enquiries are still trickling through, though, so you could call that green shoots. I’ve also heard that some local authorities and housing associations are tendering new work.
Phillip Hall, MD, Hall Construction, MCIOB
If there are green shoots it’s news to me, all I can see is a graveyard. We’ve had major clients putting jobs on hold left, right and centre and we’re facing much longer payment periods. We’re a small fish in a very big pond and tend to get involved at the tail end of projects, so when those at the top get squeezed we feel it worst. We are still relatively busy, but jobs we were anticipating tendering for have been put on hold. I’m hoping the government’s investment in infrastructure will start filtering through soon.
Greg Verhoef, director, stonework specialist Szerelmey
Stats show 54% of contractors report good or high levels of awareness and understanding of sustainability issues
Source: Bbehind the green facade, Taylor Wessing
I wouldn’t say we’re seeing any signs of recovery, I’m bracing myself for stability or worse. Public sector work is also very slow in coming through - it seems like the government is constantly making promises, but the work is slow to emerge. I had hoped we would be reaping the benefits of the government bailout by the middle of 2009, but I won’t be holding my breath, we’re really in a mystery zone right now. The contractor tendering market appears to be slashing and burning and I really hope we don’t see the majority of projects being won on a lowest cost basis.
Bob Fry, managing director, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects
The social housing sector is responding with various measures to counter the negative effects of the credit crunch but it’s too early to reach any firm conclusions. Measures range from increases in grant rates for schemes threatened by viability, to unprecedented steps of cash-rich housing associations preparing to provide financial help to others who are struggling.
Farooq Mohammed, new business director, Kier Building Maintenance/Affordable Housing