Barry Ashmore, construction industry veteran and founder of StreetwiseSubbie.com, was among those invited to give evidence in Parliament this week to a cross party group of MPs regarding unfair payment terms in construction.
Barry proposed the adoption of StreetwiseSubbie.com’s Fair Treatment Charter.
The charter contains 12 simple points that could be introduced quickly and, most importantly to the Government, at virtually no cost. He says the Charter would provide a workable solution to late payment in the UK construction industry.
At the heart of Barry's Charter is the proposal that only standard forms of contract can be used (such as JCT or NEC).
The MPs were seeking ways of tackling payment issues in general across all industry in the UK, but there was a distinct construction flavour with not only Barry but also Dortech Director Steve Sutherland and Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Andrew McNaughton giving evidence.
In his opening statement, Barry encapsulated the reality for the construction industry: “…5,000 specialist contractors have failed since recession. Conversely, during the same period, the profitability of contractors generally has improved.”
He said the Streetwise Subbie Charter was written by members of the construction industry, for members of the construction industry, based on the responses received in Streetwise Subbie's ‘State of Industry Survey’ (which can be downloaded here) and with some of Barry’s own personal experiences of the industry.
Barry will be giving a full report at StreetwiseSubbie.com’s ‘Specialist Contracting in the UK is Broken! – What Can We Do To Fix It?’ conference in Nottingham on 7 June. If you want to be there, book a place now on the Streetwise Subbie website by clicking here.