At the Infrastructure Alliance reception at the Liberal Democrat conference on Sunday evening, Rt Hon Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury made a major announcement that met one of ICE’s long-standing calls to Government.
Alexander announced the formation of a Strategic Engagement Forum to hold government and Whitehall departments to account for delivery of the projects outlined in the National Infrastructure Plan. Speaking at the event in Brighton, he said:
“Infrastructure is essential to the future prosperity of the UK. Engagement with industry is essential and I have been talking to the Infrastructure Alliance (of which ICE is a main member) for some time about how best to do this. I have now set up a Strategic Engagement Forum (SEF), meeting for the first time in a few weeks, to ensure Government and industry work together to deliver the infrastructure we need. “
ICE Director General Nick Baveystock, who will be a future co-chair of the forum commented:
“Establishing the UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Plan was a victory in itself, but the challenge now lies in actually delivering it. Providing potential investors with confidence that the plan is progressing, and quickly identifying and resolving problems will be central to achieving that and ICE has long called for a permanent, independent forum to act as a platform for this dialogue. The creation of the SEF is therefore excellent news and I am confident that this high level, strategic engagement will prove invaluable, particularly with the support of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.”
ICE works in conjunction with the Association for Consulting Engineers (ACE), the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), the Construction Products Association (CPA) as the Infrastructure Alliance to provide a consolidated voice to government on infrastructure issues.