Blessing Danha was speaking at Enterprise Forum’s Beyond Brexit Business Conference this week.
The UK government needs to think in longer than five-year cycles to ensure that the country gets the infrastructure it needs, an ICE representative has told business leaders and parliamentarians.
Blessing Danha is an ICE Council Member and works in KPMG’s Infrastructure Advisory Group, which provides advice and support to clients on the development and delivery of infrastructure assets. She also sits on KPMG’s Global Infrastructure Strategy Board.
She made her comments while sitting on a panel, ‘Bringing Together the United Kingdom’, at the Enterprise Forum’s Beyond Brexit Business Conference in London this week.
Connecting communities goes beyond Brexit
In order to connect communities, “it goes beyond Brexit, it’s about infrastructure for the nation,” Danha told the audience.
“When people feel connected, through ferry, rail, roads, AV [autonomous vehicles], and all other transport networks, everyone will feel like they belong to one nation. They will get to where they need to go, when they need to.”
Also on the panel were Dr Syed Kamall, former Conservative MEP, and Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel Group.
The panellists all agreed that the UK needs a pipeline that’s not affected by political cycles, as making infrastructure a political issue doesn’t help the maintenance of existing infrastructure and the building of new infrastructure needed between now and 2050. ICE assesses this in more detail in its National Needs Assessment.
Government needs to address the delayed National Infrastructure Strategy
Having a well-planned infrastructure pipeline will also allow the government to make sure that people with the right skills are provided to achieve it.
One way of doing this is for the government to publish its now-delayed National Infrastructure Strategy in response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s Assessment.
ICE is publishing a report on ‘What should be in the National Infrastructure Strategy?’ on 22 July, which will also set out a joined-up plan for the UK’s core economic infrastructure sectors.
The conference was attended by over 250 people and other speakers on panels included the Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade.