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Vagdia and Holmes lobbies MPs

Vagdia and Holmes were delighted to represented the local Construction Industry, through FORCE (Forum for Constructing Excellence) and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, championing procurement, skills and the low carbon message when they visited Parliament.

The delegatation included a range of firms within the construction sector, who all shared their views on a range of issues affecting the industry with MPs. 

We met Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones, who is the Prime Minister’s Small Business Ambassador for the Midlands; Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi, a member of Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Select Committee; and Sajid Javid, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

An introduction was given by the British Chambers of Commerce, and then the floor was opened up to discussions between members of the delegation, which included Dhiran Vagdia from Vagdia and Holmes, Chartered Architects.

Dhiran, who had been asked to set the scene before the debate started, said;

"Nearly a fifth of all businesses in the in the UK, are operating in the construction sector.  Our industry has historically contributed 8% towards our GDP, and it employs 10% of the working population.  This is an important sector to support."

He went on;

"However, construction output is projected to grow by less than 1% a year over the five year period to 2017.  It will be 2015 before output growth accelerates to a level that might start to drive employment growth under normal conditions."

Vagdia and Holmes had prepared a summary precis for the Government’s recent Construction Strategy 2025, which was circulated amongst the delegation. 

Dhiran commented;

"We believe that the Strategy sets out some exciting and visionary targets, as it should do.  We are an industry based on action.  We want a talented and diverse workforce.  We want to be known for our low carbon achievements.  We want to drive economic growth.  And we want to lead by example."

The delegation reminded the MPs that the Government'sprocurement system must be SME friendly, we must maintain our commitment to retro-fitting energy inefficient housing stock, develop and invest in our low carbon technologies and insist on new energy efficient housing.

Dhiran summarised;

"Imagine the power of a SME (Small or Medium sized Enterprise), employing skilled apprentices and experienced mentors, designing and constructing world-class built environment solutions irrespective of scale.  Imagine a SME in an industry known internationally for high design quality, low carbon, smart technologies and responsible delivery, through a commitment to the community in all aspects.

Now imagine the affect to our GDP if that SME is not based in this country."

Through the Practice's commitment to FORCE (Forum for Constructing Excellence), the visit will be followed up with a series of actions and further lobby campaigns to ensure that the voice of small business in the Coventry and Warwickshire construction industry is heard.

[Photograph above; Paul Carvell (Vice President, CW Chamber of Commerce), Jon Bass, Angela Tellyn (both CW Chamber of Commerce), Matthew Rhodes (Encraft), Marcus Jones MP, Jeremy Wright MP, Dhiran Vagdia (Vagdia and Holmes, Chartered Architects)]