CEWales E Bulletin February 2021

CEO of CEWales, Cat Griffith-Williams points out that whilst Wales has specific issues across the industry and Government we all need to be more consistent and collaborative. Here she highlights some concerns needing to be addressed

There are pockets of excellence in our industry and there are big areas where we need improvement. Two things leapt out at me these past few weeks – things that are happening elsewhere (perhaps) and should be addressed in Wales.

But NOT yet in Wales……

You can now register to order Coronavirus tests for your employees if you operate in England, which is great news, but we would like to see the same provision in Wales. The majority of construction employees have not stopped being on site since the pandemic and managers would like to give their staff confidence of a safe working environment, which a free coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests for their employees would provide. We would like to see the ability to register to order tests (similar to England) if:

  • a business is registered in Wales that
  • employs 10 people or more
  • who cannot work from home

We understand that many in the industry have taken the initiative and ordered initial test kits for their site workers in Wales but to do this continually over the coming months will have a significant cost especially to our predominance of SME’s in the sector.

But NOT yet in Wales……

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we are delighted to see action being taken with an extra £3.5bn being promised by Ministers to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings over 18m high in England "at no cost to residents". The Westminster Government said the spending funded by the UK-wide tax would be subject to the Barnett Formula meaning we in Wales will also receive extra funding including on building safety, which can be spent as Welsh Government see fit, but once again it will not be reflective of the need.

This move is dubbed as the "largest ever investment" in building safety which again should be guaranteed throughout the UK and one we would like to see Welsh Government acting upon; as well as the removal of all unsafe cladding including those used in lower rise buildings and going further than the Government fund only covering the cladding removal but including works relating to other things found in the review like missing fire cavity barriers.

The problem is a building safety issue not just a cladding issue. It is a symptom of all of the issues that CEWales works to address – poor decision making, bad governance, a lack of joined up thinking, ignorance of what value means, too much emphasis on short term financial gain and no focus on outcomes or the needs of end users.

Now for all that IS happening in Wales……….