HC Deb 21 June 1995 vol 262 c341
11. Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to minimise procurement disputes in the construction industry. [28037]

Mr. Robert B. Jones

My Department is working with the Construction Industry Board in taking forward the recommendations in Sir Michael Latham's report, "Constructing the Team". The Government are also consulting on legislative proposals arising out of Sir Michael's recommendations, which are designed to address some of the causes of disputes in the industry.

Mr. Luff

Does my hon. Friend understand the concern of construction industry subcontractors such as Metal Constructions Ltd. in my constituency, which wants to see a construction contracts Bill in the next Session of Parliament? What reassurance can he give me to share with such companies, that the Government are committed in principle to legislate on issues identified in the Latham report?

Mr. Jones

I share my hon. Friend's concern for the position of subcontractors as, before entering the House, I spent my working life in the construction industry. I can confirm that the Government have made it clear that, provided there is a consensus in the industry on how to move forward, we will legislate. I am sure that my hon. Friend will understand that I cannot bind the Government over the contents of the Queen's Speech. We are making steady progress, which is due to the hard work of many people in the construction industry and, of course, Sir Michael Latham himself.