This is the time for procrastination: with a general election just weeks away it makes sense to delay any big decisions until you know which way the political wind is blowing. (The same applies if you have a big report into the Iraq War to publish, apparently.)
Maybe that is why the amount of work being put out to tender last month fell by 30%, as Neil Edwards observes on page 14 of this issue. But it doesn’t explain why the value of contracts actually awarded nearly passed the £6bn mark.
There’s certainly still plenty of work out there, and especially, it seems, in the water and
Our Company Watch analysis of the leading water and utilities contractors shows them nearly all to be in rude financial health, hard at work and more profitable than at this time last year.
Two stories in this month’s issue shed some light on why this might be: on page 36 we report on a decision by Dutch concrete drainage manufacturer Kijlstra to open its first UK factory. It’s clearly expecting a sustained workload.
And on page 18 we look at flood defence work being carried out in the Somerset Levels – work that wasn’t even planned this time last year. For those involved in this work, procrastination just wasn’t an option.