Building the UK’s Industrial Strategy: A Response
National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) says UK Government must listen to the Utilities Industry if they are to implement an effective modern industrial strategy.
In the Green Paper produced in Jan 2017, Building Our Industrial Strategy, the Government proposes 10 pillars that will drive industrial strategy across the economy which are:
1. Science, research and innovation
4. Business growth and investment
6. Trade and investment
7. Affordable energy
8. Sectoral policies
9. Driving growth across the whole country
10. Creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places
In their official response to the paper, NJUG highlights the “critical” role that the Utilities Industry will play in executing several of these pillars, with a key focus on improving British infrastructure. NJUG, which is the only trade association representing utilities and their contractors on street works issues, calls for the Government to build a successful industrial strategy by taking a “strategic and coherent approach towards street works.”
NJUG raises the pertinent point that while street works are a key enabler of economic growth through infrastructure development, “they also have the potential to be an obstacle or blocker to work if our members’ ability to conduct street works is restricted…Local authorities have all the necessary powers to coordinate, plan and manage utility street works.”
However, it is also the central government and local authorities who have “consistently introduced new policy measures and regulations which increase the cost and compliance burden on utilities companies and contractors…This could undermine progress in delivering towards the Industrial Strategy, particularly pillars 3 and 7.”
The Green Paper says the objective of their modern industrial strategy is to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth” across the UK. NJUG sign off their response by saying that they are “keen to work across government to achieve” an approach to street works which “would provide the best possible opportunity for delivering on the Industrial Strategy’s ambitions while also promoting best practice in street works and reducing disruption for other road users.”
Oxford Plastic Systems Ltd is dedicated to designing new products that assist in reducing disruption while keeping safety standards as an utmost priority. Oxford Plastics works with and designs solutions for key utility companies, helping to facilitate NJUG’s vision for a safe and effectual Utilities Industry.