What effect will the UK Riots have on the construction industry?

This week has seen chaos come to the streets of London and several UK cities as rioters and looters run amok and send large parts of the UK into lawlessness.

Thousands of youths have burned, looted and vandalised their way through London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Nottingham – projecting a negative image of the UK to billions of people around the world.

The cost of these riots are bound to spiral into millions of pounds and have left many people with no homes or no business – all to cause anarchy on the streets of the UK and to get their hands on a new pair of trainers, TV or mobile phone.

The government yesterday announced they will help riot victims rebuild their homes and businesses, with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and the Mayor of London getting involved.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a £50m fund to make major improvements to the capital’s town centres and high streets damaged by the recent riots across the capital.

This fund will go towards rebuilding businesses damaged and destroyed by the riots and the work will be completed by local contractors.

Mr Johnson said: “We have always recognised the importance of improving London’s town centres and clearly after the destruction caused by the recent events across the city this is a bigger challenge than ever.

“That is why I am allocating £50 million to ensure that these areas are regenerated quickly and transformed into safe, attractive, vibrant and economically successful places to live, work and invest in.

Eric Pickles also announced that £30 million of government money will go to help those in need. £20 million of this will be in the form of a high street support scheme, with the remaining £10 million to be used as a recovery fund to help clean up the streets and damaged buildings.

As the Riots seem to have died down as the police step in and arrest those responsible, what affect have the riots had on the construction industry?

It could be said to have an indirect effect, particularly as foreign companies or overseas developers may be reluctant to invest in London or other UK cities and may choose to take their construction projects elsewhere, in the fear of being vandalised by out-of-control youths.

The other factor to consider is the security of building sites. There were stories of youths stealing tools from construction sites in Liverpool to use as offensive weapons. Paul Martin, contract manager for Linbrook, said in a statement earlier this week:

“It’s unprecedented the way this has spread. We’re doing what needs to be done by four o’clock and taking plant and materials off-site so they aren’t endangered.”

Construction economist Brian Green made a good point this week, saying whether the construction industry should beef up security in case any similar event happens again. He said: “The bigger question is whether contractors have to change their security practice if this type of behaviour becomes widespread in the long term.”

Hopefully these riots are a one-time thing, and the policing will be improved to allow them the proper number of officers so they can stamp out the trouble and stop the needless violence and looting quickly.

What are your thoughts about the issue of the UK riots in London, Manchester and Birmingham etc.? Do you think the construction industry will pay the price of thousands of out-of-control youths? Let us know what you think by commenting below…

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Posted on August 12, 2011, in construction jobs, construction news, Electrical News, electrician jobs, plumbing jobs, Plumbing News, t4ts, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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