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Housebuilders call for consistent government message

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has called for a consistent message from the government about safe on-site working practices.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is one of few firms to have closed its sites to protect the spread of coronavirus.

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people may only leave home to exercise once per day, to travel to and from work, to shop for essentials, and to fulfil any medical or care needs.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The Prime Minister’s address was a strong warning to the nation and we now need written guidance about which industries can remain open.

“Industry has been working on safety guidance, which will be updated to reduce all risks but we also need a consistent message across the government.

“At the moment, it’s absolutely not business as usual but we are trying to support our industry to fit within this new and ever changing normality.”

The NFB has welcomed regular engagement from the Government and partnership working with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), especially as many businesses are desperate to keep sites operational with their staff and supply chain, in work.

Nick Sangwin, NFB chair, said: “It has been a very difficult few months and we have been working hard to ensure our members and the wider industry has strong guidance on safe working practices.

“Projects vary in size and complexity and we look to the government for clear guidance on this issue.

“There are also key strategic national assets that are under construction that may fall under the key worker category that needs looking at.

“We would ask the government to consult with the experts such as the NFB to provide assistance on this.”