Membership of the FMB means you have a voice in Government. Our team is speaking up for Master Builders on the issues that matter the most to you. Here’s some of what we have been up to in recent months.
The Queen’s Speech 2022: What it means for Builders
Opening Parliament’s new session, the Government’s most recent Queen’s Speech set out their ambitions for the months and years ahead. What was of most relevance to small and medium-sized builders?
- The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill: to reduce geographical inequality and reform the planning system.
- The Higher Education Bill: to introduce a Lifelong Loan Entitlement (to fund all adults pursuing technical qualifications) and improve the education and skills system more broadly.
- The Procurement Bill: to make public procurement more accessible to SMEs and ensure greater prompt payments for those in the supply chain.
- The Renters Reform Bill: to enforce landlords to undertake domestic upgrades to ensure their properties are ‘safe and warm’.
We remain disappointed that there’s still no credible plan to decarbonise the nation’s homes and are continuing to push for a comprehensive National Retrofit Strategy. You can read our full response to the 2022 Queen’s Speech here.
Election in Northern Ireland
For members in Northern Ireland, a recently held election means that change is underway with the Northern Ireland Executive. Issues with the protocol aside, take a look at our FMB Northern Ireland Director, Gavin’s, Programme for Government for the incoming Northern Ireland Executive.
Changes to building regulations
- Building regulations are changing in England from 15 June 2022, take a look at our members’ guide to these changes for more information.
- After hearing that many members were poorly informed of these changes by government, we used our most recent State of Trade Survey to reveal that 52% of small, local builders in England are either not prepared for or not aware of building regulation changes that are coming into force in June.
- To combat this lack of information from government, we hosted our own webinar on the changes that members can view on-demand here and have also arranged a further webinar with representatives from government later this month, which you can sign up for here.
Reversing the decline of the SME House Builder
- In response to the newly announced Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, we made clear that serious focus must be given to reversing the decades-long decline of SME house builders, noting that greater community involvement and extra environmental standards should not cause further reductions in the numbers of smaller house builders.
- We responded to the Nature Recovery Green Paper, relating to protected sites and species, and highlighted issues around nutrient neutrality and the impact that reforms could have on smaller house builders’ already tight profit margins.
- Our FMB Scotland Director, Gordon, presented at a Scotland Housing Policy Conference alongside Brian Whittle MSP and, Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Shona Robison MSP. Gordon spoke to the challenges SME house builders were facing, including highlighting current material shortages.
Focusing on a long-term plan to tackle climate change
- In the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, a 0% VAT rate on all energy efficient home improvements was introduced; something the FMB has campaigned on extensively in recent years. For more information, visit our break-down of the products and processes covered.
- This year’s FMB London Business Forum focused on supporting SME builders into retrofit. Nik Nelberg, of FMB member company Earl and Calam Design & Build Ltd, presented on his experience of becoming involved with retrofit, while Russell Smith, of Parity Projects, spoke to the opportunities for smaller builders looking to enter the retrofit market.
- In Scotland, Gordon recently gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Energy and Transport Committee on the scale of the country’s retrofit challenge and what could be done to support builders into this market.
- In Wales, the Government is consulting on new mandatory quality standards to heighten the quality of all social homes. Take a look at our FMB Wales Director, Ifan’s exploration of the proposed changes here.
Please get in touch with [email protected] if you have any questions or would like any further information.