To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the national shortages of building materials reported by the Construction Leadership Council in May 2021, what steps he is taking to help ensure that (a) micro, (b) small and (c) medium-sized construction firms continue to have access to building materials.
28 June 2021
The Government is aware that a range of building materials are in short supply nationally. This is driven by demand and increased global competition to secure supplies.
In light of this, and in view of more local disruptions in the supply of some products, the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force has established a Product Availability Working Group, comprised of product manufacturers, builders’ merchants and suppliers, contractors of all sizes, and housebuilders. The Task Force continues to monitor the supply and demand of products, and identify those in short supply.
The Task Force also issues regular statements on product availability. The Task Force has set out that where products are in short supply, any allocation systems should be as transparent as possible so that all customers can be seen to be treated fairly. Additionally, the Task Force has emphasised the importance of good forward-planning and clear communication within the industry. The Task Force has also recommended that where relevant, production for major projects should not be seen to adversely affect volumes available for smaller, regular customers.
The product availability statements also include detailed updates on the availability of specific products in affected material areas in order to keep the market informed. These can be accessed at: https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not made an assessment of the potential effect of the current shortage of building materials on the Government’s ability to fulfil its commitment to upgrade as many homes as possible to EPC Band C by 2035.