New NFB chair pledges action for procurement and skills

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) held its annual general meeting in Sheffield on Tuesday 23 June. Simon Carr, managing director of Henry Boot Construction, was officially inaugurated during the proceedings. Following the meeting, 130 honorary guests joined a gala dinner, held at the Sheffield Winter Garden and Millennium Gallery, to celebrate the occasion.

The NFB has a rich heritage, achieved over more than 150 years, and the commencement of a new chair is steeped in history. Once the traditional formalities were complete, Simon addressed members and associates and spoke of his plans for the year ahead:

“In our membership, we have domestic builders and refurbishment specialists, traditional and listed building specialists, general and specialist contractors, and civil engineers. We range from the very small, to the large. The NFB is unique because it represents such a broad spectrum of industry professionals. This truly gives us a strong voice and I will be actively promoting this position over the next year to maximise the opportunities that it brings.”

In particular Simon declared that, while he wants to talk about the skills shortage and smart procurement, he is also determined to show the industry what the NFB is doing to address needs. The NFB’s strong voice will continue to thrive and will be supported by robust evidence of commitment.

Turning his attention to the political landscape, he added:

“We have a fairly new government that is planning an unprecedented amount of cuts and changes. Irrespective of where you sit on the political spectrum, what this means is that the government departments we deal with will be scaled back and we will have to convince them that our issues are the ones worth focusing on. Devolution is coming to cities and Wales will gain additional powers. We need to make sure we are well positioned for those changes.”

Simon’s no-nonsense approach and tenacity, teamed with his wealth of experience within the construction industry, place him in good stead to lead the proactive NFB of today and represent its members effectively. He succeeds John Maddock, of Lockwoods Construction (Liverpool), in fulfilling the prestigious role.