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UKCSA Member gets Miliband’s seal of approval (November 2011)

When Labour leader Ed Miliband visited cast stone manufacturer Pennine Stone in his Doncaster constituency this week, he praised the company for investing in people and planning for the long-term. Pennine Stone, which increased its production by 40% this year, is a subsidiary of UKCSA member Haddonstone.

In an interview with Construction News at Pennine Stone’s factory, he said one of the big priorities is to get construction moving and called for a VAT cut on building repairs.

The following is an extract from the article in Construction News, Issue 7244, dated Thursday 1st December 2011.

Miliband: construction deserves more

Labour leader praises construction’s ‘long-term wealth creators’ and calls for VAT cut on repairs.

Ed Miliband’s party conference speech introduced a new idea:
that the economy is made up of “producers” and “predators” - of good companies and bad.

Of course he didn’t say which were which, prompting Pennine Stone - a firm in his Doncaster constituency - to invite him to tour their factory and confirm they are one of the good guys.

Construction News was asked along too and given an exclusive interview after the Labour leader had met the staff and viewed the products - and shown he wasn’t afraid to get his own hands dirty, making a small dry-cast stone lion as a keepsake (see photos left).

He told CN “I think the most important thing I said in my conference speech is that it’s about wealth creation that’s going to last. What we see here is a company that is investing in people and planning for the long term and I think it’s a really good example of what can be done.’

So it would seem that Pennine Stone, which has increased its production volumes by 40 per cent in the past year, supplying volume housebuilders including Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Redrow, gets Mr Miliband’s seal of approval.

The company is among those set to benefit from last week’s housing strategy, when Prime Minister David Cameron announced a £400 million boost for stalled developments.

But for Mr Miliband, the strategy didn’t go far enough:
“The extra £400m (in the strategy) is all very well, but if you are cutting £4 bn and then the figures show that affordable housing has crashed, it’s not enough," he said.

See For full reaction and analysis of government plans to stimulate the construction industry.

(Photo bottom left) Mr Miliband can be seen handling a Haddonstone / Pennine Stone lightweight TecLite fibre reinforced cast stone product.

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