Wise Up Wednesday: Hugely worrying!

It’s Wise Up Wednesday!

A series of short emails to help you stay on top

Hugely Worrying!

In the last few days Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable has described this year’s Construction News CN100 findings as “hugely worrying”.

Sir Vince was responding to the release of Construction News’ 2018 list of the top 100 UK construction firms ranked in order of turnover.

The data revealed average pre-tax margins across the 10 largest UK contractors had fallen to -0.9 per cent, down from -0.5 per cent in last year’s analysis.

Total debt at the 10 biggest companies also increased by 24 per cent to £3.92bn compared with the firm’s previous financial years.

“Construction is the bellwether of the economy, so the huge debt burden and non-existent margins are hugely worrying, particularly if interest rates increase further,” Sir Vince said.

“They are signals of the economic uncertainty caused by chaotic Brexit negotiations.”

Longer Term Problems

The Lib Dem leader said he feared the CN100 data pointed towards longer term problems within the sector.

“This also suggests a lasting recession in the construction industry, just as we need the sector to be doing well to boost the overall economy,” he said.

And Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee Rachel Reeves MP, who was responsible for co-chairing the Carillion inquiry, was also concerned by the CN100’s findings, saying;

“These latest findings do raise wider concerns about the health of the construction industry. With Brexit posing a major challenge for the construction sector, she said.

Ms Reeves also called on the government to do more to help the industry’s supply chain and smaller firms.

“If the government is serious about helping the construction industry, and particularly SMEs, it needs to revisit measures such as the Prompt Payment Code, which has proved wholly ineffective and in need of reform and do more to protect small and medium sized suppliers as part of the procurement process.”

And Pigs Might Fly

Here at Streetwisesubbie we have long since given up on the government doing anything remotely useful or effective to support small and medium sized suppliers and Specialist Contractors. If you are wondering why that is just Google “Streetwisesubbie Fair Treatment” to see how much campaigning we have done in the past.

And be sure to check on our web site about how many times we have tried to galvanise support from trade associations and the like.

With the odd exception no-one wants to listen to the inconvenient truth that the Construction Industry goes from bad to worse!

No surprise then that in our last survey 93.23% of the 355 Specialist Contractors who took part said that Trade Associations and government were NOT doing enough to resolve payment problems.

Future Proof Your Business

We might not be able to change the economy, or make the government take action, but we can help you to protect your commercial and contractual interests to future proof your business. Take a quick look at this;

“Understand Your Contract to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit”

“Introduction To Contractual Awareness and Using JCT Subcontracts”

WHEN/WHERE IS IT? The dates and fast access venues are as follows;

16 October – Village Hotel Hull Close to M62 and M180

17 October – Village Hotel Leeds South Close to M62 and M1

30 October – Village Hotel Liverpool Close to M62 and M57

31 October – Village Hotel Manchester Bury Close to M56 and M62

13 November – Village Hotel Newcastle Close to A! and A19

14 November – Village Hotel Leeds North Close to A1 and M62

Don’t see a date/location that suits? Contact us for future dates.

Here’s what your fellow Subcontractors said about our last event;

“Easily digestible information delivered in an interesting and easy to understand format”

“Very detailed and informative”

“Very informative and well delivered”

“We were struggling to get paid; not any longer!”


Session 1 – Contract Formation

Session 2 – Introduction to JCT Contracts and Construction Act

Session 3 – Time, Notices and Delay and Disruption

Session 4 – Instructions, Variations and Maximising Return

Session 5 – Getting Paid On Time and the Right Amount

Session 6 – Resolving Conflicts and Disputes

Session 7 – Putting It All Together


Our events are exclusively for Specialist Contractors so you are in the friendly company of other Specialist Contractors, and everything is designed to provide a broad appeal for all Specialist Contractors staff including;

Estimators, Contracts Managers; Project Managers; Commercial Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Credit Controllers and Directors


The Secrets To Getting Paid and Minimising Risk and Maximising Profit!

Specialist Contractors don’t get paid because they don’t understand the contract or don’t apply it when they should. We will reveal all you need to know to enable you to understand the fundamentals of those subcontracts, and how to get paid.


The value of this whole days training is £350 + VAT, however, you can get your Early Bird booking  discount and enjoy the reduced rates as follows;

  • 10% discount when you book one place
  • 20 % discount when you book 2 or more places
  • And if you are a member and StreetwiseSubbie Buddy (or join us now), you are eligible for even more heavily discounted preferential rates.

All rates are subject to VAT

Booking couldn’t be simpler, just contact Jo or Tanya directly on 01773 712116 or email  info@streetwisesubbie.com to confirm your places.

But hurry our last round of seminars sold out very quickly.

I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday email and that it gave you some food for thought, and I sincerely hope to speak with you soon.

Best regards


P.S. Please remember if you want to protect your business from onerous terms, or have a problem, take action sooner rather than later. If you’re not sure what to do or just want a second opinion, please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email info@streetwisesubbie.com

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Become a Streetwise Buddy

Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

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StreetwiseSubbie.com Ltd
17 Ilkeston Road
DE75 7DR

Helpline: +44 (0)1773 712116
Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com