MPA NI reacts to Priorities for Government

'To Do' list for Government from mineral products industry will help UK realise ambitions for infrastructure, housing and the environment...

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The Government’s aspirations for improved infrastructure, affordable housing and a green industrial revolution rely on policies that create the right conditions for a strong and sustainable UK mineral products industry.

That’s according to the Priorities for Government statement from the Mineral Products Association (MPA) which sets out the Government’s ‘to do’ list for minimising uncertainty, building confidence and encouraging investment in the sector. In return, the industry has outlined its world-leading commitments in areas such as decarbonisation, biodiversity enhancement and resource efficiency.

Representing more than 90% of the heavy-side construction materials industry, MPA has called for a collaborative approach in its Priorities for Government document, highlighting how the industry’s economic, social, environmental and material contribution can support the Government’s agenda.

For example, the National Infrastructure Strategy, Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, Planning for the Future planning policy changes and the Prime Minister’s 10-point Plan For a Green Industrial Revolution all depend heavily on a steady, local and responsibly sourced supply of materials such as cement, concrete, aggregates and asphalt.

Key issues addressed in the MPA’s Priorities for Government include the sector’s unique and impressive contribution to improving biodiversity, plus the policies needed to deliver the industry’s plan for concrete and cement to go beyond net zero carbon. That’s in addition to the MPA’s proposed planning reforms and the industry’s invaluable contribution to infrastructure, housing and the wider economy.

As the UK recovers from the impact of Covid, adjusts to the post-Brexit world and commits to net zero carbon by 2050, UK-sourced mineral products – recognised by the Government itself as one of the most essential foundation industries – are now more critical than ever.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive of the MPA, said, “We welcome Government’s recognition of the essentiality of our industry, but this recognition must now stimulate policy change by introducing a statement of national need for mineral products. Our Priorities for Government sets out what we will deliver and how Government policy can support us. We’re not asking for special treatment but sensible, fair and supportive policy that will help us deliver for everyone in the UK.

“The mineral products industry aims to support and work with Government to deliver its agenda. To enable us to do so Government needs to create the conditions, which minimise uncertainty, build confidence, encourage investment and boost growth. For example, our industry will play its full part in delivering the UK’s net zero commitment. The recently published Cement and Concrete Industry Roadmap to Beyond Net Zero is an ambitious goal but is achievable with the right support. The industry will also continue to be a world leader in biodiversity enhancement and efficient recycling and reuse of waste materials.”

The MPANI is the principal trade association for the quarrying and quarry products industry in Northern Ireland affiliated to the Minerals Products Association (MPA) in the UK.

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