15 June 2018

NFB welcomes new national chair Neil Walters

Neil Walters became national chair of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) on Thursday 14 June at the NFB’s annual general meeting (AGM) which was followed by a celebratory gala dinner.

Construction industry professionals and guests gathered at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for an evening of dinner, entertainment, and networking. Guests were entertained all evening by Tom Ross, former Birmingham City footballer.

The NFB's AGM which took place earlier in the afternoon saw the outgoing NFB chair, Clare Watson, director of Preston-based construction company Bernard Watson, hand the ceremonial chains of office over to Neil and mark the beginning of his twelve-month term.

Neil Walters delivered an outstanding speech at the event. He said: “The NFB has made clear to the Government that the required procurement legislation and guidance is in place but what has not happened is widespread adoption nor enforcement of the rules. We have outlined how regional contractors and smaller companies are not served well by the bidding process. We also feel that consistent poor payment should not be rewarded with further contract awards.

“As an industry, the culture around fair payment needs to be that it should happen as a matter of course. We are at a point in time where there is an appetite for change from within the construction industry and from the Government, which is asking for help to make that change happen.

“During my time in post, we need to figure out how to keep tackling these problems and what that nudge needs to be to get us over the line, because changing some of those deep-rooted issues will help our members as well as the industry as a whole.”

During the gala dinner, Neil presented cheques to two charities close to his heart. The first cheque for £10,000 was presented to Mike Hopkins and Steve Dourass from South and City College Birmingham. The college has helped over 150 students in softer business skills to find opportunities and set up in business.

The second cheque for £10,000 was presented to Georgina Moseley from Help Harry Help Others. Neil got involved in the summer 2016 ‘’DIY SOS’’ and the Birmingham charity helps families devastated by cancer, providing much needed support and after care to patients and their families as they come to terms with life changing conditions. Harry was 11 when he lost his four year battle with a brain tumour. He was more interested in helping those around him than himself and was the inspiration behind the charity. This money will help Georgina provide support often required by families.

The National Federation of Builders would like to thank the sponsors of the AGM and Gala Dinner:

Birmingham Association, CITBCronerCrosby AssociatesCSCSGallagher, Gilmore Building Supplies and Think Recruitment.