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It has been a year of change and upheaval:

It has been a year of change and upheaval: the humiliating defeat of the Tories at the general election; the handover of Hong Kong to China and, in the construction industry, continuing rationalisation.

Even so, the year was something of a curate's egg for contractors. Frenzied activity in house building forced house prices ever higher, but nobody in general construction could boast hugely improving margins.

Civil engineering contractors, starved of work by the cancelled roads programme, jostled for Channel Tunnel Rail Link contracts.

Private finance came in for some stiff criticism, from both contractors and some clients but Labour's victory in the general election won unexpected support from contractors. Coincidentally, with the return of Labour to government came signs of a return to industrial strife. Across the industry, strike threats looked ready to throw projects into disarray, nowhere more disastrously than on the Jubilee Line Extension.