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Minister has attended just 17 events

FEWER than 10 per cent of construction minister Alun Michael's public engagements involved the construction industry during his first six months in the job.

Mr Michael attended just 17 industry events in a total of 197 engagements between May and November last year, according to information released to Construction News under the Freedom of Information Act.

Mr Michael's ministerial brief gives him responsibility for Enterprise, 12 business sectors including construction, strengthening regional economies, e-commerce, the Small Business Service, social enterprise, and communication and information industries.

A source at one umbrella body said: 'This shows the difficulty of having such a broad brief, but construction is wor th 10 per cent of GDP and deserves better than that.

'He's faced with an impossible task. This is why we tend to go to the spending departments directly or lobby the Treasury directly.' Mr Michael's engagements included seven meetings with umbrella bodies, the Strategic Forum, Constructing Excellence and unions, nine receptions and one press interview.