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Specialists meet Blair adviser on payments


THE SPECIALIST Engineering Contractors' group took its lobbying campaign on payment reform to 10 Downing Street last week in a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair's key trade and industry expert.

A four-strong party including SEC chairman Trevor Hursthouse and Merseyside MP Claire Curtis-Thomas met policy adviser Geoffrey Norris last week to urge the Government to push through measures to tackle payment abuse.

SEC executive secretary John Nelson said: 'It was an upbeat meeting and he was very keen to hear the concerns of small businesses.The Treasury began the review of the Construction Act because of payment problems, and I would like to think the Government would have the courage of its convictions to carry it through.'

The group is also pressing for the use of project bank accounts on all public sector contracts to promote greater partnership and end the need for retentions.