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Construction Works

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

The answer that Bruce Crawford was looking for was £100 million.

My question relates to the route map that the First Minister has just outlined, and specifically to construction. She said that in phase 1, there would be a three-stage restart—stages 0 to 2—for construction. I have just looked that up. It includes the phrase “soft start to site works”. I do not know what that means. Does it mean that the 6,000 homes in Scotland that are nearly complete can be completed? If it does not mean that, what does it mean?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

There is a huge amount of detail about the construction restart, the agreements that we have made on safe operating procedures and the phased approach. I will send all that detail to Mr Simpson, because I will not be able to fit it all into my answer.

The First Minister outlined the phased approach today. Working with the construction industry, we have put together a six-phase approach. The first stages, which the First Minister outlined today, mainly enable getting sites into shape to allow for physical distancing and the hygiene that is necessary. We will move forward incrementally at each stage, and we will work with the industry, trade unions and others to ensure that that phased approach is working safely.

I thank the construction industry, trade unions and others who have worked with us to shape how we move forward. I am sure that we will all work in partnership so that those phases ensure that people are safe in their work.

Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

I will appreciate the details that the minister has promised.

Can he ensure that when construction restarts, it is in alignment with supply chains. There is no point in workers getting back on site if they cannot get things such as windows and doors.

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

I am well aware of that issue from my discussions with industry. In recent weeks, we have been looking at safe operating procedures and supply chain delivery into sites, to ensure that that is done appropriately and as safely as possible.

We will continue to refine those safe operating procedures and the phased approach with the construction industry and trade unions. As I said, I thank everyone who has been involved in this really good piece of work. Everyone is aware that if we are to return to operation, we need to do it safely, to protect people.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Before I take the next question, I should mention that Kate Forbes, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, is online to answer any questions that are specific to her responsibility.