UK Prime Minister visits London builders merchant18 November 2021
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw first-hand the crucial role builders’ merchants play in the national economy, with a fact-finding visit to Travis Perkins in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
Mr Johnson was given a tour of the Travis Perkins’ branch in South Ruislip to get a strategic and operational understanding of the industry.
Frank Elkins, chief operating officer of Travis Perkins plc introduced the Prime Minister to branch colleagues, among them, some of the nearly 1,000 apprentices the Group has enrolled on programmes across the Group.
During his visit, Mr Johnson climbed into the cab of a fully-electric 27 tonne CCF insulation lorry and heard how Travis Perkins is starting to prepare for a time beyond new petrol & diesel LGVs and HGVs.
The visit was organised by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) as part of its industry and parliament programme, to highlight the vital role played by builders’ merchants in the construction supply chain.
John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, gave the Prime Minister an overview of how its members, which include Travis Perkins, perform an essential function in distributing construction materials and home improvement products across the UK. He also explained how the industry is actively embracing a more sustainable focus.
With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference fresh in mind, the Prime Minister discussed the importance of decarbonising buildings and electrifying heating and transport with Frank Elkins and John Newcomb, who also updated the PM on the Construction Leadership Council’s National Retrofit Strategy.
“We were delighted to show to the Prime Minister how our members can support a more sustainable future,” said Mr Newcomb. “It was a particularly timely visit, with the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference taking place
“Low or zero-carbon products are crucial in the building and home improvement industries to drive down emissions. We were able to demonstrate to the Prime Minister that the building supply chain is the most efficient route-to-market for these products”.