Construction sector 'on hold' over Brexit uncertainty

A claim that the construction sector is "on hold as builders wait for Brexit uncertainty to clear" features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription) reports that "the downturn in the construction industry is deepening as building work is put on hold in a clear illustration of the damage being done by Brexit uncertainty". The paper says that "construction activity in Britain fell last month at the second fastest rate since April 2009, beaten only by June’s dismal performance, according to the latest purchasing managers’ index. All three industry groups — commercial, civil engineering and housebuilding — shrank in September as the index dropped to 43.3 from 45 in August. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction."

An article in the Financial Times (subscription) says that "the Labour leaders of Bradford and Manchester have accused the government of failing to deliver on promises to boost the northern economy by playing the two cities off against each other over a vital £39bn rail project." The paper says that "Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford council, hit out after Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse minister, said the government was unlikely to fund both a proposed new central station in Bradford and the proposed £6bn redevelopment of Manchester Piccadilly station as part of the scheme."

An article in the Times says that Scottish ministers will "confirm an effective ban on fracking today." The paper says that a policy of "no support" will be announced by Paul Wheelhouse, the energy minister, in a statement to Holyrood "after years of consultations".

An article in the Guardian asks whether a drive to "beautify" the Chinese city of Beijing's historic areas will leave existing residents behind. The paper says that the Four Hutongs project "is part of a city-wide campaign to beautify and modernise Beijing, including tearing down unauthorised structures, renovating for fire safety and accessibility, and decreasing the population of China’s capital city to 23 million by 2020."

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