MP’s visit sets out merchant industry’s role in meeting future housing need
13 September 2019
MP for Bury St Edmunds, Jo Churchill, saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering new homes for the area.
Mrs Churchill visited Huws Gray Ridgeons’ Timber and Builders Merchants in the town to gain an insight into the sector, in a visit organised by the BMF.
Huws Gray Ridgeons’ Director Ian Northen hosted the visit at the company’s store in Beetons Way. He explained how builders’ merchants will play a key role in supporting the Government’s commitment to new housing.
Mr Northen said: “The Government has set a target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. If this is to be achieved, our industry wants long-lasting stability, along with consistent Government focus, to act to narrow the gap between housing demand and supply.
“Events currently going on around the country to mark the centenary of council housing show the continuing need for homes of all types and tenures at prices people can afford, in Bury St Edmunds and around East Anglia.”
Hugh Guntrip, Huws Gray Ridgeons’ Area Manager and Mick Easton, Assistant Branch Manager at the Beetons Way store, as well as Brett Amphlett, BMF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager, also attended the visit. As well as addressing the key issues around the construction of new homes, ways to create a new generation of low carbon homes from the existing housing stock were also discussed.
Mr Northen added: “BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties in the town, around Suffolk and further afield will be key to achieving sustainability goals.
“The issue is set to gain further momentum following the Government’s announcement in March that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Efficient boilers, coupled with better insulation and the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individual householders, will be the key drivers in converting homes for a low carbon world. This visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the workings of the industry’s supply chain and how it can help support future low carbon objectives.”
Mrs Churchill said: “I was delighted to visit Huws Gray Ridgeons and learn how they have looked after their customers for over a century. As a significant regional employer, Huws Gray Ridgeons makes a vital contribution to our local economy by ensuring that building materials and home improvement products are delivered, all year round, when and where they are needed”.
“I congratulate Mick Easton and the team in helping customers to make the correct choices for their projects. Their knowledge and expertise in helping people to have warm homes, save on energy bills and use water wisely, was really encouraging. I am keen that merchants play their part in helping constituents move to healthy, low-carbon living on the way to net zero carbon emissions by 2050”.