Landscape sector urged to work together in downturn

Repercussions of the economic crisis are already being felt in the landscaping industry, but firms are being urged to "speak with one voice" on the challenges ahead.

BALI chief executive Sandra Loton-Jones acknowledged the pressures of the downturn during the association's annual awards in London last week.

But she assured landscapers that BALI is "acting to ensure the industry is supported" through national standards, lobbying on "workable" EU pesticides legislation and tackling rogue traders.

Loton-Jones told the 800 guests gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel that the financial climate was proving too much for some firms.

"Companies are seeing delays and cancellations in their work," she said. "Those working with local authorities face the potential repercussions from the overseas bank crisis. Out of this current climate facing the industry and the reaction of the political forces I would ask industry to work together.

"Our strength is in collaboration - we need to recognise the value of speaking with one voice."

Loton-Jones praised firms for the high standards of work at all 143 sites visited by awards judges, and recognised those using new technologies including green roofs and walls, as well as those that had "up-skilled" with training.

She added: "We are constantly hearing how the economy will affect us. Together, we all face the challenges brought before us; we are acting to ensure the industry is supported, taking the necessary measures to withstand the economic pressures."

According to Loton-Jones, the new National Highways Sector Scheme 18 will assist those working in the commercial sphere and reduce the use of less-professional companies.

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