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Latest website and industry news at a glance..
Budget 2013: 'UK government should build more homes'
Date: 03/11/2013

Boosting homebuilding and infrastructure spending should be the main goal of the forthcoming Budget, according to business lobby groups.

The CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) want tens of thousands of new homes to be built to create new jobs and provide affordable homes.

But they say that the government should stick to its plans to cut borrowing.

However, the BCC says that the government should borrow more if there is no growth within six months.

The BCC is advocating a range of measures, including the building of 100,000 new homes, which it says will cost almost £30bn over three years.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said: "If within the next six months there is no prospect of growth... you might have to consider actually borrowing more money but you should only do it to fund areas that the market would forgive."

Building confidence

The CBI says £2.2bn should be moved from current spending to "high-growth areas". Some of this money should be used to build 50,000 new affordable homes, which it says would create 75,000 jobs.

The group also wants more investment in roads and infrastructure and a cap on business rates.

The CBI said money could be found from savings within government departments as well as sales of land and property, and insisted there would be no need for further borrowing.

Tax incentives should be provided to encourage the refurbishment of existing properties, the CBI added.

CBI director general John Cridland told the BBC the plan would address a range of problems: "We need Housing Associations to be freed up going forward to build the affordable housing needed.

"If we want nurses and firemen to be able to live in London we need to build these homes. You create construction jobs - and jobs for young people because these are entry-level jobs - and you build confidence."

He said the government should stick to its fiscal plan, but that these measures were also needed to boost the housing market and would benefit first-time buyers, those trapped in negative equity and those looking to refurbish their homes.

Last month, the CBI said that the UK would avoid falling into a so-called triple-dip recession.

The group believes that the UK economy will grow by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year, after the economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012 - the first period in what some feared might be another six months of negative growth.

Spending debate

The suggestions come as the coalition partners continue to debate whether the government's austerity plans are the right course for the current flat economic conditions.

Both Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor, George Osborne, are determined to keep to their plans to rein in spending.

On Monday, the former defence secretary, Liam Fox, a Conservative, called on the government to freeze the level of public spending for five years and spend the money saved on cutting taxes and the deficit.

He wants all public spending frozen - as against the current freeze for Whitehall departmental budgets.

He is also urging an end to the ring-fencing of certain budgets, including the NHS, schools and universal benefits such as the pensioners' winter fuel allowance.

The Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is also against ring fencing, although for different reasons.

He told the BBC that protecting some departments intensified the burden on others: "When you have 80% of all government spending that's ring-fenced it means all future pressures then come on things like the army, the police, local government, and skills and universities.

"So... you get a very unbalanced approach to public spending... I think as a long-term approach to government spending, it isn't very sensible."

George Osborne will announce the Budget on 20 March.

.. read more

Portsmouth administrators rack up £2.2m in fees
Date: 02/28/2013

PKF ADMINISTRATORS have racked up £2.2m in fees for their work on the collapsed football club Portsmouth FC, according to the latest creditor report.

The administrators have incurred the £2.2m of fees in time costs for the period 17 February 2012 to 2 January 2013. This is for 7,295 hours of work which is an average of about £297 an hour.

However, the administrators have managed to draw £775,000 so far following approval from a creditor committee. At the end of the administration the administrators will decide on the percentage of their fees to be repaid with that figure needing creditor committee approval before it can be drawn. 

The club entered administration for the second time in two years on 17 February, with PKF partners Trevor Birch, Ian Gould and Bryan Jackson appointed.

Fees for the six months ending 2 January 2013 amounted to £851,671 for 2,905 hours of work at an average hourly rate of £293 per hour.

The administrators are currently awaiting a court hearing which will determine whether a rescue deal will be viable through a sale to the Portsmouth Supporters Trust (PST).

The administrators said in the latest creditor report that "if a sale can't be achieved a liquidation is the most viable option."

PST has funded some of the trading costs amounting to £244,061. However, preferential claims so far come in at about £52,000 and unsecured creditor claims are about £35m, which £11.4m as football creditors.

In a football insolvency, football creditors such as players, managers and other clubs, are paid first and in full.

Other costs highlighted include solicitor fees for Pinsent Masons which for the year come in at about £1.24m and £79,000 for George Davies, who acted for the Professional Footballers' Association, on negotiation of player wage deferrals and agent fees.

Read more: 

.. read more

What makes a good temp?
Date: 03/17/2012

With the economic situation still having a massive bearing on the jobs front, temporary work could be a lifeline, but is it for everyone?

If you are considering temporary work, what can you do to make sure you’re the one Recruitment Consultants think of first when a new assignment comes in? Is temping really for you?

Sell yourself in a professional way to your recruitment agency.
When an agency are looking for a dependable temp, tell them why you are good. Are you flexible? Versatile? Quick at picking things up? Do you have the skills that are required? Easy to get along with? Are you available at short notice?

Sell yourself to the recruitment consultant as you would in a job interview: make a list of your previous jobs and highlight key accomplishments and skills you’ve gained.

Understand how recruitment agencies work.

Picture the scene; A company have a problem, it may be that they have an increased workload, a project that needs to be completed ASAP or a key employee has gone off sick. The want someone with relevant skills to help them. This is where you come in.

Think of yourself as a mercenary!
You have skills that are transferable; you have the experience that would benefit the Company. You have good communication skills. You have the skills that are needed, you are good at creating and developing relationships, you are available at short notice. You can help them!

Be flexible in every way you can!
Flexibility is the key to being a successful temp. It’s not just about being flexible in terms of when you start on a new assignment, either. If you want the work to keep coming your way, you need to be flexible in terms of the rate you’re paid for short term assignments; and the role you have.

How keen are you to get work?
What can you do if, on a Friday afternoon, you find yourself without an assignment or any work for the following Monday? Perhaps you are considering temping whilst looking for your ideal permanent role?
It seems clear that if you go the extra mile to get the work, by keeping in close contact with your consultant and contacting the agency on a regular basis, you’re more likely to be successful in ensuring the money keeps coming in. Remember, be persistence.

Will temping look bad on your CV?
We are often asked about this point. Some people do not want to temp as they believe it will detract from their stable work history. Our advice is to keep on working (if that is what you want/need) Gain more skills, gain more experience on different computer packages and more business sectors. If you have been temping for some time, group your experiences together and list your key skills and experience. Good employers will understand.

What happens next?
Many of the temporary people we work with at Ba Recruitment, we have known for some time. We have developed relationships with people we have found dependable and versatile. However, we are always looking for good people. It’s up to you to develop a relationship with your agency and whilst you are temping a good agency will always keep you in mind when a suitable permanent jobs comes in.

Happy job hunting!

.. read more

News From The BBC

BBC News - UK

The latest stories from the UK section of the BBC News web site.

Ambulance wait times 'may increase'
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:45:11 GMT

Target times for ambulances to reach some seriously ill patients in England could be lengthened, a document leaked to the BBC shows.

FBI talks over Lockerbie bombing
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:11:21 GMT

Scotland's top law officer has met the director of the FBI to discuss progress in the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing.

Photographer Jane Bown dies aged 89
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:40:27 GMT

Photographer Jane Bown, known for her portraits of the Queen, the Beatles and Samuel Beckett among many others, dies aged 89.

Elton John and David Furnish marry
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 19:34:33 GMT

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish convert their civil partnership to a marriage - with the musician documenting the day on the Instagram website.

Ken Clarke attacks 'silly' EU debate
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:57:23 GMT

Pro-Europeans have got to "organise themselves properly" to defeat the "silly" arguments for leaving the EU, former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke says.

Ben Haenow nabs Christmas number one
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:49:42 GMT

X Factor winner Ben Haenow wins the race for the Christmas number one single, with his song Something I Need.

Be honest on cuts, says Mandelson
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:21:24 GMT

Former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson says Labour's shadow cabinet has to "play as a team" and be up front about public spending cuts.

May 'could disband child abuse panel'
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:54:23 GMT

The independent panel set up to support the planned public inquiry into historical child abuse could be disbanded, the BBC understands.

North Sea oil summit announced
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:52:40 GMT

Aberdeen City Council announces it is to hold a summit to look at the challenges facing the North Sea oil industry.

Drug-driving saliva tests approved
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:31:58 GMT

New devices which allow police to test drivers in England and Wales for drug use using saliva swabs are approved for use by ministers.

May targets student visa 'abuse'
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:37:11 GMT

Home Secretary Theresa May backs a plan that would force foreign students to leave the UK after their university courses, in a bid to curb illegal immigration.

Second arrest over off-duty PC death
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:17:47 GMT

A second man is arrested on suspicion of murdering off-duty police officer Neil Doyle, who died after being attacked in Liverpool on Friday.

Murphy backs alcohol at football
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:01:43 GMT

The new leader of Scottish Labour says football fans should be allowed to drink alcohol in Scottish stadiums.

Murder probe after gorge fall death
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:08:18 GMT

A man is arrested on suspicion of murder over the death of a man who fell off the Avon Gorge in Bristol.

Crews bring major fire under control
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:58:22 GMT

Fire crews bring a large blaze at a factory on Swansea enterprise zone under control.

'Blacked-up' fancy dress star sorry
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:50:42 GMT

Wales and Scarlets star Liam Williams apologises for a posting a photo of himself "blacked-up" as Swansea City footballer Wilfried Bony.

Strictly final draws 11.5m viewers
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:00:56 GMT

A total of 11.5 million people watch as TV presenter Caroline Flack wins this year's series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Pub opens to homeless for free meal
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:19:42 GMT

A north London pub opens up its doors and serves free Christmas meals to the homeless and hungry.

Solstice marked at 'new' long barrow
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:55:50 GMT

The winter solstice is celebrated at the first "Neolithic" long barrow to be built in the UK for 5,500 years.

Grieving mum's distress at burglary
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:26:17 GMT

A grieving County Down mother speaks of her distress at her house being burgled, just days after the burial of her daughter.

Villiers' rallying call on NI talks
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:31:55 GMT

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers says it is "make your mind up time" for Northern Ireland's political leaders ahead of cross-party talks.

Urgent inquiry into Clydach murders
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:12:20 GMT

An urgent inquiry into the murders of Mandy Power, her daughters, and mother is launched after new evidence is uncovered by the lawyers of convicted killer David Morris.

Service remembers eight US airmen
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:25:16 GMT

A simultaneous ceremony is held on Anglesey and in the United States to remember the eight fliers who died trying to land at RAF Valley.

Murder probe after death of man
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:47:16 GMT

A murder investigation is under way after a man found with serious injuries in a street in Glasgow's southside died in hospital.

Fire at city Christmas shop tackled
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 19:11:52 GMT

About 50 firefighters tackle a major blaze at a Christmas shop in the Murraygate area of Dundee city centre.

Father Christmases invade pitch
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:01:38 GMT

Twelve people dressed as Father Christmas invade the pitch during a football match between Cheltenham Town and Portsmouth.

Sheep ears bitten off in dog attack
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:28:39 GMT

A number of pedigree sheep have their ears chewed off and their faces bitten in a dog attack.

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:34:55 GMT

Martin Skrtel's header seven minutes into stoppage time earns Liverpool a draw against Arsenal in the Premier League.

Wasps 48-16 London Irish
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:55:05 GMT

Andy Goode scores 33 points as Wasps beat London Irish in their first match at their new home, Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

Newcastle United 0-1 Sunderland
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:30:40 GMT

Adam Johnson scores in the 90th minute to give Sunderland their fourth successive win over Newcastle in the North East derby.

The family with 34 children - and counting
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 02:04:40 GMT

There are 34 children in the Briggs family - 29 of those have been adopted from all over the world and the family is about to get even bigger.

How do we know real art when we see it?
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:06:56 GMT

In the last of three pieces on art, writer and philosopher Roger Scruton tries to define the elements which make a great work of art.

The Christmas turkey naysayers
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 03:56:08 GMT

It's the centrepiece of the traditional festive dinner. So how do people who don't like turkey cope at Christmas?

Migration system 'in intensive care'
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:18:26 GMT

A parliamentary committee warns ministers over UK exit controls, record-keeping and the use of a net migration target.

Journalist John Freeman dies at 99
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 01:49:44 GMT

The diplomat and journalist John Freeman, best known for his interviews for BBC television series Face to Face, dies at the age of 99.

Plan to help over-50s get jobs
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:44:07 GMT

Unemployed over-50s will be offered "career reviews" and help using computers as part of plans to get more people in that age group into work.

VIDEO: Transport Committee
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:18:30 GMT

MPs hear evidence on the failure of air traffic management systems.

VIDEO: What is the winter solstice?
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:26:22 GMT

In the United Kingdom the solstice is a little after 11pm on 21 December this year.

VIDEO: More support for ex-forces prisoners
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 19:28:14 GMT

Former members of the armed forces who are sent to prison will be given more support, the Ministry of Justice says.

VIDEO: Elton and David's social media marriage
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:52:13 GMT

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have officially married, nine years after they held their civil partnership ceremony.

VIDEO: Clarke: Stop this 'silly' EU debate
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:53:43 GMT

Former Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke talks to the BBC's Andrew Marr about UK membership of the EU.

VIDEO: Strictly 2014 winner is crowned
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 22:29:50 GMT

Presenter Caroline Flack and her partner Pasha Kovalev are crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing 2014.

AUDIO: Welby's frustration over gay marriage
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:06:40 GMT

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is trying to bridge a split in the Anglican Church over same-sex marriage.

VIDEO: Ambulance targets plan leaked
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:42:58 GMT

The BBC has seen plans to extend ambulance response times for some serious, but non-critical cases in England.

VIDEO: Hereford United fans plan new club
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 15:28:23 GMT

Hereford United fans plan to form a new club after it was wound up at the High Court in London for failing to pay off its debts.

How German Christmas markets came to the UK
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:04:07 GMT

How German markets captured the UK's imagination

Tube's lost property treasure trove
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 00:04:22 GMT

The strange things passengers leave on the Tube

The art of the 'Sturgeon selfie'
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 09:22:07 GMT

The art of the 'Nicola Sturgeon selfie'

Why do mornings get darker after 21 December?
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 00:22:24 GMT

Why mornings will keep getting darker after 21 December

NHS Winter 2014-15: Weekly A&E tracker
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:19:21 GMT

How is your local A&E coping with winter pressures?

Slower ambulance fears, and roadside drug tests
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:20:12 GMT

Slower ambulance fears, and roadside drug tests