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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

BBC News - UK

Oxford Circus: Platform 'altercation' caused tube panic
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 04:46:25 GMT

Police want to trace two men, following panicked scenes at Oxford Circus station on Friday.

Rugby League World Cup: England beat Tonga 20-18 to set up final with Australia
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 08:02:08 GMT

England survive an amazing finish to reach a first World Cup final since 1995 as they see off Tonga in Auckland to set up a meeting with Australia.

UK warned of ice as cold snap bites
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 07:03:15 GMT

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice in parts of the UK as temperatures drop.

No overcrowding link to prison suicide, study suggests
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 02:04:20 GMT

Researchers looked at almost 4,000 prison suicides in 24 countries, including in England and Wales.

Caldey Island: Sex offender evaded justice at abbey
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 07:19:19 GMT

Paul Ashton was only arrested after a Caldey Island visitor recognised him from a Crimestoppers wanted list.

Candlelit vigil to be held in Swanage for Gaia Pope
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:00:35 GMT

The teenager's family says it will "celebrate the joy she brought to so many lives."

Fighter pilots told 'keep windscreens clean' to avoid crashes
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:05:06 GMT

In the past five years, there have been 19 near misses involving UK aircraft and US fighter planes.

Tug vehicle collides with passenger plane at Glasgow Airport
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 23:10:39 GMT

Glasgow Airport was closed temporarily as efforts were made to clear ice from stands and taxiways.

Classic car fans say vehicles 'stripped' by Glossop restorer
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:36:02 GMT

Police have confirmed they are investigating as customers say they are owed nearly 300,000.

Natalie Pearman 1992 death: New names in police inquiry
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:00:49 GMT

New names have been given to police following a re-appeal over the killing of a 16-year-old.

Denis Law to receive Freedom of Aberdeen
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:16:04 GMT

The former European footballer of the year will receive the honour on Saturday ahead of a parade on Sunday.

William and Kate arrive for Royal Variety
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:56:19 GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been delayed by a security alert at nearby Oxford Circus Tube.

Disruptive seal and a fireball flash
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 01:05:57 GMT

Some of the stories you might have missed this week.

Catching fly-tippers in the act
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:35:18 GMT

When fly-tipping occurs on private property, it can be very costly for landowners.

Animal feelings vote and fake news
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 17:27:43 GMT

Conservatives say the party has been a victim of fake news and some social media reports did not reflect reality.

How to move a giant 2m yacht across dry land
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 02:24:59 GMT

The large boat was moved from Oundle in Northamptonshire, to Ipswich in Suffolk, via Cambridgeshire.

Gary Oldman on what it was like playing Winston Churchill
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 19:28:29 GMT

The actor's been tipped for an Oscar for his portrayal of the wartime leader in a new film, Darkest Hour.

Russian village complex where England team may stay
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 04:11:57 GMT

Russia hosts the 2018 Football World Cup; we've had exclusive access to England's preferred training base.

BBC News Channel
Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:22:39 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments

Newspaper headlines: 'Record' Black Friday and defence 'revolt'
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 05:26:01 GMT

Big spending on Black Friday and a defence minister's threat to resign make headlines on Saturday.

Counting down
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:34:04 GMT

How Advent has gone from chocolate treats for children to an extravagant present-filled bonanza.

Nothing wasted
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:48:16 GMT

A growing number of businesses are finding creative uses for surplus food - but will the trend ever go mainstream?

Fanzine art
Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:05:28 GMT

The BBC takes a look at fanzine editors' favourite covers and the inspiration behind them.

Churchill challenge
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:30:36 GMT

The actor discusses his new film Darkest Hour (and his own chances of Oscars success).

Teenage stroke
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:37:04 GMT

Neil Ferguson was a sporty 13-year-old when a stroke left him suffering from paralysis and speech problems.

Festive treats
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:21:03 GMT

A woman was asked for ID over a mince pie - so how much alcohol is in the festive treats and are they OK for kids?

'Wandering hands'
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:41:29 GMT

The focus is on Westminster but sexism and harassment are rife in local councils too, say campaigners.

Black Friday
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:18:53 GMT

How to bag the best of the bargains.