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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

NHS funding: Brexit 'won't save enough' to fund 20bn boost
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 09:00:29 GMT

Jeremy Hunt says there will be an "increased burden of taxation" to pay for the extra 20bn a year.

David Dimbleby to leave Question Time
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 21:00:59 GMT

The presenter will leave the political debate show in December after 25 years to return to reporting.

Royal wedding 2018: Meghan's dad reveals tears over wedding
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:56:31 GMT

Thomas Markle says he is upset about being "a footnote to the greatest moment in history".

Child prisoners 'held in solitary confinement'
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 01:02:34 GMT

A prison reform charity says it has been told of numerous incidents in young offenders institutions.

Billy Caldwell: Senior MP urges reform over medical cannabis
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 21:42:15 GMT

An MP leading an all-party group looking at medical cannabis calls for "more fundamental reform".

Debit card payments more popular than cash
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:28:11 GMT

More than three million people hardly used cash at all last year, according to the banking trade body.

Virgin Money bought by CYBG for 1.7bn
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:03:36 GMT

The combined group will be the UK's sixth-largest bank, with about six million customers.

Defence spend rise urged over Russian threat
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 01:36:34 GMT

MPs say funding of the UK's armed forces should rise from 2% to 3% of total GDP.

Glasgow art school blaze: Expert warns it may have to be demolished
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 19:01:31 GMT

A construction expert warns the fire-ravaged structure of the Glasgow School of Art may have to be demolished.

'Labour anti-Semitism putting off students'
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:37:20 GMT

Jewish groups and Young Labour members say Jeremy Corbyn's not tackled anti-Semitism and it's putting students off certain campuses.

'Horse hit' as Windsor Triathlon cyclists pass
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 18:49:18 GMT

Windsor Triathlon organiser Human Race Events said those responsible would be disqualified.

Question Time: David Dimbleby to step down after 25 years
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 21:01:19 GMT

David Dimbleby, who has hosted Question Time since 1994, says he will leave it at the end of the year.

How to avoid being addicted to gaming
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 21:02:57 GMT

Gaming addiction has been listed as a mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organization.

Upskirting row MP: Why did you give Chope a knighthood?
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 14:44:11 GMT

The prime minister told Andrew Marr a law would still be passed to make upskirting a criminal offence.

Taking a stand against sexism and racism in the advertising industry
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 23:05:42 GMT

Magazine editor Sherry Collins is taking a stand after being confused for a prostitute at a media event.

The volunteers saving lives on the railways
Sat, 16 Jun 2018 23:07:14 GMT

Patrols have been operating at railway stations in the Thames Valley for the past three years.

Horsefly season: How to avoid being bitten
Sat, 16 Jun 2018 10:19:33 GMT

It is horsefly season, which means all those enjoying the countryside should watch out for bites.

Sutton-in-Ashfield man scales 45ft tree to rescue parrot
Sat, 16 Jun 2018 07:58:50 GMT

Chris Phelan used custard creams to tempt the 11-year-old parrot down.

Victoria Derbyshire
Wed, 06 Jun 2018 16:05:19 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments

'Best daddy' tribute for David Beckham
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 17:34:52 GMT

Victoria Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Declan Donnelly post Father's Day tributes on social media.

Real-life 'Chicken Run' for stowaway hen using lorry
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 10:45:21 GMT

Ginger the hen escaped from a farm by using lorry destined for a Sainsbury's distribution centre.

Newspaper headlines: PM 'under fire for Brexit dividend claim' and 'We Kane Do It'
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 04:33:41 GMT

The funding of the PM's NHS plan and the England football team feature on Monday's front pages.

Celebrating the flower growers of Britain
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:03:09 GMT

Photographer Tessa Bunney's pictures celebrate British Flowers Week..

Quiz: Test your England squad knowledge
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 23:01:41 GMT

How much do you know about England's World Cup squad?

Galloway's war of words with a mystery Wikipedia editor
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:21:54 GMT

"Philip Cross" has made thousands of Wikipedia edits. But he's been accused of bias against anti-war activists.

'The day I was diagnosed was the worst of my life'
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 23:35:16 GMT

How one entrepreneur had to quit work to battle cancer, leaving his co-founder to grow their company on his own.

Veganism: Why is it on the up?
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:25:10 GMT

More and more people are buying plant-powered products. What?s behind the rise?

'Why UK Asians need to talk more about suicide'
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:24:01 GMT

Rates of attempted suicide among South Asian women are two-and-a-half times more than white women.

World Cup: Gareth Southgate says England must embrace 'festival of football'
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 08:22:18 GMT

England manager Gareth Southgate wants his players to embrace the World Cup's 'festival of football'.