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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.

UK 'not deporting enough criminals'
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:39:17 GMT

The UK's spending watchdog criticises ministers for failing to deport more foreign national offenders - saying performance has barely improved over eight years.

Father of IS hostage John Cantlie dies
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:12:01 GMT

Paul Cantlie, the father of Islamic State hostage John Cantlie, has died, less than two weeks after making a plea for his son to be released.

Cities need more power, says study
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:05:11 GMT

Allowing UK cities to make their own decisions on tax and spending could boost economic growth by 79bn a year by 2030, a year-long study concludes.

Wind farms outstrip nuclear power
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:07:59 GMT

The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says.

Concern raised over UK use of drones
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:03:53 GMT

The use of drones in the UK will rise over the next 20 years, raising "significant safety, security, and privacy concerns", a report says.

Schools 'should check kids' teeth'
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:54:54 GMT

Schools and nurseries need to step in to tackle the worrying trend of tooth decay in children, says the advisory body, NICE.

Move to stop charities funding terror
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:54:01 GMT

The charities watchdog is to receive an extra 8m and new powers to help it tackle charities used to fund crime and terrorism, the prime minister will say.

Clegg targets teachers' workload
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:56:21 GMT

Teachers in England are being asked to examine how they spend their working day, as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg vows to cut down on "pointless paperwork".

NICE conflicts of interests claim
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:52:48 GMT

A group of leading doctors and researchers has called on MPs to investigate potential conflicts of interest at the medicines watchdog, NICE.

Whitehall in confusion, MPs warn
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:00:47 GMT

Taxpayers are getting poorer value for money from government projects because of "confusion" over decisions, MPs warn.

Mentally ill put in police cells
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:54:15 GMT

Too many people in the middle of a mental health crisis end up locked in police cells after being turned away from hospitals, says a report.

Physics reveals how nature sparkles
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:15:57 GMT

Researchers reveal that the same physical mechanism is behind many of nature's most dazzling shines.

Smith Commission to hold first talks
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:25:56 GMT

A commission to consider more powers for the Scottish Parliament is to hold its first full meeting later.

Magic Faraway Tree set for big screen
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:05:43 GMT

Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree books are being adapted for cinema for the first time.

Slumbering lions win top photo prize
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:24:49 GMT

A black and white image of lions resting on a rock outcrop in the Serengeti has won the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.

US appoints Gary Hart as NI envoy
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:26:21 GMT

US Secretary of State John Kerry sends former senator Gary Hart to act as his envoy at the multi-party political talks at Stormont.

Arrest over girl missing since 1977
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:50:13 GMT

A man is arrested by police investigating the disappearance of a six-year-old girl in County Donegal 37 years ago.

'Tissue of lies' over health service
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:50:52 GMT

Health Minister Mark Drakeford launches a stinging attack on the Conservatives for telling a "tissue of lies" about the state of the Welsh NHS.

Conman pretended to be quadriplegic
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:15:59 GMT

A fraudster admits conning a neighbour out of 40,000 by pretending to be a quadriplegic and in a coma for two years.

Plans for 'revenge porn' legislation
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:26:22 GMT

Plans for a new law to tackle "revenge pornography" in Scotland are being considered by the Scottish government, the BBC learns.

'Hail of bullets' VC hero honoured
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:26:51 GMT

A soldier who braved a hail of bullets to rescue wounded comrades during a WW1 battle in France is being honoured in his home city of Glasgow.

Man guilty of hotel hammer attacks
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:56:34 GMT

A man who beat three sisters with a claw hammer in a London hotel while their children slept alongside them is found guilty of attempted murder.

Gales leave one dead and four injured
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:32:14 GMT

A woman dies and four people are taken to hospital after high winds brought down trees and gusts of up to 88mph swept the country.

Chelsea 6-0 NK Maribor
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:10:04 GMT

Didier Drogba scores his first goal since rejoining Chelsea as they beat Maribor 6-0 - their biggest Champions League win.

CSKA Moscow 2-2 Man City
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:51:15 GMT

Manchester City surrender a two-goal lead to draw at CSKA Moscow, leaving their Champions League hopes in the balance.

Rokoduguni set for England call-up
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:16:06 GMT

Bath's Fijian-born army soldier Semesa Rokoduguni is set to be named in England's squad for the November internationals.

The anarchic experimental schools of the 1970s
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:37:48 GMT

Today, the "free" in free school stands for the freedom to found a school outside council control. But back in the 1970s young idealists created a very different type of free school.

The man who magically made maths fun
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:08:32 GMT

The maths writer Martin Gardner, who died in 2010, is said to have turned dozens of innocent youngsters into professors - and vice-versa.

The fighter pilots who navigated war using a school atlas
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:09:32 GMT

Remarkable advances made in aviation during WW1 are still at the core of air power today.

Inquiry head defends Brittan links
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:35:24 GMT

The head of an inquiry into historical sex abuse insists she is not a member of the establishment - and says she wants to "lay to rest" speculation over links with ex-home secretary Lord Brittan.

MPs back 'recall' powers for voters
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:14:53 GMT

MPs back plans to allowed themselves to be sacked using a "power of recall" if they are found guilty of serious wrongdoing.

Peerage for immigration campaigner
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:26:29 GMT

Immigration campaigner Sir Andrew Green is among several public figures to be nominated for a peerage by David Cameron.

VIDEO: Intelligence and Security Committee
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:25:46 GMT

MPs take evidence on the issue of privacy and security.

VIDEO: Monument honours the Land Girls
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:26:39 GMT

A sculpture created in honour of women who served in the Land Army during World War Two - built with 85,000 in donations - is unveiled.

VIDEO: Polish MEP on joining UKIP group
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:18:44 GMT

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas speaks to Robert Iwaszkiewicz about joining the UKIP grouping in the European Parliament

VIDEO: More UK medics travel to Ebola area
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:49:25 GMT

International development secretary Justine Greening travels with soldiers from the Royal Army Medical Corps to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone.

VIDEO: Planes wobble as they land in storm
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:25:47 GMT

Planes wobble at they come in to land at Manchester Airport, during stormy weather on Tuesday.

VIDEO: More UK troops arrive in Sierra Leone
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:06:39 GMT

More British troops have arrived in Sierra Leone to help in the fight against the Ebola outbreak.

VIDEO: Pregnant Kate appears in public
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:10:56 GMT

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has made her first public appearance since an announcement that she was suffering from acute morning sickness.

AUDIO: Pooley's parents support his return
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:21:35 GMT

The parents of William Pooley, the British nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in West Africa, support his return to Sierra Leone to resume his work.

VIDEO: Storm leaves one dead and four hurt
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:49:48 GMT

A woman dies after being hit by a falling tree in high winds in London, while three people are injured in a separate incident in West Sussex.

The Ting Tings rediscover disco
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:06:36 GMT

The Ting Tings return with a new disco-vibe album

Spy chief's parting warning on online privacy
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:46:21 GMT

Spy chief's parting warning on online privacy

Supermarket supplies: The hidden world
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:09:38 GMT

The story behind the promotions at the end of the aisle

Dementia cash row and coma conman - the papers
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:24:11 GMT

Papers report plans to pay GPs 55 for each dementia diagnosis