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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

Football sex abuse: England captains make child safety film
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 04:40:26 GMT

Three England football team captains take part in a film on how to keep children safe in the game.

Edward Heath abuse claims: Police defend investigation
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:09:02 GMT

Police say an inquiry into abuse claims involving ex-PM Sir Edward Heath is exploring "significant" lines.

Minibus licence loophole puts people at risk - LGA
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 06:09:29 GMT

A loophole allowing minibus drivers to operate without CRB checks puts people at risk, councils say.

Airline pilot suffers heart attack at Glasgow Airport
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:06:15 GMT

The pilot of an airliner with 128 people on board suffers a heart attack as he taxies the plane to the runway at Glasgow Airport.

Murder charge over Harmondsworth immigration centre death
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:00:47 GMT

A man is charged with murder after another man died following an assault at an immigration facility.

Vegetarian cafe refuses new 'animal fat' 5 note
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:49:17 GMT

A vegetarian cafe refuses to accept the new 5 note after it emerged the currency contains animal products.

Wales' top-paid locum doctor paid 183,000 in 2015-16
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 06:48:07 GMT

Wales' top-earning locum doctor was paid 183,000 in 2015-16, with the amount spent on temporary workers across Wales doubling in three years.

Christmas dinner costs 'rise 14%'
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:48:01 GMT

A supermarket basket of Christmas food soars 14% on last year with the cost of many items increasing above inflation, research suggests.

London's child intensive care units told to delay surgery
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:49:55 GMT

London's Paediatric Intensive care units are told to stop treating all but the most urgent cases.

Winning Express betting scheme investors fear money lost
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:52:50 GMT

Investors in a 27m sports betting investment scheme which collapsed fear all their money will be lost if the authorities fail to act.

Amputee player Tommy McKay nominated for SPFL goal of the month
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:28:32 GMT

A one-legged amateur footballer is shortlisted for the Scottish Professional Football League's goal of the month.

Students call for nap pods at Edinburgh University
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:31:19 GMT

Students call for "nap pods" to be installed at Edinburgh University in a bid to combat the problem of sleep deprivation.

Santa vs Jesus board game 'blasphemous'
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:08:34 GMT

A Christmas-themed board game that pits Jesus against Santa is described as "offensive, shocking and blasphemous".

The twin sisters celebrating their 100th birthday
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 08:41:00 GMT

Twin sisters Irene Crump and Phyllis Jones have just celebrated their 100th birthday.

A novel way to cross the Thames
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:37:09 GMT

A zip wire over the River Thames in London raises 1m for charity.

Andrew Sachs: Fawlty Towers' 'I know nothing' scene
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:43:05 GMT

Watch the Fawlty Towers scene which created waiter Manuel's most famous line. Andrew Sachs, the actor who played him, has died at the age of 86.

John Cleese on Andrew Sachs
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:55:47 GMT

John Cleese explains to Radio 4's Today the deep rapport he had with co-star Andrew Sachs

Isle of Muck gets new teacher after online search
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 22:58:39 GMT

Earlier in the year the BBC brought you a story about the Isle of Muck having trouble finding a new teacher. A woman saw that report, and liked the look of island life.

Former Southampton player talks about his abuse
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:04:50 GMT

Dean Radford claims he was abused as a young player by a former employee of Southampton Football Club. Emma Vardy spoke to him.

Raised in the UK but 'blocked' from going to university
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:28:03 GMT

An 18-year-old who has lived in the UK since she was four says she's been denied a chance to attend university.

BBC News Channel
Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:34:37 GMT

Britain's most-watched news channel, delivering breaking news and analysis all day, every day.

Newspaper headlines: 'Labour has few safe seats left'
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 06:11:54 GMT

The Times leads on the fall-out from the Richmond Park by-election - while the Mail has a Brexit exclusive.

No Sex Pistols, please
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:16:00 GMT

Forty years ago the Sex Pistols were touring the country, hoping someone would let them play.

Post it
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:40:29 GMT

What role do postcards and letters play in this digital age? Some businesses think there is a gap in the market.

Real vs Fake
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:17:13 GMT

It's the time of year when Christmas trees go up, becoming the centrepiece of our family festivities. From cost to carbon footprint what should you consider when choosing your tree?

'I feel British'
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:46:58 GMT

BBC News visits a travel company using DNA testing to challenge its own workplace culture.

Fawlty fame
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:14:13 GMT

Actor who achieved fame as the bumbling Spanish waiter in Fawlty Towers.

More upsets
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 03:10:30 GMT

After the Richmond Park result, a look at some notable by-elections of the recent, and not-so-recent, past

Smart money?
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:23:08 GMT

As global student loan debt reaches crisis levels, can tech start-ups help cut costs?

Booster bother
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:52:28 GMT

New rules on car seats are being brought in but what are they and will parents need to buy replacements?

Tobacco road
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:09:46 GMT

A town in Belarus is producing billions of cigarettes per year, but how are many of them smuggled to the UK?

Century of peril
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:38:59 GMT

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is 100 years old - but what do its posters reveal about how society has changed?