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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

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Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:48:43 GMT

The PM is also seeking assurances from EU leaders that the Brexit 'backstop' will be temporary.

Ian Naude: Cheshire PC jailed for raping 13-year-old girl
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:36:39 GMT

Ian Naude's trial heard he joined Cheshire Constabulary "to gain the keys to a sweetshop".

Geminid meteor shower: Where, when and how to see it
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:31:36 GMT

Around the world, the shower will peak during 13 or 14 December, with up to 120 meteors per hour.

Woman kidnapped in boot of her own car in Kidmore End
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 12:29:37 GMT

Two men armed with a large knife approached the 58-year-old before bundling her into a black BMW.

Anger as accused MPs get whip restored for May vote
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:06:10 GMT

Andrew Griffiths and Charlie Elphicke are being investigated over inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Dog meat ban: MPs call for UK to follow the US in outlawing the practice
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:09:12 GMT

A group of MPs wants a legal loophole closed to make it illegal to eat cats or dogs.

Prevent scheme: Extreme right-wing referrals up by 36%
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:10:21 GMT

More than 1,300 people were referred to the authorities for extreme right-wing activity in 2017/18.

Branson's Virgin Galactic reaches edge of space
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:26:46 GMT

The latest test flight by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic makes it to the edge of space and back.

HMP New Hall: Prison officer Iain Cocks jailed for four years
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:10:22 GMT

A judge said Iain Cocks' behaviour was a "persistent and grave breach of trust".

South Western Railway strikes planned for Christmas week
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:36:19 GMT

The RMT union says South Western Railway workers will hold 24-hour strikes on 27 and 31 December.

New York Times London crime Twitter appeal backfires
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:51:46 GMT

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Ginger-haired boy writes poem to bullies who told him he should die
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:51:46 GMT

12-year-old Alfie Coleiro was bullied anonymously because of his ginger hair, so he wrote a poem in response.

New primary school data for England has been published by the government
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:19:17 GMT

League tables are the shop window of every school, and parents often use them to help choose schools for their children.

Luca Campanaro: Mother 'in awe' of football death son
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:25:12 GMT

The mother of a 14-year-old boy who died while playing football says she is "in awe" of her son.

Brexit battles: How May keeps fighting on
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:36:40 GMT

It's been a struggle that's lasted two years ? but for now the PM's fighting talk means she's kept her job.

Halo brace boy from Long Stratton puts on brave face
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 06:26:21 GMT

A mother from Norfolk has said how scared her family was when doctors said her son needed a halo brace

Theresa May: 'We now need to get on with the job'
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:50:32 GMT

Prime Minister Theresa May thanks supporters after holding off a challenge to her leadership.

Mary Poppins Returns for European premiere
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:37:18 GMT

The return of Mary Poppins saw the Royal Albert Hall transformed into Cherry Tree Lane for its European premiere.

Actor Hugh Bonneville to help budding actors
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:13:00 GMT

Actor Hugh Bonneville wants to provide more opportunities for young people to pursue a career in acting.

BBC News Channel
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 07:55:11 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments

Mum finds missing son after spotting him in Bugzy Malone video
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:55:30 GMT

A man missing for a year is reunited with his family after being spotted in a Bugzy Malone video.

Seal found on doorstep reunited with family
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:02:22 GMT

The marine mammal was found "lounging" in the sun next to plant pots.

Theresa May confidence vote: What was going on in committee room 14?
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:42:55 GMT

The other-worldly aura of the committee room where Mrs May's fate was announced.

'My young Sri Lankan husband left me with nothing'
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:03:38 GMT

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The secret life of a fantasy shopper
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:02:19 GMT

Some people take window-shopping to the next level. Sue Elliott-Nicholls describes the escapist allure of a posh fitting room.

Marmite sprouts? Why retailers are pushing the boundaries with festive food
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:14:21 GMT

From pigs-in-blankets tea to Christmas tree crisps, retailers are pushing the boundaries with festive food.

Could light bring us superfast mobile broadband indoors?
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:12:15 GMT

Superfast 5G mobile connectivity may not be able to reach inside buildings. Could light help?

David Dimbleby's 25 years on Question Time
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:07:56 GMT

How has the face of public debate changed during the veteran presenter's tenure?

How Tory MPs said they would vote in no confidence ballot
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:20:24 GMT

A full list of the Conservative MPs who publicly said whether or not they would Theresa May.

Tory leadership: Who could replace Theresa May?
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:57:27 GMT

Despite winning a vote of confidence, the prime minister's future looks far from certain.

Instagram tightens eating disorder filters after BBC investigation
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:36:05 GMT

The photo network?s filters don?t always halt posts that can promote anorexia and bulimia.

Mrs Wilson: Still searching for the real Alexander Wilson
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 01:27:07 GMT

As the BBC drama Mrs Wilson ends, Alexander Wilson's family don't know what to believe, his grandson writes.

Why Wales' quietest station, Sugar Loaf, got busier
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Railway enthusiasts have made this remote halt an unlikely "tourist destination".