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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.

Three children found dead in London
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:02:58 GMT

A woman is arrested after three children are found dead at a house in south London.

Violent crime 'continues to fall'
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:23:17 GMT

Violent crime is continuing to fall in England and Wales, according to an annual project examining injury data gathered from NHS hospitals.

Cancer teen reaches £1m target
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:09:52 GMT

A teenage blogger with terminal cancer raises £1m for charity after posting his final message to followers.

Blair warns West over radical Islam
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:22:26 GMT

Tony Blair warns Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.

UK government hits borrowing target
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:11:54 GMT

The UK government borrowed £107.7bn in the financial year to April 2014, lower than the amount it borrowed the previous year.

Boy, 11, dies after canal pipe fall
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:11:36 GMT

An 11-year-old boy who tried to cross a canal by balancing on a pipe dies after falling into the water in Lancashire.

Renewable energy projects approved
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:55:44 GMT

Eight renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, are given the green light by the government.

Madeleine police probe 18 break-ins
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:11:39 GMT

UK police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are looking at 18 potentially linked cases involving a lone intruder breaking into holiday villas in the Algarve, Portugal.

Breast cancer drug price cut urged
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:02:50 GMT

Campaigners urge pharmaceutical giant Roche to lower the cost of a pioneering breast cancer drug as the NHS prepares to rejects its use on price grounds.

Referendum pleas on St George's Day
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:29:45 GMT

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and UK Prime Minister David Cameron use the English feast day of St George to make their Scottish independence referendum appeals.

Top Gear 'regrets' Burma remark
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:49:27 GMT

The executive producer of Top Gear expresses regret over a "light-hearted" remark on its Burma special that led to the BBC show being accused of racism.

Danger of London's 'hidden homes'
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:21:22 GMT

Thousands of people in London are living in hidden homes - often in disturbing conditions - because they cannot afford to live elsewhere.

Coulson 'did not cover anything up'
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:19:51 GMT

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson tells the phone-hacking trial he did not "cover anything up" following the arrest of the paper's royal editor Clive Goodman in 2006.

Royals hit the decks in Adelaide
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:04:38 GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge try their hand at DJing during a visit to a music studio on the latest leg of their Australian tour in Adelaide.

'Irresponsible' holiday ad banned
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:25:58 GMT

A television advert for Center Parcs is banned for "irresponsibly" encouraging parents to take holidays during term time.

Adams 'gave IRA bomb order' - claim
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:16:09 GMT

A former IRA member makes new allegations about Gerry Adams, claiming the Sinn Féin leader ordered him to transport explosives to Great Britain for a bombing campaign in 1980.

Flybe in London City Airport deal
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:12:33 GMT

Flybe is to offer flights to and from London City Airport after signing a five-year deal.

House sales up by more than 20%
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:52:57 GMT

House sales in Wales increase by more than 20% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2013.

'Patience' warning over gay marriage
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:44:32 GMT

Supporters of gay marriage should be patient if they want the blessing of the Church in Wales, the Archbishop tells the governing body.

Anger over baby ashes report move
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:45:42 GMT

Parents of babies whose ashes were disposed of without their knowledge say they were "stunned" to learn a report into the scandal was handed over last week.

Snowden installed as uni rector
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:54:04 GMT

Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is installed as rector at Glasgow University despite not being allowed into the UK.

Flat searched over 'murdered' Paige
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:06:04 GMT

A flat near to where a 15-year-old girl disappeared almost seven years ago is searched by police after a £30,000 reward was offered to help solve her murder.

Rapist sex prison nurse struck off
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:48:54 GMT

A prison nurse who had an affair with a convicted rapist at a high-security jail in West Yorkshire is struck off the register.

Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd job
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:09:50 GMT

David Moyes thanks Sir Alex Ferguson for giving him the chance to manage Manchester United.

Why Palestinians love St George
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:14:26 GMT

As England celebrates the day of its patron saint, many Palestinians are gearing up for their own celebrations of this shared hero.

The man who takes troubled youths to therapy camp
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:06:17 GMT

As more and more families send their drug and alcohol-addicted kids to therapeutic wilderness camps in the US, more and more become acquainted with the shadowy figure known as the "escort."

France's silent tea revolution
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:10:58 GMT

Tea-drinking is becoming ever more popular in France, although history shows that the beverage has long been taken on the continent.

UK non-Christian claims 'absurd'
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:51:17 GMT

The UK is a Christian country and those who deny it are "deluding themselves" and ignoring "reality", say two senior Conservative MPs.

Firms warned on 'ridiculous' pay
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:51:21 GMT

Britain's top companies have been warned to exercise caution on executive pay by Vince Cable as they prepare to set next year's awards.

Pupils 'should have lunch in pubs'
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:14:49 GMT

Schoolchildren should sometimes be served lunch in pubs to give them "really good quality food" and ensure licensed premises are viewed in a "positive way", a minister says.

VIDEO: House of Commons
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:55:29 GMT

The PM is challenged over his support for Maria Miller following a row over her expenses.

VIDEO: Scotland: The Bard and the border
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:28:42 GMT

Scottish voters will decide whether or not they want to leave the United Kingdom in September but the issue is also being discussed across the British Isles.

VIDEO: DJ Duke: Will and Kate hit the decks
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:10:32 GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been taught how to DJ, during the latest leg of their royal tour of Australia.

VIDEO: Shock and sadness in New Malden
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:08:15 GMT

Local resident have spoken of their shock and sadness after three children were found dead at a house in south-west London.

AUDIO: Center Parcs advert banned by ASA
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:46:46 GMT

An "irresponsible" TV advert for Center Parcs has been banned for encouraging parents to take their children out of school.

VIDEO: Blair's warning on Mid-East politics
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:14:24 GMT

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on Western nations to address the role of religion in politics in the Middle East.

VIDEO: Money on wheels: Banking goes mobile
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:02:14 GMT

UK banks are expanding their use of mobile branches. Brian Milligan reports on the new banks on wheels.

VIDEO: Cable warns firms on 'ridiculous' pay
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:35:47 GMT

Business Secretary Vince Cable talks to BBC Business Editor Kamal Ahmed about his warning to FTSE 100 companies on executive pay

VIDEO: A&E data 'shows drop in violence'
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:45:29 GMT

Violent crime is continuing a long-term fall in England and Wales, according to annual figures from NHS hospitals.

Eight arguments about whether the UK is a Christian country
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:14:31 GMT

8 arguments for and against the UK as a Christian country

What would make St George's Day popular?
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:32:10 GMT

What could make the English party on St George's Day?

Is the UK becoming more productive?
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:03:38 GMT

UK productivity may be up ? but what does it mean?

Money on wheels: Banking goes mobile
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:03:46 GMT

The old technology bringing your bank branch to you

A tour of Shakespeare's England
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:05:56 GMT

What do the Bard's favourite haunts look like today?

The contenders to replace Moyes
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:29:21 GMT

The contenders to replace David Moyes at Man Utd

Exam pressure: A tutor's eye view
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:19:21 GMT

Enter the world of the super-tutor

Spotlight stays on Man Utd - papers
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:02:35 GMT

Headlines remain focused on Manchester United