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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.

Scottish Ebola nurse back in isolation
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:13:20 GMT

A Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone is readmitted to an isolation unit in London following an "unusual late complication".

NHS deficits hit 'massive' 930m
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:11:49 GMT

NHS trusts in England have racked up a 930m deficit in the first three months of the financial year -that is more than the entire overspend last year.

Watson 'must apologise' over Brittan
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:48:00 GMT

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson should apologise after police dropped a rape inquiry against Leon Brittan, the former home secretary's brother says.

No full inquest into Anni Dewani death
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:17:36 GMT

A coroner rules he "does not have sufficient cause" to open a full UK inquest into the death of Anni Dewani, who was killed while on honeymoon in South Africa.

MPs want better help for poorer pupils
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:54:24 GMT

The Public Accounts Committee calls for more effective support for two million disadvantaged school pupils.

Cases dropped over ill-health or age
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:14:19 GMT

More than 2,000 suspected criminals avoided prosecution in England and Wales last year because of their ill-health or age, figures show.

'Unifying' EU exit group launched
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:24:05 GMT

A new cross-party campaign aimed at taking the UK out of the European Union is launched, the second such group ahead of the EU referendum.

SSI 'missed' Redcar pension payments
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:39:52 GMT

Steel company SSI missed some payments into its employees' pension scheme, a worker at the Redcar steelworks says.

IRA-Libya inquiry wants Blair evidence
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:36:24 GMT

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is asked to give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into compensation for Libyan-sponsored IRA violence.

Thousands apply for 1 Liverpool homes
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 05:02:14 GMT

A flurry of applications is received by Liverpool city council, which is selling boarded-up homes for 1

Corbyn to praise social enterprise
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:19:48 GMT

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will urge a shake up in the economy to give more support to businesses that operate in the wider interests of the community.

Bruce Forsyth injured in home fall
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 00:08:30 GMT

Sir Bruce Forsyth has been told by doctors to have complete rest for at least a week after suffering a fall at his home.

VIDEO: Dancing great-great-granny goes viral
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:50:11 GMT

A video of a great-great grandmother dancing to rap music has gone viral after her grandson posted it online.

Croc maths question 'was challenging'
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:23:38 GMT

A bamboozling question about a crocodile stalking its prey was one reason the pass mark for Higher maths had to be lowered, a report finds.

NI celebrates Euro 2016 qualification
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:52:33 GMT

Northern Ireland football fans have been celebrating in the streets of Belfast after the team qualified for its first major tournament in 30 years.

Pair charged over alleyway murder
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 05:40:56 GMT

A 68-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman are charged in connection with the murder of Edward Gibson in west Belfast last October.

Councils' roads spend at 11-year low
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 05:09:22 GMT

Figures show spending by councils on roads and highways falls to an 11-year low and there is a warning maintenance in the future will be more difficult.

20,000 biscuit theft case crumbles
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:48:12 GMT

The case against a third man accused of stealing 20,000 worth of biscuits is dropped.

Student cleared of terror charges
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:23:36 GMT

An Aberdeen student is cleared of terrorism offences after a long-running trial.

Man, 57, dies after hit-and-run
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:37:41 GMT

A 57-year-old man dies after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run on Edinburgh's Comiston Road.

Sinkhole ground is 'still moving'
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:36:06 GMT

Engineers say the ground around the St Albans sinkhole is still moving and more cracks have appeared.

Police criticised in sex attack case
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 07:36:32 GMT

Kent Police is criticised for taking more than a year to get a DNA sample from a sex attacker who went on to assault two more women before being caught.

Liverpool biggest challenge - Klopp
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:41:04 GMT

New Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp describes the Anfield job as "the biggest challenge" in world football.

How did O'Neill's heroes defy odds?
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:59:28 GMT

Northern Ireland qualify for Euro 2016 against the odds, but how did they achieve it? And how far can they go in France?

Hulkenberg tops delayed practice
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:46:19 GMT

Nico Hulkenberg pips Nico Rosberg to the fastest time in a Russian Grand Prix first practice disrupted by diesel on the track.

PM to host talks with Angela Merkel
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:01:00 GMT

David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss EU reform, Syria and the migrant crisis over a working dinner at Chequers later.

Corbyn 'will join Privy Council'
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:36:52 GMT

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will become a Privy Counsellor, his spokesman says, despite him missing the first Privy Council meeting since his appointment.

UK to send troops to Baltic region
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:14:52 GMT

About 100 British military personnel will be sent to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Ministry of Defence confirms.

VIDEO: Home Affairs Committee
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:43:13 GMT

The Home Affairs Committee hears evidence on the immigration situation in Calais.

VIDEO: Pupils taught how to deal with clothes fires
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 07:12:53 GMT

BBC Breakfast's Tim Muffett has visited a school where pupils have been finding out what to do should their Halloween costume catches alight.

VIDEO: Yoko Ono remembers Lennon's birthday
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 07:00:57 GMT

Yoko Ono remembers John Lennon on the 75th anniversary of his birth.

VIDEO: Inside GCHQ for tributes to Alan Turing
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:20:57 GMT

As Alan Turing's nephew publishes a new biography about his uncle's work, the head of GCHQ has said Turing remains an inspiration to Britain's present day intelligence operatives.

VIDEO: What are new National Lottery rules?
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:13:03 GMT

As the UK National Lottery shakes up its rules, BBC News explains the changes and how it affects players.

VIDEO: Fifa needs to start again - Lineker
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:51:25 GMT

Ex-England striker Gary Lineker says a completely fresh start is needed at Fifa, following the provisional suspension of its president Sepp Blatter.

VIDEO: Trump in court over Scottish wind farm
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:14:02 GMT

Donald Trump's challenge to a planned offshore wind farm will go to the Supreme Court later.

VIDEO: Worker throws water over armed robber
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 08:05:41 GMT

A shop assistant who prevented an armed robbery by throwing water over a would-be thief is praised for her bravery.

VIDEO: Pankhurst on 'fitting' premiere protest
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:23:48 GMT

Dr Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of the British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, has described protests at the London premiere of a film about the movement as "fitting".

John Lennon's life in pictures
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 01:11:09 GMT

Beatle's life in pictures - on what would have been his birthday

Quiz of the week's news
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:01:01 GMT

Why did a US sports team fly 350 toilet rolls to London?

The forgotten woman pilot who flew Spitfires and bombers in WW2
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:00:58 GMT

The forgotten woman pilot who flew Spitfires and bombers

Britain faces tough call on Syrian bombing
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 01:55:22 GMT

Britain faces tough call on Syrian bombing

Riba Stirling Prize 2015: The Whitworth, University of Manchester
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:49:27 GMT

How a century-old gallery let the sunshine in

The Brassed Off band make a comeback
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 00:57:05 GMT

The Brassed Off band are back after avoiding closure again

The pain (and relief) of losing political office
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 01:40:32 GMT

The pain (and relief) of losing political office