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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.

Early results declared on big poll night
Fri, 06 May 2016 01:34:24 GMT

The first results are being declared as counting continues across the UK in elections to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and English councils.

Force 'tried to spin' Hillsborough news
Thu, 05 May 2016 21:00:31 GMT

A former South Yorkshire Police press officer claims she was asked to "spin" news during the Hillsborough inquests, the BBC can reveal.

'Human smugglers' shot in France chase
Thu, 05 May 2016 14:43:50 GMT

Police shoot a UK-registered car carrying suspected people smugglers after a high-speed chase that crossed from Belgium into France, state media says.

Junior doctors' contract talks welcomed
Thu, 05 May 2016 16:58:05 GMT

Moves by the government and junior doctors to restart talks has prompted hope the dispute over new working arrangements can be solved.

London rail fire disruption continues
Thu, 05 May 2016 21:48:59 GMT

Passengers are being warned that major travel disruption will continue until at least the end of the day following a fire on the tracks at Vauxhall station.

Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal (agg 3-1)
Thu, 05 May 2016 21:28:04 GMT

Jurgen Klopp remains on course for silverware in his first season after Liverpool beat Villarreal 3-1 on aggregate to reach the Europa League final.

Government to run 'abuse claim' unit
Thu, 05 May 2016 15:38:42 GMT

A young offenders' unit in Kent at the centre of assault claims uncovered by the BBC's Panorama programme is to be taken over by the government.

Leicester title 'inspires the world'
Thu, 05 May 2016 18:05:37 GMT

Leicester City's Thai vice-chairman says the "miracle" of the club's Premier League title is an "inspiration for the whole world".

'Sex ring clue' in West postcard
Thu, 05 May 2016 16:52:27 GMT

A postcard believed to be from serial killers Fred and Rose West appears to show they were part of a sex ring with child abusers David and Pauline Williams.

Funeral of marathon captain held
Thu, 05 May 2016 11:39:10 GMT

The funeral of an Afghanistan veteran and Green Beret who died after collapsing during the London Marathon is held in Dunfermline.

New Day paper to close after poor sales
Thu, 05 May 2016 09:49:21 GMT

The editor of the New Day says her team "tried everything" to make a success of the newspaper but low sales were to blame for its demise, just nine weeks after it was launched.

Jury in tears over Liam Fee video
Thu, 05 May 2016 13:31:16 GMT

Members of the jury in the Liam Fee murder trial weep as they are shown a police video of the toddler's body hours after he was found dead.

Snow warning on hottest day 'a mistake'
Thu, 05 May 2016 20:30:02 GMT

The Met Office "mistakenly" issues a snow warning - on the hottest day of the year so far.

MPs to review 'Boaty' naming process
Thu, 05 May 2016 16:09:48 GMT

MPs want to examine the process that has been used to find a name for the UK's new polar research ship - a vessel the public wants to call Boaty McBoatface.

Cricket points system nonsense - Vaughan
Thu, 05 May 2016 19:29:57 GMT

Former England captain Michael Vaughan describes plans to introduce a points system this summer as a "nonsense".

Ruthless Red Bull have made right move
Thu, 05 May 2016 15:51:27 GMT

Promoting Max Verstappen to replace Daniil Kvyat might be ruthless, but it is in Red Bull's best interests, says Allan McNish.

Goode on RPA player of the year list
Thu, 05 May 2016 16:48:09 GMT

Andy Goode is on the RPA player of the year shortlist, despite playing only seven games in the Premiership this season.

Burnham considers Manchester mayor bid
Thu, 05 May 2016 22:00:32 GMT

Andy Burnham is considering standing to be mayor of Greater Manchester when the role is created in 2017, his spokesman says.

Lib Dem councillor defects to Labour
Fri, 06 May 2016 01:24:09 GMT

A Liberal Democrat councillor in Stockport announces his defection to Labour, an hour before the polls close.

Apology after Barnet voters turned away
Thu, 05 May 2016 21:44:40 GMT

An investigation has been promised after voters were turned away from polling stations in Barnet.

Friday's front pages
Thu, 05 May 2016 23:27:51 GMT

The first editions of Friday's papers carry an eclectic range of stories, having been published just as polls closed in the elections held across the UK.

VIDEO: 'Surprise' at junior doctors' contract pause
Thu, 05 May 2016 12:49:34 GMT

The government has said it is willing to pause the introduction of the junior doctors' contract in England for five days from Monday to allow for talks.

VIDEO: London NHS choir signs film deal
Thu, 05 May 2016 13:13:13 GMT

The NHS choir that beat Justin Bieber to the UK's Christmas number one spot in 2015 signs a film deal to tell its story of success.

VIDEO: Force 'tried to spin' Hillsborough news
Thu, 05 May 2016 22:12:11 GMT

A former South Yorkshire Police press officer says she was asked to work as a spin doctor during the recent Hillsborough inquests.

VIDEO: 100-year-old woman models in Vogue
Thu, 05 May 2016 07:42:00 GMT

A 100-year-old woman has made history by becoming the oldest model to feature in Vogue, to celebrate the magazine's centenary.

VIDEO: Migrant children 'dream of getting to UK'
Wed, 04 May 2016 22:24:55 GMT

Lyse Doucet speaks to Afghan and Syrian teenagers in Calais, who are hoping to rebuild their lives in Britain.

VIDEO: Hiddleston open to new Night Manager series
Wed, 04 May 2016 17:23:56 GMT

Night Manager star Tom Hiddleston would consider starring in a second series if one was announced, he told BBC News.

Quiz of the week's news
Thu, 05 May 2016 23:58:16 GMT

What's the name of Princess Charlotte's pet?

Finding the graves of the two Joes
Fri, 06 May 2016 00:10:31 GMT

Hero fathers found after a lifetime of searching

Why was the New Day so short-lived?
Thu, 05 May 2016 14:24:35 GMT

Readers give their reasons why New Day paper came to an end

#DogsAtPollingStations: Political pups
Thu, 05 May 2016 12:02:42 GMT

Political pups excite Twitter users on election day

Plea over 'nurdles' on Scottish beaches
Thu, 05 May 2016 10:10:51 GMT

Public urged to track 'nurdles' on Scotland's beaches

What does it mean to be a Smith?
Thu, 05 May 2016 02:15:39 GMT

What it means to have the UK's most common name?

Making music and history
Thu, 05 May 2016 13:00:46 GMT

An exhibition opens about one of the most famous recording studios

The science behind Leicester's success
Wed, 04 May 2016 19:45:53 GMT

The science behind Leicester's success