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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.

Concerns over terror exclusion plans
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:27:52 GMT

Powers to exclude some British fighters returning from Syria and Iraq was an "announcement waiting for a policy", the independent reviewer of terrorism says.

Learning disability care 'failing'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:45:14 GMT

People with learning disabilities are being kept in hospitals too far from home for too long, a report commissioned by NHS England finds.

Facebook Lee Rigby attack 'unfair'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:10:14 GMT

It would be "almost impossible" for internet firms to monitor all website postings for possible terrorist content, a former MI6 director says.

Universal postal service 'at risk'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:51:47 GMT

Royal Mail boss Moya Greene tells MPs that there is a genuine threat to the continuation of the firm's "universal service".

Care home boss guilty of child abuse
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:30:43 GMT

A former children's homes boss is found guilty of 26 charges of sexually abusing youngsters in Wrexham.

Come clean on ads, vloggers told
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:28:02 GMT

Video bloggers are being told they need to be completely clear about when they are being paid to promote products.

Blair charity award faces criticism
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:05:10 GMT

A Save the Children decision to give former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair an award for his anti-poverty work is criticised by some charity workers.

Doctor jailed for secret filming
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:20:36 GMT

A doctor who secretly filmed hundreds of patients, colleagues and hospital visitors, is jailed for five years.

Vodafone gave too much data to police
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:02:33 GMT

Vodafone sent the phone data of more than 1,000 News UK workers to police after being asked for the details of just one journalist, the Met Police says.

Call for 2bn more for NHS in England
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:00:46 GMT

Calls for extra money for the NHS in England are intensifying after latest figures show the deficit is growing as performance deteriorates.

Hunt 'contradicted NHS advice'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:17:47 GMT

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been accused of contradicting NHS advice after admitting that he took his children to A&E at the weekend rather than wait to see a GP.

Police to examine MLAs' expenses
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:50:51 GMT

Police are examining allegations about Northern Ireland Assembly members' expenses after revelations in a two-part BBC Spotlight programme.

A 'generation to change bank culture'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:08:36 GMT

A "toxic" and "aggressive" culture inside British banks will take a generation to change, according to a report from Cass Business School and New City Agenda.

Ceop failures 'leave children at risk'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:57:10 GMT

Children are being put at risk because of deficiencies at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, ex-staff tell BBC Newsnight.

Javid wants Fifa to publish report
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:00:27 GMT

The government calls on Fifa to publish in full the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

Call to cancel EDL founder's speech
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:20:58 GMT

Academics and politicians sign an open letter opposing the appearance of English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson at the Oxford Union.

Thomas Cook chief in shock departure
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:20:57 GMT

Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green has resigned, saying her work at the travel firm "is complete".

Clegg backs EU migrant benefit curbs
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:31:21 GMT

Nick Clegg outlines his proposals to curb benefits to European Union migrants, during a meeting with his German counterpart in Berlin.

Llewelyn-Bowen winter park reopens
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:12:40 GMT

A Christmas attraction, created with the help of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, reopens after it closed amid a wave of complaints.

Shakespeare Folio found in France
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:15:44 GMT

A rare Shakespeare First Folio, regarded as the most important book in English literature, is discovered in a small French town.

VIDEO: Eubank's surreal poetry recital
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:05:31 GMT

Chris Eubank performs an impromptu recital of Rudyard Kipling's poem 'If' during an interview about his son, Chris Eubank Jr.

Minister warns of major job losses
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:02:20 GMT

Finance minister Simon Hamilton warns of "considerable" job losses in the public sector, but cannot put an exact figure on cuts through voluntary redundancy.

Board to pick up death crash family
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:16:37 GMT

The North Eastern Education and Library Board agrees to provide transport to collect the brothers and sisters of a boy who was killed in a crash near Cloughmills, County Antrim.

Caerphilly estate is 'most deprived'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:26:03 GMT

An area of Caerphilly becomes the most deprived community in Wales, official figures show.

Police probe death at hospital
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:13:11 GMT

Dyfed-Powys Police launch an investigation into the death of a patient at a Pembrokeshire hospital.

Sturgeon to outline government plans
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:21:35 GMT

Plans for an alternative to council tax are expected to be at the core of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for the coming year.

Sex attack on girl investigated
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:54:21 GMT

An indecent assault on a 12-year-old girl in Aberdeen early on Tuesday is being investigated by police.

Drunk honeymooner grounds plane
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:18:03 GMT

A drunk honeymooner from Blackburn causes a flight to Cuba to be grounded in Bermuda, after threatening to kill everyone on board.

Drugs claims over missing stag man
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:38:29 GMT

A man who went missing on a stag weekend in Prague may have taken "narcotic and psychotropic" substances before he disappeared, according to Czech police.

Aguero reignites European campaign
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:15:51 GMT

Ninety goals in 138 games and 14 in 22 Champions League matches - Sergio Aguero belongs with the elite, says Phil McNulty.

Eubank Sr likens son to Leonard
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:16:14 GMT

Chris Eubank Sr says his son Chris Jr - who faces Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday - is the most talented boxer since Sugar Ray Leonard.

Cricketer Hughes 'remains critical'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:57:18 GMT

Australia batsman Phil Hughes remains in a critical condition after being struck on the head by a ball in a match.

Has the imagination disappeared from Lego?
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:22:52 GMT

Critics say Lego has become less creative, with too many specialised pieces and instruction manuals. Is this true?

Six unexpected WW1 battlegrounds
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:23:52 GMT

Not all crucial battles in World War One took place on the muddy fields of Europe - some were fought in little-known places much further afield.

The Taliban's psychiatrist
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:20:11 GMT

The war that brought the Afghan Taliban to power in the 1990s left many of them in need of psychological treatment - they turned to Dr Nader Alemi for help.

Watchdog warning over benefit delays
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:05:15 GMT

Ministers risk racking up a multi-billion pound bill if IT systems to run their flagship benefit reform are not introduced on time, a watchdog claims.

Miliband backs new commission for NI
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:07:00 GMT

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband says the people of Northern Ireland "deserve to have an equal stake in prosperity" and opportunities "to shape their lives for the better".

Labour pledges 'digital data review'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:27:26 GMT

A future Labour government will review how public data is accessed digitally to ensure it is "coherent and ethical".

VIDEO: Liaison Committee
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:08:03 GMT

MPs question Prime Minister David Cameron.

VIDEO: Sharp rise in 'revenge evictions'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:54:32 GMT

There has been a sharp rise in the number of people asking for help from Citizens Advice because they feel they have been unfairly evicted from rented accommodation.

VIDEO: Vlogger Chyaz on new ad rules
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:52:44 GMT

Video bloggers or 'vloggers', as they're called, are being issued with new guidance by the Advertising Standards Authority, which says they have to make it clear if they are promoting products for money.

AUDIO: Tesco writes apology poem to students
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:30:15 GMT

Two students who wrote a poem complaining to Tesco say they were "very impressed" to receive a reply - in verse.

VIDEO: David Mellor recorded in taxi row
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:11:47 GMT

Former cabinet minister David Mellor is secretly recorded having a heated row and swearing at a taxi driver, a tabloid newspaper reports.

VIDEO: Is a 'click and collect' Christmas ahead?
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:20:39 GMT

Click and collect services, where customers can pick up their online shopping from a range of destinations, are rapidly growing in popularity.

VIDEO: Pro-independence paper goes on sale
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:29:09 GMT

A new newspaper, claiming to represent those who voted for independence from Britain in last September's referendum, has been launched in Scotland.

VIDEO: 'Rosberg battle psychological warfare'
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:03:07 GMT

World champion Lewis Hamilton tells BBC Breakfast that his title battle with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg became "psychological warfare".

VIDEO: Murder of Lee Rigby 'not preventable'
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:29:47 GMT

The murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby could not have been prevented by the intelligence agencies, according to a parliamentary inquiry.

Performing poetry, on a ventilator
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:59:51 GMT

Performance poet on stage with a ventilator

Millennials, not Mumsnet: Younger women and the 2015 election
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:17:30 GMT

Can younger women change our politics and influence the election?

Playwright Priestley's 'grim' north
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 04:01:58 GMT

Was a book by JB Priestley responsible for the stereotype?

Richard Stead: Breaking the cycle of poor literacy
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 04:08:40 GMT

What can be done to break cycle of poor reading and writing skills?

'The war on Facebook'
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:23:29 GMT

The newspaper's react to the report into the Woolwich murder