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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

'Wheelchair v buggy': Man wins Supreme Court case
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:03:29 GMT

Bus drivers will have to do more to help wheelchair users after a disabled man's court victory.

British holidaymakers to be flown out of The Gambia
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:13:14 GMT

Thousands of British holidaymakers are to return to the UK after new Foreign Office advice.

Corrie Mckeague: Swingers website membership probed
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:19:48 GMT

Detectives are investigating Corrie Mckeague's use of a swinging website.

James Ellington & Nigel Levine 'conscious and stable' after crash
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:33:33 GMT

British sprinters James Ellington and Nigel Levine are "conscious and stable" following a motorbike accident in Spain.

Brexit: Boris Johnson warns against 'punishment beatings'
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:40:53 GMT

Boris Johnson tells the EU not to treat the UK's Brexit "escape" like a "World War Two movie".

Birmingham dad Mohammed Endris charged with murder of his children
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:17:23 GMT

A father is charged with murdering his two young children who died after a house fire.

Southern rail 'full service' to resume next week
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:21:04 GMT

Train drivers suspend their walkouts, with a full timetable in place on Tuesday, the company says.

'Research schools' for social mobility zones
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:11:08 GMT

Education Secretary Justine Greening is to announce six more "opportunity areas" with their own research schools.

UK unemployment falls to 1.6 million
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:35:54 GMT

UK unemployment fell by 52,000 to 1.6 million in three months to November, official figures show.

Leonne Weeks death: Women arrested in Rotherham murder probe
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:37:26 GMT

The 26-year-old's been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender after the death of Leonne Weeks.

EE mobile firm fined 2.7m for overcharging customers
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:37:29 GMT

EE, the UK's biggest mobile phone operator, broke billing rules, says regulator Ofcom.

Addenbrooke's out of special measures due to staff 'dedication'
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:15:22 GMT

One of the UK's largest NHS trusts is taken out of special measures, thanks to the "dedication and skill" of staff, a report says.

Deliveroo to add 300 UK tech jobs in new London office
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:52:27 GMT

The food delivery firm will hire a third more staff when it opens its new London HQ in summer 2017.

Premier Foods shares slide after profit warning
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:56:13 GMT

The Mr Kipling, Bisto and Batchelors owner, Premier Foods, says profits will be 10% lower this year.

University of Sussex 'sorry' for domestic violence failings
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:03:49 GMT

A university apologises to a former student for the "inadequate" way it handled her abuse case.

Brexit: Key points from Theresa May's speech
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:11:12 GMT

Theresa May has set out her negotiation priorities for the UK to leave the European Union.

Wheelchair user Doug Paulley on winning bus buggy dispute
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:28:10 GMT

Wheelchair user Doug Paulley says the case "will hopefully make a major difference for disabled travellers".

Couple 'risk lives' at North Yorkshire rail crossing
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:20:07 GMT

A couple with a toddler "risked their lives" by climbing over a locked level crossing gate near Scarborough, Network Rail have warned.

Travelling from China to London
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:07:48 GMT

China has launched a direct rail freight service to London, as part of its drive to develop trade.

Retracing Tunisia beach attacker's movements in VR simulation
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:06:07 GMT

Virtual reality images retracing the route of the Tunisian beach attacker was shown to the inquest.

New Jersey rescue catamaran washes up on Uist three years later
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:14:56 GMT

The barnacle-covered remains of a catamaran wash up on South Uist three years after its crew were rescued off the US coast.

NHS Wales chief says winter pressures 'very challenging'
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:09:52 GMT

The head of NHS Wales says A&E units and the ambulance service have faced exceptional challenges this winter.

BBC News Channel
Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:34:37 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments as suspect in Berlin market attack is shot dead in Milan.

Family traced after plea over watch from torpedoed SS Athenia
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:37:40 GMT

An appeal for information about the original owner of a watch gifted to a Scottish museum helps reunite members of his family.

'Wrong Ivanka' from UK hits back after Trump tweet
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 09:34:58 GMT

A tweet quoted by Donald Trump praising his daughter mistakenly copies in Ivanka from Brighton.

Theresa May's Brexit 'deal or no deal'
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:09:30 GMT

Theresa May's long-awaited speech on her strategy for Brexit leads Wednesday's front pages.

Filling Buble's shoes
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:37:33 GMT

As Michael Buble takes time off to care for his son, who could replace him as host of the Brit Awards?

Shock of the nude
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:33:29 GMT

The BBC's Siobhann Tighe was unsure what to do when she boarded a bus and sat next to a man watching porn on his mobile phone. Here readers tell their own stories of porn in public.

Nuisance calls
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:05:30 GMT

The UK's information watchdog receives a complaint about nuisance phone calls on average every five minutes. We answer your questions on how the calls get through and what can be done about them.

Inflation - who wins, who loses?
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:50:23 GMT

Sooner or later, the downward pressure on the pound since the UK's Brexit vote is expected to lead to upward pressure on the prices of most things we buy.

Crying shame
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:16:59 GMT

The crying of babies with colic may be reduced with acupuncture, according to controversial new research from Sweden.

Jill's legacy
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:44:38 GMT

Women comforted and inspired by rape survivor and sexual assault campaigner Jill Saward talk about the impact she had on their lives.

Kidney, eggs, blood...
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:50:23 GMT

Tracey Jolliffe has already donated a kidney, 16 eggs and 80 pints of blood. She is now considering donating part of her liver too.

Embryo rules
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:35:51 GMT

Should scientists be allowed to experiment on embryos beyond 14 days of development?

'Modern toys are ugly'
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:19:33 GMT

Kristin Baybars has made and sold toys from her shop for 40 years - and modern toys don't impress her.

Enjoying the ride
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:19:30 GMT

Some creative commuters are occupying their travelling hours with a productive pastime. Here is a look at some of their efforts.

Sterling slayer
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:39:12 GMT

The government's messages about Brexit have been consistent, if thin on detail - so why is the pound so jumpy?