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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

Honda confirms Swindon car plant closure
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:03:19 GMT

The firm says the move is due to global changes in the car industry and has nothing to do with Brexit.

More Labour MPs and some Tories could join new group - Chuka Umunna
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 10:15:27 GMT

Leadership urged to act on concerns as two Tory MPs consider joining group formed by Labour rebels.

Euston stabbing: Eleven held after man dies in hotel reception
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:52:56 GMT

The victim collapsed in the reception area of the London hotel but died shortly after.

UK and French tourists missing in Australia beach search
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 04:08:36 GMT

Items belonging to Hugo Palmer and Erwan Ferrieux were found on a popular beach, police say.

Maajid Nawaz: LBC presenter 'racially attacked' in London
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 10:52:30 GMT

LBC presenter Maajid Nawaz says he was racially abused and attacked outside a London theatre.

Rail firms say pre-paid ticket issue 'now resolved'
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:20:57 GMT

Passengers were not able to collect pre-paid tickets from machines across the country.

UK employment hits another record high
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 10:57:01 GMT

A record 32.6 million people were in work between October and December, official figures show.

Fast fashion: 'Penny on a garment' to drive clothes recycling
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:00:18 GMT

Clothing brands and retailers should pay per item to fund a 35m annual recycling scheme, MPs say.

Derek Hatton rejoins Labour after 34 years
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:45:25 GMT

The man expelled in the 1980s for hard-left activities says he has returned and it is "good to be back".

Yvette Cooper: Man who made threats given caution
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 10:33:36 GMT

A 59-year-old from Leeds is given a conditional caution over threats made to MP Yvette Cooper.

Child abuse images being traded via secure apps
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 05:00:44 GMT

Stolen credit cards and other illegal material are also on sale, a File on 4 investigation discovers.

Ozzy Osbourne cancels tour dates to recover from pneumonia
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 09:26:17 GMT

The former Black Sabbath star had already postponed his UK and European tour.

'Domestic abuse happens to men too'
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:21:35 GMT

Alex's girlfriend is the first woman in the UK to be jailed for controlling and coercive behaviour.

'It's time we dumped old-fashioned politics'
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:02:24 GMT

The seven MPs - Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey - explain why they've resigned from the Labour Party.

Female mechanic helps women learn about cars
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:45:19 GMT

Mechanic Louise Baker has set up a service in Birmingham aimed at women.

The children tackling plastic beach waste
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:46:13 GMT

What do these Neath pupils think of plastic waste after a beach clean-up?

Honda car plant closure: ?A sad day for Swindon?
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 22:41:45 GMT

Staff leaving the factory in Swindon share their reactions to reports that it will close in 2022.

Storage solutions in stressful situations
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:04:18 GMT

"We have to be mindful of the moments in life our customers are in," says storage boss Anthony Paine.

LGBT History Month: Test your knowledge
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:55:13 GMT

We went to Brighton, "the gay capital of the UK", to test how much the public knows about LGBT history.

BBC News Channel
Tue, 29 Jan 2019 19:29:05 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments

Newspaper headlines: 'Splitting headache' for Corbyn over resignations
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 05:21:01 GMT

Tuesday's papers are dominated by the 'gang of seven' quitting the Labour Party over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Stephen Lawrence: How has his murder changed policing?
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 01:10:34 GMT

Twenty years since the review into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, what has changed?

Sheela-na-gigs: The naked women adorning Britain's churches
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:53:32 GMT

Why are churches across Britain adorned with carvings of naked women exposing their genitalia?

Pop music's growing gender gap revealed in the collaboration age
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 05:13:08 GMT

Three times as many male as female pop stars appeared on last year's biggest hit singles.

Should Britain apologise for Amritsar massacre?
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:41:31 GMT

Hundreds of Indians attending a public meeting were shot dead by British troops on 13 April 1919.

How Brexit hit the pound in your pocket
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:03:52 GMT

The value of the pound has changed a lot over the past three years - making us all a little poorer.

The long and contentious story of the 1bn Aberdeen bypass
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:02:37 GMT

Nine years after being approved, the 1bn Aberdeen bypass is finally complete following a somewhat bumpy ride.

Meet Sydney - the teenage taxidermist
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:45:07 GMT

Sydney Langton wants to make it big in the animal art world.

'Cowards and traitors' - how Twitter reacted to Labour resignations
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:43:09 GMT

But deputy Leader Tom Watson condemns those "celebrating" the resignation of seven Labour MPs.