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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.

Met investigated 18 justice campaigns
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:57:57 GMT

The Met Police collected information on 18 justice campaigns - including that of Jean Charles de Menezes - a report into a now defunct undercover unit says.

Ex-boyfriend guilty of Jayden murder
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:42:27 GMT

The ex-boyfriend of pregnant teenager Jayden Parkinson, whose body was found in an Oxfordshire graveyard, is convicted of murder.

Success for hosts at Glasgow 2014
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:20:37 GMT

Host nation Scotland has a successful first day at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning 10 medals.

Police investigate abuse 'cover-up'
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:38:40 GMT

Police investigating sexual abuse allegations at a school in Rochdale refer themselves to the independent police watchdog over the way they handled previous inquiries.

Killers fail to overturn voting ban
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:22:12 GMT

The UK Supreme Court dismisses a bid to overturn the ban on convicted prisoners being able to vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

Secret Cinema cancels opening night
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:26:12 GMT

Fans react angrily after Secret Cinema cancels an immersive screening of Back to The Future with only a couple of hours' notice.

52 priests defrocked for sex abuse
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:37:04 GMT

The Catholic Church in England and Wales has defrocked 52 priests for sexual abuse since 2001, a report reveals.

Government to end nuclear waste veto
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:26:33 GMT

The UK government wants to scrap a community veto which allows local politicians to block a future 12bn nuclear waste repository.

Greens want tax on wealth over 3m
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:21:17 GMT

The Green Party unveils plans to impose a wealth tax on people with assets of more than 3m.

Hacking reporter spared prison
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:00:57 GMT

Ex-News of the World and Sunday Mirror reporter Dan Evans is sentenced to a 10-month suspended jail sentence after admitting charges including phone hacking.

Apology after burns boy turned away
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:21:22 GMT

A health board apologises after staff at a Gwynedd hospital refused to admit an 11-year-old boy who had burned his stomach with a spilt cup of tea.

Government 'loses 700m NHS IT case'
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:55:37 GMT

Taxpayers could be hit with a 700m bill after the government reportedly loses a legal fight with Fujitsu.

Knife hidden in bra killer jailed
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:40:41 GMT

A woman who stabbed a businessman in the neck in his car is jailed for eight-and-a-half years for his manslaughter.

Men jailed for pizza driver murder
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:45:27 GMT

Two men are jailed for life for murdering a pizza delivery worker who was on his last shift before starting a new job.

Barclays challenges US fraud case
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:35:28 GMT

Barclays challenges legal action brought by US prosecutors alleging fraud in its "dark pool" trading operations.

Call for end to 'throwaway society'
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:05:10 GMT

A ban on sending leftover food to landfill is needed to move away from a 'throwaway society', say MPs.

Queen 'photo-bombs' athletes' selfie
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:53 GMT

Two Australian Commonwealth Games hockey players have a huge surprise when the Queen appears smiling in the back of their selfie.

Boy, 3, crashes car into pub garden
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:29:10 GMT

A three-year-old boy escapes serious injury after he unlocks his parents' car and drives it down two embankments into a pub garden.

Major fish kill discovered in river
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:06:59 GMT

A major fish kill in a County Armagh river is being blamed on pollution from farm waste, says the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Kearney secures bronze medal for NI
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:22:39 GMT

NI's Lisa Kearney wins a bronze medal in the -52kg women's judo category after beating Canadian Audree Francis-Methot.

Gymnasts secure first Wales medal
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:30:01 GMT

Wales secure their first medal of the Commonwealth Games with silver in the rhythmic gymnastics team final in Glasgow.

Teen to pay 300 for supercar damage
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:05:25 GMT

A teenager who jumped on the bonnet of a 245,000 supercar has been told to pay the owner 300 compensation towards the 11,000 repairs.

Family of four in death crash named
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:09:14 GMT

Police release the names of the West Lothian family killed in a crash between their car and a lorry in Polmont.

Games construction deals 'top 769m'
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:54:59 GMT

More than 769m has been invested in Scottish construction contracts linked to the Commonwealth Games, according to analysis.

Flying car hits first floor of house
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:56:36 GMT

A car careers off the road and flies through the air, smashing into the first floor of a house in Lincolnshire.

Dwarfism boy 'barred from buses'
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:55:19 GMT

A boy with a form of dwarfism says he has been barred from buses five times in a fortnight in a row over the bike he uses.

Renicks sisters claim golden double
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:44:44 GMT

Sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks win Scotland's first golds of the Commonwealth Games with thrilling judo victories.

Alistair Brownlee wins triathlon gold
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:02:42 GMT

England's Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee beats his brother Jonny to gold in the Glasgow 2014 men's triathlon.

When time stood still
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:24:31 GMT

The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima - and its owner, who found peace through forgiveness.

Do four-year-olds need a graduation ceremony?
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:27:13 GMT

Pre-school graduation ceremonies are a growing phenomenon in UK nurseries.

The deaths uniting women across the world
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:10:42 GMT

After 13 years, Nato troops are preparing to leave Afghanistan - thousands of soldiers have died but the experiences of their widows differ dramatically.

Lorry speed limits being increased
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:52:01 GMT

The speed limit for lorries on single-lane main roads in England and Wales is to rise from 40mph to 50mph.

Assault MP referred to chief whip
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:54:40 GMT

Conservative MP David Ruffley, who received a police caution for common assault on his ex-partner, is referred to the government's chief whip.

Labour considers sport betting levy
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:51:52 GMT

A betting levy to help fund community facilities and treat gambling addiction is among proposals considered by Labour in a "long-term innovative plan for sport".

VIDEO: House of Commons
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:41:42 GMT

Israel's response to rocket attacks must be "proportionate", insists a minister.

VIDEO: Note found in World War One kilt
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:44:20 GMT

A hidden poem written by a Glasgow woman has been found sewn into the folds of a World War One kilt owned by a Southampton academic.

VIDEO: New twist in Banksy mural saga
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:48:13 GMT

There are questions over the ownership of the Banksy Spy Booth mural in Cheltenham, as Steve Knibbs reports.

VIDEO: Ex-boyfriend guilty of Jayden murder
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:26:57 GMT

Ben Blakeley, the ex-boyfriend of pregnant teenager Jayden Parkinson, has been found guilty of her murder.

VIDEO: Luke Skywalker actor on new Star Wars
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:05:31 GMT

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker more than 30 years ago, has said it feels like an "unexpected gift" to be back on a Star Wars set.

VIDEO: Call for end to 'throwaway society'
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:57:32 GMT

MPs have called for a ban on food waste going in to landfill.

VIDEO: Viking boat goes on display
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:25:34 GMT

The remains of a 1,000-year-old Viking boat have gone on display for the first time in the city where it was found.

VIDEO: Police monitored bereaved families
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:04:39 GMT

Metropolitan Police gathered information on 18 bereaved families campaigning for justice, including relatives of Stephen Lawrence and Jean-Charles de Menezes.

VIDEO: The tale of the pub with no power
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:26:17 GMT

Bad weather left a Kent pub without power over Christmas, the landlord has been compensated for loss of earnings as power companies change the rules on payments for people whose power is cut off

How Scottish are Scottie dogs?
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:32:38 GMT

How Scottie dogs became a symbol of Scotland

Aerial images reveal WW1 'footprint'
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:52:12 GMT

Aerial images show WW1's impact on UK landscape

Wiggins questions price of Tour fame
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:31:03 GMT

Sir Bradley Wiggins on being 'most famous man in the country'

Europeans with an eye on Edinburgh
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:16:21 GMT

Eight places in Europe that also want independence

Obituary: Dora Bryan
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:58:06 GMT

Remembering the talented character actress

Highlights from the Queen's Baton Relay
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:45:50 GMT

Highlights from the Queen's Baton Relay

Peaches' drug 'secrets' and Games pictures - papers
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:41:23 GMT

Tabloids focus on the inquest of Peaches Geldof