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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.

Mass rallies mark referendum climax
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:03:42 GMT

Both sides in the Scottish referendum campaign hold rallies as they make their final efforts to win over undecided voters.

Friend appeals for Henning release
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:22:41 GMT

A man who was with British hostage Alan Henning when he was captured in Syria appeals for Islamic State militants to release him.

Thai murder police quiz two Britons
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:50:16 GMT

Police investigating the murders of two British tourists in Thailand question two British brothers and detain 11 Burmese people.

Ignore other cases, Travis jury told
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:48:06 GMT

Jurors in the trial of veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis should not be swayed by other recent celebrity cases, the judge tells them.

Farmers call for government support
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:28:57 GMT

Farmers urge the next government to give agriculture a boost at the 2015 election - with a list of demands to increase food production and help business.

Ebola trial volunteer immunised
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:00:12 GMT

A trial of an experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus has begun in Oxford.

Police 'not alerted' to abuse doctor
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:51:13 GMT

Authorities failed to alert police of suspicions about a paedophile doctor more than a year before his arrest in December 2013, it emerges.

UK jobless rate falls to 2008 low
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:59:13 GMT

The UK rate fell to 6.2% in the three months to the end of July, while the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has dipped below one million.

Officer 'must resign' over PC death
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:57:27 GMT

A Greater Manchester Police officer is forced to step down over the fatal shooting of an unarmed colleague during a training exercise.

Missing man search in Alice case
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:56:20 GMT

Police investigating the disappearance of Alice Gross want to speak to a Latvian man seen on the same canal towpath used by the schoolgirl, the Met say.

Child sex abuse 'was endemic in city'
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:07:37 GMT

The sexual exploitation of teenage girls was "endemic" in Sheffield during the early 2000s, a former care home worker claims.

Ice probably caused aircraft crash
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:34:00 GMT

A light aircraft crash at Caernarfon which killed the son of the pilot was probably caused by the carburettor icing up, an inquest hears.

Man held over wartime firearms find
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:24:21 GMT

A large haul of wartime hand grenades, rifles, mortar shells, hand guns and ammunition is found in a house.

'Disappeared' archaeologist dies
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:14:57 GMT

Tributes are paid to a forensic archaeologist who led the searches for the Disappeared - people who were murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Dixons to save 800 Phones 4U jobs
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:32:22 GMT

Dixons Carphone is set to save 800 Phones 4U jobs, while mobile phone network operators Vodafone and EE are in discussions to buy parts of the stricken retailer.

Boy's flying-tackle halts PC attacker
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:15:11 GMT

A teenager who wrestled a man to the ground after he assaulted two police officers is recognised for his bravery.

Driest start to September since 1960
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:18:20 GMT

The first half of September has been exceptionally dry across much of the UK, according to provisional statistics from the Met Office.

Files reveal WW2 secret 'Agent Fifi'
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:48:27 GMT

World War Two records reveal the existence of a glamorous female secret agent whose job was to see if other agents could keep their mouths shut.

Four Irish people in US plane crash
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:47:18 GMT

Three people from Northern Ireland and one from the Republic are hurt in a Florida plane crash on Monday.

Man on trial for ex-lover's murder
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:58:13 GMT

A man who claims he accidentally shot his former lover dead while intending to kill himself in front of her goes on trial for her murder.

Tax restrictions 'may be scrapped'
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:57:26 GMT

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb says there could be a re-think over rules governing new tax powers for the Welsh government.

Woman dies in ambulance in A&E queue
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:27:02 GMT

A woman dies in an ambulance while waiting in a queue of around 15 emergency vehicles outside a Swansea hospital.

Bathgate attack 'attempted murder'
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:12:23 GMT

A 65-year-old man is seriously ill in hospital after being repeatedly stabbed inside his home in Bathgate, West Lothian.

Fog hinders helicopter crash inquiry
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:06:54 GMT

Thick fog hampers investigations into a helicopter crash off the East Yorkshire coast, which left two men dead.

Richard III death injuries revealed
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:29:50 GMT

King Richard III was probably killed by two blows to the head during a "sustained attack", according to new research.

Zoo owner 'fired rifle' at tiger
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:46:03 GMT

The owner of a zoo where a tiger mauled a keeper to death describes how he fired a rifle at the animal after the attack.

Transfer system is 'chaotic' - Dyke
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:05:49 GMT

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants the "chaotic" transfer system reformed in order to increase opportunities for English players.

Premiership wage cap up to 5.5m
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:59:00 GMT

The Premiership salary cap next season will rise by 500,000 to 5.5m and clubs will be allowed a second marquee player.

Solskjaer likely to leave Cardiff
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:18:22 GMT

Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to leave the club after less than nine months in charge.

The freedivers who swim with whales
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:16:14 GMT

A group of researchers who risk their lives to swim side-by-side with sperm whales and humpbacks are hoping to get a unique insight into the animals' behaviour.

The tricky business of policing sex in public
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:55:03 GMT

Police are taking a new approach to the policing of outdoor sex - for both straight and gay people.

The church described as a 'symbol of evil'
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:15:00 GMT

Plans to rebuild a church that is linked to Hitler have divided Germany and sparked a row about how the country deals with its past.

Clegg puts date on England MP powers
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:21:46 GMT

Nick Clegg says the scope of English MPs' voting powers should be sorted out when Scotland gets more control over tax and spending.

MPs criticise 'lax' waste schemes
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:21:56 GMT

Grants worth 213.5m were paid to councils for waste projects even though key facilities have yet to be built, MPs say.

Passport delay victims 'need refund'
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:24:06 GMT

Passport applicants who paid 30 extra to avoid missing travel because of processing delays should get refunds, MPs say.

VIDEO: House of Commons
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:49:55 GMT

Tory MP John Baron asks an urgent question on the government's response to Islamic State.

VIDEO: Alice Gross search: Hunt for man
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:17:16 GMT

Police investigating the disappearance of Alice Gross want to speak to a Latvian man seen on the same canal towpath used by the schoolgirl.

AUDIO: 'I found migrant under my campervan'
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:29:13 GMT

A driver describes the moment he found a migrant "clinging on with his fingernails" to the bottom of his campervan.

VIDEO: War ammo found in residential garage
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:05:42 GMT

Munitions and other artefacts from World War One and World War Two have been found during a raid on a residential garage in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

VIDEO: Should 'vaping bars' be banned?
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:36:25 GMT

As new research shows most young people do not plan to smoke e-cigarettes, experts are divided over the safety of "vaping".

AUDIO: Blinded in one eye 'for being gay'
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:56:35 GMT

A photographer says he will continue his career despite being blinded in one eye in a homophobic attack.

VIDEO: Why are London pavements exploding?
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:43:13 GMT

Two van drivers had a lucky escape after a pavement explosion in central London which was caught on CCTV.

VIDEO: Crimewatch marks 30th anniversary
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:55:54 GMT

Television show Crimewatch is marking 30 years of helping to solve crimes by appealing to the public for information.

VIDEO: Cancer teen's mum: 'He touched so many'
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:08:42 GMT

Stephen Sutton's mother Jane pays tribute to her son as someone who ''lived life to the full'', as plans are revealed for spending the money he raised in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The parliament that never was
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:10:23 GMT

The Scottish parliament that never was

Golding Flies classic marks 60 years
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:19:30 GMT

Why Lord of the Flies holds true 60 years on

'I loved/loathed my 1960s high-rise block'
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:52:16 GMT

'Why I loved/loathed my 1960s tower block'

Five bugs that lurk in changing rooms
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:25:06 GMT

Five bugs that lurk in changing rooms

How do jobs fit into the referendum debate?
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:11:37 GMT

How do jobs fit into the referendum debate?

Was there a time British people couldn't buy olive oil?
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:20:37 GMT

Was there a time when British people couldn't buy olive oil?

'Nation divided against itself' - front pages
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:03:50 GMT

How papers view build-up to Scottish poll