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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.

Tory MP says Israel tactics 'brutal'
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:55:41 GMT

An ex-defence minister condemns Israel's Gaza offensive after a ceasefire fails, as the foreign secretary says both sides must "act proportionately".

UK probes Israeli soldier nationality
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:57:09 GMT

The UK Foreign Office is "looking into" reports an Israeli soldier believed captured in Gaza has dual UK-Israeli nationality.

Arson fear over Eastbourne Pier fire
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:22:11 GMT

A fire that ripped through Eastbourne Pier is now feared to have been started deliberately.

Ebola-fear athletes seek longer stay
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:54:31 GMT

Up to 30 Commonwealth Games athletes from Sierra Leone are considering extending their stay in Glasgow amid fears over the Ebola virus.

Daley and Denny win diving silver
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:07:27 GMT

Tom Daley and James Denny produce a fantastic final dive to secure silver for England in the men's synchronised 10m platform.

Father cleared of shaken baby death
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:27:11 GMT

A man is cleared of killing his son who died as a result of severe brain injuries caused 12 years ago when he was shaken as a baby.

Kincora abuse is 'national scandal'
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:34:28 GMT

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson says child sex abuse at Kincora Boys' Home is a "national scandal" that needs to be fully investigated.

'Body parts' found at recycling plant
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:40:37 GMT

Suspected human body parts are found at a recycling plant in Avonmouth near Bristol.

Company fined over walkway collapse
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:45:05 GMT

A housing company is fined for "breathtaking" health and safety breaches after a flats walkway collapsed.

Boy detained for 'brain injury' rape
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:52:01 GMT

A 16-year-old boy who beat and raped a girl in a park, leaving her with the mental age of an eight year old, is given a discretionary life sentence.

Immigration inspector John Vine quits
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:01:42 GMT

The independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine, who has been highly critical of the immigration system, will step down more than six months early.

Arrest in school sex abuse probe
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:14:19 GMT

A 56-year-old man is arrested by police investigating historical sex abuse at a private school in south-west London.

ENO 'will take risks' despite cuts
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:59:52 GMT

The English National Opera will keep taking risks despite a funding cut, according to incoming music director Mark Wigglesworth

Unofficial private toll road opens
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:04:39 GMT

A temporary private toll road to bypass part of the weather-damaged A431 at Kelston opens to traffic

Simon Cowell: I would work with Tulisa
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:32:51 GMT

X Factor judge Simon Cowell has revealed he would not "rule out" teaming up with Tulisa Contostavlos in the future.

UDA memorial not funded by executive
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:04:04 GMT

The Housing Executive says a plaque to UDA members in south Belfast was not part of a memorial garden it funded in the Annadale Flats area.

Northern Ireland boxers reach finals
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:54:54 GMT

Michaela Walsh, Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Joe Fitzpatrick qualify for their finals at the Commonwealth Games.

Man jailed for couple's crash deaths
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:07:02 GMT

A driver who killed his sister and her fiancÚ in a car crash, leaving his nine-week-old nephew an orphan, is jailed for seven years.

Autistic woman fails to stop move
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:15:40 GMT

A Swansea family loses its bid to prevent a health board moving their 20-year-old autistic daughter to a specialist unit 230 miles away in Brighton.

Airport probe after runway closed
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:27:46 GMT

An investigation is launched after Edinburgh Airport had to close its runway following a crash between two vehicles.

Double rapist jailed for eight years
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:27:59 GMT

Double rapist Duncan Begg is jailed for eight years for attacking two women, one of whom was pregnant, in Wick in the early 1990s.

Fragapane wins historic fourth gold
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:25:21 GMT

Claudia Fragapane wins her fourth gold - the first Englishwoman to do so for 84 years - of the Games with victory in the floor.

Driver blacked out before bus crash
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:09:58 GMT

A bus firm is liable for damages for a crash involving 50 school children after its driver blacked out.

Sharp overcomes illness to win silver
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:43:00 GMT

Scot Lynsey Sharp wins silver in the women's 800m - just hours after being on a hospital drip following a bout of sickness.

Lampard set for Man City loan move
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:45:04 GMT

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is set to join Manchester City on a loan deal from New York City FC.

Anderson and Jadeja found not guilty
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:55:51 GMT

The International Cricket Council finds James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja not guilty of breaching its code of conduct.

America's 'botched' executions
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:52:41 GMT

A string of botched lethal injections has led the US president to order an inquiry into how the death penalty is applied - but botching, it turns out, is nothing new.

Is it ever acceptable to wear sunglasses indoors?
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:38:35 GMT

It's sunglasses weather across much of the northern hemisphere, and yet wearing them indoors is likely to make you an object of ridicule. Why?

Quiz of the week's news
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:56:51 GMT

The Magazine's weekly quiz of the news, 7 days 7 questions.

Miliband London job claim criticised
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:02:37 GMT

Ed Miliband's claim that "four out of five" new jobs in Britain were in London has been questioned by the UK statistics watchdog.

No 10 'meddling in BBC boss search'
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:27:39 GMT

David Cameron is accused by former Labour ministers of "interfering" in the search for a new chair of the BBC Trust.

Whistleblowers get rough deal - MPs
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:43:01 GMT

The treatment of employees in public services who raise concerns about wrongdoing is often "shocking", a group of MPs says.

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: Campaign to halt deportation to Kenya
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:24:19 GMT

Hundreds of families are campaigning to save a West Yorkshire man from being deported out of the country.

VIDEO: Royal Navy rescues BBC's faulty forecast
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:56:39 GMT

BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood got a helping hand from members of the Royal Navy when a technical problem meant the graphics did not work for her weather forecast.

VIDEO: Folkestone's wartime service
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:01:56 GMT

Robert Hall visits the town of Folkestone where millions of British soldiers began their journey to the front line

VIDEO: London Zoo defends late parties
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:05:22 GMT

London Zoo has defended its "Lates" evening openings where alcohol is served, after claims of drunken behaviour threatening the welfare of the animals.

VIDEO: On board 'safety shield' London bus
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:30:38 GMT

New software will be trialled on a number of London buses to try to reduce collisions, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed.

VIDEO: Close-up with defaced Banksy work
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:16:37 GMT

Campaigners who were trying to keep a Banksy mural in situ on a wall in Cheltenham are now in "race against time" to save the work after it was defaced with graffiti.

VIDEO: More handlers to tackle Gatwick bags
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:39:07 GMT

Gatwick Airport is bringing in extra staff of its own to handle baggage following chaotic scenes last weekend, when passengers were left waiting for up to three hours for luggage.

AUDIO: Is youth politics a waste of time?
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:39:22 GMT

Tim Stanley and Ann Widdecombe debate whether youth politics is a waste of time

How do we protect Victorian piers?
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 01:05:58 GMT

How do we protect our Victorian structures?

VIDEO: Last of the scissor makers
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:33:30 GMT

The last men making scissors the traditional way

What is it like being Usain Bolt?
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:05:45 GMT

Adulation, glory, 'selfie' requests - the life of a sprint superstar

Cost of sonic boom damage in UK
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:01:08 GMT

How much damage can a sonic boom do?

VIDEO: Commonwealth Games goes virtual
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:08:51 GMT

Commonwealth Games streamed live to a virtual reality headset.

Turning Berlin into a work of art
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 01:13:54 GMT

How an artist created a vast verbal map of Berlin

Learning disabled care campaign
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 01:22:35 GMT

Where should people with learning disabilities live?

Ukraine crisis creates UK tensions
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:30:03 GMT

Ukraine crisis creating high-level UK tensions, Mark Urban writes

'Genetic revolution' on front pages
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:42:20 GMT

Papers see hope for cancer treatment in DNA mapping project