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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.

Drugs claim peer resigns from Lords
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:00:49 GMT

Lord Sewel resigns from the House of Lords and apologises for "the pain and embarrassment" caused after he was filmed allegedly taking drugs with prostitutes.

UK is no place for dirty money - PM
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:39:31 GMT

Foreigners must be stopped from buying UK homes with "plundered" cash and a "global effort" is needed to beat corruption, David Cameron says.

Migrants disrupt cross-Channel trains
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:04:15 GMT

Passengers on Eurotunnel day trips to France are advised to postpone their journey if they can following further disruption.

Beaches polluted 40 times by sewage
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:08:18 GMT

Forty incidents of raw sewage polluting beaches across the south west at the weekend happened because of water company systems failing, environmental campaigners claim.

Man jailed over missing Paige murder
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:20:32 GMT

A man convicted of murdering missing Blackpool teenager Paige Chivers is jailed for life and will serve at least 33 years in prison.

Police 'may not attend' burglaries
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:52:37 GMT

The public should not expect to see a police officer after crimes such as burglary, the head of the new National Police Chiefs' Council tells the BBC.

Will battle daughter wins 164,000
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 10:19:58 GMT

A woman cut out of her mother's will is awarded a 164,000 inheritance in a case experts think could prove to be a landmark ruling.

Breastfeeding mum to face charges
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 10:35:46 GMT

A mother who claimed a security guard assaulted her while removing her breastfeeding baby from her in Primark is summoned to appear at court.

UK economic growth picks up to 0.7%
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:12:21 GMT

UK economic growth accelerated to 0.7% in the second quarter of the year, helped by a big jump in oil and gas production.

Litvinenko inquiry criticises suspect
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:16:17 GMT

The chairman of an inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko says a suspect's desire to give evidence may have been "a charade".

Thieving on-the-run vicar jailed
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:00:50 GMT

A vicar who went on the run after being found guilty of pocketing more than 16,500 of church fees is jailed for almost three years.

Inquiry to 'expose undercover conduct'
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:03:23 GMT

The public inquiry into undercover policing may "expose both creditable and discreditable conduct", chairman Lord Justice Pitchford warns.

Meet the new David Cameron
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:19:54 GMT

Singapore names a new orchid after British Prime Minister David Cameron - the "Papilionanda David Cameron">

Pine martin arrives through cat flap
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:01:12 GMT

An orphaned pine martin is being cared for after taking refuge through a cat flap, helping himself to food and settling down for a nap.

Bus lane error wipes out 700 fines
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:21:02 GMT

More than 700 fines handed to motorists using Belfast bus lanes are cancelled because of a "timing issue" with detection cameras.

No Royals at 1916 celebrations
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:47:22 GMT

No member of the Royal family is invited to attend events marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Crossbow murderer's wife jailed
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:14:41 GMT

A woman who helped her husband evade arrest after he murdered a man with a crossbow is jailed for two years.

Coking oven workers win day in court
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:53:58 GMT

Hundreds of former National Coal Board coke workers are told they can launch a legal challenge for compensation over illnesses.

Bin lorry may have reached 25mph
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:23:48 GMT

The bin lorry which killed six people in Glasgow travelled too quickly for people to react effectively, a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) hears.

Scouts found after overnight search
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:57:39 GMT

Five scouts, all aged 13, are found safe and well after an overnight search in a forest in south-west Scotland.

GB skater detained for sex offences
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:37:06 GMT

A Great Britain figure skater is sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institution after admitting child sex abuse charges.

Conley death 'was not suspicious'
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:43:05 GMT

No suspicious circumstances surrounded the death of a seven-year-old Barnsley boy whose body was found at a building site, police say.

Ennis-Hill in GB squad for Worlds
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:14:04 GMT

Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill is named in Great Britain's squad for the World Athletics Championships in August.

Wood an injury doubt for England
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:27:44 GMT

England seamer Mark Wood is an injury concern for the third Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston.

Hamilton's 'out-of-body experience'
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:32:33 GMT

David Coulthard watches an erratic Lewis Hamilton "dance a fine line between genius and disaster" at the Hungarian GP.

Labour leadership contest 'sexist'
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:39:53 GMT

Sexism has played a role in Labour's leadership contest, hopefuls Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall say.

Hague to chair security think tank
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:29:34 GMT

Former foreign secretary William Hague is named as the new chair of the defence think tank, the Royal United Services Institute.

Labour 'frightened of its own shadow'
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:08:37 GMT

Labour has become "frightened of its own shadow" and lacks the courage or capacity for big ideas, leadership hopeful Andy Burnham is to warn.

VIDEO: Health Committee
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:40:51 GMT

The Health Committee heard from key figures in NHS England.

VIDEO: What did you do for the economy today?
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:19:44 GMT

BBC News explains how your daily activities can influence the calculation of GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, a key economic indicator.

VIDEO: Seagulls: Evil pests or misunderstood?
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 06:49:45 GMT

Recent attacks by gulls on people and their pets have been widely reported. But are the birds misunderstood?

VIDEO: DIY astronomers probe Pluto's secrets
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:22:30 GMT

Amateur astronomers have begun studying the images of Pluto sent back by the New Horizons probe.

VIDEO: Migrants filmed scaling Calais fence
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:04:44 GMT

Migrants are captured on camera climbing over a security fence into the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais.

VIDEO: Oldest Pict fort found on sea stack
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:56:24 GMT

Archaeologists say a Pictish fort uncovered during a dig near Stonehaven is the oldest in Scotland.

VIDEO: The 95-year-old driving instructor
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 06:40:03 GMT

Laura Thomas has been working as a driving instructor since 1938 and it is thought she is the United Kingdom's oldest.

VIDEO: Triathlon boy cheered over the line
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:55:11 GMT

An eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is cheered over the finish line as he completes his first triathlon unaided.

VIDEO: Journey's end after 55 years
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:24:15 GMT

An epic journey which began in 1960 in Argentina is finally expected to end in 2015 after the original expedition was abandoned.

How to become a Great British Baker
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:56:07 GMT

How do you make it on to the Great British Bake Off?

A deadly trail of polonium
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:44:07 GMT

How radioactive material was left on Tube and planes

Troubled teen groomed and murdered
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:21:19 GMT

How was vulnerable 15-year-old allowed to drift to tragic end?

Why did HSBC shut down bank accounts?
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:54:08 GMT

Why did HSBC shut down bank accounts?

VIDEO: Chasing Britain's most threatened duck
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:30:28 GMT

Keeping track of Britain's most threatened duck

150th anniversary of Patagonia move
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:23:49 GMT

150th anniversary of Welsh migration to Argentina region celebrated

Journey's end for 55-year road trip
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 03:08:18 GMT

Finishing the ultimate road trip, 55 years after it began