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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.

Tap water boiling 'to end soon'
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:12:18 GMT

Hundreds of thousands of people in Lancashire should no longer need to boil their tap water to make it safe within the coming week, United Utilities says.

UK jihadist 'killed in drone strike'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:06:13 GMT

A British man described as a "top cyber jihadist" has been killed in a military drone strike in Syria, US officials say.

Inmarsat set for key rocket launch
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:02:00 GMT

Britain's biggest satellite operator, Inmarsat, awaits the launch of the spacecraft that will complete its new 1bn global telecommunications network.

Cameron announces 26 new Tory peers
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:31:19 GMT

David Cameron faces accusations of 'cronyism' after awarding peerages and honours to former aides, as the number of Lords passes 800.

'No NI business as usual' in IRA row
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:20:30 GMT

Normal business cannot continue at Stormont until an ongoing political row over the existence of the Provisional IRA is resolved, Northern Ireland's largest party says.

Post Office expands Sunday openings
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:14:17 GMT

The number of Post Offices opening on a Sunday will hit 3,000 this week-end, thanks to new facilities at a garden centre in Norfolk.

UK net migration hits record high
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:26:08 GMT

Net migration to the UK is at an all-time high, reaching 330,000 in the year to March, as the government calls the figures "deeply disappointing".

Footballers unite for Neville funeral
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:50:04 GMT

Footballing greats including David Beckham and Ryan Giggs reunite for the funeral of Neville Neville, the father of ex-England and Manchester United footballers Gary and Phil.

Ambulance staff at 'point of fatigue'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:05:59 GMT

Staff at an ambulance service have been "pushed because of targets to the point of fatigue", says their new chief executive.

Benefit claimant death data released
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:10:54 GMT

Some 2,380 people have died after being found fit for work and losing benefits, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show.

Blanchett to receive BFI Fellowship
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:47:25 GMT

Oscar-winning actress Cate Blachett is to receive the BFI Fellowship for her contribution to film.

Young goths 'at risk of depression'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:53:47 GMT

Young people who identify as goths may be at increased risk of depression and self-harm, a study suggests.

Dad's head tattoo to support daughter
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:22:44 GMT

A father has a tattoo of a cochlear implant on his head to support his daughter, who was fitted with one when she was nearly three-years-old.

Final Terry Pratchett book on sale
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:48:29 GMT

Fans queue to buy The Shepherd's Crown, the final novel by author Sir Terry Pratchett, which has hit book shops almost six months after his death.

Health department misses wait time aims
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:40:10 GMT

New figures show that the Department of Health has missed its own waiting-list targets.

Man charged with baby daughter's murder
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:51:10 GMT

A Belfast man is charged with murdering his three-month-old daughter in 2014.

Four in hospital after house fire
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:23:47 GMT

Four people are taken to hospital after a house fire in Cardiff.

Rugby World Cup hotel price hike
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:39:58 GMT

Hotels increasing their prices six-fold during the Rugby World Cup could "seriously damage the image of Cardiff", a former tourism chief warns.

Scotland's top police officer to quit
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:28:07 GMT

The under-fire chief constable of Police Scotland, Sir Stephen House, confirms he is to stand down from his post at the start of December.

Possible link between sex attacks
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:55:29 GMT

Police investigating a serious sexual assault in Edinburgh say there are similarities with a previous sex attack in the city earlier this month.

Fear of violence at 'Mr Big' funeral
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 02:02:23 GMT

Armed police will be on standby at the funeral of a man once dubbed Salford's "Mr Big" later, amid fears criminals attending could turn violent.

Air shows go on after Shoreham crash
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:30:15 GMT

Various shows are due to take place over the bank holiday weekend with alterations after the Shoreham air crash, but an event in County Durham is postponed.

Arsenal face Bayern in group stage
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:03:10 GMT

Arsenal are drawn against Bayern Munich as English clubs find out who they will face in the Champions League group stage.

'Knock could end North's career'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:00:03 GMT

Coach Warren Gatland says safety is paramount as George North returns to win his 50th Wales cap after five months out.

Cherish the supreme showman Bolt
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:38:33 GMT

Usain Bolt conjures up another magical moment but how many more times will we witness his brilliance, asks Tom Fordyce.

Chilcot facing legal action over delay
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:16:46 GMT

Bereaved families say they will take further legal steps over delays to the Iraq inquiry report.

Sturgeon sets out 'bold' BBC vision
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:00:54 GMT

Nicola Sturgeon calls for the BBC to greatly enhance its presence in Scotland, with a new Scottish TV station and a second English-language radio station.

UK migrant targets 'punish business'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 06:56:00 GMT

Prime Minister David Cameron is "punishing businesses" by trying to fulfil promises to cut immigration, the Institute of Directors says.

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

The Health Committee heard from key figures in NHS England.

VIDEO: 'Lords should be mainly elected'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:33:38 GMT

The BBC's Gavin Esler spoke to one MP elevated to the House of Lords, Sir Menzies Campbell, and asked whether the entire system needs reform.

VIDEO: Monbiot butchers and eats a squirrel
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:56:33 GMT

The writer and environmentalist George Monbiot cooks dead squirrel in the Newsnight studio as he discusses the outraged reaction he got on social media after revealing he had cooked and eaten a "road kill" squirrel.

VIDEO: 'English people won't work for 6.50 an hour'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:34:15 GMT

As net migration to the UK reaches an all-time high, the BBC's Danny Savage reports from Hull on the impact of foreign arrivals in the city.

VIDEO: Pratchett fans: Final book 'devastating'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:48:28 GMT

Sir Terry Pratchett fans react to the release of the authors final novel, almost six months after his death.

VIDEO: 'Labour needs to be courageous'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:34:53 GMT

In the latest BBC News profile of the Labour leadership candidates, Vicky Young went to meet Andy Burnham.

VIDEO: Clacton air show crowds 'feel safe'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:03:47 GMT

Clacton air show has gone ahead in Essex - with large crowds enjoying the spectacle, despite the fatal crash at Shoreham air show last weekend.

VIDEO: Gatlin agent v Cram & Johnson
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 12:54:03 GMT

Michael Johnson and Steve Cram defend their criticisms of Justin Gatlin following complaints from agent Renaldo Nehemiah.

VIDEO: Teacher who hid cameras in walls
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:39:55 GMT

A former teacher has been jailed for more than three years, after admitting to 36 counts of taking, making and possessing indecent images of children.

Are these England's most beautiful pubs?
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:16:38 GMT

Are these England's most beautiful pubs?

VIDEO: 'It's like the end of the Earth'
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:47:07 GMT

The corner of England 'like the end of the Earth'

Quiz of the week's news
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:47:14 GMT

What was One Direction's biggest hit?

How will Shoreham's crash affect other air shows?
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:00:26 GMT

What will be the impact of the crash at Shoreham?

The battle over the words used to describe migrants
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:08:55 GMT

The battle over the terms used to describe migrants

Can Iran and the UK really bury the hatchet?
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:00:30 GMT

Can Iran and the UK really bury the hatchet?

Burnham on splits, welfare and Corbyn
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:25:04 GMT

The Labour hopeful on splits, Corbyn and that welfare row