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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

BBC News - UK

Michael Gove: Boris Johnson wasn't up to the job
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:48:43 GMT

Michael Gove tells the BBC he is standing to be Conservative leader after deciding "reluctantly but firmly" Boris Johnson was not capable of uniting the party or the UK.

Battle of the Somme: Queen leads centenary remembrance events
Fri, 01 Jul 2016 00:37:03 GMT

The Queen leads events to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme as overnight vigils begin on the eve of the anniversary.

Soliciting by sex workers should not be a crime, MPs say
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:02:04 GMT

Prostitution laws should be urgently rewritten so sex workers are no longer criminalised for soliciting, a new Commons report says.

Labour's John McDonnell to give response to Brexit vote
Fri, 01 Jul 2016 00:39:37 GMT

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is to set out Labour's response to the EU referendum in a speech in London.

Pound falls as Bank of England hints at fresh stimulus measures
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:28:49 GMT

The pound falls as Bank of England governor Mark Carney says it is likely "some monetary policy easing" will be required in response to the Brexit vote.

Woman wins appeal to use dead daughter's eggs
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:42:13 GMT

A woman who wants to use her dead daughter's frozen eggs to give birth to her own grandchild has won a Court of Appeal battle.

Euro 2016: Wales captain Ashley Williams fit to face Belgium
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:55:25 GMT

Wales captain Ashley Williams - a doubt with a shoulder injury - says he is is fit to play against Belgium in their Euro 2016 quarter-final.

Airport expansion decision on hold
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:56:16 GMT

A decision on airport expansion in south-eastern England is to be delayed until "at least October", Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says.

Trumpton creator Gordon Murray dies aged 95
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 09:53:32 GMT

Gordon Murray, creator and puppeteer of the popular BBC children's series Trumpton and Camberwick Green, dies at the age of 95.

UK to send 250 more military personnel to Iraq
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:41:47 GMT

The UK is sending 250 more military personnel to Iraq, almost doubling its presence in the country.

Max Clifford 'gyrated' in front of 17-year-old girl
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:26:34 GMT

Former celebrity publicist Max Clifford "gyrated" in front of a 17-year-old girl in the 1980s, a court hears.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust boss Katrina Percy keeps job
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:22:43 GMT

The chief executive of the much-criticised Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust will keep her job, it is announced.

Heseltine launches scathing attack on Boris Johnson
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 15:34:52 GMT

Tory grandee Michael Heseltine says Boris Johnson has ripped the Conservative party apart, after creating the "greatest constitutional crisis in modern times".

Somme centenary: Queen leads vigil at Grave of the Unknown Warrior
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 22:27:59 GMT

The Queen is leading events to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme, as Nicholas Witchell reports.

Memories of 38th Welsh Division on Somme centenary
Fri, 01 Jul 2016 00:37:43 GMT

Men from the 38th Welsh Division describe their experiences in BBC interviews recorded in the 1980s.

Somme centenary: How Britain gave away attack plan
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:01:48 GMT

A military historian has found evidence that British military intelligence failures at the Somme gave away the plan to attack.

Wimbledon 2016: Viktor Troicki in incredible on-court meltdown after overrule
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 20:47:11 GMT

Serbia's Viktor Troicki loses his cool with the umpire after the official overrules a line call to give his Spanish opponent a match point that he then takes to win.

Boris Johnson bows out of leadership race
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 22:39:14 GMT

Leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson has pulled out of the leadership race to become Britain's next prime minister. James Landale reports on where it all went wrong.

EU referendum: 'Meet a Muslim Family' set up post-vote
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 22:09:50 GMT

London's oldest mosque has launched a campaign to tackle "increasing social tensions" after last week's EU referendum result.

BBC News Channel
Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:34:37 GMT

Britain's most-watched news channel, delivering breaking news and analysis all day, every day.

Judi Dench gets first tattoo for her 81st birthday
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:03:20 GMT

Dame Judi Dench reveals she got a tattoo on her wrist for her 81st birthday.

Mayland woman warned over 'intimidating' peacocks
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 09:28:47 GMT

A pensioner has been threatened with a criminal record because her peacocks have been 'intimidating local residents'.

Newspaper headlines: 'BoJo Brexecuted' on Tory 'Day of Treachery'
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:09:23 GMT

A dramatic turn of events in the Conservative Party leadership contest demands a dramatic set of headlines and front pages - and Friday's newspapers duly deliver.

In pictures: Boris Johnson
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:16:32 GMT

Photos chronicling Tory MP and former London mayor Boris Johnson, who has ruled himself out of the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister.

Til death us do part
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 01:48:12 GMT

Singer Bat For Lashes talks about her new album The Bride, a concept record about a woman abandoned at the altar.

Happy holiday?
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 02:12:14 GMT

A week on from the vote, how has ordinary life changed - or not changed?

Lasting bond
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 07:15:53 GMT

The arrival of Newfoundland soldiers during World War One was to lead to the creation of a lasting bond with Scotland.

'We love the UK'
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:27:42 GMT

Silly walks and queues are some of the reasons why Germans say they still love Britain after the Brexit vote.

Robin returns
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:02:29 GMT

After a gap of three decades, the cult TV series Robin of Sherwood has made a comeback, in the form of an audio play.

Forgotten battle
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:57:46 GMT

Many French soldiers died alongside their British allies at the bloody Battle of the Somme, but the conflict is overshadowed in France by Verdun, says Hugh Schofield.

Soggy start
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:19:26 GMT

Umbrellas and Wellington boots may be order of the day as five-day rowing spectacular kicks off, but the wet weather hasn't dampened spirits.

'I'm Terminator 4'
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 01:09:43 GMT

He's attempted Everest three times and is the oldest man to have walked to the magnetic North Pole. Now actor Brian Blessed is taking on the challenge of directing his first play.

Journey's end
Tue, 28 Jun 2016 23:40:19 GMT

Maureen and Roger have waited 11 years to visit the place where their son Matthew died in Iraq, to lay a small cross there and to try to understand why he died.

'Old school'
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:03:42 GMT

Electronic synthesizer built 40 years after being designed

'No trade talks until full Brexit'
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 18:23:25 GMT

The top European Union trade official says the UK cannot begin negotiating terms for doing business with the bloc until after it has left it.

Can the law stop Brexit?
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:17:23 GMT

Legal opinions are emerging as to how the UK's departure from the European Union might be slowed or even stopped, says Clive Coleman.

Brexit negotiations: Four ways to get a good deal
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:10:16 GMT

Having voted to leave the EU, the UK needs to negotiate a new set of trade deals with the EU - here are four key ways to get a good deal.

Paul Nurse: 'Research needs free movement to thrive'
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 22:55:36 GMT

Sir Paul Nurse says UK science will suffer unless any post-Brexit agreement allows the free movement of people.

Reality Check: What has Brexit done to the economy?
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:29:34 GMT

Social media has been full of claims that the amounts lost already have been many times the value of the UK's annual contribution to the EU Budget. Is that fair?

How do the Conservatives elect a leader?
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:29:58 GMT

A short animation explaining the process to elect a new Conservative Party leader.

How does a Labour leadership contest work?
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:22:59 GMT

A short animation explaining the process to elect a new Labour Party leader.

Brexit: Martin McGuinness 'to press case' for NI's EU status
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:28:57 GMT

Martin McGuinness says he does not accept Northern Ireland cannot maintain any kind of special status within the EU after the UK withdraws from it.

EU Referendum: Did the polls all get it wrong again?
Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:21:48 GMT

While a few of the pollsters got the referendum result almost spot-on, others meant that studying the polls failed to give a clear indication of what the outcome would be on the morning of 24 June.

Children's views on EU Leave vote
Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:51:16 GMT

"Do we have to leave home?" among children's questions as parents respond to Brexit vote.

Have Leave backers changed their minds?
Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:17:03 GMT

Reality Check looks at some of the claims and promises made during the campaign by Leave campaigners who now appear to have modified their positions.

Five changes to finances post-vote
Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:59:54 GMT

The UK's vote to leave the EU has had an immediate effect on some elements of our finances - but not all. Here's what has changed.

'Go back home' - Bitter backlash post-referendum
Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:04:56 GMT

Since the EU referendum results revealed the UK voted Leave, reports online have emerged of an anti-foreign sentiment.

Brexit: What happens now?
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:51:39 GMT

The UK has voted to leave the EU. Here is what is likely to happen next.

EU referendum petition hijacked by bots
Mon, 27 Jun 2016 11:48:05 GMT

An online petition calling for a second EU referendum has been hijacked by automated bots adding false signatures.