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April 14, 2016

CMA brings concrete pipe cartel charges

Former Stanton Bonna chief executive Barry Kenneth Cooper has appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court to face charges of market rigging. Above: Barry Cooper He was charged today under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the criminal cartel offence, following an investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). Mr

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Government action needed to stave off construction recession, says FMB

Government action needed to stave off construction recession, says FMB Published:  28 July, 2016 A significant programme of capital investment by the government is now needed to tackle the threat of a construction recession, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The association’s comments follow the news that the construction

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Construction purchasing managers indicate stability is returning

UK construction activity continued to shrink in August but the signs suggest that the industry may now be stabilising from the hiatus caused by the EU referendum and the initial shock impact of its result. The latest monthly survey of construction industry purchasing managers indicates a sustained reduction in activity

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BT fined £500,000 after engineer breaks his back in fall

British Telecom plc (BT) has been fined £500,000 after an engineer fell seven metres from a loft in London, breaking his back and his ankles. The Old Bailey heard how a BT engineer, David Spurgeon, was fixing a telephone fault in the roof void of a residential block of flats

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Fixing Instructions for GA Column Casing

These instructions tell you about installing GA Column Casing Type CC2 with GA Ver T Fix. GA Column Casing Type CC2 with GA Ver T Fix These instructions tell you about installing GA Column Casing Type CC2 with GA Ver T Fix. Please read these instructions before using this product.

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Hanergy founder resigns one year after stock plunge

©AP Li Hejun, chairman and CEO of Hanergy Group Li Hejun, founder of troubled thin film solar firm Hanergy, has resigned as the head of his listed company one year after a dramatic plunge in the stock’s value triggered a trading halt. A precipitous rise in Hanergy Thin Film Power

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Lakehouse shareholder slams governance

In a note to the stock market, Slater Investments chief investment officer Mark Slater, who has called for an overhaul of Lakehouse’s board, repeated his request for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders. Mr Slater said: “We have requisitioned this general meeting to address the serious governance deficit on Lakehouse’s board

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Union calls for Ofgem to be scrapped

The GMB union for energy workers has called for Ofgem to be abolished. The union wants government to take more responsibility for regulating the industry and auctioning changes from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation in June. “Ofgem should be abolished and the government itself should

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Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024

April 14, 2016

CMA brings concrete pipe cartel charges

Former Stanton Bonna chief executive Barry Kenneth Cooper has appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court to face charges of market rigging. Above: Barry Cooper He was charged today under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the criminal cartel offence, following an investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). Mr Cooper has been charged with dishonestly agreeing with others to divide supply, fix prices and divide customers between 2006 and 2013 in respect of the supply in the UK of precast concrete drainage products. The alleged arrangements related to the businesses Stanton Bonna (UK) Ltd, FP McCann Ltd, CPM Group Ltd and Milton Pipes Ltd. Mr Cooper, chief executive of Stanton Bonna until March 2013 and a former chairman of the Concrete Pipe Association, is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 4th April 2016 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.     This article was published on 7 Mar 2016 (last updated on 9 Mar 2016). Source link

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Government action needed to stave off construction recession, says FMB

Government action needed to stave off construction recession, says FMB Published:  28 July, 2016 A significant programme of capital investment by the government is now needed to tackle the threat of a construction recession, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The association’s comments follow the news that the construction sector has experienced two consecutive quarters of negative growth, as shown by statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published on 26 July. Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The construction industry has grown steadily over the past few years and for the sector to experience two consecutive quarters of negative growth demonstrates the powerful effect uncertainty and a lack of confidence can have. “The government must now take bold action and do everything in its power to prevent these preliminary estimates by the ONS from becoming more concrete or sustained. A firm commitment to invest public funds in capital projects such as house building and infrastructure would go a long way to assuaging fears that demand will dive in the wake of Brexit. “The country’s housing crisis and the enormous skills shortage our sector faces owe much to how the construction industry suffered during the last economic downturn – it’s pivotal that we learn from those mistakes and find a way to keep Britain building.” Source link

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Scottish government has ‘no intention’ of relaxing environmental standards

The Scottish government has “no intention” of relaxing European environmental standards after Brexit, the Scottish environment secretary has insisted. Speaking at WWT’s Water Scotland conference in Glasgow, Roseanna Cunningham said: “I want to clarify our position as regards compliance with European Union directives and the issue of Brexit. “This government has no intention of relaxing standards. Anybody out there that thinks that, from the perspective of that kind of compliance, that leaving the EU will mean a relaxation is dead wrong. “We do not believe that is the right way to go. Those standards are in Scotland’s best interest, providing safe, clean drinking water and protecting the environment, all of which we see as essential to Scotland’s prosperity.” She added that climate change will present challenges to the resilience of Scottish Water’s infrastructure, and pointed out that the floods in early 2016 were “a perfect example”. “We need to understand the likely impacts and plan accordingly,” she said, adding that Scottish Water “can’t plan or deliver improvements on its own”. The company will need the help of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, land managers and local authorities and local community groups, she said. She also told delegates that, although customer engagement has improved “markedly” over the years, they must “work even harder” to explain the water industry to customers, particularly given the challenges, such as climate change, that it faces. “To put it another way, the days of the silent service need to come to an end,” she said. “I know that Scottish Water is working with customers and has had considerable success from its advertising campaign – Keep the Cycle Working Smoothly. A 10 per cent reduction in sewer blockages, as a consequence of this campaign, is a pretty good result. “However, I do want to encourage you all to continue to work in partnership with Scottish Water to engage with customers on a range of issues, such as improvements at bathing waters and environmental compliance, for example.” WWT’s Water Scotland conference was held at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow on Wednesday 5 October 2016 Source link

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Construction purchasing managers indicate stability is returning

UK construction activity continued to shrink in August but the signs suggest that the industry may now be stabilising from the hiatus caused by the EU referendum and the initial shock impact of its result. The latest monthly survey of construction industry purchasing managers indicates a sustained reduction in activity during August, but at a softer rate than that seen in July, which was a seven-year record low. New order volumes moved closer to stabilisation, with the latest reduction the least marked since May, the survey found. This contributed to a renewed rise in staffing levels across the construction sector and a rebound in business expectations for the next 12 months. However, the weakening of the pound has contributed to a further steep acceleration in input cost inflation. At 49.2 in August 2016, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) bounced back closer to the 50.0 no-change threshold. By comparison, it was down at 45.9 in July and 46.0 in June. Reports from survey respondents suggested that Brexit uncertainty continued to act as a brake on the construction sector during August, especially for house-building and commercial work. However, a number of firms noted that sales volumes had been more resilient than expected. Some panel members also commented on signs of a rebound in client confidence from the lows seen earlier this summer. Reflecting this, latest data highlighted that incoming new work decreased at the slowest pace since May. Signs of stability resulted in a marginal expansion of staffing levels across the sector in August, although subcontractor usage continued to decrease, and rates charged by subcontractors rose at their second-slowest pace since June 2013.     Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI, said: “The downturn in UK construction activity has eased considerably since July, primarily helped by a much slower decline in commercial building. Construction firms cited a nascent recovery in client confidence since the EU referendum result and a relatively steady flow of invitations to tender in August. “However, the latest survey indicates only a partial move towards stabilisation, rather than a return to business as usual across the construction sector. There were still widespread reports that Brexit uncertainty had dampened demand and slowed progress on planned developments, especially in relation to large projects. As a result, total new order volumes continued to fall during August, which stands in contrast to the three-year run of sustained growth seen prior to May 2016. “Despite another month of reduced output, the latest figures can be viewed as welcome news overall after a challenging summer for the construction sector. The move towards stabilisation chimes with the more upbeat UK manufacturing PMI data for August, and provides hope that the near-term fallout from Brexit uncertainty will prove less severe than feared.”       Further Images This article was published on 2 Sep 2016 (last updated on 2 Sep 2016). Source link

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BT fined £500,000 after engineer breaks his back in fall

British Telecom plc (BT) has been fined £500,000 after an engineer fell seven metres from a loft in London, breaking his back and his ankles. The Old Bailey heard how a BT engineer, David Spurgeon, was fixing a telephone fault in the roof void of a residential block of flats in Tower Hamlets, East London. Mr Spurgeon was working alone when he lost his balance and fell through the ceiling, landing on a concrete stairwell, sustaining his serious injuries. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred in May 2011 found there were a number of management failures by BT, including inadequate planning of work taking place near fragile surfaces and checking that it was carried out safely. British Telecom plc, of Newgate Street, London, was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Safety and Health at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £98,913.51. In his sentencing remarks the judge criticised BT for attempting to blame its own engineers for the incident. He described their approach as being ‘not necessary, misplaced, and unfortunate’ . HSE inspector Kevin Smith said: “David Spurgeon is lucky to be alive. “There were a number of failures of health and safety management by BT which related to planning the work, supervision, and checking it was being carried out safely. Work at height needs to be properly planned, and this incident could have been prevented.” For further information on fragile roofs visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/fragile.htm#fra Notes to Editors: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/  HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases. Source link

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Fixing Instructions for GA Column Casing

These instructions tell you about installing GA Column Casing Type CC2 with GA Ver T Fix. GA Column Casing Type CC2 with GA Ver T Fix These instructions tell you about installing GA Column Casing Type CC2 with GA Ver T Fix. Please read these instructions before using this product. If there is anything you do not understand or if you want to know more about this item, please contact GA. GA column casings must be installed by suitably qualified contractors with the required knowledge and expertise. Current standard construction methods must be used. The contractor has the responsibility and duty to ensure proper safety so that during and after completion of the installation the column casing remains firmly fixed in situ. Before beginning installation also refer to GA Sitework Data Sheet for guidance on Off-loading, Site Storage and Installation.

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Hanergy founder resigns one year after stock plunge

©AP Li Hejun, chairman and CEO of Hanergy Group Li Hejun, founder of troubled thin film solar firm Hanergy, has resigned as the head of his listed company one year after a dramatic plunge in the stock’s value triggered a trading halt. A precipitous rise in Hanergy Thin Film Power stock on the Hong Kong exchange made Mr Li’s China’s richest man for a brief period in 2015. But the stock’s unusual trading patterns and related transactions also attracted the attention of short sellers who bet that it would be unable to sustain its climb. More On this story IN Energy On May 20, 2015, the stock plunged by 47 percent in half an hour and wiped out $19bn in value. The exchange’s trading halt is still in effect, trapping any short sellers who were unable to close their positions. Following the debacle, leading index provider MSCI changed its rules to filter companies, like Hanergy, that the Hong Kong regulator had flagged for over-concentration of shareholding. Exactly one year later, Hanergy said Mr Li had resigned as chairman of the board and executive director of the listed company “for the reason of strengthening corporate governance” following the annual board meeting on Friday. His right-hand man, Frank Dai Mingfang, also resigned, “for the reason of focusing on other business development.” In the year since the stock trading halt, Mr Li has remained a conspicuous promoter of thin film solar power, the light-weight technology that Hanergy embraced despite its lower efficiency ratios than other solar power panels. Hanergy most recently announced a press conference on solar powered cars for early June, then abruptly rescheduled it to July “to avoid disrupting the national college entrance exams.” He has also engaged in an angry battle with the Hong Kong exchange to resume trading. Meanwhile, Hanergy has announced the disintegration of complicated stock for loan deals Mr Li sealed with companies including MacroLink, a private property company that is also the world’s largest producer of refrigerants, and Baota, a “teapot” refinery and petrochemical producer in the western deserts. Hanergy’s woes have touched a number of Chinese banks, notably Bank of Jinzhou which listed in Hong Kong last year. Other Chinese financial institutions that have lent to Hanergy have never revealed the extent of their exposure. Mr Li’s successor as head of the listed company, Yuan Yabin, provides a reminder of the political connections the company enjoys. Mr Yuan formerly worked in the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the Chinese government and ruling Communist Party. Mr Li is a representative to the CPPCC. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Source link

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Lakehouse shareholder slams governance

In a note to the stock market, Slater Investments chief investment officer Mark Slater, who has called for an overhaul of Lakehouse’s board, repeated his request for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders. Mr Slater said: “We have requisitioned this general meeting to address the serious governance deficit on Lakehouse’s board with a view to restoring shareholder value through the proposed appointment of the new non- executive directors.” The Lakehouse board is resisting proposals for a boardroom shake up, put forward by Slater Investments and fellow shareholder, Lakehouse founder Steve Rawlings. Mr Rawlings and Slater Investments demanded the removal of three non-executive directors from the board on 9 March, following the shock resignation of the company’s chief executive Sean Birrane the day before. In a statement issued last month, the board criticised Mr Rawlings’ “lack of experience” and “lack of involvement” with the business. They also said the proposal had caused “unnecessary disruption” and “uncertainty” across the business. But Mr Slater today said: “The board has attacked the proposed candidates in its circular to shareholders despite making very different noises in private and has argued that if we are successful the newly configured board will not be compliant with the UK Corporate Governance Code. “The proposed candidates have committed to addressing the balance between executive and non-executive directors in due course. “However, they will initially focus on far more important issues. “Corporate governance is not just about box-ticking.” In a response sent to shareholders, the Lakehouse board said: ”While the board is considering the requisitionists’ statement, it notes the reference to private noises made by Slater Investments. As you know, the board announced its intention to seek a fourth independent non-executive director. The board, reflecting on the views expressed by some Lakehouse shareholders, did meet with Slater Investments on Tuesday 22 March 2016 to discuss the possibility of appointing a fourth non-executive director. Your board considered this action sensible and appropriate in order to avoid further adverse disruption, and unnecessary cost, that the company has now suffered. “The Lakehouse board urges all shareholders to vote against the resolutions put forward by the requisitionists.” The board added that it would respond in more detail next week. Mr Slater’s criticism comes just days after Construction News spoke exclusively to Mr Rawlings about his concerns for the company. In today’s statement Mr Rawlings said: “I founded Lakehouse in 1988 and have become deeply concerned by recent events as my family has a substantial investment in the company. “The business has great potential and I hope to be able, along with Ric Piper and Robert Legget, to help get Lakehouse back on track and then to fulfil its considerable potential.”   Source link

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Union calls for Ofgem to be scrapped

The GMB union for energy workers has called for Ofgem to be abolished. The union wants government to take more responsibility for regulating the industry and auctioning changes from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation in June. “Ofgem should be abolished and the government itself should take over responsibility for regulating the industry so both are accountable to Parliament,” GMB national secretary for energy Justin Bowden said. “Government cannot duck taking the decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector. Government should also have powers to cap prices and limit profit levels and, where necessary, to finance and run power stations.” The union’s comments come after Ofgem announced its plans to implement the CMA recommendations including a database of disengaged customers and a transitional price cap for prepayment customers. The regulator claimed it would deliver “a more competitive and fairer energy market”. An Ofgem spokesperson said: “Ofgem works within the government framework which has set out there should be a competitive energy market. We believe competition is in the best interests of consumers and put in protections where necessary, such as the price cap for pre-payment meter customers.” GMB added: “Here we go again with more Ofgem tinkering over the pretence that a free market is possible in this sector.” Source link

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