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August 1, 2017

BIFM: Budget falls short on productivity drivers

17 March 2016 | Marino Donati BIFM chief executive James Sutton has suggested that Chancellor George Osborne’s latest budget, delivered yesterday, was “somewhat limited” as regards the drive for greater productivity. Commenting on the Budget, Sutton said: “The Chancellor set the scene with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)’s revised

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Flow Energy launches eco boiler

Flow Energy has launched its Flow Eco RF boiler which could reduce gas bills by up to 15 per cent and carbon emissions by 20 per cent. The independent supplier is expanding its heat product range in a bid to offer consumers more choice and the chance

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Views sought on UK Government’s Starter Home regulation

The UK government is seeking views on regulations surrounding its flagship Starter Home programme in England and has issued a consultation document. Under the regulations, which will form part of the Housing and Planning Bill, the government plans to allow build to rent developers to build Starter Homes off-site. ‘We

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Jelson Homes Ltd Has Confirmed Their Support for Service Personnel

Jelson Homes Ltd, the Leicestershire based developer has confirmed their support for Service personnel. The developer has shown their support for servicemen and women by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. This Covenant is signed by companies that have are committed to ensure that Armed Forces personnel and their families are

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

August 1, 2017

BIFM: Budget falls short on productivity drivers

17 March 2016 | Marino Donati BIFM chief executive James Sutton has suggested that Chancellor George Osborne’s latest budget, delivered yesterday, was “somewhat limited” as regards the drive for greater productivity. Commenting on the Budget, Sutton said: “The Chancellor set the scene with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)’s revised growth forecast for the UK economy until 2020, with an expectation of slower growth than previously anticipated and further uncertainty for the global economy. “Although he stated that his measures would help create an enterprise culture, we felt that the announcements were somewhat limited. These appeared to focus on financial controls and taxation breaks for business as a way of increasing income, rather than focusing on the full range of productivity drivers.” Sutton cited the FM sector’s major contribution to the UK economy, accounting for around 7 per cent of overall GDP, roughly 10 per cent of the UK working population and up to £111 billion a year to the UK economy. “With this in mind we would have welcomed further stimulants to upskill existing workers,” said Sutton.  “The emphasis on educational improvements was focused on future generations, an important area, but there was little on developing our current workforce and those immediately entering work. It is these people who are able to impact productivity and growth with immediate effect. “FM professionals have a significant role to play in enabling productivity in the workplace. We would have liked to have seen a stronger focus on in-work development programmes and schemes. For example, the opportunity to progress and develop skills means employees are often better engaged and more productive. Therefore, we were surprised to have not seen the chancellor build on the foundations of the apprenticeship levy announced in the Autumn Statement.” The Chancellor also used the budget to announce the abolishment of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy-efficiency scheme. It will be phased out at the end of the 2018-19 compliance year, with government working with the devolved end on closure details for the reporting element of the scheme.   The CRC, a mandatory reporting and pricing scheme designed to incentivise energy efficiency and cut emissions in large energy users in the public and private sectors across the UK, was introduced in 2007. The decision to scrap it follows a consultation on simplification of the business energy tax landscape launched last September.   The cost of abolishing the CRC scheme will be met by an increase in the main rates of the Climate Change Levy from April 1, 2019, according to the Budget statement. There will be an equivalent increase the CCL discount for sectors with Climate Change Agreements to compensate for the increase in CCL main rates. The CCL discount for electricity will increase from 90 per cent to 93 per cent, and the discount for gas will increase from 65 per cent to 78 per cent from 1 April 2019.   The Budget statement also said the government would allocate at least £50 million for innovation in energy storage, demand-side response and other smart technologies over the next five years to help new technologies and business models access the market. Source link

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Flow Energy launches eco boiler

Flow Energy has launched its Flow Eco RF boiler which could reduce gas bills by up to 15 per cent and carbon emissions by 20 per cent. The independent supplier is expanding its heat product range in a bid to offer consumers more choice and the chance to save money. Consumers will be able to control the internet-connected boiler through an app on their smartphone. The boiler also has remote diagnostics allowing for issues to be fixed directly from installers offices and reducing the need for call-outs. The boiler will be manufactured by Intergas and will be sold by Flow’s Brand Ambassador installers across the UK. This model removes wholesalers from the supply chain to give installers an increased margin and end customer’s better value. Flow group chief executive Tony Stiff said: “The energy supply division of our business has grown phenomenally in the past year, and we’re keen to replicate this growth in our products division. “We’re doing this by partnering with the likes of Intergas to deliver exciting and innovative heating products, such as the Flow Eco RF boiler, and by leveraging our strong existing Brand Ambassador network we’re taking a completely new approach to the heating market.” Flow is offering the boiler as part of a 10-year home energy bundle which includes the boiler, installation, 10 year warranty and the intouch system.  In 2015 Flow group created an innovative micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) boiler designed to convert heat from combustion into electricity. By generating power at the point-of-use while using the heat, the Flow boiler significantly reduces the carbon intensity of that power. Source link

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Views sought on UK Government’s Starter Home regulation

The UK government is seeking views on regulations surrounding its flagship Starter Home programme in England and has issued a consultation document. Under the regulations, which will form part of the Housing and Planning Bill, the government plans to allow build to rent developers to build Starter Homes off-site. ‘We propose that private rented sector developments could contribute to starter home provision and the requirement should be met through an offsite contribution for delivery of starter homes,’ the consultation document says. Overall it proposes a new statutory framework for Starter Homes that will include a general duty on local planning authorities to promote the supply of Starter Homes when carrying out their planning functions. The Bill would include a clause that sets a Starter Home requirement which means that local planning authorities may only grant planning permission for residential developments if the Starter Homes requirement is met. There would be reporting arrangements to ensure local communities, and especially first time buyers, are aware of what action local planning authorities are taking to support the delivery of starter home; and powers for the Secretary of State to intervene if local planning authorities fail to carry out their functions related to Starter Homes. ‘We are taking forward ambitious measures to increase the supply of housing and improve prospects of home ownership for many. We aim to deliver one million new homes to boost housing supply significantly. We want to ensure young people are not denied that which their parents took for granted, the opportunity to buy their own home, settle down and enjoy the security that home ownership brings,’ said Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis. ‘That is why we have committed to building 200,000 high quality Starter Homes exclusively for young first time buyers under 40, to be sold at a minimum of 20% below the open market value. We want to see Starter Homes built on housing sites across the country,’ he explained. ‘The Housing and Planning Bill sets out the statutory framework for the delivery of Starter Homes, and will be supported by changes to national planning policy,’ he pointed out. The Government has already announced a £2.3 billion funding package to support the delivery of up to 60,000 Starter Homes. Of this funding £1.2 billion will, in the first instance, be made available to remediate or assemble brownfield land to deliver at least 30,000 Starter Homes through the Starter Homes Land Fund. The technical consultation document seeks views on the details for the regulations to be made under powers contained in the Housing and Planning Bill, including options for the Starter Homes requirement on reasonably sized sites. ‘We want to hear views so the resulting regulations are feasible, proportionate and effective. I am confident that these reforms will help a generation of young people into home ownership,’ Lewis added. The British Property Federation has been calling for build to rent developments to be exempt from providing an on-site Starter Home provision throughout the Housing and Planning Bill process, as it believes that an unbroken block is more appealing to investors. ‘We are pleased to see that our calls for build to rent to be treated differently have been recognised. An unbroken block where all the units are for rent is much easier to manage and much more attractive to investors, which is why a mix of private and discounted market rent system works well,’ said Ian Fletcher, director of policy (real estate), at the BPF. ‘The build to rent sector has the potential to deliver a significant number of new homes and drive up standards in the private rented sector, so it is good to see that Starter Homes will not be an obstacle to development,’ he added.   BOOKMARK THIS PAGE (What is this?)      Source link

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New Chief Executive Appointed for the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

A new Chief Executive has been appointed for The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, or SFHA. Stepping into the role is Sally Thomas, who will be replacing the former Chief Executive, Mary Taylor as she retires after seven years working for the Federation. Before her appointment to the lead role at the SFHA, Sally was working in the position of Head of Community Investment at the North Star Housing Group, which is located in the north east of England. In this role, Sally was seconded between April 2016 and April2-017 to the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust, where she filled the role of Director of Communities. In this position, Sally had the responsibility of developing and delivering a range of community investment as well as a selection of social purpose programmes. Sally Thomas will bring a wealth of experience to her new role as Chief Executive of the SFHA and will no doubt get involved with tackling the challenges ahead. The housing sector in Scotland has a number of hurdles ahead; the Scottish Government has set a target to create 50,000 affordable homes, Brexit an uncertainty that sits in the horizon, the impact on tenants and landlords from the ongoing welfare reforms and a more fluid political climate at the moment. The challenges ahead also offer the industry a range of valuable opportunities, creating trade apprenticeships and housing more of the poorest in Scotland. Sally Thomas will be working closely to make sure that the next generation of affordable housing can be delivered. The new Chief Executive has said that the Federation will work to make sure that its members will be in the position to respond and react to the challenges that the housing industry face as well as being in a position to make the most of the opportunities on offer.

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Jelson Homes Ltd Has Confirmed Their Support for Service Personnel

Jelson Homes Ltd, the Leicestershire based developer has confirmed their support for Service personnel. The developer has shown their support for servicemen and women by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. This Covenant is signed by companies that have are committed to ensure that Armed Forces personnel and their families are treated fairly. Jelson Homes Ltd has a member of the Reserve Forces in their employment and has also taken on a number of service leavers. Those working at Jelson Homes have been pleased by the skills and attributes that are brought to the company by their employees with military training. The property developer has signed the Armed Forces Covenant in order to show their appreciation for the work carried out by the Armed forces in order to serve the country. The company has also seen how the construction industry can benefit from the discipline and training that is available from an employee with a military background. The company has also experienced a number of benefits from the training that service personnel has been through, which is why the company has said that they are happy to sign the covenant. The Leicester based developer has said that they are proud to support those that work as part of the Armed Forces. Jelson has been a part of the construction industry for more than 125 years and has already seen the benefit from employing those with a military training. The company signed the Armed Forces Covenant on Thursday the 27th of July. The Group Managing Director of Jelson Homes Ltd, Robert Jelley signed the Covenant on behalf of the company, with Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Parker co-signing the document. The document was signed at the developer’s headquarters on Loughborough Road in Leicester. Jelson Homes publicly expressing their support and focus on investing in the Armed Forces community is great news for both parties, and hopefully the mutually beneficial support will carry on for many years to come.

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Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is Celebrating Their Centenary Year

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, or RoSPA, is celebrating their Centenary year, and as part of their annual awards scheme, house building company, Kier Living Eastern has been awarded the Gold Award. The already award winning company has been recognised this year by the association for their health and safety performance. The RoSPA hands out this coveted accolade to companies who manage to display consistently high health and safety standards over the course of a number of years. This award is well known for being given to organisations that deliver the highest of standards in occupational health and safety, upheld over an extended period of time, therefore it is excellent news that Kier Living Eastern has been honoured with this prestigious accolade. RoSPA, the family safety charity has awarded the Gold medal to the Bedfordshire based house building company as they have managed to show consistent high standards across their health and safety procedures in order to meet the requirements for the award. Kier Living is a company that will well known for delivering high quality homes across a range of markets; from one bedroomed apartments to five bedroomed luxury homes. The company is based in Sandy, Bedfordshire and has been in operation for over 70 years. This wealth of experience and persistent strive for excellence has gained the company a reputation for excellence and attention to detail in all aspects of the company, from design to construction and health and safety on the site.  For this years awards, the judges for the RoSPA looked at the health and safety performances of the entrants between January 1st and December 31st 2016. The RoSPA Awards are known worldwide for being the most prestigious awards for occupational health and safety. Kier managing to take home the Gold Award is a reflection of the company’s ambitions to deliver high standards and quality across their construction projects.

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J Tomlinson Has Released News That They Will be Investing in Their Health and Safety

J Tomlinson, the Nottingham based company has released the news that they will be investing in their health and safety through the purchase of new defibrillators. The company has purchased 22 of the new defibrillators which will be located at the company’s permanent offices which are in the East Midlands, West Midlands, and Yorkshire. The equipment will also be present on all of the company’s major projects sites while work is still being carried out there. The equipment has been designed to be transportable and can give a high energy electric shock to the chest. This piece of health and safety equipment is meant to be used in a situation when a person is in cardiac arrest. These new defibrillators could save lives of those on a J Tomlinson site. This investment has been made as a commitment by the company to constantly seek to improve their health and safety policies. By doing this the company are aiming to create a safer working environment and protect those who are working on site, visiting the site and the local community. There is no formal training required to use the defibrillators, however, J Tomlinson has also invested into creating AED, or automated external defibrillator, training for those who will be primary users. This training will also be accompanied by Tool Box Talk training for all of the associated first aiders in order to get as many necessary people as possible familiarised with the equipment in case it is required on site. J Tomlinson works to offer its clients a range of integrated building solutions. These solutions are offered by the company for a range of different sectors including construction, refurbishment, repairs and maintenance, mechanical and electrical services and facilities management. The company has selected the Lifepak CR2 defibrillators to invest in for their company as they are fully automated.

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