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April 2005 - News from the UK

Timber frame news, events, Business in the Community and environmental news...

Welcome to the Benfield ATT News Site

Up-to-the-minute news from around the UK...updated as the news breaks!

Construction - Environment - Responsible Business - Economic Information

News: Timber Frame, Construction & Property News

  • Affordable Housing Plans Criticised
    (7 April 2005, Financial Times p4)
    Roger Blitz reports that the government is planning to build more than double the number of homes needed in an attempt to reduce house price inflation. However, a report produced by the Institute of Public Policy is critical of the governments housing agenda and concludes that an increase in the housing supply in the south east is not the way to make homes more affordable.
    >> Read full story

  • Labour 'to boost home ownership'
    (1 April 2005, BBC News)
    Labour will create one million new homeowners within five years of an election win, Gordon Brown will pledge.
    >> Read full story

News: Environment, Climate & Attitudes

  • Ozone layer most fragile on record
    (27 April 2005, The Guardian p3)
    The protective ozone layer over the Artic has thinned this winter to its lowest levels since records began. Paul Brown reports that the alarming news has come as a shock to scientists who had believed the ozone layer had begun to heal. The increase loss of the ozone allows more harmful ultraviolet light to reach the Earth's surface and scientists yesterday warned that people going out in the sun, especially children and outdoor enthusiasts should protect themselves with sun creams and hats this summer.
    >> Read full story

  • Commission adopts eco-design Directive despite claims it lacks ambition
    (15 April 2005, EDIE)
    The European Parliament has formally adopted the Directive on the eco-design of energy using products, despite claims by environmental groups that the directive lacks ambition.
    >> Read full story

  • Commission formally rejects UK request for increased emissions levels
    (15 April 2005, EDIE)
    The European Commission has formally rejected the request from the UK to increase the number of emissions allowances to be granted to UK companies in the country's national allocation plan.
    >> Read full article

  • Economic costs of renewable energy blowing in the wind
    (13 April 2005, Financial Times p5)
    As power prices come under pressure from the rising cost of oil and gas many companies are investigating the economics of renewable energy such as wind power but many are still not convinced that it is cheaper than conventional energy. Fiona Harvey adds that BT have started trials of a new wind-powered generator at one of its telephone exchanges in Cornwall, and if successful is likely to trigger an increase of interest in wind energy from other companies. BT has become the world's largest company to commit to taking all its electricity from environmentally sound sources.
    >> Read full story

  • Ozone-friendly gases "cause global warming"
    (12 April 2005, Financial Times p6)
    Chemicals used as substitutes for ozone-depleting compounds are thought to be causing global warming reports Fiona Harvey. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that chemicals such as CFCs and the common alternatives HFCs contribute to about 5% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.
    >> Read full story

  • New Report Concludes that 22% of Homeowners want Greener Lives!
    (6 April 2005, Green Building Press)
    About a quarter of people in the UK would like to lead 'greener' lives according to as recent report commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust (EST). But is this enough to convince the building industry to pay more attention to energy efficient and healthier - more planet friendly building methods and products?
    >> Read full story

  • Political Parties Unite in Green Debate
    (6 April 2005, Green Building Press)
    Environmental delegates from the UK's three main political parties have expressed their support for the growing environmental industry sector at a Pre-Election Debate held in the House of Commons by the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC). All agreed that new and cleaner technologies were key to confronting the challenge of climate change....
    >> Read full story

  • Green fuel plant finds recipe for cooking oil
    (5 April 2005, Financial Times p4)
    Commercial production has started at the UK's first large biodiesel plant making environmentally friendly fuel from animal fat and used cooking oil reports Andrew Bolger. The "green" fuel will be produced in Scotland where it is mixed with mineral diesel and will be marketed under the Bio-plus brand, which requires no change to vehicle engines.
    >> Read full story

  • London left underwater without climate action
    (1 April 2005, EDIE)
    The Houses of Parliament were flooded this week - with a projected image of where the Thames water level would be in 100 years if climate change continues at the present rate.
    >> Read full story

  • Allowing degradation of our planet is 'economic suicide'
    (1 April 2005, EDIE)
    Businesses and governments around the world must stop treating our ecosystems like inexhaustible supplies of natural resources, according to a shock report showing the economic implications of not protecting our planet.
    >> Read full story

  • CO2 rise forces energy rethink
    (1 April 2005, The Guardian)
    Carbon dioxide emissions are rising rapidly in the UK, forcing the government to consider a range of new measures to keep its pledge to combat climate change.
    >> Read full story

News: Responsible Business and the Community

  • Men ‘left behind in risk-taking at work'
    (22 April 2005, Telegraph p4)
    A new study has found that women who hold senior positions in business are likely to be more persuasive, assertive and willing to take risks than their high-flying male counterparts. Sarah Womack adds that the study, The DNA of Women Leaders, carried out by Aurora, a women's networking organisation, and Caliper, an international management consulting firm, studied the specific traits most common in senior women business leaders in Britain and America compared to their male counterparts.
    >> Read full story

  • Students less confident of walking into good Jobs under Blair
    (21 April 2005, Telegraph p6)
    John Clare reports that the proportion of final-year students at good universities who expect to walk into a graduate job has fallen by a third since Labour's first year in office, a survey published yesterday found. The research which was carried out by High Fliers Research found that this year's finalists are so gloomy about their prospects in a overcrowded market that a quarter of them plan to take a post graduate degree, in the hope of making themselves more employable.
    >> Read full story

  • Business disappointed by party's silence over tax on employers
    (14 April 2005, Financial Times p3)
    Jean Eaglesham reports that Labour's new manifesto failed to mention any commitment to contain or even reduce taxes on employers which has set alarm bells ringing for concerned businesses. John Cetizia, political advisor at the EEF, the manufacturers' body said, "Business tax is the main worry. Employers got their fingers burnt with the last national insurance rise." The Federation of Small Businesses stated its members "were hurt" by the 2002 budget rise in NI contributions, "and would not want that repeated."
    >> Read full story

  • Vision and ethics at the heart of training
    (4 April 2005, Financial Times p12)
    Morgen Witzel reports that companies spend huge amounts on moulding future leaders but he thinks that much of their effort is missing the point. He writes that there is a "crisis in business leadership referring to two studies, one from the Harvard Business Review showing that 55% of leaders are associated with below average corporate performance and one from the CIPD suggesting that many companies are suffering from a shortage of effective leadership.
    >> Read full story

  • Average incomes 'fell last year'
    (1 April 2005, BBC News)
    Average household incomes have fallen for the first time in a decade, says the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).
    >> Read full story

News: Finance & Economy

  • Crackdown on "failure payouts"
    (25 April 2005, Guardian p2)
    Foreign & Colonial, the fund management group and one of the UK's biggest investors, is demanding a new clampdown on "rewards for failure" to executives who walk away from troubled firms after banking big bonuses. Julia Finch and Jill Treanor add that the group wants directors to be forced to pay back bonuses if it is later proved that their company had not been performing as well as it appeared.
    >> Read full story

  • Ecology Building Society Announces Record Lending
    (4 April 2005, Green Building Press)
    There is no stopping Ecology Building Society, who have just published their annual accounts showing growth in total assets to £55 million at the end of 2004, an increase of over 9% on 2003's year-end. Yorkshire-based Ecology is proving that green consumerism is soaring with gross mortgage lending reaching a new high of £10.5 million last year.
    >> Read full story

  • Sharp fall in claims against employers
    (4 April 2005, The Telegraph p32)
    Evidence compiled by the Engineering Employers' Federation shows that employers are winning more employment tribunal cases as compensation claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination show a sharp fall, writes Roland Gribben.
    >> Read full story

  • Housing inflation down to lowest in four years
    (1 April 2005, Financial Times)
    Annual house price inflation has fallen into single-digit territory for the first time in almost four years but activity in the housing market remained stable, data showed yesterday.
    >> Read full story

Feature Article of the Month - Builder & Engineer Magazine; Timber Frame Supplement

Seasonal, 2005

Expert Viewpoint: Dr Michael Benfield

Dr Michael Benfield is one of the leading Timber Frame Construction Experts. He spoke to Builder & Engineer about how the Construction of more Timber-based buildings will help meet the ambitious carbon emission targets set by the Government...

Builder & Engineer Magazine Timber Frame Supplement

Chartered Building Consultancy - timber frame, OSM (off-site manufacture) and engineered timber structure advisors. Timber Research and Development Association – our work with TRADA ensures high quality, eco-friendly engineered Timber Frame build projects. The Green Register of Construction Professionals - Benfield ATT's membership demonstrates our passion for environmentally sustainable timber frame self-builds, new homes, schools and social housing for local housing authorities AECB - Association of Environment Conscious Building – our FSC certified timber frame is endorsed by The Ecology Building Society Impact Upon Society Big Tick Award from Business in the Community – BITC – award-winning timber frame company within the Timber-frame industry TRA - Trussed Rafter Association – our membership assures Timberframe Trusses, Trussed Rafters, roofs and complex and innovative roofscapes are quality HBF - the only developer partnering timber frame company to be members of the House Builders Federation. Wales Quality Centre – members and committee members, we ensure the highest quality, especially when coupled with ISO 9001, FSC certification and Q-Mark Plus standards RICS - Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, assures our customers of our professionalism in wood and timber frame building and developing and surveying
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