Posts tagged builders

Traders driven bananas by thieves who peel their vans

Almost 25,000 people have signed a petition demanding the Government gives the police the tools they need to halt a crime ‘craze’ which trades people say is putting their livelihoods  under threat.

Thieves are using a trick to peel thousands of locked van doors ‘like bananas’.The gangs are using  simple brute force to break in to builders’ vans and steal the tools of their trade.

The technique is simple – the thieves grab the top of the van’s back or side doors and use    their knees to apply pressure. They then pull the doors open from the top ‘like tins of sardines’.

Lee Watts, from West Bromwich, who started the petition after becoming  a victim of van peelers, said: “Our Government must look strongly into the growing problem of tool theft from vans and must impose much tougher penalties on those convicted of these crimes. Not only that but I will also be looking for our Government to put stricter guidelines and laws in place for selling second hand tools.”

Lee, aged  43, said: “We have got a major problem and it is crippling people. Thieves are targetting work vans and peeling doors off. They are stealing tools and damaging livelihoods. It is affecting families as well. These people are committing crimes.”

The tradesman, who runs Koncept Interiors, said he is determined to get a ‘strong petition’ together.

He said: “I have been targeted myself and had tools stolen, I know how difficult that is to recover from for a business.

“We just don’t get enough help, I don’t blame the police, I think the courts need to take more action and give out stronger sentences to these people.

“These aren’t petty crimes, this is a big thing and these thefts are organised in groups.

“I am going to get a strong petition together and at the very least raise awareness of how serious this problem is.”

It is an increasing problem for all tradesmen and women. It takes years and a expense to build up a tool kit and a van.

Lee said: “More and more people are being affected by this crime and it needs to be stopped. I want this petition to reach Parliament to demand new laws that impose a minimum two year sentence on those convicted of vandalising vans and stealing tools. Also, we need a system that ensures any victim will be reimbursed for their loss in full immediately to enable that person to carry on working.”

Other campaigners Spencer Hargrave and Paul Butterfield, who run a building firm, said the crime has increased in the UK this year.

They estimate five such crimes are taking place each day – with thousands of pounds worth of tools stolen.

Spencer, aged 38, from Leeds, said police call the trick ‘peek and seek’.

“People have described it as like peeling a banana or opening a tin of sardines,” he said.

It means they can go round without any tools to break into vans so if they get caught they can’t get done for being equipped.”

He said the best way to stop the weakness in the doors is to add extra locks or reverse so the doors aren’t on show.

Landscaper Adam Smith, 41, from Lincoln, estimates the total cost of the thefts has reached almost £578,000.

Adam said he had made manufacturers aware of the problem: “It is an epidemic of massive proportions and most tradesmen have been affected.

“It is a huge problem in our industry.”

Lee’s petition states: “Our Government must look strongly into the growing problem of tool theft from vans and must impose much tougher penalties on those convicted of these crimes.

“Not only that but I will also be looking for our Government to put stricter guidelines and laws in place for selling second hand tools.”
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/tougher-sentences-on-tool-theft

 

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Trade Jobs

Good news for the trades as the University of Hertfordshire selects a major developer to build a new 3, 000 bed student accommodation scheme that will create new jobs in the building engineering sector.

Preferred bidder Uliving Consortium is going to build 2, 511 new student accommodation units and transfer around 500 of the University’s existing residences at the College Lane campus in Hatfield.

In a statement, the Uliving Consortium, which is made up of major developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator, Derwent Living, said that this will be a remarkable and truly transformational scheme that will improve students’ living standards.

The ambitious scheme will also provide new sports facilities, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  The University’s vision is to create a fully inclusive living and learning environment will pave the way for employment opportunities for builders, plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The scheme will be delivered in three phases with the first phase set to commence in May 2013.  Each phase thereafter will be completed in time for the start of the following academic year; the entire scheme scheduled for completion in September 2016.

The new buildings that will be built through the scheme will achieve ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding status.

Stephane Slama-Royer, Managing Director of Uliving and Managing Director of Bouygues Development said: “As student accommodation developers and managers we recognise that the quality of student accommodation has a huge influence on the student experience and that the provision of exceptional living environments is central to the success of these communities.”

What is your reaction to the newly appointed bidder of University of Hertfordshire’s 3,000 Bed Student Accommodation Scheme which create jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Support for Self-Build Homes Will Help Builders

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has given the green light to a £30 million investment programme which will enable aspiring builders to build their own homes, offering exclusive access to funding and Government-owned land in seven locations across England.

The announcement is an attempt by the government to tackle country’s housing crisis and boost economic growth. The £30 million scheme will offer short-term loans and funding to builders, community groups and other small organisations looking to start self-build projects.

Commenting on the building investment programme, Housing Minister Shapps said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the first seven sites with plots available exclusively for self-builders, as well as £30 million to offer short-term loans to help communities get their projects off the ground.

“This first-ever package of self-build support will help to achieve our goal to double the size of the industry over the next few years, but I want us to go further still. The new national planning rules require councils to consider the needs of self-builders in their area, and I would urge authorities across the country to look to Cherwell and the innovative work there as an exciting example of how this can be achieved.”

Public sector land for up to 60 homes will be made available in Cornwall – making it the nation’s first-ever large-scale self-build plot.

Mr Shapps praised the work of councils across the country that are looking to give as many local people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes – including on dedicated sites.

The Planning Minister also confirmed the rest of the sites which will be made available for builders to bid. They are:

  • Kingsweir and Torpoint, Bristol
  • Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead
  • Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover
  • Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey
  • Wilson Road, Hanford, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Chase Avenue, Walton Park, Milton Keynes

What is your reaction on the £30 million investment programme which will enable builders to build their own building projects? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page:

Four Builders Hurt in Police Station Blast

 

As reported on BBC News today, four builders have been injured in an explosion at a police station in Croydon, South London.

One of the builders remains in a critical condition with serious burns after the explosion took place in the basement of Croydon Police Station – the local media has reported. The four injured builders are understood to be contractors who have been carrying out work at the premises.

Health and safety officials are investigation the cause of the explosion which still remains unknown. Police officials have confirmed they are reviewing the case as a “non-terroristic” incident.

A police spokesman for Croydon Police Station said in a statement that people from the building were evacuated whilst the police force remained “fully operational”. However, they were unable to specify what building work was taking place involving the contractors.

What is your reaction to the incident taken place at Croydon Police Station leaving four builders with serious injuries? What do you think might be the cause for the explosion?  Share your thoughts be leaving a comment below: 

Builders in London to Get More Housing Repairs Work

North London’s Camden Council has announced it will open half of its housing repair and maintenance work for external contractors, Construction Enquirer reported today. 

The decision of Camden Council to expand its list of maintenance and repair contractors will offer more opportunities to existing and new professionals in the building sector. The repair framework of Camden Council is expected to be worth around £14 million each year, meaning a significant incentive for a variety of firms in the building sector.

The Council’s current in-house contractor, DLO, has been working for sustainable development across some of its 33,000 housing stock; the additionally appointed contractor would work alongside council’s existing contractor which will carry out a separate £11m programme of housing work.

Camden Council will expect both, its current and newly joining contractors, to be working together in order to improve working systems and optimise existing procedures. The Council’s new maintenance contract will start in January 2013 initially for 5 years with the potential of the scheme to be extended by another 5 years.

Do you welcome the decision of Camden Council to put half of its housing repairs for an external contractor? What are your expectations of finding employment following Council’s decision? Share your thoughts by commenting on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

Bids for £22 million London NHS Unit Open for Builders

King’s College NHS Trust is looking for a building contractor to build a three-storey critical care unit at one of its campuses in South London – a leading publication in the building sector, Construction Engineer, has announced today.

Firms are invited to express an interest in the redevelopment of King’s College NHS Trust until 22nd February for invitation to tender a month later.

The winning contractor will build a new steel frame building over an existing block, which will remain operational, and complete the shell before demolishing elements of the existing structure.

It is not clear yet how many builders will be employed as a result of King’s College renovation, but the scale of the project suggests it will create new jobs in the building sector.

International construction and property consultancy Sweett will attain the building through a two stage process which further details will be revealed in March.

The scheme has been designed to allow the existing theatre block to continue to operate whilst building work is being carried out.

The project will deliver a consolidated critical care facility at Kings College Hospital Denmark Hill Campus in line with current Department of Health guidelines and will develop the hospital as a Major Trauma Centre.

King’s expects the contract will be at its final stage by August this year.

For more information on how you can express an interest and put your bid forward please visit Tenders website.

 

Do you think that your (business’s) bid could be a successful one? If you are working in the building sector are you more optimistic about finding a job? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment here:  

The Building Sector Grows as Plans for the Largest Housing Scheme in the North East are Approved

Planning permission has been granted to the biggest North East housing redevelopment on the banks of the Tyne which will create hundreds of jobs in the building construction industry.

The project is part of the government’s scheme to build 16, 000 new homes across England to deal with the current shortage of affordable houses as well as to help first time buyers with lower interest rates.

The government has recently argued that making homes more affordable for first time buyers will increase demand in the housing market and will help the building industry to generate more revenue.

The North East housing redevelopment will bring more jobs to the region as more than 1,800 homes will be built over the next 15 years in the Scotswood area of Newcastle.

Key developers and house builders involved in the project include Barratt, Keepmoat and Yuill; they expect to start building work on the first 400 homes this summer.   The housing development will comply with Level 4 of the government’s Code for Sustainable Homes, which is higher than the currently required standard.

The government has said it will support first time buyers in their efforts to get on the housing ladder easier which will increase housing demand and generate more money in the building construction sector.

First time buyers will get support and funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s FirstBuy scheme, which is part of the Government’s wider proposals to boost growth by simultaneously stimulating demand, tackling supply-side barriers and supporting local building priorities.

The New Tyne West Development Company, the private-public partnership formed by the builders and the city council, will be running workshops in coming months to help local firms and builders to bid for work on the development.

Businesses and building companies interested in the bidding process can contact Amanda Senior on 0191 226 7943 or email Amanda.senior@ntwdc.co.uk for further information.

What is your reaction on granting planning permission to the largest housing redevelopment in the North East? Do you think you/your business would benefit from the building construction work which will be done in future? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

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