Posts tagged conservatives

Boris gives the go-ahead for London jobs boost

Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans to redevelop a historic building in East London which will create 2,300 new jobs and boost the trades.  

The plans will see the demolition of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange which will make the way for a six-storey building for office and retail use to be build.

The Mayor believes the site and its location are vital to the prosperity of this fast developing part of the capital and to London’s wider economy.

Mayor Johnson used powers granted to him in 2008 to support the application, which had previously been refused planning permission by Tower Hamlets Council.

He said: “The historic London Fruit and Wool Exchange, in the heart of London’s East End, is a former commercial epicentre to which producers and buyers flocked from miles around to do business.

“These plans will not only restore the façade to its former glory, but regenerate the Spitalfields area with thousands of new jobs, and brand new commercial opportunities.

“It will also make a vital contribution to the wider London economy and have a significant impact not just on Tower Hamlets but on surrounding boroughs as well.

“I can find no reason to refuse permission and am of the firm view that this ambitious and important redevelopment should go ahead.”

New incentives to drive Green Deal uptake

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.  

Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.

Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.

He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.

Among those taking part in the UKGBC task group are Saint-Gobain UK, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, the CBI, Sweett Group, L&Q, Marks & Spencer, Willmott Dixon and Travis Perkins.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.

Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”

Incentives to be included:

  • Stamp duty banding/rebates
  • Council tax banding/rebates
  • Energy efficiency feed in tariff
  • Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
  • Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
  • Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
  • Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
  • Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
  • VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.

The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.

Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.

Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.

“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.

He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”

 

Olympic and Paralympic Success to Boost Business Growth

Trade Minister Lord Green and Olympic Ambassador Sebastian Coe vowed today to build on the success of the Olympics and Paralympic Games by working with industry to promote British skills around the world.

An Olympics Legacy programme of trade missions and companies in the building construction sector will build on the successful completion of the Olympic venue which is set to bring £13 billion to the UK in the coming months and years.

Olympics Legacy Ambassador to the Prime Minister, Sebastian Coe, said that the Olympic legacy which London 2012 left is ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to showcase British business excellence to the world.

Coe, who is also a double Olympic Champion and 12-time world record holder in athletics, said: “The extraordinary success of the London 2012 Games has shown the best of Britain to the world and now our focus turns to securing a lasting legacy. We have already witnessed the incredible regeneration of east London, with world class facilities and a new urban park created.

“We now need to ensure that organisations up and down the country use the positive impact generated by the Games to reach out to new markets and grow their businesses.

“The British Business Embassy at Lancaster House has brought together business leaders from the UK and all over the world in a showcase of Britain’s industrial strengths and successes.”

Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green, said that the Games have provided excellent chance to enhance Brittan’s business links with the rest of the world that will bring significant investment to the economy.

Mr Green said: “The British Business Embassy has hosted 4,000 business people from large and small firms alike. The connections they have made will deliver real economic dividends.

“We are now working hard, alongside firms around the country to follow up the contacts, networks, announcements and momentum created by the Games.”

New Trade Jobs as Cameron and Clegg Boost Planning Reform

“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”

The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.

Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.

Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.

Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”

Housing stimulus package includes:

  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

 

A social way to raise £4.5bn 340,000 New Trade Jobs

Many Victorian homes across England which were used for social housing in the slump are to be sold off to raise a £4.5 billion investment to fund the largest social house building programme in England since the 1970s.

Selling social houses worth more than £177,000, the median house price in England, will raise billions of pounds that could be used to build  more than 100,000 new  homes every year, creating up to 340,000 new jobs in the building engineering industry, a new report by the UK’s leading think tank, Policy Exchange, revealed today.

The think tank says that selling off social housing worth more than the average property in each region* could create an unprecedented housing building scheme which will generate thousands of jobs for trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas-engineers.

According to the report, named “Ending Expensive Social Tenancies”, urging the sale of social housing in more expensive areas and the reinvestment of funds to build more homes will bring economic growth and raise significant financial investment each year.

The scheme is set to reduce the housing waiting list by between 250,000 to 600,000 households in five years.

The report found:

  • Expensive social housing accounts for over a fifth (21.8%) of the total social housing stock in the UK.  This equates to 816,000 out of a total of 3.78 million properties.
  • London has the highest proportion of stock (30.7%) and the North East contains the lowest (14.8%)*
  • The total value of expensive social housing is £159 billion. London contains social housing worth £71.9bn while the North East has £4.4bn worth of expensive social housing stock
  • Approximately 3.5% of this stock becomes vacant a year due to people moving out or dying. This means that the government could sell a total of 28,500 properties on the open market each year. This raises £5.5 billion a year.
  • After paying off the debt held against the stock, the total figure raised is £4.5billion.

*The percentage of expensive social housing above the median value varies by region (adjusted by bedroom size)

Region Total Number Percentage Value of properties above median
North East 40,552 14.8 £4.44bn
East Midlands 43,924 15.8 £5.4bn
West Midlands 70,290 16.5 £9.73bn
North West 103,044 18.6 £11.8bn
Yorkshire and the Humber 79,516 19.3 £9.23bn
South West 56,883 20.1 £8.83bn
South East 97,019 22.1 £19.bn
East of England 97,760 26.0 £17.bn
London 227,794 30.7 £71.97bn
Total 816,000 21.6 £159.3bn

What is your reaction to the new proposals to sell off expensive social housing and build hundreds of thousands new homes every year? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Cameron Supports the Renewable Industry

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to 100 Conservative MPs, who recently complained about wind farm subsidies and demanded cuts to the £500 million a year, paid to the wind power industry.

The 100 MPs, who wrote to the Prime Minister last month, expressed concerns that wind farm proposals are not welcomed by local residents and that they might damage the natural landscape of Britain.

The Prime Minister shared a robust defence of the government’s plans to continue with its commitment to support renewable energy projects across the UK. Mr Cameron echoed strong support for wind farm subsidies, describing them as vital investment for the creation of green jobs and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Cameron said: “On-shore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy, a portfolio of different supplies enhances energy security and prevents the UK from becoming over-reliant on gas imports.”

However, Mr Cameron said he sympathised with local residents’ concerns but the national interest of Britain had to be considered in order to fulfil its commitment to meet targets for renewable energy and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support for the renewable industry? Are you more optimistic about the future of wind farms after Cameron’s backing?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

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