Hope for a housing-focused budget evaporate as Hammond so far swerves ‘broken’ market

first_imgPhilip Hammond’s pre-Budget briefings have so far been largely bereft of the housing sector policies that many had expected.Only one has been revealed so far. The Chancellor says local authorities will be given powers to compulsorily purchase smaller plots from big developers who sit on them, and hand them to smaller house builders.Hammond has chosen to keep many headline-grabbing policies under wraps until his main speech in the past, but the stark lack of any major housing market policies is surprising.The government has spent much of this year promising to fix the UK’s ‘broken’ housing market including regulating the industry harder and balancing the rental market more in renters’ and first time buyers’ favour.Philip HammondIdeas discussed in recent weeks as potential Philip Hammond voter winners include offering landlords capital gains tax-free sales if they sell their buy to let properties to a sitting tenant, and backing for Lord Bird’s Creditworthiness Assessment Bill, plus further funding and support for first time buyers.Other ideas include tax incentives for landlords who offer longer-term tenancies, a delay to – or scrapping of – the Section 24 tax relief reductions facing landlords, and an easing of stamp duty for retired downsizers.“Given this unfavourable background, we anticipate that the Chancellor will deliver an uncompromising Budget with more take than give,” says Guy Gittins, Managing Director, Chestertons.“Property has been an easy target in recent Budgets, however we believe that it is not in the country’s best interests to continually hammer a sector which affects the lives of everyone and which is in need of increased government support.”Philip Hammond budget 2018 Chancellor of the Exchequer October 29, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Hope for a housing-focused budget evaporate as Hammond so far swerves ‘broken’ market previous nextHousing MarketHope for a housing-focused budget evaporate as Hammond so far swerves ‘broken’ marketOnly a minor change in planning laws to help more homes to be built revealed so far today.Nigel Lewis29th October 201802,092 Viewslast_img read more

US Naval War College Strengthens Global Maritime Partnerships

first_img View post tag: Naval More than 100 Naval War College Alumni and guests from 14 different countries discussed important Indo-Asia-Pacific issues at the NWC 10th Regional Alumni Symposium in Manila, Philippines, May 21-23. View post tag: Maritime View post tag: News by topic Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter, Jr., president, U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I., and Philippine Navy Vice Adm. Jesus C. Milan, flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy, were joined by U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas and U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg at the event.The gathering served as an opportunity to support NWC’s mission to strengthen global maritime partnerships while solidifying the close partnership between the U.S. and Philippines as part of a long-term rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific.“Symposia like this one are academic conferences premised on the belief that military education is not solely the product of a brick-and-mortar schoolhouse, but rather a lifelong attempt to acquire knowledge about the profession of arms. Symposia allow us to address strategic, operational, and technical issues of relevance to the region, and table-top war games that facilitate greater understanding of the challenges lying ahead,” said Carter.Today, navies across the globe face new and uncertain challenges, and by meeting to discuss those challenges, ideas can be exchanged about how to overcome them together.“It is my sincere hope that through meaningful exchanges, we can share knowledge to enhance mutual understanding, thereby building greater trust and confidence. It is my firm belief that we who wear this uniform and share responsibility for our nations’ safety and security on the maritime commons can meet as partners to discuss new ideas and concepts,” said Carter. “We have prepared a rigorous academic event. Our goal is to receive the latest information of topics by regional experts than explore them together through thoughtful discussion.”The focus of the academic portion of the event, “Strengthening Global Maritime Partnerships,” was explored through a series of panels that discussed freedom of navigation, information sharing and interoperability, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.“The Naval War College Regional Alumni Symposium has been a fantastic opportunity for naval leaders from around the Pacific and Indian Oceans to address our common equities and tackle some of the challenges we face every day,” said Thomas.“On average we visit 200 ports and hold 100 exercises each year with the 35 maritime nations of this region. It’s all about building partnerships and understanding. The War College symposium is a big part of our engagement and presence here in Seventh Fleet,” said Thomas.The long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the U.S. has contributed to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 60 years and efforts to strengthen the security partnership are continuing. As part of those continuing efforts, the U.S. is looking into how it can support the Philippines in its desire to build a more credible defense, and to improve its ability to respond to natural disasters.“Much of our future depends on the peace and stability of the maritime domain. The security of the seas that unite our nations will continue to stand at the core of our individual and collective national interests. Activities such as this symposium would help cull and mine the inner depths of our visions, thoughts and ideas for creative solutions and answers,” said Milan.Since 2005, NWC alumni have gathered around the world to foster trust, friendship, confidence, camaraderie and exchange of ideas that began in Newport.“Together, classmates have strengthened global maritime partnerships in Yokosuka, Japan; Naples, Italy; Valparaiso, Chile; Manama, Bahrain; Singapore; Cartagena, Columbia; Stuttgart, Germany; Toulon, France, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Now, thanks to the generosity of the Philippine navy and Adm. Milan, we can add Manila to our list of host cities,” said Carter.[mappress]Press Release, May 27, 2014; Image: U.S. Navy Share this article View post tag: Asia-Pacific View post tag: Global View post tag: Naval War College Authorities View post tag: Partnerships May 27, 2014 US Naval War College Strengthens Global Maritime Partnerships Back to overview,Home naval-today US Naval War College Strengthens Global Maritime Partnerships View post tag: strengthenslast_img read more

Christmas Parade Draws a Crowd Despite Drizzle

first_imgThe Christmas Parade that almost wasn’t turned out to be pretty festive.Small crowds of families lined Asbury Avenue on a damp December night on Friday to watch the annual procession and catch a glimpse of Santa.Volunteer parade organizers had considered taking a year off to re-energize the event, but with only a few weeks of planning, the City of Ocean City, the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Merchants Association rallied to revive the event.The parade featured the Ocean City High School marching band, the Pennsport String Band, Ocean City Theatre Company performers, themed cars, floats, pageant winners, Ocean City High School championship teams, student scholars and community businesses and groups — many of them tossing candy out to children watching the parade.The star of the parade arrived last pulled by horse-and-carriage. Santa was the highlight for many of the shorter ones in the crowd.Check out a short video of the parade above.See full schedule of holiday events in Ocean City, NJlast_img read more

News story: DVSA earned recognition scheme launched

first_imgVisitors finding out about DVSA earned recognition at the Commercial Vehicle Show.How the scheme worksDVSA earned recognition is a new way for organisations with lorries, buses and coaches to prove they meet driver and vehicle standards.They’ll regularly share performance information with DVSA, such as their MOT initial pass rates and if their drivers have broken drivers’ hours rules.In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections, saving them time and money. DVSA will still stop vehicles if they’re in an obviously dangerous condition.This will allow DVSA to target more of its enforcement activities at the high-risk traffic who put other road users in danger.Watch a video explaining how the scheme works.DVSA earned recognition videoBenefits for vehicle operatorsSince 1 February 2018, operators who joined the pilot have received some early benefits. They’ve been significantly less likely to be stopped by DVSA.With the launch of DVSA earned recognition, operators currently on the scheme and those who join later will get the full benefits. These include: DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to visit their premises having direct access to a dedicated earned-recognition team in DVSA use of the DVSA earned recognition marque to use on their websites and other publicity materials being recognised as a DVSA approved operator through a published list on GOV.UK being able to prove they are exemplary operators when bidding for contracts DVSA published the list of operators taking part in the pilot on 31 January 2018.Working with operators, not against themDave Wood, DVSA Enforcement Policy Manager, said: Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, has officially launched the DVSA earned recognition scheme at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham.The launch follows a successful year-long pilot involving more than 60 commercial vehicle operators from various sectors of the industry.The launch event was attended by pilot operators, audit providers, IT systems suppliers and trade associations. How the scheme was refined during the pilotThe earned recognition pilot ran from April 2017. It allowed DVSA to test and refine the earned recognition concept. This included:center_img the application process for operators, IT system suppliers and audit providers making sure the key performance indicators (KPIs) and audit standards are fit for purpose authorising audit providers to carry out the initial and periodic audits validating IT systems fine-tuning processes and documents gathering valuable feedback so we can make further adjustments DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to stop their vehicles at the roadside Earned recognition marks a shift in approach from DVSA. It’s about rewarding operators who are serious about road safety and having a relationship where we work with them. By doing that, we can free up time and resources to focus on the dangerous drivers and vehicles that put other road users at risk. Joining DVSA earned recognitionCommercial vehicle operators can now apply to join the earned recognition scheme.More information about DVSA earned recognition is also available for audit providers and IT suppliers.last_img read more

Haydens raises £1,034 for charity

first_imgDevizes-based Haydens Bakery has presented Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) with a cheque for £1,034.As reported by the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, the Real Good Food (RGF)-owned company raised the money through various fundraising efforts – one employee even took part in a fire walk.It presented the cheque during a visit to the WAA’s head office, during which a number of Haydens’ employees were given a tour of the facilities.John Larsen, managing director at Haydens, said: “We are proud to support such a vital community resource.This visit really puts into perspective how crucial this charity is to Wiltshire and the surrounding area, not to mention the astounding hard work and dedication by all of the team. We look forward to supporting the charity further in the future.”Haydens Bakery recently won the Best Manufacturer Award at the Enterprising Wiltshire Awards 2016.last_img read more

Bob Weir Announces Campfire Band Spring Tour Dates, Including Austin City Limits

first_imgThere’s just no stopping Bob Weir, as the Grateful Dead guitarist has announced five spring tour dates for his newly formed Campfire Band in support of the 2016 solo release, Blue Mountain. Comprised of Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf and Josh Kaufman, the acoustic ensemble will support Weir for shows in Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama.The tour begins on April 13th in Dallas, before Weir and co. head to Austin, TX for two nights at the Moody Theatre for the long running Austin City Limits program. The fun doesn’t stop there, as the band will go on to play shows in New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL on April 18th and 19th, respectively.Weir recently reunited the Campfire Band at Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival, and did promise more Campfire dates ahead. We’ll be sure to update if more tour dates get announced. In the meantime, Weir has been keeping busy by performing at NAMM and at the Sundance Film Festival Grateful Dead documentary premiere. He’s also set to head to Los Muertos Con Queso this weekend, and has Dead & Company tour dates plotted through the summer. The music never stopped!Bob Weir Campfire Band Tour DatesAPR 13: Music Hall at Fair Park, Dallas, TXAPR 15: ACL Live at Austin, TXAPR 16: ACL Live at Austin, TXAPR 18: The Saenger Theatre at New Orleans, LAAPR 19: Saenger Theatre at Mobile, ALlast_img read more

Sarah Thomas appointed vice president for the Harvard Library

first_imgHarvard University Provost Alan M. Garber announced that Sarah Thomas of the University of Oxford has been named vice president for the Harvard Library.In this role, Thomas will have overall responsibility for the Harvard Library, and will collaborate closely with the Library Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Library Leadership Team.Garber noted, “Sarah Thomas is a leader in her field with an exceptional record of success running major academic libraries. She is uniquely capable of building on the progress we have made thus far in responding to the evolving expectations of the 21st century scholar. Working closely with Library staff, faculty, students and School and University leadership, Sarah will help Harvard continue to set the standard for academic libraries worldwide.”Thomas currently serves as Bodley’s Librarian and director of the Bodleian Libraries—the first woman and non-British citizen to hold the position in 400 years—as well as pro-vice-chancellor and member of the faculty of modern languages at the University of Oxford . Previous to Oxford, Thomas was the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell. She served as the president of the Association of Research Libraries, and also held posts at the Library of Congress, where she led in the establishment of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, the National Agricultural Library, the Research Libraries Group at Stanford University and Harvard’s Widener Library, among other positions. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Don’t Destroy Your Wild Garden

first_imgA woman called the other day about some “wild land” she and her husband hadbought. They would be moving there from their house on a microscopic lot in Athens.I could sense her uneasiness. “Should we just take it all out, all at once?”she asked. (“It” meant the wild vegetation, I concluded.)She had another worry: a spring. “We don’t let our daughter go near it,” sheassured me. She talked at length about this spring.Gradually I got her drift. They had bought a one-acre wooded lot in a subdivision. Howshould one go about building a house in the woods? And more important, how should one goabout living in such a place?These are reasonable questions. More and more people are “going natural” intheir landscaping.What not to do — if you want to preserve your piece of the wild — is the ordinarything.The ordinary house has a view of the road — as if the road were the premium view. Thenlandowners declare war on all vegetation except large trees. They cut, hack, scrape, rakeand till until naked earth shows everywhere.They plant grass in some places. The rest they bury under pine straw or other importedmulch. They bring in store-bought plants to restore what nature once provided. Then theystart watering: regular watering, sprinkle watering, drip irrigation, watering duringdroughts.What was wrong with the native vegetation? Nobody ever watered that. It was perfectlyadapted.Why do people do “landscaping” in this way? Because that’s the way it’s always been done. We absorb taste and artistic sense — orthe lack of it — from our childhood neighborhood. Pictures in magazines, too, tell uswhat our aspirations should be.Break the mold and think creatively when it comes to landscaping in harmony withnature. Here are some saving-a-wild-garden ideas that cost little or nothing.First, a spring or a swampy place is not a hazard. Unless you abhor the risk ofstepping in ooze or water, leave a little swampy place as it is.Such places are magnets for frogs, birds, salamanders, dragonflies and, of course,little humans. Mud can beat most items at “Toys-R-Us” when it comes toentertaining small people.How about snakes? They’re a very small risk to humans, well below lightning strikes anddog attacks. There are bees, wasps, a couple of spiders with nasty bites and a fewirritating caterpillars. But these creatures can also exist in many manicured gardens. Youmight want to spray out poison ivy, however.Where to put your house is a key decision.Some people want a house on a hill with a detached view of nature from a safe distance.I prefer a house with a close-up view of undisturbed nature.Consider nestling the house near a beauty spot with a window view of your natural area.Focus on getting your house in place with the least damage to the natural vegetation. Ropeoff favorite places to protect them from heavy equipment.If you can get a house in the woods, you’re well ahead of the average aspiring naturelover. Now maybe you want to make some strategic modifications. Add a patch of lawn or abutterfly bush. Perhaps put in some trilliums or mayapples under the oaks.Bit by bit you can also make strategic removals. Remove an eleagnus here, or prune abranch there. Careful, though! When you take out plants and branches from under a fullforest canopy, they may never grow back.The Southeast produces lovely forests without any help from man. The woods aren’t theenemy but a friend to live with in joy and harmony.last_img read more

Transplanting rules

first_imgBy Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaMany vegetable plants start life indoors, then move outside tothe garden. For those plants, a University of Georgia scientistsays some transplanting rules of thumb can make your garden muchmore successful.Leaving the plants outside for a few days will harden them offand get them ready for transplanting, said George Boyhan, aCooperative Extension horticulturist with the UGA College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.”Hardening” is the process of lowering the temperature orwithholding some water, or both, to thicken the cuticle, or theplant’s waxy outer layer.”The longer the flats of plants have been outside, especiallyovernight,” Boyhan said, “the less shock the transplants willhave to withstand.”But first …For the best gardening success, he said, start with a soil test.Your county UGA Cooperative Extension office has materials andinstructions for collecting a soil sample.”This will help determine what fertilizer to add, and how much,and if the soil pH should be adjusted,” Boyhan said.Follow up with soil preparation. “A well-prepared garden ofloose, moist soil will help the transplants adjust to their newhome,” he said.Then thoroughly soak the plants in the flats. That will help thesoil and roots stay together as tightly as possible when youremove each plant from its container.Hairs?Transplant on a cloudy, wind-free day if you can, Boyhan said. Ordo it late in the afternoon when the sun has begun to set. Keepas much soil as you can around the root ball. This will preventroot damage, particularly to the root hairs, and allow the plantto overcome transplant shock faster.The plant takes up water and nutrients through the root hairs, hesaid. They’re the feeders on the regular roots. And they’re sosmall that they generally can’t be seen.Set the root ball carefully in the hole. Fill in the soil, andfirm it well so the roots make good contact with the soil. Theplants should be slightly deeper than they grew in the flat.Tomatoes can be planted much deeper than they grew in the flat.SoakingThen give the transplants a good soaking in their new home.Direct the water flow around the base of the plant. But try notto get the water on the leaves and stems.”Using a high-phosphorus, water-soluble fertilizer such as8-45-14 to water in new transplants can dramatically help get theplants off to a good start,” Boyhan said. “This is particularlytrue in early spring, when soil temperature can be relativelylow.”Young transplants need watering the first three or four days, hesaid, until they become established. This can be critical inMarch and early April, when the wind can dry the plants and soilquickly.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Editorial: Don Blankenship and Matthew 16:26

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star:Six years and a day after one of the worst mining disasters in some four decades, a federal judge has sentenced the coal company’s former CEO to a year in prison and fined him $250,000 for conspiring to violate federal safety standards. For the 29 killed at Massey Energy Company’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in 2010, it hardly seems enough.Donald Blankenship’s well-paid attorneys will immediately file an appeal, of course, so we’ll see about the jail time. We’d just say that if there’s a more unsympathetic personification of corporate greed in this country, well, may Blankenship be a warning to him or her.Even though Blankenship was acquitted of far more serious felony charges late last year that could have earned him significantly more prison time, it’s hard to ignore his long record of sacrificing mine safety in pursuit of higher profits — for example, falling short on the ventilation of the coal dust that exploded in this case, despite repeated warnings. It’s worth noting that autopsies of the 29 dead found that 71 percent of them had black lung disease, compared to an industry average of 3.2 percent.We suppose it’s some solace that the 66-year-old Blankenship did get the maximum for his misdemeanor conviction. We suppose it’s a wonder he got convicted at all, given that his wealth and his political connections had more than a few describing him as “untouchable.” Nonetheless, it’s hard to escape the feeling that there are two systems of justice in America, a more forgiving one for the rich and powerful and a harsher one for everybody else.Indeed, at most Blankenship will spend just over 12 days per employee victim in jail. (In fairness, he wasn’t charged with directly causing their deaths.) We can’t peer into his conscience to know how he truly feels about that. It requires a cynicism we can’t quite muster to think he wouldn’t turn back the clock if he could. We can only judge him on what he says. At his sentencing he expressed sorrow but not quite remorse, saying, “I am not guilty of a crime.” He’ll forgive the surviving families of those miners who might now say to him, “The hell you aren’t.”We feel much the same way about the captains of finance who helped bring about the 2008 recession. They may not have acted illegally but arguably obliterated many a professional ethical/personal moral boundary for wealth unimaginable to most. May they at least be sentenced to multiple meetings with Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”Editorial: Matthew 16:26, required reading for CEOs? Editorial: Don Blankenship and Matthew 16:26last_img read more