UK economic recovery plan is Build Build Build

UK PM vowed to “use this moment” to fix longstanding economic problems and promised a £5bn “new deal” to build homes and infrastructure.

In a wide-ranging speech in Dudley, in the West Midlands, Mr Johnson vowed to “build, build, build” to soften the “economic aftershock” of coronavirus.

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He said the government wanted to continue with its plans to “level up” – one of its main slogans of last December’s election – as “too many parts” of the country had been “left behind, neglected, unloved”.

Infrastructure projects in England would be “accelerated” and there would be investment in new academy schools, green buses and new broadband, the PM added.

Projects in the £5bn investment plan include:

  • £1.5bn for hospital maintenance and building, eradicating mental health dormitories and improving A&E capacity – the government said this is “new” money in addition to £1.1bn in its Spring Budget
  • £100m for 29 road projects including bridge repairs in Sandwell and improving the A15 in the Humber region – this money had already been announced
  • Over £1bn for new school buildings, as announced on Monday – this cash comes from the government’s existing infrastructure plan
  • £12bn to help build 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years – brings together three pots of money already announced by previous Tory governments and Mr Johnson’s administration

Other projects announced in the government’s Spring Budget, which will now be accelerated, include:

  • £83m for maintenance of prisons and youth offender facilities, and £60m for temporary prison places.
  • £900m for “shovel ready” local projects in England this year and in 2021
  • £500,000 – £1m for each area in the towns fund to spend on improvements to parks, high street and transport

Source: BBC News

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Building a garden wall as feature

Most gardens would benefit from a bit of hard landscaping, especially if the material used is beautiful and natural eg natural stone. Get some inspiration and ideas by visiting your local garden centre.

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Small walls, either built in stone or brick, are incredibly versatile in the gardens. They are specially useful for creating raised structures such as raised beds, which make it easier to plant and weed; brick barbecues; or raised water features. However, they can also be used to divide areas of a garden, or if you have a terraced area, they are vital for retaining soil.

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Use of technology for your building projects

Building projects is now very much linked to the use of computer generated materials. This does not mean to say that your project will suffer if you do not use computers and computer-aided material. However, one of the major problem with producing material by hand is that it takes a long time, and if you need to update or amend something it can become quite tedious. Another problem is that if your writing is not clear it may be misinterpreted.

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Advantages of using technology

  • information can be produced and sent electronically
  • Save time and speed up communication.
  • Ensure orders and specifications are clear and done in good time
  • Can be easily stored, retrieve and resent
  • Can be sent to multiple recipient at the same time
  • Saves resources and cost
  • environmentally friendly

To get the best of technology, it is worth pointing out that with the advancement of technology, digital cameras are now widely available at very reasonable prices. It is worth investing in one even if you do not own or use a computer. Alternatively you can use your mobile phone if it has a good digital camera. You can take and store hundreds of pictures of your project and documents without having them processed or printed. This may be vitally important in the event of any discrepancies and clarifications. If there is a problem or situation that is of urgent concern, the pictures can be sent electronically. This gives the person at the receiving end a visual aid and therefore action may be taken more quickly.

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

National Trust celebrate 125th Anniversary with Zero Carbon pledge

The National Trust has today unveiled one of the UK’s biggest woodland expansion and tree planting projects in an ambitious plan to become carbon net zero by 2030 as the charity celebrates its 125th anniversary.

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National Trust outlines fresh ambition in landmark speech by Director General

  • Charity will become carbon net zero by 2030
  • 20 million trees to be planted and established over ten years to tackle climate change, creating new woodland ‘one and a half times the size of Manchester or equivalent to 42 new Sherwood Forests’
  • Ambitious plans to create green corridors for people and nature near towns and cities
  • Year-long campaign to connect people with nature during 125th anniversary year includes dancing outdoors, watching dawns and a celebration of Britain’s own blossom season
  • Continued commitment to investing in arts and heritage
  • Charity expects to welcome its six millionth member this year

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Hilary McGrady said: ‘It’s our 125th year and the National Trust has always been here for the benefit of everyone. That is why we are making these ambitious announcements in response to what is needed from our institution today.

As Europe’s biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change, which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature and collections we care for.

People need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change.‘.

Source: NationalTrust.org.uk 

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

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Breakdown of Trafford Council property investment of over £200m in 2019

Trafford Council in Greater Manchester, UK spent £103.4 million on purchasing and investing in property in 2019 as part of its finance strategy.

The authority has spent the cash in the hope of bringing in greater returns for council tax payers through interest on loans and from profits on any future sales of property assets, as well as supporting ongoing regeneration across Trafford.

CIS Tower part of Trafford Council property investment

Some of the money used to make these investments has come from a central government borrowing fund which offers low interest rates for local authorities and encourages them to invest in property.

The rest has come from within the council’s budget using council tax.

In total, Trafford has purchased five properties this year for a total of £50.8 million and made loans as part of its property investment strategy totalling £102.6 million.

The council bought the following properties in 2019:

  • Lacey Street Royal Mail depot, Stretford (bought for £800,000)
  • Stretford Mall (bought as part of £50 million deal with developers Bruntwood: £25 million to cover the council’s half of the purchase, a further £25 million was loaned to Bruntwood to cover their half of the costs)
  • Stamford Quarter shopping centre, Altrincham (bought as part of above £50 million Bruntwood deal)
  • Clarendon House (bought as part of above £50 million Bruntwood deal)
  • Sainsbury’s Altrincham (bought for £25million)

The old Kellogg’s site in Stretford – Trafford council property development 

 

The council loaned money to owners or developers for the following properties:

  • CIS Tower, Miller Street, Manchester city centre (loan of £60 million to owners for refinancing and refurbishing the building)
  • Four office buildings off Albert Square, Manchester city centre (loan of £17.6 million as property investment)
  • Stamford Quarter, Altrincham (£50 million loaned to Bruntwood developers as part of £100million purchase deal)
  • Stretford Mall (£50 million loaned to Bruntwood developers as part of above deal)
  • Clarendon House (£50 million loaned to Bruntwood developers as part of above deal)

The grand total of more than £203 million spent this year doesn’t include a further £2.5 million loaned to Trafford Leisure to support two leisure centres in Altrincham and Urmston.

The council made clear that the loan wasn’t part of the council’s investment strategy, but to support the centres and give staff their first pay increase in years.

Other ongoing development projects that the council has on its books include the former Kellogg’s factory site in Stretford that was bought for £12 million back in September 2017.

The site is expected to include 750 homes, an 100-bedroom hotel and a primary school once development work is finished.

Plans to merge two primary schools, knock down their 100-year-old building and replace it with a brand new 21-classroom school in Altrincham are also on the cards.

The council is still in talks with Stamford Park Infants and Junior Schools after an offer of £8 million to build a new school on the site was turned down twice.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Get garden savvy

Fancy a top class garden? Whether you’re employing a landscaper or doing it yourself it’s pertinent you know what you want from your garden.

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Below is a checklist for discussing your garden requirements with a landscape gardener or from your local garden store;

  • Who is going to use this garden (adults, children, animals)?
  • At what times of the year and day will it be used most?
  • Which activities will take place here(eating,playing,sunbathing,swimming)?
  • What do you like most in a garden?
  • What do you dislike most in a garden?
  • Are privacy and security an issue?See the source image
  • What is on your own wish list and that of your family?
  • How to incorporate and integrate your wish and that of your family?
  • Which styles of garden do you like? (internet, garden magazines and books are useful to give an idea.)
  • What is the timescale? This can be years.
  • What is the budget? (Be honest – there’s no point in stating a figure that is in fact unachievable.)
  • How will it be maintained? By yourself or staff?
  • How much time will be available for its maintenance?

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Two UK Wind farm deal worth £104m agreed

A £104m deal has been agreed to buy two Scottish wind farm projects which have yet to start construction.

Greencoat UK Wind will purchase the Windy Rig and Twentyshilling schemes in Dumfries and Galloway from Statkraft upon completion.

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Work is expected to start shortly with target dates in 2021 for the turbines to become operational.

Greencoat chairman Tim Ingram said it was delighted to partner with Statkraft on the project.

“This transaction follows, and is very similar to, our recently announced Glen Kyllachy acquisition from Innogy, with acquisition completion occurring upon the successful commissioning of the wind farms,” he said.

Windy Rig – a 12-turbine project near Carsphairn – and Twentyshilling, which involves nine turbines near Sanquhar, are projects originally developed by Element Power which was acquired by Statkraft last year.

See the source imageGreencoat UK Wind is managed by renewable investment firm Greencoat Capital.

The company already has an extensive portfolio in the UK.

It either owns or has a stake in nearly a dozen wind farms in Scotland, including a 28.2% interest in the giant Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire.

In the Scottish Borders, it has a 51.6% stake in Drone Hill, Coldingham, and owns 100% of Carcant, near Heriot, and Langhope Rig, near Hawick.

Source: BBC News

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Residents in London approve regeneration plans

The Brent council in London Borough held a residents’ ballot in South Kilburn in autumn 2019 to make sure that the community continued to support the award-winning regeneration of the estate.

The result saw residents overwhelmingly back the council’s plans to rebuild the neighbourhood. 84% of residents voted Yes in the ballot, with 72% of residents taking part in the vote.

The South Kilburn regeneration is a 15 year programme that is almost half way through. It aims to transform the area into a sustainable and mixed neighbourhood and create a real sense of place and belonging.

South Kilburn from the air 319px by 180px

The Masterplan aims to deliver the following:

  • 2,400 new high quality homes of which around 1,400 will be made available to existing South Kilburn existing secure tenants
  • A new larger high quality urban park and improved public realm
  • A new primary school and health facilities
  • New retail facilities
  • Improved environmental standards and a site-wide energy solution

It means 17 housing blocks will be knocked down and rebuilt.

SK Brent

Councillor Shama Tatler said: “It is only right that local people had the final say on the future of their neighbourhood.“

All current tenants are guaranteed a home on the rebuilt estate, while leaseholders can choose to leave the estate with a market value payment for their home or stay with a share of the equity in one of the new homes.

Those living in temporary accommodation will be entitled to a secure tenancy in a new home on the estate when one becomes available the council said.

Source: Brent Council

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk