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New housing minister: what the industry thinks

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » New housing minister: what the industry thinks previous nextHousing MarketNew housing minister: what the industry thinksEstate agents are getting increasingly annoyed by the ever quickening revolving door at the Ministry of Housing as Esther McVey yesterday made way for Chris Pincher.Nigel Lewis14th February 202001,348 Views So here we are again. Just six months after she arrived in post, Esther McVey is off, to be replaced by Chris Pincher, MP for Tamworth.McVey made only a handful of forays into the world of estate agency including a speech about ‘high tech houses’, a proposed newtown, comments on tenancy length and revelations about the government’s rogue landlord list.All that before she got the chop and was replaced by a respected but little-known Foreign Office minister with no track record in housing, Chris Pincher – who late last night tweeted his delight at getting the housing job (see below).He is the tenth Tory housing minister in a row and the 19th over the past 21 years. But what does the industry think of yesterday’s political reshuffling?ReactionsPropertymark joint statement from NAEA/ARLAMark Hayward/David Cox“We welcome Christopher Pincher as the new Housing Minister. Unfortunately, the lack of continuity in this post and the persistent changes means it’s near impossible for anyone in the role to make an impact.“Fixing the broken housing market should be the priority, and there’s a number of consultations and policy that requires action – most importantly the Regulation of Property Agents.“We look forward to working with the new Minister on these important changes to the industry.”Jackson-StopsNick Leeming, Chairman“After less than a year in the post, Esther McVey is the latest housing minster to walk through No. 10’s revolving door.“Although we welcome a new housing minister to the role, they will now be our 10th in 10 years, and for our industry to truly to gain momentum we need consistency and not this constant stop/start approach.“Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating having renewed confidence and optimism in the property market.“Many of our branches experienced an uptick in applicants following the General Election, but for this buoyancy to continue we need robust policies with longevity which are geared around stimulating the housing market at all levels.“We don’t believe this change will have a significant impact on buyer or vendor confidence.In our survey of more than 1,100 consumers, almost 20% claimed not to know Esther McVey had even taken up the position of Housing Minister.”Base PropertyKrystjan Byfield, FounderAddressing McVey somewhat tongue-in-cheek, he said: “Thank you for [your] immense achievements during your long tenure as housing minister – you join a long and inspiring line of housing minister over the last 20 years who have been in the role so long and achieved so much.” ZooplaAlex Rose, Head of New Homes“How do we ever expect a government to bring about real change to land, planning, skills, MMC, taxation and affordable housing when ministers only have 12 months to make an impact.“I wish Christopher Pincher a long and impactful tenure but won’t hold my breath for major housing reform.” MyDepositsSean Hooker, Head of Redress“Another Cabinet reshuffle another Housing Minister bites the dust. The resignation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid has probably overshadowed this news, however a new Minister will need to get up to speed with the challenges faced by the sector.”  Market Financial SolutionsParesh Raja, CEO“First the appointment of a new housing minister, and now the resignation of Sajid Javid as Chancellor. This surely has to be the worst day so far in Boris Johnson’s short reign as prime minister.”Chris Pincher Base Property Alex Rose NAEA Propertymark My Deposits Mark Hayward Jackson-stops Sean Hooker Nick Leeming krystjan byfield ARLA Propertymark David Cox Esther McVey Zoopla February 14, 2020Nigel 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 2021last_img read more

Speech: Lessons on building and sustaining peace

first_imgStatement by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council Briefing on Peacebuilding and Sustaining PeaceWednesday, 5 DecemberThank you very much indeed Mr President. Thank you for travelling to be with the Security Council today. And may I join other speakers in also expressing my personal and the British government and Her Majesty the Queen’s condolences on the death of President Bush who I had the honour to meet a number of times. He was indeed a great statesman.And as you and Minister Faki did Mr President, I think it’s also worth noting once more the passing this year of Kofi Annan, another great statesman who worked very closely with President Bush and both of them had at the heart of what they were trying to achieve everything that this debate is about today. So thank you very much for putting it on our agenda. And thank you to the other ministers for coming to join the Security Council.I think it’s very good Mr President that we’ve been able to have the benefit of Cote d’Ivoire’s own experience. Too seldom in the Security Council do we hear of successes, so we wish your government well in everything it has achieved and long may it continue. And we salute all the reforms that you have brought in.Another piece of good news that the Council was able to participate in recently concerned the lifting of sanctions on Eritrea and this success in Africa is very much welcome. I think a number of speakers have drawn attention Mr President to the fact that two thirds of armed conflicts that ended in the early 2000s relapsed within five years. So it’s therefore vital that we remain focused not just on resolving conflicts but on sustaining peace in the long term.And I’d like to focus in my remarks on three key lessons today:Firstly, and as other speakers have noted, a political settlement needs to include the full spectrum of society – including women, including the Polish focus on human rights, including what the Dutch minister said about women and girls and education – and all of this is vital if peace is to be sustainable.We need to be bold in this approach and we recognise that it can often be extremely difficult in the aftermath of a conflict to be magnanimous and to reach out to all sections of society. Nevertheless it is a very critical element. In the British experience from Northern Ireland, we believe that we were able to accommodate the interests of diametrically opposed armed groups in the political process that has brought two decades of peace.It’s important also that we engage with elites and that we encourage them to give a lead rising above political, ethnic and religious divides and take tough choices for the benefit of all of their citizens. And I think it is all on our minds Mr President that the peace talks in Yemen are about to start and we look to all participants to approach these constructively and in a spirit of compromise.Secondly post-conflict power structures and institutions need to be fully representative and they need to be legitimate. Fair power structures that broaden inclusion, accountability and transparency over time are more likely to reinforce a sustainable peace. That said there must be a political agreement, and I think we are all aware that in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and result power struggles undermined ambitious state and institution building. Syria Mr President becomes even more important in this context. We will not be able to consider providing reconstruction assistance absent of a political settlement.I think it’s also worth pointing to the virtues of patience. The World Bank estimates that making meaningful improvements to institutions takes a minimum of 10 years. And I think the Peruvian intervention spelled out the vital importance of getting things like infrastructure right. So the conclusion from that is that long term, predictable and coordinated support from the international community as a whole is obviously going to be critical if peace is to last.Bosnia represents a successful example in this particular context -The success of their transition to a peaceful state over 20 years after the Dayton Accords – this is in part due to the collaboration and support of this Council, the European Union and NATO and many others, including civil society and NGOs. In fact Paddy Ashdown who was the High Representative in Bosnia had three particular lessons for managing the end of a conflict. The first was do the rule of law first. His second rule was have a plan and stick to it. But his third rule was be prepared for it to take a long time. And I think we often approach things in haste Mr President. Obviously we don’t condone backsliding; the key is to keep moving forward but we do need to have patience.Thirdly we need to ensure that basic needs are provided for in the short term and support economic development in the long term. The provision of basic needs is vital to the alleviation of immediate post-conflict humanitarian needs but also to ensure political processes have the capacity to develop and thrive.Development itself needs to be inclusive and create widespread benefits to ensure that groups are not inadvertently left behind. The ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and Jobs for Peace and Resilience Programme rightly emphasizes the importance of employment-centred recovery and accessible opportunities for society to grow and for cohesion and this all helps to reinforce the Sustainable Development Goals.If we wish to ensure that the 2 billion people who live in countries affected by conflict are not trapped in a cycle of violence then we must address instability head on. And it was very good to learn of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which will clearly have a key role to play in this regard.Mr President it isn’t possible to touch on all ramifications of this important subject but thank you once again for sharing Cote d’Ivoire experience with the Council and starting a very thorough discussion of this issue.Thank you Mr President.last_img read more

Press release: UK and Switzerland agree to transition trade agreement after Brexit

first_imgThe UK government and the Swiss Federal Council have approved the transition of a trade agreement, allowing businesses to continue trading freely after the UK leaves the European Union.This is the first and one of the most significant existing trade agreements to the UK to have been agreed as part of the government’s preparations to ensure continuity for businesses and consumers as we leave the EU.There are around 40 existing EU trade agreements that the UK government is seeking to provide continuity for and a number of other agreements are at an advanced stage.The agreement replicates the existing EU-Switzerland arrangements as far as possible and will come into effect as soon as the implementation period ends in January 2021, or on 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It has now been initialled by both countries.Britain has a major trade surplus with Switzerland, with exports worth £19.04 billion last year. British exports have grown by 41.1% in the last 5 years.International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: It’s good news that a transition to a trade agreement with Switzerland has been agreed. A great deal with the EU needs to be delivered alongside continuity of the trade agreements the UK already enjoys through single market membership. The opportunity now is to reach agreement on the remaining deals. This is one of the most significant existing trade agreements, with British companies exporting £19 billion worth of goods and services last year, and it will provide the certainty that businesses need to continue trading freely. This is the first of around 40 trade agreements that we will provide continuity for and many other agreements are also close to being agreed. It is a vital part of our no deal planning and it means that businesses and consumers can continue to benefit from our close trading relationships with the world beyond the European Union. British jewellery, precious stones and metal are the largest goods exports to Switzerland, worth £10.7 billion in 2017. Pharmaceutical products also continue to be one of the UKs biggest exports to Switzerland, worth over £500 million in 2017.Once the agreement is signed, both the UK and Switzerland will seek parliamentary approval for the agreement.last_img read more

Sacred words

first_imgMarilynne Robinson speaks a sacred language.In her Noble Lecture at the Memorial Church Sanctuary on Monday evening, the literary giant enchanted her audience with “The Divine,” a statement against the “invidious judgment” of Western modernity on mythic elements in sacred narrative.“We stigmatize what we feel we must reject,” she said to the crowd that filled the pews despite the ill-timed April snowstorm. “I argue that we have reduced in a way the scale of human experience.”Robinson, who was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2012, is beloved for her four novels, “Housekeeping,” “Gilead,” “Home,” and “Lila.” “Gilead,” the story of a small-town pastor in Iowa, earned the author the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. She has also won acclaim for her essay collections, including “The Givenness of Things” (2015), about faith and humanity.“It is the absence of divinity that dehumanizes nature,” she told the crowd. “There’s nothing paradoxical in this thought. Myth brings scale to the narratives that stir the human imagination. Properly speaking we are the stuff of myth, and yet we have no language to address the scale of the experience we have, not only as dwellers in a cosmos, but also as creatures whose thoughts naturally inhabit the vastness of myth, creation to doomsday, who see our galaxy as a path across the heavens, who spin out new tales of the impossible even while we sleep.”Robinson joined the long list of leaders and thinkers whom the Divinity School’s William Belden Noble Lectures, established in 1898 by Noble’s widow, have brought to Harvard. She was introduced by Professor Matthew Potts, who called her a “profoundly moral writer.”“She causes us to wonder,” he added, before turning over the lectern to Robinson.Brushing her long white hair from her face, the 72-year-old author took note of the gilded eagle affixed to the front of the lectern before commencing with her lecture. “I have a larger and more glorious bird than Bernie Sanders did,” she said, prompting roars of laughter.In her talk, Robinson drew from a variety of literary sources, quoting William Wordsworth and Emily Dickinson (“The brain is wider than the sky”) and expounding on the pluralistic God (the Hebrew Elohim) in the Old Testament.After the lecture, Mary Sue Daoud, a graduate student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, stood in a line that wrapped around the church, waiting for Robinson to sign her copy of “The Givennness of Things.”“It’s exciting as a devout Christian myself to see someone leave their mark on the academic world without compromising their faith,” she said.Casper ter Kuile, who is studying jointly at Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, found in Robinson’s theme a link with his examination of fitness organizations that use religious language to connect with exercise enthusiasts.“If you go to SoulCycle, they ask, ‘Who are you riding for?’ It’s about more than yourself. It’s the greater something, about transformation,” he said. “There is something more important than our everyday life.”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s honors tradition with Service Fair

first_imgTags: Non-profit, OSCE, Rebekah DeLine, service fair Saint Mary’s College has dedicated itself to upholding its tradition to service. The College’s commitment to service will manifest in a service fair Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Student Center.The Service Fair was partially organized by Rebecca DeLine, the director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OSCE).“We hope to connect students to [a] local service organization in the community so that they might find a service opportunity that interests them,” DeLine said in an email.DeLine said she hopes students create a relationship with organizations that will be lasting and that fosters commitment and “that students might commit to a semester of regular engagement with one of our local non-profits.”The fair will feature a number of non-profits that work in diverse fields.“There will be 33 non-profits represented in addition to two OCSE-sponsored opportunities,” DeLine said. “I think that there should be something for everyone.”DeLine provided some examples of non-profits that students interested in working in the South Bend community might find compelling.“I don’t think I’m allowed to play favorites, but I will say that we have a wide range of non-profits from those serving youth in after-school programs to those working particularly with the Latinx population to those that work with individuals who are dying,” she said.The Service Fair is the realization of the work of the OSCE. The organization spent months planning the event in order to connect students to their communities, DeLine said.“We started by contacting our community partners shortly after Thanksgiving, but the planning actually began a bit before then as we reserved the space and worked with Campus and Community Events to determine how many non-profits we could host,” she said.DeLine said she recognizes the benefits of students participating in service, but also recognizes the stressors of school and other extra-curricular activities can cause the time commitment of regular service impossible.“I think engaging with the community is a good thing in and of itself, but I am also realistic that students are very busy and may not have as much time to help at a non-profit if they aren’t receiving something in return,” she said. “So real benefits I know that students will receive are work experience, networking.”The Service Fair is a part of the celebrations of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, but it also takes place in the 175th year of Saint Mary’s. DeLine said the Service Fair connects with these two events.“The Sisters of the Holy Cross have long demonstrated a commitment to living and serving alongside the community they are a part of and they did this through first developing authentic and personal relationships with the communities where they lived,“ she said.  “The service fair is one way that we can help students get to know the community and to find ways to respond to the needs that are brought forth.”DeLine said she is looking forward to a lot about the Service Fair, but the thing that she is looking forward to the most is the community and the excitement it produces.DeLine said she is looking forward to the Service Fair and hopes that it will bring “a lot of great energy and hopefully a lot of wonderful connections between students and the community.”last_img read more

Cynthia Nixon-Helmed Rasheeda Speaking, Begins Previews Off-Broadway

first_imgThe New York premiere of Rasheeda Speaking begins previews on January 27. Directed by Cynthia Nixon, the New Group production stars Oscar winner Dianne Wiest, Tony winner Tonya Pinkins, Patricia Conolly and Darren Goldstein. Opening night is set for February 11 at off-Broadway’s Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Written by Joel Drake Johnson, Rasheeda Speaking explores unspoken tensions between Ileen (Wiest) and Jaclyn (Pinkins), two front desk workers who find themselves in a power struggle with the doctor (Goldstein) for whom they work. Conolly plays Rose, a patient who visits the office. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 View Comments Rasheeda Speaking This production features set design by Allen Moyer, costumes by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Jennifer Tipton and sound design and original music by David Van Tieghem. Related Showslast_img read more

Food Security Summit

first_imgWhen it comes to the goal of feeding the world’s growing population, the only certainty is that it will take a multipronged approach.To help facilitate the collaboration that is going to be necessary, faculty members at the University of Georgia recently convened food security experts from across the nation to discuss how UGA scientists and students could build a more food-secure world. The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ (CAES) inaugural Global Food Security Summit brought together the leaders of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) with researchers and policy makers to discuss priorities in the realms of food production and food protection.“The things that we do matter because, by all estimates, by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet,” CAES Dean and Director Sam Pardue told the crowd. “When I was a child there were 3 billion. Things have changed dramatically, and we are going to need more food. We’ll need 30% more food by 2030; 2030 is not very far away. This is a task that we take very seriously.”The summit was unique because it looked at the issues facing farmers, researchers and nongovernmental organizations in one conversation, as one system. Everyone benefits from a food-secure world, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.“Our Farm Bureaus are interested in this discussion because we know how important it is that all people have adequate food,” Duvall told the crowd. “We know that as people are fed, they get up and develop their lives, they become closer to the middle class, they have more money to spend, and they can buy the products that we sell. So waters that rise lift all boats — it would lift them up and lift us up too — and that’s what life really is all about.”A panel on scientific barriers to increasing food production included participants such as CAES Professor Wayne Parrott of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Fort Valley State University Department of Biology Chair George Mbata, USDA NIFA Director Scott Angle, Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Austin Scott and Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut Dave Hoisington.Their discussion on logistic, economic and social barriers to technology adoption by farmers, and strategies for ensuring appropriate technologies is available to farmers around the world.A second panel focused on food distribution, trade and nutrition. The group, made up of foods and nutrition Professor Alex Anderson of the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS); Samara Sterling, research director at The Peanut Institute; Professor Lynn Bailey, head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition in FACS; Tom Schaetzel, nutrition director for CARE; Ellen McCullough, assistant professor in the UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; and Maura Barry Boyle, senior deputy assistant administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security.Their discussion focused on the cultural factors that lead to inequitable food distribution. It also focused on the failures of trade and subsidy policies, and the research needed to craft policies that ensure food security around the world. To find out more about how CAES contributes to the global effort for food security, visit caes.uga.edu.To see some of the comments made at the summit, visit www.youtube.com.last_img read more

A Critical Factor in Finding Technology for Your Business

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In addition to my role as president of LISTnet, I run a software and technology consulting company. As a consultant, part of what I do is help people find the right software to run and grow their businesses. There are a lot of things to consider.What technology is the software built on? How scalable is it? Is there good documentation and training? How does this fit into the rest of the technology the company is running? Will it be running in the cloud or on site? How will it be managed and updated?Those and other requirements are crucial to evaluate. There is, however, another very important consideration. It’s easy to fall in love with the technology and be wowed by the latest and greatest features. But the most critical factor is the people that will be doing the work.It’s important when looking for technology solutions to get to know the actual people behind it. Are they reliable and trustworthy? Will they be there for you if things go wrong? Who are the people running the company and what’s their background? Will you be able to reach an executive or developer if necessary?One of the biggest benefits of LISTnet is getting to know people that can help grow your business. When you need something, you have a network of people to reach out to. Also, these people all have a bunch of connections themselves and can connect you to reliable vendors they work with.Of course, not everyone is part of LISTnet, yet, so you should get to know vendors in other ways. The best way, if possible, is to meet in person. Have lunch with them. Don’t just talk about the business stuff, but get to know them. If in person is not possible, spend some time talking by phone or Skype.Ask to talk to other people in the company. Talk to the people that wrote the software and the people that will be supporting it. Talk to a few of their customers. Talk until you have a good sense of the people and factor that into your buying decision. Also, a good relationship flows in both directions, make sure you follow up on any promises you make.The right tech helps a business serve their customers better and grow. But it’s people that create and manage the technology. Those people will be the ones that make the difference between a solution that works and one that creates problems instead of solving them. Take some time to get know the people you will be depending on.last_img read more

Household debt front and centre for RBA and regulators in coming year

first_imgHousehold debt levels will continue to be a strong focus of regulators in the coming year, according to RBA.RBA Governor Philip Lowe expects to see better growth out the Australian economy in the coming financial year, but household debt levels will be a strong focus.Summing up the year in the RBA’s 2017 annual report out this week, Mr Lowe said “over the year, the Board has paid close attention to developments in household balance sheets and housing markets.”More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour ago“The coming year is likely to see better growth in the Australian economy,” he said. RBA Governor Philip Lowe expects to see better growth in the coming year. Picture: Patrick Hamilton/Economic Society of Australia“The Reserve Bank Board adjusted the cash rate target once in the year in review, lowering it to 1.5 per cent in August 2016. This followed inflation outcomes earlier that year that were noticeably lower than expected. Since then the Board has held the cash rate steady, with the stimulatory setting of monetary policy helping the economy adjust to the winding down of the mining investment boom.”He said RBA wanted “an average rate of inflation over time of between 2 and 3 per cent in a way that promotes the public interest and does not add to medium-term financial stability risks”.He said the way that RBA worked with other financial regulators through the year was “a valuable aspect of Australia’s regulatory arrangements and one that does not exist in all countries”.last_img read more

Birth app a hope for Ethiopian women

first_imgIn Ethiopia, where almost nine in 10 women give birth at home with little or no support, a mobile phone app is coming to the rescue.The “Safe Delivery App”, created by the Danish development organisation the Maternity Foundation, provides simplified instructions and animated films to deal with emergencies, be it haemorrhaging, birth complications, resuscitating newborns or infections.“Midwives may have skills and knowledge,” said Mesfin Wondafrash, the Maternity Foundation’s Programme Manager in the Horn of Africa state.“But they may not apply the right procedures when complications arise — even simple complications.”At the touch of a button, the app can give crucial guidelines to birth attendants, who are often traditionally educated and may lack training in up-to-date procedures that could save lives.The programme is proving vital in rural areas, where the only help many mothers get is from family members or a local woman. Described as an emergency training tool, the app is available in English and local languages.It can be pre-installed on a phone so it works even without a network connection.Officially, 85 per cent of Ethiopian babies are born at home. The hospital is often seen as an option only when major complications arise.“Women wait at home and if a complication occurs, it may be too late to access care,” Mesfin said.Testing started last year in the small town of Gimbie, 450 kilometres west of Addis Ababa. A total 78 phones with the app were given to midwives.“After a year, the capacity of the app users to manage bleeding rose from 20 to 60 per cent, and new born resuscitation, from 30 to 70 percent,” Mesfin added.last_img read more