Published: 22 November 2021
Location: London, UK
The Prime Minister is expected to announce today that new homes and buildings in England must install electric vehicle charging points from next year, in a move that would see up to 145,000 charging points installed annually. New-build supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations will also come under the new law, the BBC says. Boris Johnsonwill make the announcement at today’s Confederation of British Industryconference, saying "This is a pivotal moment - we cannot go on as we are”. Britain currently has about 25,000 charging points, but the Competition and Markets Authority has said it could need 10 times as many before 2030. The switch to electric vehicles is part of the UK's strategy to hit climate targets: cars and taxis accounted for 16% of UK emissions in 2019.
The government should deliver economic growth by creating, or building on, clusters of economic activity in different parts of the country, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). CBI director-general Tony Dankerwill say in his conference speech today that economic clusters have already been adopted successfully in the UK and around the world. "It’s not a new idea,” he will say. “We know London did it in finance; Aberdeen in oil and gas; Cambridge in science. It’s also enabling South Wales to emerge as a player in the world’s compound semiconductor market, which is projected to grow to over $300bn (£223bn) by 2030". He will call for a move away from a London-centric economy in favour of an "economy of many hubs" made up of "high-value firms" that will be "the job-creators, the skills-builders, the innovators — a catalyst for growth in our local economies". Danker will also call on the government and businesses to focus on levelling up skills across the UK.
Taxpayers may be liable for up to £335m after a government bank failed to scrutinise collapsed lender Greensill Capital properly, MPs say. The Public Accounts Committee has produced a report saying checks made by the British Business Bank's (BBB) Covid loan scheme to approve the company were "woefully inadequate.” The BBC says the BBB was tasked with approving High Street banks and other lenders to dish out government-backed loans to embattled businesses, as Covid-19 restrictions first took hold. It was a conduit for billions of pounds in emergency lending. With help from then-adviser Mr Cameron, Greensill tried to access several government schemes, some of which were rejected. In June 2020 it was approved to lend, under two business interruption loan schemes. Greensill went on to lend £418m to companies, 80% of which may have to be repaid by taxpayers if they default. Ex-PM David Cameron was an adviser to Greensill, which collapsed in March.
The Daily Mail reports that the Whitehall ‘Blob’ stands accused of watering down post-Brexit plans for freeports. Senior officials are said to have effectively ‘killed’ ministers’ hopes for the low-tax, low-regulation zones – a key policy designed to boost local economies. Although the first freeport opened in Teesside on Friday, the scheme is said to be less radical than envisaged, and the number of freeports will be capped at ten, “leaving dozens of areas disappointed”. Last week former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre pulled out of the race to become chairman of broadcasting regulator Ofcom, describing his experience of applying for the role as an ‘infelicitous dalliance with the Blob’. He claimed only Left-wingers are given top public sector jobs because it is senior civil servants ‘not elected politicians, who really run this country’.
One million people in the UK could be missing out on pension credit, according to new research from Hargreaves Lansdown (HL). Pension credit is a benefit for pensioners that tops up weekly income to £177.10 for single people and to £270.30 for couples on a low income, but HL says only around 60% of those people entitled to it claim it are doing so.
The Evening Standard covers new research suggesting the volume of new starts on London office construction sites and appetite for speculative development has risen, despite the popularity of working from home. According to Deloitte’s London office crane survey, new starts increased by 10% from the previous study in May. While some companies are looking to reduce office size, expecting to have fewer people in headquarters at one time, as they embrace a mix of home and office hours, several developers have reported high demand for new and environmentally friendly buildings, as businesses look to offer employees attractive places to work in when they are in town, the newspaper says. More than a third of respondents (37%) to Deloitte’s survey now expect home working to have no impact on leasing demand, over three times as many as a year earlier.
Ocado shot to the top of the FTSE 100 on Friday on speculation Marks & Spencer is mulling a buyout of Ocado’s grocery website. The Telegraph reports a Deutsche Bank analyst suggesting there was scope for M&S to acquire the other half of Ocado Retail as its recovery picked up pace, having bought a 50% stake for £750m two years' ago.
Ryanair has confirmed that the last day of trading of its shares on the London Stock Exchange will be December 17.
A newly formed provider of accommodation for the homeless is targeting a public share sale that could raise £150m in a sign of growing investor interest in the sector. Sky News understands that Homes for People - which will be known as HOPE plc - intends to pursue a listing on the specialist real estate exchange IPSX early next year. HOPE said it had identified a pipeline of suitable homes that it would seek to acquire after its fundraising has been completed. The firm was established by a former real estate banker at Barclays, and these plans come three years after the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act, which compels local authorities to help tackle the blight of homelessness. According to figures cited by Crisis, the homelessness charity, councils spent more than £1bn on temporary and emergency accommodation in England in 2019.
Italian aerospace manufacturer Leonardo has pledged to build a new production line at its Yeovil plant in Somerset - the UK's only helicopter factory - as part of a wider £1bn investment if it secures a contract to replace Britain’s fleet of Puma support aircraft.
Workers at a London stockbrokers will have unlimited holiday from next year to try to prevent staff burnout, the BBC reports. Finncapp employees will also have to take a minimum of four weeks leave plus two or three days every quarter. The company has made the move since noticing a decline in employees’ mental and physical health since February this year.
Apple still doesn’t want workers back in the office. Plans to end remote working are now being pushed back to February, according to an internal email sent by chief executive Tim Cook announced the delay in an internal email revealed by NBC News. Staff were originally expected to be back at their desks in September, but this was extended to January.
Senior executives at Amazon's business in India have been charged after two men allegedly used the website as part of a marijuana smuggling operation. The BBC reports that last week, police in the central state of Madhya Pradesh arrested two men for allegedly trafficking 20kg of the drug to other Indian states. Police say the men had traded cannabis on the site in the guise of selling stevia leaves, a natural sweetener.
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