A number of construction sites across the UK have ground to a halt due to heavy snow, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said: “Heavy snow showers have led to many construction sites across the UK grinding to a halt. Some construction bosses have told their staff to take the rest of the week off and not return to work until Monday. But it’s not just the snow that’s playing havoc with construction projects – some firms are reporting that the freezing temperatures mean it’s too cold to lay bricks. The overall impact of bad weather on construction growth remains to be seen but this situation is concerning given that the FMB’s latest research shows that growth among construction SMEs slowed in the final three months of 2017. We hope that the cold weather we have seen this week is just a blip and that all workers will be able to get back on site in coming days.
Brits will throw out 108 million rolls of wrapping paper, 54 million platefuls of food – and use 189 million batteries over Christmas, a study has found.
But eight in 10 admit they don’t bother to try and justify the huge amount of waste they produce, with six in 10 saying they don’t feel at all guilty about what they throw away over the festive period.
A poll of 2,000 adults found the nation will also get through more than 40 million rolls of sticky tape and bin almost 100 million black bags full of packaging from toys and gifts.
Seven in 10 admit to buying far more food than they need, with two thirds saying at least some of the turkey usually ends up in the bin.
And rather than recycling where possible, many simply throw their wrapping paper, packaging and old Christmas cards out with the rubbish.
A spokesman for GP Batteries, which commissioned the research, said: “Christmas is a time of great celebration, but this can result in a huge amount of waste – many of which we don’t always do the right things with.
“And it seems many don’t worry about the amount of their Christmas produce that ends up in the bin, despite the nation as a whole trying to do all we can to cut down on waste at other times of the year.
“Reusing things, such as Christmas Cards or wrapping paper, or using rechargeable batteries are small things to most people but will drastically reduce the amount you end up throwing away.”
The study of 2,000 adults found the average household will get through four rolls of wrapping paper and throw away seven batteries over the Christmas period.
A roll-and-a-half of sticky tape will be used per household, while three-and-a-half black bags full of packaging will be thrown out.
The equivalent of a whole plateful of food will end up going to waste on Christmas Day, along with another plateful in the following days.
An average of 24 Christmas cards will also be discarded once the festive period is over, while 14 per cent will even be binning their fake Christmas tree this year.
But researchers, from OnePoll.com, found many aren’t recycling or reusing their waste with one in five admitting to throwing their used wrapping paper into the bin.
More than one in four throw batteries into the bin, despite knowing they shouldn’t, while three in 10 still use disposables instead of rechargeables.
Others admit to throwing out leftover food rather than trying to use it in other meals and binning cards and packaging instead of recycling or reusing.
But one in six often try to justify the amount of waste they produce, with 34 per cent of those believing it’s just part of Christmas.
One in five think it’s OK as everyone else does it while 43 per cent believe it is impossible to avoid waste over the festive period.
It also emerged one in ten have even had rows with their family because of the amount of waste they produce.
As a result, many are trying to cut down on the waste they produce, with 48 per cent turning their Christmas dinner leftovers into other meals in the following days.
Forty-two per cent buy a fake tree instead of having to dispose of a real tree every year while a third simply buy less food than usual.
Others reuse Christmas cards as gift tags the following year, buy rechargeable batteries and even avoid wrapping presents at all.
A spokesman for GP Batteries added: “These days a battery is for life, not just for Christmas.
“A modern rechargeable battery can be used up to 1,500 times and over its lifetime – saving a fortune in cash and waste. Once you go rechargeable you never go back.”
Top ten things people have done to try and reduce their waste at Christmas:
Turn leftovers into other meals
Buy a fake tree to reuse every year
Buy less food
Reuse Christmas cards as gift tags the following year
Use rechargeable batteries
Order online but in one order to reduce the amount of packaging
Buy fewer toys
Order less online to cut down on packaging
Don’t wrap presents at all Source: ricepr.co.uk
The Manufacturing sector has seen a dramatic fall in confidence in the third quarter, as Brexit talks stall and business organisations warn of increasing uncertainty across the UK.
Figures in the Q3 2017 UK Credit Managers’ Index (CMI), a quarterly barometer from the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), shows a 10.6-point fall in confidence for Manufacturers from 64.0 to 53.4, despite a continually improving position in the previous two quarters.
The fall contributes to a Headline Index that is also in decline, settling 4.5 points down to 55.6, which includes a 1.4-point drop in Services. The positive impact of currency fluctuations on UK exports, seen as positive news in Q2, appears to have had only a temporary beneficial effect.
The Headline Index is also more pessimistic than the market; the FTSE All Share suggested an increase in business confidence, though the figures are far from convincing.
The CMI is important because it gauges nationwide levels of credit being sought and granted by credit professionals across the UK and acts as a primary indicator of actual levels of business being conducted. Certain ‘favourable’ and ‘unfavourable’ factors are measured to provide an overall view of confidence.
Perhaps most significantly, the ‘unfavourable’ factors (e.g. rejected credit applications, Days Sales Outstanding, overdues, disputes etc.) are all getting worse, with a particular lengthening in DSOs and overdues.
Philip King, Chief Executive of the CICM, says this is often the first sign of potential trouble: “When situations become tough, businesses hang on to their cash for longer, and that means the DSO and overdues figures will rise.”
Every single unfavourable factor experienced a decline, the overall index falling from 57.2 to 49.9 and below the critical 50.0-point threshold.
In Q2, Mr King warned that confidence, and the economy, were still fragile at best. ‘Favourable’ factors witnessed a small improvement, rising from 66.8 to 68.8, and certain sectors, notably construction, also reported improving conditions.
Confidence within the regions suggest a clear divide: many regions in the west (including Wales) and the North (including Scotland) were in decline, with the exception of certain pockets of resistance, such as the North West and Northern Ireland; most regions within the East, and notably the East Midlands, the South East and London remain positive.
The CMI is a diffusion Index, producing scores of between one and 100 (typically in a range of 40 – 60). Ten equally weighted factors are included – three favourable and seven unfavourable and the Index is calculated on a simple average of the 10 factors.
The NFU has today hosted a Safe and Healthy Farming for All Ages event in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to improve health and safety within the farming sector.