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Brian Potter

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Everything posted by Brian Potter

  1. I attended a Grammar school which subsequently changed to a comprehensive as I entred the 4th year. The drop in standards over a year was shocking. Coming from a working class background a Grammar school represented an opportunity to get a quality of education something akin to the public school. In the name of equality we now have mass mediocrity with the public school charging £3k per term. So we have created an even more impenetreble elite by taking away the chances for the working class. Ann Widdecombe famously debated the Grammar school abolition - she said that when they can demonst
  2. Modular build is meant to be fast. The production is primarily off-site. Many on here moan about the generic rabbit hutch designs of developers - thats precisely what this approach facilitates.
  3. Strikes me that common sense is finally breaking out. Employees of JCB, Honda and many private sector firms have had this approach over recent years to try and preserve jobs. I myself have seen this in many construction industry firms - my area. It's a pragmatic approach.
  4. This is one of the oldest ones in the builders/developers book. Not sure on the fine nowadays (it's more than it used to be) but on a lot of new builds the digger bucket accidentally demolished a tree. Complete accident and a minimal fine. Nothing we could do mr LA official. Sorry. Cushty - just added £15k to the price.
  5. Yep. This is becoming more common. A site near me had this future 'clawback' clause inserted on some greenbelt farmland. Farmland at the time was around £4k per acre (I believe) developed value many fold increase. The clawback was at least 30%. Its ******** if you ask me. Its like selling a car and maintaining a legal hold on it in case it becomes a classic in the future.
  6. This is true of the public sector until they hit the top of their pay scale - it does mean that the bill pretty much constantly rises (at least in the medium term). However, the bit about private sector certainly does not tally to my industry - construction. Firms generally have had pay freezes since 2008 and some pay cuts. Terms and conditions are significantly worse in many cases. I would say my wife (a civil engineer) and myself have had a real terms 30-40% pay cut since 2008. My wife had a 20% cut overnight. Take it or leave it.
  7. I have seen this through my family first hand. Various members of my extended family work for LA. The 'cuts' have largely been handled by making 'vacant' posts redundant and early retirement. Incremental rises and benefits for service continue to increase. My missis works as for a consultant Engineer in a LA framework. Whilst the private sector side is actively getting their head down and going the extra mile to stay in work - the LA employees (who do the same job as my missis, only much worse) are actively doing less. It's jaw dropping the difference in culture. They actually re-lable the d
  8. My 'low paid' PC brother is on £37k before over time. No qualifications, No special skills. Thats after 15 years at the lowest level in GMP. Do you think that is low pay?
  9. My brother is a copper - he also feels cheated. Unfortunately, your £3.5k of contributions p.a. does not even begin to pay for the pension you will receive. The rest is made up by the increasingly burdened taxpayer. In the private sector we have had to shrug and get on with it. We can't afford these pensions anymore - it's FACT.
  10. Having worked for developers - generally the profit is between 20-30% depending on the method of finance. As a ball park - the cash rich developer with no borrowing costs - circa 30%. If its financed via a bank then the interest on the amount spent on the build starts as soon as a shovel breaks the earth (or before if the land is leveraged). This finance is directly taken off the gross profit margin. Hence the 20%. The problem that has happened since 2008, especially in flat builds, is that the properties are completed and the finance interest clock is ticking. The developer cannot withdraw
  11. Is this the same Moody's that gave AAA+ ratings to American mortgage backed CDO's for sale on global markets? Ooer!
  12. I felt totally exposed and inexperienced for at least 7 years after graduation. Even when I set up on my own I still had doubts. 20 years in and I still see new things. The trick is when your experienced you own up if you dont know something. When your green you stay quiet. Fact that is.
  13. No the idiots are those who think graduates can carry out roles in an industry where experience is more important. Read the post properly.
  14. My two penn'oth: I have seen 2 recessions in this industry. In the early 90's I was a redundancy casulty. Went back and got a degree and the struggled in the mid 90's to get a job. Got there eventually and learnt my particular onions. Went as a freelance consultant in 2001 and rode the boom. Quiet now but I know I will be in demand again shortly - I am good at what I do and there is virtually no-one following who is younger. The industry has huge amounts of professionals (yes IT guys you do have professionals outside your industry) who are now retiring and there will be a cronic shortage o
  15. Dont ever assume a new build is hassle free. We had more aggro with a brand new house than with our previous 50 year old semi. Burst pipe fittings poor finishing doors that wont shut poor brickwork blocked drains (paint poured in toilet before handover) etc I could go on but I'm off out. By the way the builder we had was Fairclough - now Miller homes. Total tossers to deal with. I had never written a letter of complaint until I dealt with these clowns . NEVER AGAIN.
  16. As someone who works in the industry and also lives in a new build - I would comment as follows: I said I would never live in a new build but was suckered into it by the very nice setting that the new build occupies. The quality is pretty woeful. I should have listened to myself. The problem is (as I perceive it from an industry point of view) that : 1. Developers are over paying for land so only apartments stack up financially . If they are houses are very tighly packed. This is the problem many bankrupt developers (or more realistically, Banks) in places like Manchester have found thems
  17. Still want to move up. Have a decent six figure sum in the bank which is off-setting my current mortgage. I do not want to buy now and wipe out a huge chunk of hard earned over night potentially. IMHO the cuts have not yet bitten. The government and BOE is desperately trying to prop up the failing housing market because they know how many are on the edge. There is nowhere to go on interest rates other than up. VAT hikes; Fuel prices; Inflation; Lack of inflationary pay increases; Job security; Mortgage availability ; and most importantly sentiment - all these add up to price falls
  18. I've had a Woolwich (now Barclays) offset since 2002. Set up working for ourselves and needed something flexible - it had a minumum £10K 'reserve' or in other words overdraft. We got this in case of lean months etc. when we may have needed a leg up. We never really had any need for the reserve as things went well. We now have our mortgage 100% offset by savings - we could pay down the mortgage but there is no point. Every pound we pay off the principle amount is then added to your reserve as available funds. So you can be running down your mortgage commitment and still be cash rich at the s
  19. My brother is a copper. He cheerfully told me stories of his older collegues who waved wads of overtime cash at the miners. Pretty poor I thought.
  20. I've heard former miners are being lined up to steward the event.
  21. I visited Germany (munich) for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I loved the culture and the way things are done. When you see the deutsches-museum and things like BMW world you cannot fail to be impressed by the industry. Rail works like a dream and stations sell lovely food at reasonable prices. No chavs threatening to kick your head in as you walk through the city late at night and clean. I would love my kids to go to Uni there.
  22. In the 80's I was studying A levels in Engineering and Design. We were told then that if we wanted to persue this career we would need to go abroad as this country did not respect the industral base that it was built upon any more. The desire in this country to actually making things has been eroded over the last few decades. Engineers in Germany are revered in the same way as other top professionals. Making stuff is interesting and fun but also takes hard work and investment. Alas, in this country we were more interested in the quick buck and flogging houses at inflated prices. This countr
  23. In 1995 we bought our first house. Seller in negative equity (he bought in 1989). We placed an offer, he accepted but then was actively trying to continue to market the property after the acceptance. My response was - 'Take the for sale board down or we pull out' Board came down. If they say they have another offer I personally would tell them that you cannot get into a bidding war and walk. Plenty more houses. Up to you really.
  24. The thing that strikes me about this is that it will not be unusual. She wanted to be like all the posh ladies on the estate in their 4X4's and designer gear - What makes her think they aren't playing the same unsustainable keep up with the Jones's game she was. I live on an estate like this (hate it BTW, wanted to move but can't/won't due to feckin silly prices to move up). There are fancy cars and designer gear all over the shop. I know for a fact many are living beyond their means but desperately try to maintain an image by buying slightly older BMW's, where 4 years ago they were new. Up
  25. I personally would love to know the numbers of BTL landlords who aren't paying tax on their rental receipts. Bit off topic but made me think.
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