Industry News

Nexus CIFS launches new easy debt recovery tool 'First Place'

Nexus CIFS - premium sponsor at CTI inaugural conference in May 2016 - has expanded and empowered its Integrated Collections debt recovery, now renamed “First Place”.

First Place is the result of the collaboration between Nexus CIFS and the UK’s leading collections agency STA International, aimed to offer an easy-to-follow collections procedure.

The product brings significant policy features including seamless overdue debt reporting, higher indemnity, a contribution to legal costs and a no claims bonus.

First Place also gives customers the opportunity to only collect the principal sum due or principal plus with the interest and costs added on. 

During 2015 those CIFS policyholders that elected to add on the interest and costs were rewarded with 70% of those amounts being collected. Find out more here.

Well known for its credit insurance offering in the timber industry and one of the UK’s leading underwriting agencies, Nexus CIFS established a premium partnership with CTI last February.  


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Confor illustrates importance of anti-flood tree planting at Forestry APPG debate

Confor delegates recently attended a debate on flooding and tree planting at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry in Westminster.

The APPG heard from Confor's Technical Director Andrew Heald, Tom Nisbet of Forest Research and Austin Brady from The Woodland Trust about the practical ways planting trees can help reduce flood risks as part of broader package of natural flood management measures.

Mr Heald presented Confor's new discussion paper, Forestry and Flooding, and Mr Neil Parish (MP for Tiverton and Honiton and member of Timber Industries APPG) asked a series of probing questions of the experts on the practical issues of planting more trees and the impact this would have on farming and local communities.

Ms Anne-Marie Trevelyan (MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed and member of Timber Industries APPG) explained how her proposal to increase tree planting from 11 million to 200 million trees by 2020 has being discussed by the UK Government.

Confor Chief Executive Stuart Goodall, who facilitated the APPGF discussion alongside Chris Davies MP, commented: "This was an excellent and constructive meeting with a range of different bodies debating what practical actions can be taken to move things forward. It is now all about where and how to plant trees in upland river catchments, not whether to do it."

"The Group was attended by a wide range of interested parties - Forestry Commission England, The Green Party and the House of Parliament's Office of Science and Technology as well as The Woodland Trust and Forest Research - as it is really important to build a broad consensus on this important issue", Mr Goodall added.


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BWF Survey: Labour availability is main concern for UK Joinery manufacturers

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has recently issued the Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2015.

The consultation underlines that sales expectations for 2016 remain optimistic but labour availability and the cost of appropriately skilled labour still represent main concerns for the joinery sector.

Respondents also state they will keep on investing in product improvement and manufacturing equipment with order books looking encouraging for early 2016.

"The survey showed a slightly lower increase in sales volumes and plenty of confidence in terms of expected sales over the next quarter and year. Although this is encouraging, the risks to businesses remain with many joinery companies finding it tricky to recruit the right staff and many contracts taking place in an unbalanced supply chain where major contractors rarely take on the risk", commented BWF Policy & Communications Executive Matt Mahony.

"One of the main challenges to the sector is labour availability and costs. Looking forward, April’s introduction of the National Living Wage, could have a critical effect on remuneration structures in parts of the country where wages are lower. With plenty of work available, and the industry coming out of a recession, it is perhaps less of a surprise to see labour availability replace demand as the most likely constraint on activity”, Mr. Mahony added.

Find out more here.


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PEFC announces upcoming Chain of Custody Training schedule

PEFC has announced the dates of its Chain of Custody training.

The training programs include: Individual auditor training webinars (online only) - to take place on 10 May 2016 and 6-7 July 2016 - and a PEFC Training Recognition Program (TRP) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 24-25 May 2016.

The sessions provide companies, certification bodies, auditors and accreditation bodies with Chain of Custody Training to ensure they are updated on changes to the standard and on interpretation and explanation of specific requirements.

This enables them to consistently apply the chain of custody requirements in daily practice, and allows PEFC to exchange experiences and receive valuable feedback on the implementation of the standard.

For more information and reservation click here or or email [email protected].

Scottish Government allocates £50M fund to build thousands of affordable homes

The Scottish Government has announced a new £50 million infrastructure fund aimed to speed up construction of thousands of new affordable and private homes.

The flexible grant and loan fund is designed to unlock strategic housing sites of importance to local authorities boosting the scale of housing delivery in Scotland.

In this framework, the Scottish Government’s has also committed to a five-year plan to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, 70 per cent for social rent, backed by investment of over £3 billion. New financing mechanisms are also being explored to expand mid-market rent developments.

During a visit to Clyde Valley Housing Association’s new development in Kilsyth, Scottish Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “Today's announcement underlines this Government’s determination to increase the pace and scale of development to deliver more homes across all tenures. The £50 million infrastructure fund will help unblock sites that are strategically important to councils and that have the potential to accelerate the delivery of thousands of new homes across the country."

“To make that happen we will team up with public and private sector bodies to tackle complex development, financing, infrastructure and planning issues impeding housing supply. We are puttng in place measures to support the increase in the supply of homes across all tenures, support jobs in the construction industry, and encourage inclusive growth in the wider economy", Mr. Neil added.