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Three Persimmon executives share £100m bonus

Jeff Fairburn

Three executives at Persimmon were paid bonuses in excess of £100 million last year, the housebuilder has confirmed.

New figures have revealed that chief executive Jeff Fairburn was paid a total of £47m in 2017, finance director Mike Killoran received £37m and managing director David Jenkinson received £20m.

Last month directors agreed to forgo around £50​m in bonuses following a political and shareholder backlash over the long term incentive scheme introduced by the company six years ago​.

​The pay controversy led to the resignation of chairman Nicholas Wrigley and remuneration committee chairman Jonathan Davie late last year. ​​ ​However, these latest figures were unaffected by last month’s £50m reduction.​

In its annual report, Persimmon also confirmed that should shareholders approve a £1.10 dividend payment at the annual meeting in July, thereby reaching a long-term capital return plan target, a further bonus of £51m will be paid out to the executive team as part of the group’s 2012 long-term incentive plan. This is 50% what would have been paid after 50% was waived when the scale of payments became public. As part of this agreement the second tranche of the payouts must be held as shares for longer.

Writing in the annual report, new remuneration committee chairman, Marion Sears, said: “Under the agreement, the top three executives are legally entitled to receive these payments and legal advice re-confirmed that the remuneration committee had no discretion to modify them.”

Last week the firm appointed Roger Devlin as chairman from June 1.

Summer start for Jim Clark Room redevelopment

Works to redevelop and expand the Jim Clark Room in Duns will start this summer, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has confirmed.

The £1.6 million project will see the existing small exhibition space redeveloped to create a modern museum to celebrate the life and achievements of Jim Clark, a double Formula One world champion.

The new museum will provide expanded exhibition space showcasing memorabilia and the trophy collection, two of Jim Clark’s race cars, new image galleries, film footage, interactive displays, technology and an education zone.

The project is being taken forward by the council in partnership with Live Borders, The Jim Clark Trust and the Jim Clark Memorial Room Trust.

Funding has come from the council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and The Jim Clark Trust, the latter including a grant from the Fallago Environment Fund and individual donations from around the world.

The new museum will continue to be operated by Live Borders.

The existing museum facility will be open until the end of May this year, including over the weekend of 7 and 8 April, when a programme of events has been prepared to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of the double Formula One World Champion. The museum will close on 31 May, with the new museum expected to open in late spring next year.

Councillor Euan Jardine, SBC’s executive member for culture and sport, said: “Thanks to the funding support from a range of partners this exciting project will provide a superb facility to highlight the remarkable achievements of Jim Clark to visitors from across the world and will be open in time for the tourist season next year.

“The Jim Clark Trust’s fundraising campaign attracted support from across the UK and far beyond, with donations large and small contributing towards their £300,000 total, and I’d like to thank the Trust and all their supporters for helping us make this project possible.

“The development of a high quality, modern museum in Duns to celebrate the life of Jim Clark, who is still considered amongst the greatest ever racing drivers, will bring visitors in from across the world and will be a fantastic boost to the local economy of Berwickshire and the wider Scottish Borders.”

The Jim Clark Trust, Club Lotus, Live Borders and Chirnside Common Good Association have collaborated to put together the upcoming weekend of events

Mecalac announces new Scottish dealer

TDL Equipment business development manager Kenny Price

Compact equipment designer and manufacturer Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd has appointed TDL Equipment as its new dealer for Central Belt and Southern Scotland.

Operating from a new site in Coatbridge, TDL will be responsible for product sales, service agreements, maintenance checks and aftersales support and will retail Mecalac’s latest range of backhoe loaders, site dumpers and compaction rollers with immediate effect.

Paul Macpherson, UK sales and marketing director at Mecalac CEUK, said: “As a global leader in the compact construction marketplace, further developing our distributor network is a key corporate goal. Alongside increasing access to our latest range of innovative site equipment, this strategy aims to broaden our service and maintenance reach.

“With considerable pedigree in the market, we look forward to working with the team at TDL to further drive brand presence across Scotland.”

Kenny Price, business development manager at TDL Equipment, added: “Joining the Mecalac dealer network comes at a hugely exciting time for TDL. Having recently expanded into new premises, expanding our equipment offer provides an excellent platform to further drive business growth.

“Mecalac equipment is innovative, flexible and specifically designed with urban construction sites in mind. There is significant demand for the latest range across Scotland, so we’re confident that working with Mecalac will help us to further drive national growth.”

Affordable home charitable bond investment programme given £15m boost

Housing minister Kevin Stewart during a previous visit to Kingdom Housing Association’s project in Kincardine

The Scottish Government has delivered more action to increase the delivery of affordable housing with the announcement of a £15 million increase to its charitable bond investment programme.

Charitable bonds are a way of providing loans to social housing providers, which are repaid over a period of up to ten years. The 2018/19 budget for charitable investments is increasing from £25m to £40m, generating an estimated £10m through interest raised on the bonds.

Announcing the additional funding on a visit to Kingdom Housing Association’s regeneration project in Kincardine, housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “We are always looking at ways we can increase the supply of affordable housing and support developers, housing associations and councils get new projects off the ground. Part of our pledge to deliver 50,000 affordable homes is to make the most of existing public funds and secure additional private sector investment.

“We are the only government in the UK to invest in charitable bonds. The interest we receive from the bonds is given to social housing providers and is another important step towards achieving our target for affordable homes.”

To date the Scottish Government has invested in 16 charitable bonds, providing almost £95m development finance for more than 1,000 affordable homes, and generating in excess of £20m in additional charitable bond donations for social housing projects.

The investment in Allia’s charitable bonds has so far provided loans to 11 housing associations across Scotland. The interest on these loans will create a grant fund of £20m to support the delivery of houses for those on the lowest incomes.

Phil Caroe, director of social finance at Allia, said: “Allia’s charitable bond programme with Scottish Government has been a great success over the last three years, offering a unique source of finance that is supporting new developments around the country.

“We’re delighted that the Scottish Government is now increasing its funding for this programme, which will result in even more people in Scotland being able to live in an affordable home.”

The Kincardine development by Kingdom Housing Association includes 49 mixed tenure affordable homes, partly funded from charitable bond loans.

Bill Banks, chief executive at Kingdom Housing Association, added: “At Kingdom we are progressing an increased development programme, which will contribute to the 50,000 target and we are aiming to optimise the range of funding sources available to support and deliver the programme.

“The Allia charitable bond funding of £15.25m drawn by Kingdom so far is a welcomed addition to this portfolio supporting delivery of up to 293 affordable homes.”

New court complex proposed for Kirkcaldy

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is submitting plans to Fife Council to build a two-court complex to hear sheriff and jury cases and custodies in Kirkcaldy.

The proposal is for two new criminal courtrooms and a court custody unit to be located within the existing Kirkcaldy police station building.

The SCTS said that with the new court complex comes the opportunity at a later stage to develop the entire building into an enlarged justice centre providing the full range of justice services from a single location in Kirkcaldy.

Eric McQueen, SCTS chief executive, said: “With financial support from the Scottish government we are taking this initial exciting step to improve court services within Kirkcaldy, which is consistent with our longer term ambition to establish justice centres in key locations in Scotland, including Fife.

“Current court performance at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court remains strong and continues to improve, with summary trials being offered within the agreed 16 week period.  However  the reporting and detection of crimes, particularly domestic abuse and sexual offences, has increased, not only in volume but in complexity requiring more court time, and the new court facilities will provide the flexibility to accommodate this business.”

Chief Superintendent Colin Gall, Divisional Commander for Fife, said: “This new partnership approach will ensure greater collaboration between our organisations and will ultimately improve efficiency for everyone within the criminal justice process.

“As part of Policing 2026, Police Scotland is committed to strengthening partnerships and improving outcomes for local communities.

“This opportunity will result in a key criminal justice partner being located within Kirkcaldy Police Station along with Police Scotland criminal justice resources and the existing local policing team.”

Once the new court complex is operational, the current Justice of the Peace court will be offered for sale on the open market.

Second homes tax ‘weakening’ property market by driving landlords out

Jacqueline Law, managing partner at Aberdein Considine

An estate agent has bemoaned tax changes for second homeowners for “driving landlords out” of the private rented sector and triggering a sell-off by investors.

A 3% supplement to the Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) for second home purchases over £40,000 was introduced by the Scottish Government from April 2016. The move was estimated to raise between £17 million and £29m in 2016/17.

New research by Aberdein Considine shows that almost two thirds of homeowners have been put off investing in a second home due to the levy.

The property experts claimed that the additional tax – together with the staged withdrawal of relief on mortgage payments by Westminster – is starving the sector of new landlords and pushing many to offload stock.

The firm said the changes have weakened demand for homes in some parts of Scotland by flooding the market with stock.

Its quarterly Property Monitor report reveals that sales fell in 17 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas during Q4 of 2017.

Jacqueline Law, managing partner at Aberdein Considine, said a perfect storm of tax and legislation changes has left many landlords running for cover.

“There has been a significant change in the Scottish property market in the last six months and it is gathering pace,” she said.

“By targeting landlords, politicians north and south of the border are squeezing one of the biggest and most powerful buying forces out of the Scottish property market, which is already affecting sales in certain areas.

“In the Central Belt, there is enough pent up demand from owner-occupiers to cope with any extra stock coming to the market, so prices are still inflating at pace in places like Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“However, there are other parts of the country where an overprovision of stock could weigh down property values – creating a great market for first-time buyers but really tough conditions for homeowners looking to sell.”

A focus on factoring?

The factoring industry over the last couple of decades has witnessed unprecedented change.

It is widely acknowledged that the environment in which factors operate is relatively unrecognisable compared to where it was 10-20 years ago. So what has brought about this change and what does the future hold?

Consultant in the industry, Angela Kirkwood, explains that “Much of the change has arisen from the phenomenal growth experienced, partly due to developers building new homes and making the appointment of a factor mandatory, and partly due to owners recognising themselves the need to put a professional property manager in place to effectively manage and maintain their greatest asset”. Angela goes on to explain that “Whilst this brought enormous benefits with buildings now being better maintained, it enabled some ‘bad practices’ by an unscrupulous few resulting in government intervention in the industry with the introduction of a tight regulatory framework”.

The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 which came into force in 2012 has been the biggest piece of regulatory reform the factoring industry has seen. A recent consultation into the Act was undertaken by the Scottish Government and it will be interesting to see the impact this will have.

However for factors the Act is not their only consideration. Other regulations, legislation and codes of practice have also been introduced over the last decade which has resulted in factors now operating within a relatively complex environment. For factoring operations within housing associations, the complexities deepen further. The Scottish Housing Regulator indicated that there will be increased focus in this area and housing associations will be expected to demonstrate both value for money, financial viability and excellence in customer service.

SHARE now offer a variety of options for those involved in factoring to help bring you up to speed on the regulations, legislation and codes of practice you must work to as well as review your internal factoring operations.

Organisations of any size can bring in help from an industry expert for as little as one day.  SHARE offer a 1 and 2 day ‘MOT service’ – a Compliance and Financial Health Check review and in partnership with the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM). Find out more HERE.

In January 2017 SHARE launched ‘A foundation in factoring’ their ‘IRPM Associate level’ factoring training programme, qualification and accreditation.  This 6/7 day programme is very popular and has been delivered, via open course and in-house, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and England.  Find out more HERE.

Basic Introduction to Factoring is a one day course which is scheduled to run on 19th April and is aimed at individuals who are either new to factoring or wish to obtain a basic grounding of property management within Scotland. Find out more HERE.

SHARE now also offer Factoring for Committee/Board, an evening session on 19th April, aimed at members of housing associations and co-operatives who have responsibility for governance or its commercial subsidiary whose operation delivers a factoring service. Find out more HERE.

In fact there is now a whole host of training and support available to you. To find out more visit SHARE’s website or get in touch by email to or call us on 0141 550 7595.

Building Briefs – March 20th

Councillor Jenny Laing outside the new council housing at Manor Walk

First phase completed at £13.5m development of new council homes in Aberdeen

The first homes in an 80 property development of new Aberdeen City Council houses at Manor Walk have been handed over to tenants.

Featuring a mix of flats and houses, the first nine households are settling in and a second phase will soon be completed.

The development of modern family homes is being built by main contractor Bancon Construction as part of the council’s programme of investment in housing.

At the nearby Smithfield site, which comprises 99 properties, the first phase was handed over in summer 2017 and work continues on both developments.

The handover to the first tenants at Manor Walk coincides with the announcement the development has been recognised with a gold award from Police Scotland for the commitment to the Secure by Design principles, a key feature of the approach taken to modern council housing.

Properties at the Manor Walk development are also joined to the council’s Combined Heat and Power Scheme (CHP), which uses waste heat from electricity generation and provides low cost energy options for tenants to reduce bills. Aberdeen’s CHP scheme has already proven successful in tackling fuel poverty in Aberdeen and reducing carbon emissions.

Earlier this month it was announced the council is to develop plans for the delivery of 2,000 new council homes.

At the 2018/19 budget meeting on March 6 elected members instructed the Director of Resources to report back to the City Growth and Resources Committee with self-financing business plans, in conjunction with private developers, working within an affordable capital investment sum of £250 million.

The council will also aim to expand its work with the private sector in the provision of affordable housing and will prepare a report detailing land holdings that could be made available.


Moray Council invests in essential infrastructure

Moray Council is to invest millions of pounds in safeguarding essential infrastructure over the next 12 months.

Members of the council’s economic development & infrastructure committee this morning gave the green light to action plans for works in harbours, road bridges, street lighting, roads maintenance and flood alleviation schemes.

Urgent works will take place at Buckie, Burghead and Findochty harbours, and will include a diving survey, sheet pile works, cavity repairs and replacement rock armour at a cost of over £1 million.

£130,000 has been allocated for bridge inspections across the portfolio of 371 bridges, with specific repairs to be carried out to 10 of these, including metal barrier and concrete repairs, kerbing and vegetation removal.

Councillors praised the progress of the replacement LED street lighting programme – which is ahead of schedule and £400,000 under budget due to renegotiating the purchase price of LED lanterns. Since 2016/17, 7,630 LED street lights have been installed, with a further 5,000 scheduled for completion this year. Significant energy savings are being made through this project, as installing each LED lantern halves the energy cost compared to traditional street lighting.

More than £8m will be spent on maintaining Moray’s roads, with £2m from the capital budget allocated for resurfacing, surface dressing and reconstruction of roads to prolong the lifespan of the council’s 1,500 km roads network, and a further £1m on maintaining footways, footpaths and drainage works. £1.7m has been earmarked for winter maintenance in 2018/19.

Almost £300,000 will be spent on flood risk management, including maintaining vital flood protection schemes in Longmorn, Lhanbryde, Forres, Elgin and Dallas.


New facilities planned for Highland town

Plans for a new community hall, outdoor nursery and 20 allotment plots are due to come to fruition this year in the Highland’s newest town – Tornagrain – just one year after the first residents moved into their new homes.

Moray Estates has been working together with Tornagrain’s developers to bring a host of new facilities to the area, which will eventually be home to more than 10,000 people. With over 50 homes already occupied, the Estate is now seeking planning permission for an outdoor children’s nursery and a community space which will be used for exercise classes, clubs and local events. Twenty allotment plots will also be created later this year.


Clark Contracts highlights its Academy in new video

Clark Contracts has launched a new video about its Academy.

Formed in 2006, the Academy encompasses all employees undertaking modern apprenticeships and college and university courses.

The firm ensures new talent is brought into the company by employing and supporting people through structured training and development, vocational training schemes and on a part time basis where it funds the course undertaken at College or University. These opportunities extend from trade operative positions through to Degree and Masters Courses.

The video launch comes as the company prepares to hold the first of its annual careers evenings in Paisley tonight.


Barratt West Scotland’s Dominique Moscardini dons running shoes in London Marathon fundraising bid 

Dominique Moscardini and commercial director Ronnie Morrell

A Glasgow resident has been successful in her bid to take part in the London Marathon but faces her biggest challenge to date – reaching her fundraising target.

Dominique Moscardini, (31) is part of the national Barratt team, representing Barratt West Scotland. She has set herself the target of raising £2000 towards her chosen charity – Whizz Kids – that provides disabled children with the essential wheelchairs and mobility equipment they need lead fun, active lives.

Despite her gruelling training schedule she is finding the time to generate small donations, whether that be online, office events or anonymous donations – every small gesture is helping Dominique reach her fundraising total.

Dominique, a Buyer at Barratt West Scotland said: “My goal is to raise £1000, and if I can make it to that total, my employer, Barratt Homes said that they will match it. If I can reach that total, I’ll keep going until the marathon day.

“For me, doing a marathon was a personal goal that I have been working towards for some time now. I did the Stirling Marathon last year, and when I finished I wanted to top it, and there is no better way to do that than by taking on the London Marathon.

“It’s a great motivator doing this for a charity like Whizz Kids, knowing that the money I raise will go towards helping young children lead a happy and mobile childhood urges you to get your running shoes on, even when it’s lashing with rain.

“Being a part of a national team taking on the London Marathon is really exciting – there are representatives from each of Barratt’s divisions and we’re all really encouraging each other to get out and put the miles in.”

David Scott, managing director, Barratt Homes West Scotland, added: “Dominique is a fantastic representation of the West Division – she’s passionate about the charity she’s running for, dedicated to both the training and the fundraising and a very hard-working member of the Barratt team. I am confident Dominique will do us proud come 22 April.”

To make a donation towards Dominique fundraising total visit here.

And finally… Funeral held for 17th Century skeletons discovered in Edinburgh school playground

The service was attended by 30 children from St Marys, Councillor Wilson and members of Wardell Armstrong

A series of 17th Century plague victims discovered underneath a school playground have been laid to rest in Edinburgh.

Pupils from St Mary’s Primary School in Leith helped the City of Edinburgh Council hold a memorial service on March 16 as the remains of approximately 80 individuals were reburied.

The almost 400-year-old skeletons were discovered during an excavation of the school’s playground by Morrison Construction in April 2016, and identified by archaeologists from Wardell Armstrong.

They were victims of the a devastating outbreak of the bubonic plague in the area in 1645, which killed over 2000 people which was half of Leith’s population at that time.

Remains were brought to the burial site by school pupils before being lowered by council gravediggers

Councillor Donald Wilson, culture and communities convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “An ancient city like Edinburgh never fails to amaze and bring new discoveries. Indeed, there is almost as much history to be found under the city as above ground!

“When these remains were unearthed in 2016, the discovery provided a fascinating insight into our archaeological understanding of Leith. The plague of 1695 devastated the local area. The population of Leith halved in the space of a year as 2,000 lives were lost.

“In many respects our funeral service today is not just a tribute to those who are reinterned today – it is a lasting memorial to everyone who perished in the plague of Leith in 1645. The stone which will mark the burial site will be a lasting and symbolic statement of the history of Leith and ensure that the impact of the plague is not forgotten.”

The funeral was held in Rosebank Cemetery – approximately one mile from the site in which they were found. Rosebank is one Edinburgh’s oldest burial sites and features a mass grave and tribute to the victims of the Gretna Rail Disaster of 1915, when 215 soldiers of the 1st/7th Battalion The Royal Scots were killed.

The memorial stone for the plague victims reads: In memory of the victims of the 1645 bubonic plague found in St Mary’s (Leith) Roman Catholic Primary School Leith Links. Reburied here in 2018.

The memorial plaque will provide Edinburgh with a lasting tribute to the victims of the plague

Mary Bainbridge, Depute Head Teacher of St Mary’s RC Leith, added: “This has been a wonderful experience for all of the pupils at St Mary’s Leith. When the discovery was made, the children were very excited to learn about this encounter with the past and older classes especially were interested to hear about the outbreak of the plague.

“Pupils had the chance to go on site and speak with the archaeologists, and now, they have been able to say their goodbyes. I think they are proud to have been able to contribute in this special way, from selecting and singing hymns to laying flowers. It has been a fantastic learning opportunity for our pupils in lots of different ways and it means the victims will never be forgotten.”

John Lawson, City of Edinburgh Council Archaeologist, explained: “Leith and the surrounding area has a rich archaeological history and the school excavation has been a fascinating project for everyone involved.

“Analysis of the remains has helped us to understand life in Leith at this time and shed light on the devastating bubonic plague which wiped out over half of the Port’s population.

“These discoveries have helped us establish where this plague cemetery in Leith Links was – as until now its location had been lost, with only 19th century accounts hinting at its location in this area.”

Plans lodged for new health centre at Queens Quay in Clydebank

Clydeside Regeneration Limited (CRL) has submitted a planning application for a new state-of-the-art health centre at Queens Quay, the £250 million regeneration project on the site of the former John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank.

Operated by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the new Clydebank Health and Care Centre will provide health and care services for approximately 50,000 residents of Clydebank. The building will support integrated health and care services and will allow staff currently operating from dispersed locations to work together in a new high specification facility.

Extending to circa 62,400 sq ft over three levels, the building was designed by architect Anderson, Bell and Christie with hub West Scotland acting as development partner. It represents an investment of approximately £19m by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council.

Construction of the health centre will commence on receipt of the planning permission and on completion of the contractor tender process.

Currently on site, civil engineering company George Leslie Ltd is carrying out all required marine works associated with the basin and river frontage, including improving the condition of the existing structure in order to meet the design life target for all structures within the project.

The Queens Quay site is owned by CRL with West Dunbartonshire Council providing significant funding. Dawn Urban Regeneration Ltd is CRL’s development partner.