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Government scales back plans for regional office hubs as more people work from home

Government scales back plans for regional office hubs as more people work from home

work from home settingThe UK government has announced it will be scaling back plans for thirty office ‘hubs’ outside of London by 25 percent and letting out surplus floor space to other departments as more civil service workers are choosing to work from home. In 2022 the government’s property strategy highlighted plans to relocate 22,000 posts out of London by 2030, creating 30 new regional ‘government hubs’ as it closes its older offices across the UK. However, currently just over half of that figure have been relocated. More →

UK government plans to parachute AI experts into departments to ‘turbocharge’ productivity

UK government plans to parachute AI experts into departments to ‘turbocharge’ productivity

So-called 'digital gurus' from the private sector will be 'parachuted' into government departments as part of radical plans to 'turbocharge' the technological and AI skills of civil servantsSo-called ‘digital gurus’ from the private sector will be ‘parachuted’ into government departments as part of radical plans to ‘turbocharge’ the technological skills of civil servants, Cabinet Office Minister Jeremy Quin has announced. Delivering a speech at the think tank Policy Exchange, Minister Quin set out a number of measures which he claims will drive forward the government’s plans to harness innovation and technology including AI to make Whitehall run more efficiently.

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Government turns to business rates reform to improve building quality, but will it work?

Government turns to business rates reform to improve building quality, but will it work?

The UK Government claims that a new bill will support businesses by modernising the business rates system to incentivise property improvementsThe UK Government claims that a new bill will support businesses by modernising the business rates system to incentivise property improvements and support more frequent revaluations. The measures being put forward review and reform business rates in England, making them fairer and more responsive to changes in the market. The Non-Domestic Rating Bill will introduce more frequent valuations, to take place every three years instead of the current five, meaning those with falling values will see their bills drop sooner, accorrding to the Treasury. More →

Government Environmental Improvement Plan is ambitious but needs a clear plan

Government Environmental Improvement Plan is ambitious but needs a clear plan

The UKGBC has welcomed the ambition and vision of the Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan, particularly the water efficiency roadmap which broadly aligns with UKGBC recommendations. Yet the lobbying group also claims that the Plan falls short of providing the practical targets and policiesThe UKGBC has welcomed the ambition and vision of the Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan, particularly the water efficiency roadmap which broadly aligns with UKGBC recommendations. Yet the lobbying group also claims that the Plan falls short of providing the practical targets and policies for the built environment to play its part in halting nature’s decline. Many critical areas of interest to our sector – including planning system reform, policies for environmental net gain, and tangible targets – are insufficiently explained or missing entirely from the Plan. More →

Hybrid working tax consultation announced by government adviser

Hybrid working tax consultation announced by government adviser

hybrid workingThe Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), an independent advisor to the UK government, has launched a review looking for evidence of trends in relation to hybrid working. The review will also consider whether the tax and social security rules are flexible enough to cope, and what businesses, advisors and other bodies are experiencing as new ways of working become business as usual. The review will also consider the implications of any developments on cross border workers.

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Government commits to a further £2billion cut in property estate

More than £2 billion in savings will be realised from the sale of UK public sector real estate and other efficiencies, Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced. The savings are part of the new Government Property Strategy, which has now been published.  As part of the plans, the government will sell £1.5 billion of property assets over the next three years as projects such as the Government Hubs programme sees government staff consolidated into fewer buildings. £500 million of savings will also be made by reducing operating costs, using modern building materials and energy sources, and cutting spend on leases. More →

Enduring problems holding back success of UK government property strategy

Enduring problems holding back success of UK government property strategy

government propertyLongstanding problems such as poor data pose major risks to the successful delivery of the UK Government’s property strategy, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). Central government property, valued at £158 billion, is one of government’s largest assets. It includes offices, hospitals, academy schools, jobcentres, courts, prisons and museums. The Office of Government Property (OGP) sets the strategic direction for the management of government property. The Cabinet Office has categorised properties into 12 portfolios (such as health, defence and school portfolios), 10 of which are led by a single department or arm’s-length body. The Government Property Agency (GPA) sets and implements a property strategy for the government’s office and warehouse portfolios. More →

London Tech Week kicks off with new Government announcements on future of tech

London Tech Week kicks off with new Government announcements on future of tech

london tech weekThe Government’s review into the future of computing and its new UK Digital Strategy were unveiled at the start of London Tech Week as the world’s technology leaders, founders and next generation of tech superstars gather in the capital to collaborate on the future of the industry. Opening day speakers included Darktrace CEO Poppy Gustafsson, Darren Hardman, VP & General Manager, AWS, Theo Blackwell MBE in conversation with New York City’s CTO Matt Fraser, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemi?tkowski and The Body Coach CEO & Creative Director Nikki Wicks. More →

Government publishes Net Zero guidance for buildings

Government publishes Net Zero guidance for buildings

net zeroA new guide to decarbonising public sector buildings and creating a net zero public estate has been launched by the Cabinet Office. The authors of The Net Zero Estate Playbook claims it will ensure consistent approaches, such as using solar panels, LED lighting and greener building materials, are applied across public buildings as they help decarbonise Britain’s largest property portfolio. More →

Remote workers to enjoy increased tax relief, Irish government announces

Remote workers to enjoy increased tax relief, Irish government announces

remote workers

Remote workers in Ireland will now enjoy increased tax relief on the cost of heating, electricity and broadband, following the government’s latest budget announcement. Those working from home will see income tax deductions of 30 percent of the cost of certain expenses, which the Minister for Finance claims will help to offset some of the expected increases in energy costs. More →

Businesses call on Government to put net zero and nature at the heart of planning system

Businesses call on Government to put net zero and nature at the heart of planning system

net zeroMore than 100 business leaders have written to the Prime Minister calling for the net zero transition, nature’s recovery, and climate resilience to be at the heart of the UK’s new planning system. More →

Government must recognise role of managers in halting unemployment crisis

Government must recognise role of managers in halting unemployment crisis

GovernmentA shift to remote working in the pandemic has made starting a new job even more challenging and the Government must recognise the vital role managers have to play as it works to ensure the success of its £2.6 billion job drive. More →