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60k deadline

English Partnerships has ruled out extending the deadline for deputy prime minister John Prescott's £60,000 house competition beyond July 1 after a number of contractors complained about the project's tight schedule.

A 33-strong shortlist of teams for the job at Milton Keynes has been drawn up. EP corporate strategy director Trevor Beattie said: 'The timetable was known to all bidders before they made their initial submissions.'