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July

JULY was Budget month and the industry waited with bated breath to hear how it would fare under the new Chancellor, Gordon Brown. The verdict on his Budget? Very positive, with measures such as freeing up capital receipts for local councils, introducing welfare to work and allocating cash to PFI school projects. Less happy were aggregates producers, concerned at the mention of a 'quarrying' tax.

Later in the month, to coincide with the launch of the Construction Confederation, Deputy Prime

Minister John Prescott started a crusade to stamp out sexism and boost training in the industry.

Peter Birse seemed well ahead in the anti-sexism stakes as he told Construction News about his firm's new image.

Bellway Homes went further in its liberated approach, with an advertising campaign in

Manchester's 'pink' district, with a slogan: 'For homes as well built as Mr Gay UK' accompanying a picture of title-holder Sean McVeigh.

Training was on the agenda for construction's more mature operatives as the Construction

Industry Training Board unveiled an assessment system to turn experience on site into NVQs.