Redrow founder triumphs against Daily Mail

“Substantial”damages plus an apology have been received by Steve Morgan CBE, founder and chairman of Redrow, following the settlement of his defamation claim against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers. The action followed false and defamatory

claims from the newspaper that Morgan made significant personal gain by purchas- ing six Redrow houses, designated for sale as affordable homes, at £860,000 – which would have been a large discount to their market value of £2.1m. A statement was read in court, and the

Daily Mail published the following on its site: “In fact, £860,000 was the highest offer made, so we were wrong to allege that Mr Morgan had exploited his position to line his pockets in a greedy, unethical and morally unacceptable way. He did not buy the houses at a discount to their market value, and they are being rented out to local residents in accordance with affordable housing criteria.

We apologise to Mr Morgan for the distress and damage to his reputation and, at his request, have made a substantial donation to charity in lieu of damages.” At Morgan’s request, the damages

payment has been made in full to charity, and will reportedly be put towards adapted mini-buses for two special needs schools in Ellesmere Port and Llandudno. They will enable severely disabled children to access offsite activities. Morgan commented: “This is a significant

victory against the Daily Mail and one which demonstrates that the publication cannot unjustly print defamatory and untrue stories without basis or reason. “The suggestion that I would ‘greedily’ take self-advantage at the expense of low- income families is hugely insulting and has caused me a great deal of anger and distress. These allegations fly in the face of all that I stand for. “It is a shame that it has taken 18 months for justice to be served.”

New sponsors for Women in Social Housing

Industry network Women in Social Housing (WISH) has announced a number of new national sponsors from the housing and construction sectors. Construction company Kier, law firm

Barratt reports ‘good progress’ in developer’s half year results

Barratt Developments has announced its half year results for the second half of 2018, reporting that it had made “good progress,” while acknowledging the uncertainties present in the current business environment. The results showed that Britain’s largest

housebuilder by volume completed a total of 7,622 units, up 4.1 per cent from 7,324 during the same period in 2017. Barratt also reported that revenue was up by 7.2 per cent to £2.1bn, and that its pre-tax profits were at £408m, a 20 per cent increase on the previous years’ figure which was £342.7m. Despite the current uncertainty in the industry surrounding Britain’s impending departure from the EU, Barratt maintains it’s in a “strong position,” stating it has a “substantial net cash balance, strong balance sheet, a healthy forward sales position and an experienced management team.” It insists that this “strong financial foundation” provides it with the flexibility to take action as and when necessary. The company also said that given the uncertainties, it has been working with suppliers in a number of ways to ensure the “continuity of supply of non-UK manufac-


tured components” in order to “mitigate the potential for disruption.” These include product specification reviews, logistic route reviews and the holding of additional inventories. Barratt credits its positive results in part to the utilisation of modern methods of construction, an area it plans to continue developing. It says this has allowed them to develop housetypes which are “easier and quicker to build.” Barratt has also stated that customer satisfaction and build quality remains high.

Commenting on the results, chief execu- tive David Thomas said: “The group has delivered a strong operational and financial performance across the half year. Operating efficiencies are delivering improved margins and our controlled and disciplined business model means we have a high- quality land bank, strong forward sales, excellent financial position and efficient cash flow generation.” He continued: “Whilst we continue to monitor market conditions closely, current trading is in line with our expectations. and we are confident of delivering a good finan- cial and operational performance in 2019.”

Capsticks, development and investment company MHA London, and housing specialist recruitment company Greenacre have agreed to sponsor the independent networking organisation, currently the only membership-based network for women working across every discipline of UK housing. David Mawson, executive director of specialist services at Kier, commented: “As an industry, it is vital that we work together to create a workforce that is diverse. It brings with it so many benefits, from widening the talent pool to reflecting the residents that we serve. “As a business, we have a number of internal and external initiatives in place to support our commitment to creating a balanced business. We are proud to be sponsoring the Women in Social Housing network. It is supporting women as they enter our industry, and proactively showcas- ing the career opportunities and various routes to entry as it looks to inspire more people to consider a role within the built environment.”

Aiming to challenge stereotypes and help to remove barriers for women working in these industries, WISH is undertaking work in schools to support young women to consider careers in housing, as well as assisting women already working in the sector to progress and develop. The company already has a number of sponsorships with like-minded organisa- tions and suppliers, such as JLL, PRP, Calfordseaden, and BRC Recruitment Consultants, alongside partners Hough Bellis Communications, Campbell Tickell, Resource (creative services partner), Connectin (events partner) and 24housing (media partner).

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