Building firm, Mears Group, caused consternation this week by taking the controversial step of banning their construction workers from having beards...for Health & Safety reasons!  The Group circulated a letter to staff outlining which forms of facial hair were considered acceptable.  Manly beards and heavy stubble are outlawed, whilst "a goatee may be acceptable if it doesn't interfere with the fitting of dust masks".  Only workers who can’t shave, or wear a dust mask for medical or religious reasons, are exempt from the ruling.  The new directive has led to a rather public spat with Unite the Union who condemned the "hair-raising" move as insensitive.  In the meantime, Mears construction workers will be debating whether to turn up to work freshly clean shaven, re-mould their facial hair into a hippy-style goatee, or save their precious beards by ditching the dust mask and opting for a full hood.  If there is an entrepreneur out there who can come up with a "dust-safe, beard-saving solution" your time has come!

Come Friday, we will know the outcome of two crucial questions. Firstly, whether England's cricketers are firmly on course to win the ICC Champions Trophy with a win over Tuesday's group opponents New Zealand and, secondly, whether the science of "election polling" has finally lost all vestiges of credibility.  Yet, whilst the General Election polls swing wildly between a Tory whitewash and a hung parliament, the City of Cambridge stands out as beacon of stability, with a property market seemingly immune from political uncertainty.  The latest Bidwells' research, released this week, shows that Cambridge is still powering ahead, with record-breaking figures for the office, laboratory and industrial markets.   Office market take-up exceeded 500,000 sq ft for the fourth successive year in 2016 with prime rents reaching £37 psf, whilst industrial rents are at £11 psf, up 7.3% on 2015.  So whether it's Prime Minister Corbyn or Prime Minister May, it seems demand for the "UK's most educated city" is on a one way trajectory!

The Weekly always strives to comment on articles, events and news that we know will be close to our readers' hearts.  We therefore feel duty bound to report the worrying news that the price of a bottle of wine is the highest it’s ever been.  The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest Market Report has revealed the average price of a bottle of wine in the UK has risen more in the last 12 weeks than it had in the last two years, with the average bottle passing the £5.50 mark – now at £5.56.  The fall in the pound on the back of the Brexit vote is largely to blame, but, even then, the latest figures don't take into account the impact of the 3.9% rise on alcohol duty inflicted on us in the March Budget.  This is forecast to add another 8p to the average bottle.  Our advice?  If you are out there in the sunshine enjoying a glass of Sauvignon blanc or Pinot Grigio this weekend, don't hold back.  It will only get more expensive next time!

Comment