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Robert Holden

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  1. Dear Graham and Penny, ONS annual inflation figures of 17 August for the year upto July 2022 were CPI of 10.1% and RPI of 12.3% ref. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices The Bank of England Monetary Policy Report of 3 August advises "CPI inflation is expected to rise more than forecast in the May Report, from 9.4% in June to just over 13% in 2022 Q4, and to remain at very elevated levels throughout much of 2023, before falling to the 2% target two years ahead." ref. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/monetary-policy-report/2022/august/monetary-policy-report-august-2022.pdf Graham: If your profit margin is 10% then you will be operating at a loss in one year’s time, given the present level of inflation. Maybe this is an argument for 20% profit ab initio? See my related piece on profit in landscape architecture consultancy work ref. https://connect.landscapeinstitute.org/index.php?/topic/261-profit-in-landscape-architecture/&tab=comments#comment-566
  2. The LI Guidelines for making a complaint ref. https://landscapewpstorage01.blob.core.windows.net/www-landscapeinstitute-org/2021/12/Guidelines-for-making-a-complaint-Dec2021.pdf read: “Unprofessional conduct does not mean ‘negligence’ “. How come?
  3. I note the Terms have not been amended and still refer to possible crimes we may commit by contributing to LI Connect. Please address this issue.
  4. Dear Christopher, Maybe of help are Re O2 production: Suresh Ramanan Sundaram et al ‘Oxygen production potential of trees in urban areas: a reality check?’ Current Science September 2021 121(5), pp.622-625. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354435988_Oxygen_production_potential_of_trees_in_urban_areas_a_reality_check Re Air pollution removal Alessio Russo, Wing Tung Chan and Giuseppe T. Cirella ‘Estimating Air Pollution Removal and Monetary Value for Urban Green Infrastructure Strategies Using Web-Based Applications’ Land July 2021 10, 788 https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080788
  5. Profit in landscape architecture In accountancy ‘profit’ refers to the financial benefit that is achieved when the work done and the expenses incurred by a business are exceeded by revenue generated by the activities of the business. In short profit is Total revenue -Total expenditure The owners of a business are responsible for deciding what to do with profit, and may reinvest it in the business, pay off outstanding debt, reward employees with bonuses and pay-rises, make payments to shareholders, and so on. There are different types of profit that can be measured as: gross profit, operating profit, net profit. Profit may also be referred to as a profit margin which is the percentage of the gross revenue that represents profit. The UK construction industry is notoriously susceptible to changes in economic outlook and regularly goes through booms and busts as it is used to hold back or push forward the wider economy.. The 2015 UK Industry Performance Report (produced by Glenagan, a UK construction industry analyst consultancy) suggested that the profitability of the construction industry was around 3%, up from around 2% the previous year, but well below the peak of 9.9% in 2009. In 2019-20 Glenagan report profitability as 2.9%. Design consultancies generally achieve better profitability than this. Caroline Cole in her 2014 RIBA Journal article reported that architectural consultancies then achieved 20% profitability: “Across the country, practices average a healthy profit margin of just over 20%. However, this figure conceals some worrying variations in fortunes, especially at the larger end of the spectrum: almost 60% of the largest practices do not meet our benchmark for profitability, which is set at 15%; more than a third fail to muster even 10% profit.” There is a lot more information available related to profit and landscape architecture practices in the USA. TRUIC advises that for landscape company practices “Profit should be priced in at at least 10% of cost (minimum), for both the design and the construction businesses. Some companies operate at a 15% margin, but this is rare, especially for a smaller company.” TRUIC is short for The Really Useful Information Company self-described as “a team of entrepreneurs who are passionate about education”. A piece by the Landscape Leadership website, run by the US sales and marketing agency, reports that “The average profitability for a landscape company is net 5 percent. But … that a well-run landscaping company should be between 10 and 12 percent. “Incidentally ASLA reports on the total value of landscape architecture services in the USA as $2.7 billion Wonder what is the equivalent value in the UK. Sources Glenagan UK Construction Industry Report 2019-20 https://www.glenigan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Glenigan_2019-20_UK_Industry_Performance_Report.pdf ref. pp.7-8 Caroline Cole, ‘Success begins at home’ RIBA Journal article, 1.4.2014, https://www.ribaj.com/intelligence/success-begins-at-home TRUIC https://howtostartanllc.com/business-ideas/landscape-architect Landscape Leadership https://www.landscapeleadership.com/blog/how-to-identify-most-profitable-landscape-services Jared Green, “Landscape Architecture Services in the US valued at $2.7 Billion” The Dirt 7 March 2018 https://dirt.asla.org/2018/03/07/landscape-architecture-services-in-the-u-s-added-2-7-billion-in-value/
  6. Inflation and Fees Having worked through the 1970s (when inflation rose to 27% per annum in 1976) I offer these thoughts and would welcome comments please. It is a time of inflation (forecast by many including the Bank of England to rise to 10% p.a. by the end of the year) and anyone putting fee bids should be aware of what is happening. go to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for the national picture, for CPIH, CPI, and RPI, The figures are published monthly so in mid April the March 2022 figures were published as follows: CPIH Consumer Price Index including owner occupier’s housing costs: 6.2% per annum CPI Consumer Price Index: 7.0% per annum RPI Retail Price Index: 9.0% per annum Each of these indices is a basket of prices of consumer goods. Clearly of these indices currently the RPI is the most favourable, but because RPI does not meet international statistical standards, since 2013 the Office for National Statistics no longer classifies it as a "national statistic", and instead emphasizes the Consumer Price Index. However, the LI Landscape Consultant’s Conditions of Appointment (2018) refers to the Average Earnings Index for both time fees (clause 4.4) and lump sum fees (clause 4.7) and states they shall be revised at 12 month intervals. It does not give source for the Average Earnings Index, however, one assumes this may refer to the Office of National Statistics figures for Average Weekly Earnings. This is published with a two month delay so in early May 2022 the latest figure was that for February 2022 with an inflation figure of 5.2% for the whole economy. Better than nothing but not as high as the CPI or RPI figures. Close to construction is the information in the RICS Building and Construction Information Service (BCIS) at a hefty subscription rate, larger practices may subscribe or one might be able to obtain figures from a QS. The other thing one can do is not to sign for long term fees agreements, i.e. just sign up for each stage of work using the LI 2018 Scope of Services, however, this has its downside in that your commissions will each be for a shorter term, and so such as option offers less long term security. Arguably it is better to sign up for longer term in term of financial security, but to inflation index any fixed fees. Sources: Office of National Statistics ref. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices Office of National Statistics Average Weekly Earnings: ref. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours RICS Building and Construction Information Service: https://www.rics.org/uk/products/data-products/bcis-construction/bcis-online/ Inflation forecasts: Bank of England https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/will-inflation-in-the-uk-keep-rising (5 May 2022) Office for Budget Responsibility https://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/the-economy-forecast/inflation/ (March 2022 figures)
  7. Reading the Terms for My Landscape: I find the rather ominous indeed off-putting statement that Use of the Platform carries legal responsibilities, Messages which include offensive, untrue or illegal content, or even expressions of opinion about others, can lead to claims against you and possible criminal offences. Use of this Platform is subject to the terms of use set out below (the “Terms”) and you should read these carefully. You should only post messages that you would be comfortable including in a written letter to every Participant in this Platform and every other person who may see a copy. You are treated as accepting the Terms by accessing or using the Platform for any purpose. What possible crimes might be committed by contributing LI Connect? May I quote a law website: Criminal libel was repealed in the UK in 2010, when the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 came into effect and abolished the offences of sedition and seditious libel, defamatory libel and obscene libel. But the law still classes spoken or written statements about others that are not true as defamation.Slander is an untrue spoken statement, while libel is publishing a falsehood about someone else in a letter, report or online. What many people fail to realise is they can libel someone in an email or website.In the UK, defamation is a civil action, and if proven, a judge can award significant damages to the plaintiff. Defamation is not a crime. Yours, Robert
  8. Colleagues, LI Connect has 320 members, (out of a total membership of over 5000) so is not working. It has less functionality than Talking Landscapes and does not serve the main users of Talking Landscapes who were the Associate Members. There is no specific P2C Forum for Associate Members. So why not set up a Forum for the Pathway to Chartership and email Associate members encouraging them to exchange information there? Robert
  9. Pathway to Chartership speed quiz Tuesday 5 and Tuesday 12 April 2022 6.30 to 8.00pm LI London are hosting our ever-popular Pathway to Chartership (P2C) speed quiz to provide candidates with a chance to practice answering Chartership exam questions concisely and correctly. The quiz sessions will take place online via Zoom, with each session lasting no longer than 90 minutes. Candidates will be in pairs and have around 10 minutes with each examiner. We're only able to run these exams with the help of volunteers. If you can help act as a volunteer examiner, please contact the London branch! All volunteers are welcome, from new CMLI to retired members. If you'd like to take part as a candidate, please register (for only one date) below. Tuesday 5 April Tuesday 12 April Following successful registration, we'll send you the Zoom link and a more detailed timetable. If you have questions, please contact the London branch via mail.london@landscapeinstitute.org. With best wishes, The Landscape Institute London branch
  10. Thank you for adding a forum so promptly, under Specialisms and inTown Centre. Thank you very much. Robert
  11. At the Members graduation ceremony on 24 February Jane Findlay as President urged new Chartered Members to contribute via the branches, volunteering to join standing committees and for new College of Fellows members to contribute via the College. Yet the Institute does not enable easy participation. Branches cannot email the majority of their membership only those who have elected to received branch emails. For example London Branch emails only reach 300 or so of its 1000 plus members. Far better if branch membership and emails was automatic plus an opt out facility. It is bonkers that branches cannot email the majority of their members. There are only 317 Members of this LI Connect social media site (out of over 5000 Institute members): this is not involving the majority of members. The old Talking Landscapes site had a lively Pathway to Chartership members forum: nothing at all on LI Connect. Naomi Gilbert wrote on this on 16 September 2021 but no action that I can see? At very least can we please add a Pathway to Chartership Forum to LI Connect.
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