A family-owned estate agency in Merseyside has called in the liquidators leaving many of its tenant, landlord and vendor clients unsure about what will happen to fees, rents and deposits handled by the company until only recently.Called Loc8 Estate Agents Ltd and based in the town of Maghull between Liverpool and Ormskirk, liquidators are now said to be concentrating on the ‘safeguarding of rental income and tenancy deposits’.A meeting of creditors is scheduled to take place on 30th September but the company’s most recent unaudited annual accounts for 2018 show it owed creditors over £500,000 at the end of the year with only £13,400 cash in the bank.Estate agency insolvencyOperated by the Scott family, the business is reported to have begun insolvency proceedings voluntarily and appointed Manchester company Path Business Recovery.According to local media reports, Loc8 fully managed 200 rental properties in the area but also handled a let-only service for more, as well as running a sales operation.Tenants have been seen outside its premises seeking to pay their rent and it is alleged that some deposits have not been lodged correctly with a government-approved deposit protection provider.Landlords have also been asking how they can reclaim keys to their properties, while one vendor told the Liverpool Echo that they had paid over £1,000 in selling fees upfront to the estate agency in return for a discount only a few weeks ago.insolvency Maghull Path Business Recovery Merseyside September 24, 2019Nigel LewisOne commentKeith Comley, Ellis and Co Ellis and Co 26th September 2019 at 12:37 pmThis is extremely embarrassing.I am now retired, or rather, not working at present as have recently sold-up my business.It is hard to say “it serves em right” but really, clients money and deposits should be ring-fenced. In a non-compliant manner is OK as long as the signatories are responsible. They obviously were not compliant or responsible so it serves em ……Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Liquidators called in at troubled Merseyside estate agency previous nextAgencies & PeopleLiquidators called in at troubled Merseyside estate agencyThe most recent unaudited accounts for Loc8 Estate Agents Ltd show creditors could be owed more than £500,000.Nigel Lewis24th September 20191 Comment1,515 Views
Several Oxford societies have joined the criticism from academics and campaigners surrounding the release of a government report into institutional racism in the UK. Since its release, the report has been dogged by claims that it was political in nature, and criticisms of its methodology.The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was established by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Mr Johnson said its aim was to look at “all aspects of inequality — in employment, in health outcomes, in academic and all other walks of life”.Months later, the report declared Britain to be a “model for other White-majority countries”. While it acknowledged the existence of racism, and provided 24 recommendations to “build trust…promote fairness”, it concluded that Britain was no longer a country “where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities”.The Runnymede Trust, a think tank advocating for racial equality, accused the report of “denying the evidence of institutional racism”. Their statement criticised the report for “failing to acknowledge the very real suffering of Black and minority ethnic communities here in the UK.”Anvee Bhutani, Chair of Oxford SU’s Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE) told Cherwell: “CRAE is deeply concerned with the Sewell Report into Race and Ethnic Disparities. Its denial of ‘institutional racism’ is an alarming conclusion considering the report was commissioned by Boris Johnson after the reinvigoration of the Black Lives Matter movement last year. “The findings are based on a view of racism as an individual problem as opposed to a systemic one, but a vast body of statistics and lived experience exists to disprove that. In this way, the government has absolved itself of responsibility to create a better Britain.” The report was also criticised for its characterisation of education as “the single most emphatic success story of the British ethnic minority experience”. An open letter signed by 429 academics, including several from Oxford University, described the report’s producers as having “limited knowledge of education research”. The letter also accused the report of presenting “simplistic understandings of education and divisive views of ethnic minority groups”.Efforts to decolonise curricula were criticised in the report as “negative”. As a part of its proposed ‘Making of Modern Britain’ teaching resource, students would be taught to “reclaim their British heritage” and how “Britishness influenced the Commonwealth and local communities, and how the Commonwealth and local communities influenced what we now know as modern Britain”.The report’s characterisation of the Atlantic Slave Trade and Caribbean plantations as not only being about “profit and suffering”, but “how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re-modelled African/Britain” has come under particular scrutiny. David Olusoga, a historian and the author of Black and British: A Forgotten History, criticised the reports authors for deploying “a version of an argument that was used by the slave owners themselves in defence of slavery 200 years ago: the idea that by becoming culturally British, black people were somehow beneficiaries of the system.”“It is the fact that the histories of slavery and empire are becoming mainstream, and that young people are entirely comfortable with the reality that “profit and suffering” were at the centre of both, that appears to disturb the authors and the government whose agenda they have so faithfully served. Determined to privilege comforting national myths over hard historical truths, they give the impression of being people who would prefer this history to be brushed back under the carpet.” “The historical illiteracy and internal inconsistencies do not stop there…Yet the report crudely characterises those struggles to bring marginalised black figures and communities into the mainstream of British history as “token expressions of black achievement” – a poisonously patronising phrase.”The Oxford branch of Rhodes Must Fall told Cherwell: “[In] response to claims that decolonizing the curriculum is negative, we would like to reiterate that what we’re doing is the opposite of erasing history. Part of our movement is around education: to highlight Oxford’s colonial history and how it feeds into the present. That many people do not know the blood that Oxford is built on – for many people in our movement, the blood of their ancestors – is deeply problematic, because without first recognising and acknowledging the past, there is no possibility for transformative change and there is no possibility for justice. “In the end, we know institutional racism exists; we do not need a misleading and false report to tell us that it does. We will continue to stand alongside our brothers and sisters in this fight and do the work that needs to be done.”In a statement published on Facebook, the Oxford University Labour Club expressed their “disappointment” at the report’s findings. “The club notes the findings of the Lammy Review, the McGregor-Smith Review, the Race Disparity audit, and the Windrush Report, all of which strongly suggest an institutional racist bias which the Sewell Report denies. We also express our concern at the “selective use” of evidence in the report, as reported by the New Statesman…”“We believe the findings of the report, particularly pertaining to education, do not represent an accurate portrayal of life as an ethnic minority student in the UK, and we are concerned about the consequences of the actions the report recommends.“Furthermore, the report’s suggestion that “geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion,” all impact someone’s life experience more than the existence of racism ignores the role that race plays in all these factors. The club recognises that race does not exist in a vacuum, and suggests that a thorough and proper report would take this into account.”The UK Government has been approached for comment.Image Credit: Number 10 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Dave Stafford for www.theindianalawyer.comFraud victims of disgraced former lawyer William Conour have the upper hand over his former law firm creditor who was awarded a judgment of almost $775,000, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing the District Court and signaling too much may have been awarded.The reversal orders further proceedings in ACF 2006 v. Conour, 1:13-cv-001286, remanding the case to Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Pratt previously ruled that victims who sought to intervene in the case brought by a former Conour creditor could not. Pratt ruled ACF was entitled to the money on a quantum meruit basis from the nearly $2 million in fees attorney Timothy Devereux earned on several cases he won at Ladendorf Law Firm after he left the Conour Firm.Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote for the panel in ACF 2006 Corp v. Timothy Devereux, 15-3037 and 15-3048, that this is an area of untested law in Indiana, but that victims who were defrauded by Conour should take precedence over a later creditor. Conour is serving a 10-year sentence for stealing more than $6 million from clients.“The norm that victims of a lawyer’s breach of trust have a remedy notwithstanding the later grant of a security interest to a commercial lender is one of long standing and is reflected in Indiana by (Indiana Code) §30-4-3-22(c)(2). Section 23-1.5.2-7 tells us that the use of the corporate form to hold assets of a legal practice does not change that norm. It follows that the Victims have priority over the Lender in the funds that the Conour Firm is entitled to receive from (Devereux and Ladendorf). The judgment of the district court is reversed, and the case is remanded for the entry of judgment consistent with this opinion.”Davis and Loretta Beals and their daughter Kristen sought to intervene in this case, claiming they were wrongly blocked at the District Court. Conour won a settlement for the Bealses, who were injured in a deadly crash involving a tractor-trailer, but the Bealses are still trying to collect about $500,000 of the money Conour stole from them.But the 7th Circuit decision also likely will reduce the award Pratt granted. In one of Devereux’s cases that generated fees of about $1.4 million, Pratt ruled 40 percent should go to the Conour Firm to satisfy ACF’s lien. This despite three witnesses testifying the Conour Firm should be entitled to just 10 percent.Easterbrook also ruled Pratt erred in awarding prejudgment interest at 8 percent, since the money is held in IOLTA accounts whose interest is not available to the firm, as such interest goes to the Indiana Bar Foundation to fund pro bono legal service. “The award of prejudgment interest was a misstep that must be undone on remand,” Easterbrook wrote. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Costa Coffee is taking on Starbucks again with a new advert, which claims that twice as many consumers prefer Costa to its rival.The coffee chain’s biggest ever national advertising campaign, which will cover newspapers, online and outdoor sites, uses straplines such as ‘Sorry Starbucks, the people have voted. Again’, and ‘Voted the nation’s favourite coffee shop’.The ad follows Costa’s controversial ‘7 out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa’ campaign, which, following several months of complaints from Starbucks, culminated in a landmark ASA ruling in Costa’s favour last summer.Costa has based the claims for its latest ads on a survey conducted by Allegra Strategies, which found that, of 16,000 UK coffee drinkers, 54% named Costa as their favourite coffee shop, while 27% cited Starbucks.Costa marketing director Jim Slater said: “At Costa, every single cup of coffee we serve in our shops is hand-crafted by a fully trained barista who really cares – that is why Costa continually wins blind taste tests versus the competition.”Starbucks also fared badly in a survey by Ethical Consumer magazine, which named it the most unethical café chain in Britain because of its stance on workers’ rights and its political activities. AMT Coffee, which used only Fairtrade coffee and organic milk, was named the most ethical brand, with Costa Coffee in second place.>>Costa acquires Coffee Nation
Choice: identifying ways to help people make more effective choices between the different options available after 18, so they can make more informed decisions about their futures. Value for money: looking at how students and graduates contribute to the cost of their studies, to ensure funding arrangements across post-18 education in the future are transparent and do not stop people from accessing higher education or training. Access: enabling people from all backgrounds to progress and succeed in post-18 education, while also examining how disadvantaged students receive additional financial support from the government, universities and colleges. Skills provision: making sure we have a post-18 education system that is providing the skills that employers need. The call for evidence will run until Wednesday 2 May 2018. The independent panel will publish their report at an interim stage and the review will conclude in early 2019. The independent panel appointed to inform the Government’s Review of Post-18 Education and Funding has launched a call for evidence today (21 March).The panel is seeking views from all interested parties on the four areas it has been asked to consider: This is an ambitious and wide-ranging review. We begin with no preconceptions. Our priority is to undertake a thorough examination of the evidence and to hear from a broad range of stakeholders who like us are committed to ensuring the system works for everyone. I very much hope that many of you will contribute to our call for evidence so that the review will be able to deliver a system that incentivizes choice and competition, improves access and delivers the skills the economy needs in a way that provides value for students and taxpayers. Chair of the review panel Philip Augar said:
Fans of Mountain Jam Festival had something to rejoice about this morning, as the annual Hunter Mountain event just released their initial list of artists for the 2017 event. Taking place from June 16-18, 2017 (pushed back two weeks this year), the festival has recruited some true rock and rollers for their upcoming event.The lineup features headlining sets from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Steve Miller Band, as well as sets from Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., Michael Franti & Spearhead, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Shovels & Rope, The Revivalists, The Infamous Stringdusters, White Denim, Elephant Revival, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and River Whyless.You can head to the Mountain Jam website for more details, including an exclusive offer for early bird tickets for those subscribed to the festival’s newsletter. We’ll be sure to update with future lineup announcements from Mountain Jam!
Brooklyn Comes Alive announced their daily lineups yesterday, which broke down over 35+ acts scheduled to perform at the two-day event in Brooklyn, New York. On September 23 and 24, attendees will be granted in-and-out access to three music venues—Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Schimanski (previously Verboten, instead of The Hall at MP, with better sound quality and more space!)—within a 5-minute walking radius, creating the feeling of an indoor music festival in the heart of Williamsburg. With over 100+ artists slated to perform the festival, the 2017 Brooklyn Comes Alive is positioned to be the best yet. Rapper ProbCause has just been added to the Saturday lineup with his own set, joining The Crystal Method, KJ Sawka of Pendulum and Destroid, Muzzy Bear, and other electronic acts holding down the diverse lineup.ProbCause is effectively going with the flow as his own unique producer. In the ever-changing world of hip-hop, things rarely stay the same for a long period of time. The sound of Chicago seems to be on the forefront in recent years with talent like Chance The Rapper, Saba, Vic Mensa, … and of course, ProbCause. Keeping up a prolific output over the years, he’s seen his share of trends get born and quickly disappear. But throughout all of them he’s been like a sub-genre chameleon; transitioning, evolving his production yet maintaining his core flow. The sound ProbCause has become known for travels well beyond the boundaries of hip-hop–he can casually jump from electronic to funk to R&B, then back to classic boom-bap gritty rap, and still retain that unique ability to make you reminisce with his captivating storytelling.This past year, ProbCause has worked with some of the most elite players in the the world of electronic music and hip-hop. Appearing on both GRiZ and Gramatik‘s albums, as well as collaborations with Chance the Rapper, Big Gigantic, Louis the Child, The Floozies, Manic Focus, Break Science, and more, ProbCause’s percussive delivery flows harmoniously from one to another, proving once again he is one of the most versatile emcees in the game.The 2017 Brooklyn Comes Alive lineup features members of Umphrey’s McGee, moe., The Disco Biscuits, The String Cheese Incident, Trey Anastasio Band, and so many more. Iconic legends, such as John Scofield, George Porter Jr., Cyril Neville, DJ Premier, Johnny Vidacovich, and Henry Butler, will join members of nationally touring bands, such as GRAMMY-winners Snarky Puppy, The Meters, Primus, Soulive, Lettuce, The Motet, Lotus, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters,Yonder Mountain String Band, The Russ Liquid Test, SunSquabi, Pendulum, Destroid, The Crystal Method, Midnight North, Aqueous, Kung Fu, Electric Beethoven, and more.***Tickets Are On Sale Now!***Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive is now offering single day tickets, as well as a ticket payment planfor as low as $30/month. When checking out, just select “Monthly payments with Affirm” as your payment method. To find out more about ticketing, VIP options, and lodging, head to the festival website.
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“When we all started playing football it was without a crowd. If I play today from time to time, it’s without a crowd, I still want to win. That’s exactly how it is,” he added. “It’s all different but we cannot change that.”We have to use the circumstances, not suffer from that. That means there’s a game between Everton and Liverpool, which is still a derby and important for both teams for different reasons. That’s what we are looking forward to.”Derbies have provided little reason for Everton to remember fondly of late.The Blue half of Liverpool have not celebrated a victory over the Reds in 10 years and 21 matches.Twice at Anfield this season, even an under-strength Liverpool have proved too strong for their local rivals.However, Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti wants his side to embrace the “opportunity” to cause an upset in front of a huge global audience in the first weekend of Premier League action since March.”It will be difficult but we have to consider it as a great opportunity to show our quality and come back to the Premier League with a good performance,” said the Italian.“I am pleased the game is at Goodison Park, but no one is pleased to play games without supporters.”Ancelotti still has lofty ambitions of Everton challenging for a European place despite his side starting the day in 12th.Victory at Goodison will mean Liverpool’s three-decade wait can come to an end on Wednesday when they host Crystal Palace at Anfield, no matter how City fare against Burnley.Chelsea also return to action for the first time in three months on Sunday as they look to cement their place in the top four at Aston Villa.Frank Lampard’s men hold a two-point lead over Manchester United and Wolves in fourth, but that advantage could be reduced to one point by kick-off at Villa Park if Sheffield United beat Newcastle to move into fifth.Topics : Despite concerns over supporters congregating around the stadiums, Sunday’s clash will take place at Everton’s Goodison Park (kick off 1800GMT), less than a mile from Liverpool’s Anfield home.A Merseyside derby like no other will take place behind closed doors, but Klopp is just relieved to have the chance to complete the job on the field after some suggested the season be declared null and void due to the coronavirus pandemic.”I became worried in the moment when people started talking about null and void the season because I was like ‘wow’,” said Klopp in his pre-match videoconference. “That would have been really, really, really hard.”The German urged his players to embrace the circumstances rather than make excuses. Liverpool can close to within one win of a first league title in 30 years when the English champions-elect return to action for the first time in three months against local rivals Everton on Sunday.Jurgen Klopp’s men set a record-breaking pace in the opening eight months of the season, dropping just five points in 29 games to open up a 22-point lead at the top of the table.A maximum of two wins are now needed from the last nine games to end the long-wait, but Liverpool could be champions as soon as Monday if they beat Everton and Manchester City lose to Burnley 24 hours later.
The British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) could see its deficit hit £1bn-£2bn if its sponsor, Tata Steel, cuts all funding links, the scheme’s trustees have warned.BSPS’ investment team successfully eroded almost its entire estimated shortfall over the course of last summer, but the trustees today warned that the deficit would widen again if they were not permitted to adjust benefits.The £15bn (€17.6bn) scheme’s trustee board today wrote to members explaining its case for entering a “regulated apportionment arrangement” (RAA), allowing benefits to be “modified” to make them more affordable.The trustees said they were “pressing” the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for permission to establish a RAA. Allan Johnston, chair of trustees, wrote in the letter: “Separation [from Tata Steel] through an agreed RAA, with members and pensioners able to have modified benefits in a new scheme, would be a better outcome than if Tata Steel became insolvent and the whole of the BSPS went into the PPF. That is why the trustees are actively exploring a potential RAA with Tata Steel, the Pensions Regulator, and the Pension Protection Fund.”Johnston emphasised that the trustees would not agree to the RAA until it was satisfied that entry into the PPF was otherwise inevitable.The RAA would involve the creation of a new pension fund. Members would then be given the choice of following the existing scheme into the PPF – which the trustees maintain is not necessary – or transferring to the new standalone fund.The decision would most crucial for BSPS’ more than 31,000 deferred members, who would face cuts of 10% to their promised pension payouts in the PPF. Members who have already retired would be paid in full.The BSPS trustees have previously proposed adjusting the scheme’s indexation rules to reduce its liabilities, but they have so far not made public any concrete proposals for what a RAA would look like.Deficit dilemmaCrucial to the agreement of a RAA is the UK government’s review of defined benefit regulation, expected this year.The Work and Pensions Committee – an influential group of politicians – published a report late last year calling for the RAA to be made more accessible for situations such as BSPS.In its letter to scheme members, the BSPS trustees said its next actuarial valuation, to be calculated as of 31 March 2017, would have to take into account a change to a lower-risk investment policy and “build in additional prudence” if Tata Steel is successful in its bid to cut its ties to the scheme.“Although the final position will not be known for some time after [31 March], recent funding updates show that the scheme would currently have a modest deficit if liabilities are valued using the same actuarial assumptions as were used for the 2014 valuation (adjusting for current market conditions),” the trustees said.But the loss of its employer covenant would mean a deficit of “between £1bn and £2bn”. This would require annual employer contributions of between £100m and £200m a year for 15 years, the trustees claimed, which Tata Steel says it cannot afford.Unions support scheme closureBefore any changes can be made to BSPS, it must be closed to future accrual. A consultation is currently underway regarding this proposal, and workers’ unions today recommended their members accept the closure.The Unite, GMB, and Community unions said in a joint communication to members: “It is our collective view, supported by our independent experts, that this is the only credible and viable way to secure the future”.Tata Steel’s proposal also included introducing a defined contribution (DC) scheme with an employer contribution of 10% of workers’ pay.Hugh Nolan, president of the Society of Pension Professionals and director of Spence & Partners, said this replacement DC arrangement “still compares favourably to the typical scheme offered to employees in many other industries across the UK”.“A decent pension scheme with sustainable employment does seem like a better outcome for members than a fantastic pension scheme that leaves them jobless,” he said. “Having negotiated the improved offer, I think the unions are doing the right thing recommending this deal to their members.”Negotiations between BSPS, the Pensions Regulator, and the PPF are ongoing.