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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 175

Date:- 13 November 2004

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TOUGHER RESTRICTIONS TO THE INSOLVENCY LAWS APPLIED FOR THE FIRST TIME

A woman from Birkenhead has become the first person to agree that she was guilty of 'unfit conduct' in the period leading up to her bankruptcy. Mavis Doreen Williams has accepted a Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking (BRU) which will keep bankruptcy restrictions in place for six years. The restrictions Ms Williams must observe include disclosing her status as a bankrupt if she wants credit of more than £500 for the next six years.

Ms Williams deliberately incurred debts she had no prospect of repaying just before she petitioned for her own bankruptcy, earlier this year. Ms Williams, the former owner of a pub, called One O'Clock Gun, took out a £6000 loan, the proceeds of which she gave to her three adult children. During the course of investigating the reasons for her bankruptcy, the Official Receiver in Liverpool discovered that she had repaid monies to her children in preference to her other creditors and that she took out a £6000 loan at a time when she had no reasonable expectation of being able to repay it.

Desmond Flynn, Insolvency Service, Inspector General and Agency Chief Executive, said:-  "The Enterprise Act enables this sort of unreasonable behaviour to be actively discouraged. The Official Receiver will always seek to establish the reasons for any bankruptcy. During the course of those investigations, dishonest or blameworthy individuals will be identified and restrictions sought in order to protect potential creditors from losses and act as a deterrent to others."

Changes to the insolvency laws, under the personal provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002, came into force on the 1 April 2004. Bankrupts are now automatically discharged after one year instead of two or three years. However, in the most serious of cases, a bankruptcy restriction order (BRO) could last for up to 15 years.

1. The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver, to establish why they became insolvent. We also authorise and regulate the insolvency profession; deal with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assess and pay statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provide banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advise ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

2. Under the personal provisions to the Enterprise Act, if an Official Receiver considers the conduct of a bankrupt to be dishonest or blameworthy, he or she will report the facts to the court and ask for a Bankruptcy Restriction Order (BRO) to be made. The court will consider this report and any other evidence put before it and decide whether or not it should make a BRO which could last for a period of 2 to 15 years. The bankrupt may offer the Secretary of State an undertaking (BRU) to be bound by the restrictions for a specified period. This has the same effect as a BRO (and the same consequences if breached) but means the case does not go to court.

3. The restrictions apply to all bankrupts and are lifted on discharge, however, for those subject to either a BRO or BRU, the restrictions remain in place for the period of the order or undertaking. They include: disclosing their status to a credit provider if they wish to obtain credit of more than £500; disclosing their status to potential business partners; acting as a director, insolvency practitioner or receiver or manager. BROs and BRUs are designed to protect the public and the business community against bankrupts whose conduct has been irresponsible or reckless.

For more information about the work of The Service see www.insolvency.gov.uk

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin...

ROALD Dahl, Red Riding Hood, Harry Potter and the very Hungry Caterpillar will all come to life this week at Blessed Sacrament R.C. Infant School who were having a 'Book Week' to encourage all 400 pupils to get into the reading habit. 

Throughout the week pupils shared their favourite books with class mates and wrote their own stories and visit their local library to find out how it works.

The Lady Mayoress of Liverpool, Moira Roderick, readed an extract from Laura's Secret, by Klaus Baumgart, to youngsters at the school. The Lady Mayoress said:- "I was honoured to be asked by Blessed Sacrament to take part in their Book Week. Whether you're young or old, reading is such an important part of education, and it's great to know that all the pupils are getting really involved."

The week was rounded off with a fancy dress parade when the children came dress up as their favourite character from a book.

Kathryn Lyons, Blessed Sacrament Infant School's assistant headteacher, said:- "The children are having a wonderful time and all the activities they are taking part in are helping to enrich their story experience."

Mersey Partnership welcomes the news that Aintree

THE Mersey Partnership welcomes the news that Aintree has secured a new sponsor for the Grand National, one of Merseyside's, and the world's, great sporting events. Martin King, Director of Tourism at The Mersey Partnership, said:- "It's superb news that such a well known and prestigious brand from a blue-chip company has chosen to associate itself with one of Merseyside's greatest assets. John Smith's, which is famed for its creative and memorable marketing, has made a carefully considered decision to support the world's most famous steeplechase and we are looking forward to working together in the future for the benefit of the region."

BOOK REVIEW:- "A Long and Lonely Road"
Review by Linda Byrne

WE have not had a book review for some time now so with the dark nights now set in, we will be starting the book reviews again. This week we took a look at a book called "A Long and Lonely Road" writen by Katie Flynn. It is about to be published as a paper back original by Arrow Books, on 18 November 2004, price £6.99. If you want the ISBN, email us and we will email it to you.

Just in time for Christmas, this book would make an admirable gift for anyone interested in social history in an entertaining form. Katie Flynn is a best selling Liverpool writer with flair. In this, her 17th novel, she has skilfully woven yet another tale based on Liverpool, this time beginning at Christmas 1938.

Her characters are finely drawn, the settings have an authentic feel and, unlike the products of some, the Scouse dialogue is not overly contrived. The storyline is deftly developed and not over elaborated and as such allows the reader's imaginative scope to colour in the details.

"A Long and Lonely Road" follows the life of young Rose McAllister, her sailor husband, Steve, her two young daughters and their many associates. Initially set in Liverpool as war approaches, the book affords a great insight into the stresses and strains of that era. There are the inevitable highlights and tragedies as the engrossing story evolves.

I found it hard to put this book down until the very end. My only criticism, as is often the case, is that the synopsis may give too much away for those who just prefer to let a yarn unfold.

Highly recommended, of especial interest to Liverpudlians, but certainly not exclusively so.

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