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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 225

Date:- 31 October 2005

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THE debt advisers are warning people with serious debts to act now after Government figures revealed a shock 66% rise in the number of mortgage possession orders. The Department of Constitutional Affairs said there were 19,687 orders made in the 3 months to September 30 compared with 11,862 for the same period last year. And All Clear Finance fears many more people could face having their homes repossessed. Its new research shows over 300,000 people have credit card debts alone of £10,000 or more. Some 29,991 actions for mortgage debts were started in county courts in England and Wales during the three months to the end of September. Not all possession orders end in homes being repossessed as homeowners can still come to a deal with their lender.

Chris Holmes, chief executive of All Clear Finance, said:- “Many people with serious debts face a growing risk of losing their homes. Those facing debt problems need appropriate advice and should seek it as soon as possible rather than put their home at risk. We would urge anyone worried about their debt problems to take action now and not bury their heads in the sand. Lenders are increasingly taking a tougher line with people who have serious debt problems. There is no excuse for delay.”

All Clear Finance offers the following advice to people who are finding it difficult to make repayments on their debts.

· Draw up a list of priorities for your debts. Your mortgage or rent payments should be your main priority as otherwise you risk losing your home

· If you have a debt problem make sure you deal with it as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get

· If you have a number of creditors and are finding it difficult to make your repayments, take professional advice from a debt advisory service who can advise you on the best solution for your financial difficulties

. If you seek advice from a debt advisory service, make sure that they can offer a full range of solutions and not just one as this may impact their ability to offer independent advice

· Look for ways in which you can reduce your expenditure

Bus Services at Risk Due to EU and UK Government Regulation says IEA
Author John Hibbs, one of the architects of bus de-regulation

A NEW study published this week, by the IEA, who suggests that re-regulation of the bus industry following the Transport Act 2000 is putting bus services at risk. By empowering local authorities to award 'quality contracts' to bus companies, the Act is producing a 'franchising' system where bus companies compete for a monopoly of providing the service on a particular route. This replicates the mechanism that has proved so controversial on the railways and undermines the principle of competition introduced by the Transport Act 1985 that has resulted in improvements in quality and reliability of service in many areas that could not have been envisaged before the Act.

EU Directives are also moving the industry in the same way. Making a mockery of the principle of subsidiarity, the EU has developed page after page of Draft Regulations that local bus operators will have to satisfy, dealing with issues such as complaints procedures and staff qualifications, which, Hibbs believes, will undermine their ability to provide high quality service. Analysis of developments since the introduction of the 2000 Act have led John Hibbs, the intellectual driving force behind the 1985 Act, to warn that the achievements of the original legislation are now at risk from new legislation and regulations. "The Transport Act 2000, will once again lead to a bus industry that is run in the interests of politicians and not passengers." Hibbs argues.

Hibbs' study is supplemented by a number of additional papers by other authors. These include a study of the express coach market by Graham Parkhurst that shows that the introduction of competition has led to innovations, such as the Yellow Taxibus that runs from Dunfermline to Edinburgh, and measurable improvements in service quality in the important London to Oxford coach service market.


WOULD you like the chance to live in the lap of luxury, in a multi-million pound house, spoilt rotten by dedicated servants catering to your every need? Would you like to go to film premieres, Premiership football matches, and fashion shows?

A new BBC game show is offering families from the Southport / Merseyside area the chance to experience every aspect of the high life by coming to live in Millionaire Manor. If you are a family group of six (a mixture of male and female), over 16 and would love the chance to live a millionaire lifestyle for a week...

Please contact or call 020 8222 4729 for an application form.

Colette Callus, Endemol UK, 5th Floor, Shepherds Building Central, Charecroft Way, Shepherds Bush, London. W14 0EE

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