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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 228

Date:- 28 November 2005

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Government Civil Partnerships uncovers 'Marry' is really for money not love?

FROM 5 December this year, the law will be changed so as to allow same sex couples to enjoy the same legal rights as married couples in matters such as pension and tax rights. But while the Civil Partnership Act is often talked of as legitimising 'gay marriage', the new law will in fact allow platonic friends to register as civil partners, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has reap the same financial gains.

John Davies, Head of Business Law at ACCA said:- "The Act has been widely welcomed as a measure which provides fair and equal treatment to homosexual couples in established long-term relationships. But it also opens the door for a quite different use to be made of the new rights, something which may not have been intended by the Government.  It means that 2 people of the same sex could enter into a civil partnership just to take advantage of pension rights, life assurance and inheritance transfers, particularly since, to form a civil partnership, the partners do not have to prove a physical relationship nor have to reside under the same roof."

Civil Partnership will enable partners to enjoy most of the same state pension rights as husbands and wives and the same entitlement to a survivor's pension from an occupational or private scheme as is enjoyed by a widow or widower. They will also be entitled to the same tax benefits as a married couple in that they will be able to transfer property and gifts, no matter how large, without incurring inheritance tax. They will also be able to take advantage of their partner's capital gains allowance.

John Davies adds:- "Conceivably, the civil partnership could be taken up to the advantage of, say, an older pair of same sex friends who currently live together, but do not jointly own the property they live in. Thus, upon the death of one of the partners, the house could be transferred to the spouse without incurring any inheritance tax liabilities. Both partners would also have a stake in the other partner's pension rights."

AN INN'S BIRTHDAY HISTORY BOOK

A Southport inn is celebrating its birthday with a look back at its past and is asking locals to join in by contributing to a history scrapbook.  Landlady, Katy Bibby from the Hesketh Arms on Botanic Road, is looking to compose a scrapbook of photos, press cuttings and stories written by guests about the inn.

She has already started off the scrapbook with newspaper cuttings from the past year since it re-opened and is now inviting guests to add their own photos taken at the inn, or write stories about events which happened there for others to read.

Katy explained:- "We are celebrating our first birthday after the re-opening and I thought the book would be a great way of marking that.  It is one of the oldest buildings in the area dating back to 1792 and a real landmark, so I'm sure people can add plenty of history to our scrapbook.  Once guests have written their contributions, I will choose the best one and invite them back for a complimentary meal for 2 and bottle of wine for their efforts".

CALDAY GRANGE GOES THROUGH TO BAR NATIONAL MOCK TRIAL FINAL

CALDAY Grange has won the Liverpool Regional Heat of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition. The winning team will join 15 other schools selected from across the UK to compete for first prize at the final on March 11 2006 in London.

The regional competition, organised by the Bar Council and the Citizenship Foundation, took place at Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, on Saturday 19 November. Students played the parts of barristers, witnesses, court staff and jurors, while teams from 12 schools competed against one another in mock trials, judged by real-life circuit judges.

Students had to be prepared to defend and prosecute 2 fictional cases:- one was a safety at work case and the other an assault. The cases, as far as possible, were created accurately to reflect the law and trial procedure of the criminal justice system.

Good luck Calday from all of us at Southport Reporter.

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