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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 229

Date:- 12 December 2005

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WOMEN in the North West have the chance to be recognised as the British Female Inventor of the Year 2006 with the launch of the latest competition by the Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network (GWIIN).

The awards event organised to celebrate and promote the creative, inventive and innovative products and inventions by women, this year includes 3 new categories - an award for Product Development, another for Exceptional Creative Items in crafts, health & beauty and foods and finally one for Higher Education & Learning Institutions such as universities and colleges. There are 10 categories in total including the main award Female Inventor of the Year 2006.

Established 7 years ago, the awards are the most extensive platform for the recognition of women’s inventive ideas developed in scientific laboratories or at home in the humble garden shed. Founder Bola Olabisi who has since launched the competition in other countries, says that the UK event is moving from strength to strength.

“The 2006 event will be the biggest so far, reflecting the diversity of the innovations that we receive in the competition. We welcome ideas from women of all backgrounds - scientists and engineers working on patented inventions to women with no previous research and development experience who have come up with an excellent gadget. The only crucial criteria is that they have a valid contribution to providing a better quality of life for people,” says Bola.

Previous winners in the awards include Deborah Leary, the inventor of Forensic Anti-Contamination Stepping Plates for crime scenes, Mandy Haberman, the inventor of the Anywayup Cup to prevent toddlers spilling their drinks and Dr Diana Hodgins with her nanotechnology innovation, the small-scale Solid State Gyroscope which detects angular spin in moving objects.

The theme of this year’s event is Empowerment Through Technology and will include several high profile industry speakers from various backgrounds. The closing date for awards entries is 27 January 2006. For further information about the award categories and entry forms visit

Architect slates penny pinching developers

PENNY pinching developers will bring the North West housing market into decline if they continue to churn out faceless little boxes, according to James Randle from Lymm architectural practice Randle White.  White believes many developers are being short-sighted in their eagerness to ride the new build boom in the region.

"They could be realising far more money from developments if they only spent a little more on the detail," says Randle.  "Developers often compromise quality in all sorts of little ways in a bid to save money but scrimping is a false economy. It is the little details that can make or break the overall success of a development and get them bigger returns in the longer term."

He says the most common money-saving tricks are:-

1. Not installing stone sills and heads

2. Using plastic doors instead of timber

3. Installing white UPVC windows that aren't sympathetic to the style of house

4. Using white gutters and downpipes instead of black

5. Not allowing for enough car parking and amenity spaces

6. Using cheap roofing materials

Randle believes the situation will get worse as the government introduces more stringent energy efficiency criteria on new build properties.  "Costs will increase so developers will compromise on quality even more."

Property developer Mark Evans from MDA agrees:- "We build a lot of residential developments and generally stay loyal to the designs presented by architects. But there are lots of developers who are simply keen to build cheap and sell cheap. Unfortunately, as long as there are ready buyers, nothing will change this."

Click on for this weeks top property links and deals.   With thanks to Peter Browns of Southport  and Anthony James of Southport.

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