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Updated over every Tuesday night...  Your news...  Your words...

Issue Date:- 29/28 April 2009

Not Frying Tonight!

CUSTOMERS were surprised on arrival at a very popular take-a-way on Nevill Street by finding its lights all out.  Southern Fried Chicken, on Nevill St in Southport was victim of an 'error' made by npower, who had entered the building in the early morning and disconnected the gas supply.  This was due to the computer system at npower saying that the owner Mr Nasuh had not paid the bill.  Interestingly, he had and the account was up-to-date, but sadly for the owner of the Take-A-Way on 24 April 2009, he arrived in the afternoon to open up only to find a note on the counter and his gas meter removed.  "I could not open.  I had no gas to heat the food, I was in shock.  I did not know what people would think, yet alone what to say to my staff," he told us that night.  "I am so cross and also with a recession on, I am losing lots of cash I badly need to keep my head above water.  Being a small business, this is devastating for me." he continued.  He then proceeded to show us the bills and said he had paid them all up to date and that it was a shock to find he bailiffs had been in the shop, without his knowledge and worse.  He also showed us damage caused to the door and then nearly broke into tears.  For many customers who use the shop, thinking of the owner near to tears is hard to imagine.

Mr Nasuh says that npower had first contacted him in February 2009, they called when the shop was closed and left a letter through the post box stating that £130 was outstanding.  This did not accord with Mr Nasuh’s records.  He telephoned the number given on the letter and told them there was no money owing but npower still maintained he did.  Mr Nasuh said that he would pay anything owed if provided with the necessary documentation of the alleged discrepancy.  He asked for a proper invoice.  He told us that he received a statement, but not a proper invoice nor any explanation.  There was no further communication, so he assumed that the matter had been satisfactorily resolved.  There was no warning of any impending action.  The next day we, the Southport Reporter, contacted npower and this is what Beverley Harrington, PR Manager for npower press office told us in an email in response to our questions, as to why this happened:- "I've taken a look into Mr Nasuh's query for you.  We disconnected his supply on Monday as he owed money to npower.  We had received £620 but there was still a balance left to pay.  Mr Nasuh informed us that he had also paid £130 but we had no proof of this?  We have asked him on three occasions to provide proof of payment, which he finally provided on Tuesday - the day after we disconnected his supply.  We then reconnected his supply within 24 hours.  Normally, we will charge £630 to reconnect the supply but as a goodwill gesture, we have not asked Mr Nasuh to pay for this." This reply shocked us, and it upset Mr Nasuh even more.  "This is adding salt to the wounds.  They did not keep me informed.  They had the payment, so why was it my responsibility to sort their accounts out? Most importantly, why did they try to bill me the £620 connection fee?  I am lost for words!" So on that question we contacted npower again and asked:- "Can we please ask why it is the customers’ responsibility to show they have paid, and are there any ways of stopping things like this happening again; also to stop this happening to others?" We also inquired:- "Why did your records not show the correct information?" Alex Pritchett from the npower Press Office responded:- "Normally it is not the customers’ responsibility to let us know they have paid as any payment will automatically get matched against their account.  However in Mr Nasuh's case this did not happen.  This can be for all sorts of reasons including not giving in his reference number to the post office when paying the amount.  Mr Nasuh used to pay for his energy by direct debit, but these were cancelled last year.  We did also try on three separate occasions to contact him before our agent visited his property to inform him we would be disconnecting his supply if he did not pay or provide us with proof of payment.  This is an isolated instance and has not happened previously."

Mr Nasuh says that during a phone call after the event, it had transpired that this sum relates to an invoice billed in 2008, which had been paid, but for which, he was told the details had been lost.  Still no apology came.

Southport Reporter would like to know if any other customers have had this happen to them.  If you have experienced this or any other problems like it, please email us to:-

To hear our audio interview with Mr Nasuh, please use the play button.

"Thank you for your help and support.  Without it I would have found it very hard to get npower to play ball." Mr Nasuh.

St. Helens Theatre Royal welcomes Lloyd Cole

ON Wednesday, 6 May 2009, the St. Helens Theatre Royal welcomes Lloyd Cole, one of the great singer/songwriters from the 80s who, along with his band The Commotions, stormed across the charts with a series of well-written art-pop hits such as; Perfect Skin, Forest Fire, Hotel In Amsterdam. Lloyd is enjoying a successful solo career and has just recently released his latest album "cleaning out the ashtrays." Lloyd visits St.Helens as part of his UK Tour.



COLEEN Rooney, one of the UK’s most photographed women, has received the coveted everywoman Ambassador award, sponsored by Coutts, which is given annually to a successful woman in the public eye, whose achievements and position inspire more young women to excel in business.

Coleen’s transformation from Liverpudlian schoolgirl to style icon is a modern day fairytale, but behind the magazine covers is a smart and savvy business woman who is author of her own destiny. Not content with living in the shadow of her husband, Coleen has carved a niche for herself working with major brands including Coca Cola, George at ASDA and LG Phones. In 2008 she launched a perfume - Coleen X - and has agreed a 10 year cosmetics deal that will see her launch her own range of signature beauty products this year in addition to her jewellery range launched in conjunction with Argos.

Coleen is the author of two books along with a regular magazine column and she has numerous television credits to her name. Less known is Coleen’s commitment to charity and in particular the work of children’s hospices. She has first hand experience through her disabled sister, Rosie, and Coleen’s appearance on Tonight with Trevor McDonald in 2006 took this issue to the top of the government’s agenda, resulting in millions of pounds of additional funding for children’s hospices. This year she also supported the Have a Heart campaign organised by the Variety Club Children's Charity,

Coleen Rooney comments:- “I am proud of my business achievements and am delighted to accept the everywoman Ambassador’s Award. As a woman in the public eye I am conscious that my life is under constant scrutiny and hope that my involvement with everywoman will encourage other young women to fulfil their career potential.”

Sarah Deaves, Chief Executive of Coutts adds:- “Coutts is delighted to sponsor the everywoman Ambassador Award. Our involvement reflects Coutts’ commitment to supporting women, recognising the major contribution female entrepreneurs make to their industries and the economy. The UK is a vibrant community of high flying women and with a growing female client base; this is an extremely important area for our business.”

Karen Gill, co-founder and director of everywoman goes further:- “Coleen has achieved so much since first coming into the limelight a few years ago. At 23 she is a real inspiration to a whole generation of young women. It is vital that young women seize the opportunities they are given in life and work hard to fulfil their aspirations.”

Ferry romantic anniversary...

RON Millington from Centrium, Woking, organised a very special treat for his wife Jennifer to celebrate their Ruby wedding anniversary – a trip on the Mersey Ferry where he proposed to her 40 years ago.

“It was a wonderful gesture but Ron has always been a romantic type. We were students working at a holiday camp in North Wales when we met and Ron proposed to me after just three weeks.

We were on the ferry at the time because I was taking Ron home to meet my parents. I was a bit surprised at the proposal but had no hesitation in accepting!” said Jennifer.

While the couple were alone on that first trip they were accompanied this time by 60 friends and relatives who had come to Liverpool from all over the country.

And they were presented with a bottle of champagne – plus champagne flutes – by Captain Peter Carroll who also invited the couple onto the bridge of the Royal Iris.

The ruby wedding celebration also included a blessing at Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral where they were married.

Ron and Jennifer, who both originally come from Merseyside, moved to Woking to be near their three grandchildren.

Ron, (61) a business consultant, said:- “It was a celebration to remember, a wonderful nostalgic trip. I’ve been a very lucky man but when I first set eyes on Jennifer I knew we would marry. It was love at first sight. She was with a friend at the time and I’ll never forget her first words to me. I asked them if they would like a drink and Jennifer said 'we’ll both have a babycham!'.”

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