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Issue:- 19 May 2009 / 20 May 2009

Big businesses pledges to pay fair and sign up to prompt payment

BUSINESS Minister, Shriti Vadera, met with leaders from big business and urged them to "pay fair" and sign up to the Government's Prompt Payment Code.

11 new high profile companies have committed to sign-up to the Government's Prompt Payment Code, and pay their suppliers promptly as set out in their contractual agreements. Companies include Barclays, Sony UK and B&Q.   The pledges were made at a breakfast Seminar at the Department for Business to promote good payment practice and coincide with the launch of the Government's new information leaflet, 'Paying on time is good for businesses'.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:- "Government has taken the lead with 9 out of 10 central Government invoices now being paid within 10 days - the challenge is now for business to step up and play fair.  The promise by FTSE companies to pay on time is very welcome and will hopefully bring an end to the devastating impact which late payments can have on small business.  Late payment can be the final straw for small business in the current climate. So the commitment here today by major companies heading up supply chains to pay on time is a win for all businesses."

The Code is just one of a number of Government measures aimed at establishing a better payment culture and follows on from a commitment made by the Prime Minister in October to pay all central Government suppliers within 10 days.

The Business Secretary will continue to press the remaining FTSE companies to commit to paying on time and will today write to each FTSE company that failed to attend the Summit, challenging them to sign up to the Code.

Let us know if you have been affected by late paying clients by emailing or newsroom to:-

Roadworks lifted for Bank Holiday weekend

GOOD news for all of you out and about on the roads this Bank Holiday. The Highways Agency is removing roadworks from the motorways and major A roads in England over the late May bank holiday weekend wherever it is safe to do so.

Nationally, twenty-six sets of roadworks will be completed before 06:00 on Friday, 22 May 2009 and roadworks or lane restrictions will be removed from a further 65 locations between 06:00 on Friday, 22 May 2009 and 00.01 on Tuesday, 26 May 2009. Roadworks will remain in place at 29 locations for the safety of drivers and their passengers.

Information about road conditions on the motorways and major A roads managed by the Highways Agency is available from the information line (08457 50 40 30), the website:- or by tuning in to DAB digital Traffic Radio or local radio stations for up to date information while on the move.   The list of roadworks remaining, suspended and completed in the North West region is also given on that website.

Also do not forget live traffic updates are now displayed on our Mersey Reporter home page at:-


STUDENTS from 2 schools in Liverpool have learned or are about to learn to cook the Royal Marines way when the fighting force’s Chef Presentation Team holds cooking workshops from Tuesday, 19 May 2009.

Led by Royal Marine chef, Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton, pupils at St Benedicts High School in Garston and Hillside High School in Bootle Thursday, 21 May 2009, will learn to cook a healthy and nutritious meal while finding out more about life in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.  Youngsters will also get the chance to taste ration packs currently being used by Service personnel on operations, and receive an informative lecture on alcohol intake and its potentially detrimental effect on young people.

Mike will also be joined by a team of Royal Navy Physical Training Instructors who will give the students a PE lesson, military style. They will put the young people through their paces in a series of workouts designed to give them some idea of the fitness levels required for life in the modern Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton said:- “The aim of these visits is to inform students of the importance and benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle and who better to do this than Royal Marines who need to adopt this approach if they are to succeed in their careers.”

As well as being a top class chef, Mike Beaton is a fully fledged Royal Marine Commando, having undergone the intensive 32 week training package required to become a member of the UK's elite amphibious fighting force.   As a result of his training, he has travelled the world and set up field kitchens wherever the marines have been serving, so he is not short of a story or 2. He also gives new meaning to the phrase ‘lunch on the run', being able to knock up haute cuisine at a moment’s notice in sometimes arduous conditions.

Mike said:- “Joining the Royal Marines or Royal Navy as a chef not only offers some of the best training in catering, it's also a wonderful way to see the rest of the world. This way I get to combine my 2 greatest passions - travel and food.”

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