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Issue:- 10 November  2011

Business group welcomes Government decision to scrap LVCR

THE Forum of Private Business has welcomed the Government’s announcement it will scrap a Channel Island’s tax loophole allowing large Internet suppliers to dodge VAT as of next year. The Government made the announcement yesterday that as of 1 April, Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) would cease.  The loophole has allowed supermarkets and Internet shops to purposefully avoid VAT on items such as CDs, DVDs, computer games and beauty products by routing products through the Channel Islands.  The measure was originally designed to speed up the transit of low value perishable goods through the postal system, but was hijacked by large retailers to slash their online prices, and effectively allowing them to significantly undercut smaller, independent retailers.  Jane Bennett, Head of Campaigns at the Forum, said:- “The Forum has been campaigning on this issue for years and we’ve been calling for an end to this as part of our Get Britain Trading campaign, so it’s excellent news. Virtually all the main players in the online industry mail CDs and other similar items like Blu-Ray discs from the Channel Islands to customers. This totally unfair loophole has allowed them to totally dominate the market and put thousands of small, independent traders out of business. Today’s announcement will mean at long last a level playing field in the market, and the remaining independent record shops will be able to compete with the big boys on equal terms again. It’s excellent news for the high street. It’s good to see the Government has listened to the concerns of small retailers and has acted decisively to stop this unfair, unjust practice. Of course, it will mean a few more pounds heading to Treasury coffers on every purchase, but I’m sure there will be a lot of happy record shop owners today.”

Other goods which have exploited the loop-hole include flowers, customised greeting cards, batteries, contact lenses, perfume, vitamins and printer cartridges.  Richard Allen who has been campaigning on the issue since 2005, before joining Retailer Against VAT Abuse Scheme, as their spokesperson in 2009, commented:- “The removal of this major market distortion should be welcomed by all UK businesses that wish to trade online. The Channel Island’s VAT loophole has over many years destroyed livelihoods and caused much misery among the UK business community. We are of course sympathetic to those Channel Island employees who may lose their jobs as a result of the ending of this industry, but we think it is entirely disingenuous for commentators to blame the loss of that employment on those attempting to correct what is clearly an unacceptable, unsustainable and damaging abuse of the tax system The VAT loophole is not only contra to the basic principles of EU law, but is also contra to any sense of fair play and a ‘moral market’. Although we welcome competition based on price and service, a scheme that abuses tax legislation in order to promote damaging and predatory competitive behaviour should never have been allowed to develop. We hope that the UK Government and EU will now remain vigilant and ready to close down any similar schemes should they develop in other locations.”

Vikings continue its partnership with DW Sports Fitness

WIDNES Vikings have announce that DW Sports Fitness will continue as the club’s official health and leisure partner next season. DW’s logo will feature on the squads new playing kit and on pitch-side advertising boards at the Stobart Stadium Halton. Mel Crossland, Head of Sales and Marketing for DW Sports Fitness is delighted to continue its working relationship with the Vikings:- “DW Sports Fitness is pleased to be an official partner with Widnes Vikings as they embark on their 1st year in the Super League. The partnership will allow first team players and coaching staff to use all the DW Fitness club facilities to help maintain their fitness levels, strength and endurance. Among the many facilities at their disposal are the group exercise studios and swimming pool which the players really appreciate using after a game. On behalf of DW, we wish the team every success during the season, and look forward to a promising future working together.”  Vikings’ Chief Executive Julie Gaskell shares Mel’s enthusiasm:- “The club is delighted to retain the services of such a great fitness partner and Denis and the squad will be keen to start using DW’s facility at Widnes. DW Fitness is a flexible partner and is always keen to accommodate the Vikings with their complex fitness and rehabilitation needs. As our relationship grows we hope to extend other services such as retail and be in a position to offer our Viking Stronghold members benefits and discounts, so please watch this space!!”  Watch this space for further sponsorship news, as our countdown to the 2012 Super League season continues.

It’s a wrap in Liverpool!

LIVERPOOL is a city in demand after a new report shows filming levels are at an all time high. In just 6 months (April to September 2011) production levels in Liverpool were up 22% compared to the same period last year. An impressive 171 programmes, movies and adverts were filmed; bringing in £89,000 to the city council.  Productions set in Liverpool included the BBC’s Young Dracula and new police drama Savage as well as Lime Pictures and Nickleodeon’s House of Anubis.  And thanks to a new partnership between Liverpool’s Film Office (LFO) and the Albert Dock Company, from April LFO took over production responsibilities and managed all requests to film on site and have increased production levels by a massive 155%, with an air time value of £1.5 million.

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- “Liverpool is a must-visit destination for leading film executives and TV companies from all over the world. Each week there is filming taking place across the city; whether it’s for a children’s TV programme, an advert, a documentary or a Hollywood blockbuster. Liverpool offers a fantastic range of locations, and the excellent reputation and can-do attitude of our Film Office attracts more and more filming requests every day. The city’s stature within the industry goes from strength to strength, and Liverpool is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most film friendly locations.”

Business Development Manager for the Albert Dock, Peter Cronin, said:- “Just 6 months into the new partnership and the results have far exceeded our expectations. Because of the superb architecture and stunning views the location has become a real favourite with filmmakers, and I’m sure it’s popularity will continue in the future.”

In 2010/11, filming in the city generated more than £16 million for the local economy.

The LFO is the longest running independent film commission in the UK, established by the city council in 1989. It promotes the city to the global film and TV sector, and provides practical help and support to film & TV crews filming in Liverpool and creates employment opportunities for local people in the creative and hospitality sectors.  Over the past 10 years the office has attracted an estimated £100 million of inward investment from production expenditure into the Liverpool city region.

In 2010/11 it facilitated 253 different types of production in the city from commercials and TV dramas to Hollywood films. Recent large scale feature films that have filmed in Liverpool include:- Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Warner Brothers Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and this summer’s blockbuster Captain America The First Avenger.

LFO’s Manager, Lynn Saunders, said:- “Liverpool’s Film Office is made up a small team of 3, but we pride ourselves on our unique local knowledge and expertise which helps attract people from the TV and film industry time and time again. It’s all about having a can-do attitude and we’ll always do as much as we can to make filming in Liverpool as easy as possible, no matter how big or small the production. And, of course, our job is made that bit easier thanks to the fantastic range of locations this city can offer; any production team looking for jaw-dropping backdrops doesn’t need to look any further; Liverpool has it all.”


MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for the public's help in tracing 39 year old Matthew Terence Fenlon from Oxton, Wirral.  Detectives would like to speak to him in relation to an assault on Thornburn Road, Birkenhead on 10 September 2011. Officers investigating the assault would like to speak to Mr Fenlon as he may have information about the incident. He is described as white, of medium build, around 5ft 11in tall with short dark hair. Anyone with information is asked to call Wirral CID on:- 0151 777 2246, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111

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