'DECK THE WALL WITH STAFF FROM NWAS' ON FACEBOOK
THIS December, the North West Ambulance
Service is profiling a number of the many different job roles, both
operational and behind the scenes support staff that make up the
Service. The Trust wants to give their Facebook followers an insight
into the many, varied roles within the Trust.
From 1 December, up to and including Christmas Day, the page will
profile 'The Advent Calendar 25' - one member of staff
for the 25 days of the advent period; and will give a small insight
into their individual role as well as a little personal information
and a Christmas tip.
The page regularly receives requests from members of the public
asking how they can get involved with the Service, whether it be
voluntary or paid. Due to this, we thought it would be a great idea
to profile 25 different roles from all over the North West; to show
to members of the public how many different types of cogs are needed
to keep those ambulance wheels on the road!
Anyone can access the Advent Calendar via our Facebook page:-
you Like what we're doing, please 'Like' the page!
CLA welcomes Chancellor's increase
of Annual Investment Allowance for machinery
THE Country Land and
Business Association (CLA), on 5 December 2012, said the
Chancellor's decision to increase the Annual Investment Allowance
for plant and machinery 10 fold from £25,000 to £250,000 is great
news for the rural economy in the North.
CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said:- "This
means farmers will be able to claim 100% capital allowances against
their earnings on up to a quarter of a million pounds of equipment a
year, for the 2 years from January 2013. This could kick-start
investment in farm machinery, renewable energy projects and other
diversified rural businesses."
Miss Fairburn said she was disappointed the Government continues to
fail to recognise that many small rural businesses are not
incorporated. She said:- "The Chancellor's reduction in the
Corporation Tax rate to 21% is of no use to a sole trader or
partnership, the favoured business structures in the countryside. We
welcome the introduction of the simpler system of cash-based
accounting although the ceiling of £77,000 turnover means that it
will be of little use. However, if the threshold were increased, it
could be an excellent scheme and make a real difference to rural
Miss Fairburn said, while it was good news that newly completed
properties would not attract rates while empty for the 1st 18 months
from October 2013, the Chancellor does not appear to have done
anything in his Autumn Statement to help the owners of existing
empty business premises, despite the CLA and others making him aware
of their plight.
The CLA also supported the Chancellor's cancellation of the fuel tax
rise planned for January 2013. She said:- "For rural
communities, this is particularly welcome."
See said the broadband upgrades and £10billion house building
guarantees for Towns and Cities announced by the Chancellor could
increase the urban-rural divide.
Miss Fairburn said rural areas desperately need adequate broadband
connections and housing but, once again, the new investment is going
to urban, not rural, areas.
She said:- "It is all very well to pour money into cities to
give them state-of-the-art broadband but many rural areas still
suffer from slow or no broadband. The £10billion support provided to
the institutional sector to deliver new house building will not
assist rural areas because it will focus on big projects not the
small-scale developments needed in rural areas."
North West tax
cheats must pay back over £1m
14 people from Merseyside and West Lancashire
have been ordered to pay back over £1 million for their part in a
£1.2 million tax fraud. The confiscation follows the prosecution of
Michael Kitchen, 47, a former administrative officer for HM Revenue
& Customs (HMRC), who had diverted £1.2 million in tax payments to
his 13 co-defendants. All were sentenced earlier this year at
Liverpool Crown Court. Kitchen and 7 others were jailed for a total
of 18.5 years, and will serve more time in prison if they do not pay
up. 4 others received suspended sentences; but will go to jail if
they do not pay within the time specified; the remaining 2 have
already paid. Kitchen's job involved allocating payments made by
businesses to their Pay As You Earn (PAYE) accounts. An
investigation revealed that he had diverted a proportion from 158
payments to the tax accounts of his co-defendants, who were all
friends or associates. Ian Horridge, Internal Governance, HMRC,
said:- "Kitchen abused his position of trust in a
sophisticated and sustained fraud aimed at paying the tax
liabilities of his friends and associates. HMRC is committed to the
highest level of integrity and we take the strongest possible action
against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling short of
those standards. We also use confiscations to ensure that people
don't benefit financially from their criminal activity. The
confiscation orders required all the defendants to pay back their
ill-gotten gains, or face jail and still owe the money."
Kitchen was dismissed in April 2009, during an internal
investigation by HMRC.
CLA welcomes supermarket ombudsman
with 'bite' but sounds note of caution
THE Country Land and Business Association
(CLA) on 4 December 2012, welcomed confirmation that the new
Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) will be given the power to fine
supermarkets for treating suppliers unfairly. In response to
campaigning by the CLA and its industry partners on the issue, the
Association said the announcement by Competition Minister Jo Swinson
meant farmers and other producers should be able to rely on a
supermarket ombudsman with "bite" to enforce the
Groceries Code. However, CLA North Regional Director Dorothy
Fairburn sounded a note of caution. Dorothy Fairburn said:-
"Under this announcement, fines will only be imposed on supermarkets
as a 'last resort' and large retailers will be permitted to appeal
against fines which would then lead to protracted legal battles.
Giving the Adjudicator powers to impose financial penalties on large
retailers without having to go through the Secretary of State for
approval is an extremely welcome move. Now it is up to Adjudicator
to ensure this works in practice and the supermarkets do not ride
roughshod over the new system. Supermarkets have got away with
unfairly treating suppliers for too long. An ombudsman with bite is
really needed to boost economic growth and ensure fair treatment for
HAVE YOURSELF A
HOFFY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
Photographs by Solent.
KNIGHT Rider star was in
Southport for Nikon given adults the alternative festive photo this
week. This was sue to David Hasselhoff topping a poll of nostalgic
icons that adults most want a festive picture with this Christmas,
following research that says we feel too old to pose with Santa.
For kids everywhere, the excitement of Christmas is inextricably
linked to the yearly trip to Santa's Grotto for a photo with the
great man himself. For adults, however, it's a different story, with
the majority (72%) feeling too mature to have a picture with Father
Christmas. Some also reported disappointing experiences with festive
figures, with over half (52%) having had to pose with an
unconvincing or unpleasant Santa, and over a 3rd (39%) having had
dealings with a Saint Nic who was too young, too thin, or had food
in his beard!
Following the findings, Nikon has made the shot a
reality, and put megastar "The Hoff" into an
alternative festive photo for adults, in a funny take on the beach
scenes that any child of the 80s will know and love from his
Jeremy Gilbert, spokesperson for Nikon COOLPIX,
comments:- "Whilst Father Christmas is a firm photo favourite
for children around the world, it seems many adults would rather
pass on an opportunity to pose with him, so what better way to give
some Christmas cheer back to them than this alternative bit of
nostalgia? Adults may be past believing in Santa, but a comeback
king like the Hoff can still supply many happy memories from their
youth and inspire lots of festive fun."
David Hasselhoff, world-renowned actor and singer,
said:- "Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and
particularly now I'm 'enjoying' some Christmassy UK weather, it's
been fun to get involved with this very merry Nikon photo. I am
honoured that so many Brits have chosen me as an alternative to
Santa. It must be something to do with the red suit. We went to
pretty extreme lengths to get this Christmas creation, so I hope
people like the picture!"
Commenting on the UK's weather, he also said:-
"I'm more used to Malibu beach than Southport beach, to be honest,
so posing in my shorts by the British seaside in November was quite
an experience. I envied the reindeers their coats, I can tell you
Hoff fan, Angelina Ryan, got the chance to get in the alternate
Christmas Photo, courtesy of Nikon COOLPIX.
Angelina Ryan, aged 31, admin officer from Blackburn,
Lancashire:- "Meeting the Hoff was a dream come true – I've
been a massive fan since I saw him running across my screen, saving
people in Baywatch all those years ago. And getting to pose with him
for my Nikon Alternative Christmas photo was brilliant. A lot better
than the standard Santa photo and definitely a shot I'm going to
sending to all my friends and family. A very memorable Christmas