attract more than 1,000 bids
THE City Council announced
in February that it was launching the pilot scheme as part of plans
to breathe new life into
vacant properties in Granby and Picton.
There was an overwhelming response with over 4,000 people initially
registering an interest.
Formal applications opened last month, and when the deadline passed
at midnight last night, 1,036 residents had submitted
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "There has been an amazing
response to this pilot scheme and it has captured the
imagination of many people. It is part of my commitment to bring
1,000 empty properties back into use and help as many
local people as possible get onto the property ladder. We are
looking for people who have a genuine commitment to
bringing these properties back to life and turn them into a home
they are proud to live in."
Applicants must live or work in Liverpool, must be a 1st time
buyer and must be employed. They must also agree to live
in the property for a minimum of five years and not sub-let it
within this time.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O'Byrne, said:- "We know
how important owning your own home is to local people, and that's
why we're doing everything we can to bring empty homes back into
use. We will now begin the hard work of sifting through the
applications to see who meets the criteria and identify those who
have made it through to the next
Residents who are successful in obtaining a home will be expected to
refurbish it to Decent Home Standard within 12
months. It must be in a reasonable state of repair, be warm,
weatherproof and have reasonably modern facilities.
It is thought around £35,000 will need to be spent on each property
and short-term financial assistance may be provided
to people where required.
On completion of the works, the property will be inspected to ensure
the work has been carried out satisfactorily. The property freehold
will then be transferred from the City Council to the purchaser.
The homes in the 3 areas are on:- Webster Triangle, Granby and Arnside
search is on for the poetry "laureate" of Southport
ENTRY is free and, like all
the other winners, the Southport "laureate" will get
their work published in the National Poetry Anthology and receive a
free copy of the book. One overall winner also receives £1,000.
Editor, Peter Quinn, told us that:- "The NPA is designed to
encourage writers. It's now the biggest free-to-enter annual poetry
contest in the UK. We picked 250 Town winners last year, but we want
the new edition to include a winner from every Town and village in
the circulation area of Southport Reporter."
Send up to three unpublished poems, on any subject (up to 25 lines
and 160 words each) to:-
You entry must be in by the
closing date of 30 June 2013. Also please note that you should
enclose a loose stamp if you want a reply. For more details ring:-
0844 800 9177 or visit:-
unitedpress.co.uk. You can also
enter the competition by email to:-
show 26 pubs a week closing pre-budget
CAMRA, the Campaign for
Real Ale, has published the latest CGA CAMRA Pub Tracker statistics
which show that 26 pubs a week are closing in the UK. The statistics
show that the rate of pub closures rose during the last 6 months up
to March this year compared to earlier in 2012, from 18 to 26 per
week across the UK, meaning that the cut in beer duty and scrapping
of the beer duty escalator in this year's budget could not have come
at a more important time. Mike Benner, Chief Executive at CAMRA,
said:- "We believe that the scrapping of the beer duty
escalator and the extra 1p off beer duty announced in this year's
budget could mark a turning point for pubs. With a better deal on
beer tax, the Government's plans for pub company reform and the
'List Your Local' scheme, announced during CAMRA's Community Pubs
Month, we are hopeful that the fortunes of Britain's pubs are set to
Clarion call for
businesses to counter telephone fraud
BUSINESSES in the North
West are being warned not to fall foul of a telephone scam which
could cost them thousands of pounds. Abbey Telecom chief Tony Raynor
has voiced his concerns that many companies are not being advised to
take the necessary precautions to prevent hackers breaking into
their telephone systems and to protect themselves against fraud.
Victims of 'dial through fraud' often face significant
financial losses when they find out too late that someone has taken
control of their phone lines to make money or steal free calls.
"Businesses in this country are losing £1.2bn per year to what is
termed 'dial through fraud' on their phone systems. It happens when
fraudsters access a telephone switchboard and call costly premium
rate or overseas destinations. Yet firms can fight this crime,
protect themselves against such attacks and even recoup money after
the event." explained telephone installer Mr Raynor.
This type of fraud often occurs as a result of unsecure voicemail
accounts or because the telephone system wasn't set up properly by
qualified engineers. Firms can also use their call management
software to send alerts when their telephone spend thresholds are
breached. "Most engineers will be fully versed on a
particular brand of system, but if they are in alien territory then
security aspects are frequently omitted. The risk of fraud is
avoidable if the correct precautions are taken. There are lock down
security procedures which should always be followed on installation,
so it's important that companies ensure that they use a fully
trained engineer." added Abbey Telecom engineer Damian
Other valuable tips for mitigating risk include regular changing of
passwords and barring unnecessary or expensive destinations with
telephone line providers. One of the biggest irritants to most
victims is that, unless challenged, telecoms billing companies earn
more when this fraud happens. Mr Raynor concludes:- "Nobody
should profit from a crime, and those who fall foul of this practice
are perfectly entitled to pressure the billing company to reduce the
invoice to cost price and ask the whole of their supply chain to
echo this. Industry doesn't need any avoidable cost burdens."