NW property investment
experts optimistic about post Brexit outlook
RESEARCH by property consultancy
Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) shows a surprising result following the recent
Brexit vote with investment activity in the North West remaining robust.
In contrast to expectations that investment activity would drastically slow down
in Q2 in the run up to the referendum, LSH's quarterly UK Investment
Transactions report showed there was a 42% uplift to £501 million compared with
the same period in the previous year of £353 million. The research has however
shown that investors have now turned their focus on defensive assets to counter
the volatility in the market.
Abid Jaffry who heads up the northern capital markets team at Lambert Smith
Hampton, said:- "It is a surprising result and we need to treat the
increase in the context of just one quarter and a couple of large acquisitions
which can skew the figures somewhat. There's no doubt that the Brexit result has
had an effect on the investment market with a downturn in pricing, but the
amounts feel like a pricing correction rather than the widescale adverse price
drops predicted, which should give investors confidence. Sales of assets in the
regions by some of the retail funds have, by and large, transacted or surpassed
book values. It has therefore been somewhat of a false dawn for some of the
equity houses that anticipated significant price drops. However, the level of
economic uncertainty still prevails but solid performance, low interest rates
and an attractive exchange rate have meant we're still seeing a lot of investor
appetite. It will be interesting to see the volume and pricing of new stock as
we enter the September period."
Sums don't add up for
AN accountant from Levenshulme, who
created fake Tax returns and expense accounts to steal more than £285,000 has
been jailed after he was caught by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Amjad Ali, 65, whose business was based in Longsight, used his client's details
to create fraudulent online Self Assessment Income Tax returns. In the majority
of cases, he added non-existent employee travel and subsistence expenses, with
some including fictitious pension details and fake self employment work.
Ali admitted that over 5 years he had claimed more than £285,000 in fraudulent
Income Tax refunds as a result of these fictitious Tax accounts.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:-
"As an accountant, Ali was in a position of trust and well aware that he was
breaking the law. This was a well organised, professional attempt to manipulate
the UK Tax system in order to steal money that should have been funding public
services. This was an ambitious plan to steal money from UK taxpayers, which we
have intercepted. Ali now has a criminal record and his professional reputation
is ruined. If you know of anyone who is committing Tax fraud you can report them
by calling our 24 hour Hotline on:- 0800 59 5000." On 24 May 2016, Ali entered a guilty plea in respect of 42 clients and admitted
he stole £285,344.91 in false Income Tax repayments.
Alongside the criminal investigation, HMRC has reviewed the Tax affairs of Ali's
clients. The investigation has established that more than £725,000 in Tax has
been under declared or claimed fraudulently with Ali believed to have pocketed
between £80,000 and £110,000 as his share or 'fee'. The remainder is being
recovered through his client's Tax bills, with HMRC ensuring the correct amount
of Tax is paid.
On Friday, 2 September 2016, Ali was jailed for 43 months at Manchester Crown Court.
ADHD diagnosis drive to
start in Liverpool
NEW ways to diagnose attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) faster in children are being investigated in
Young people aged between 6 to 18 years, who have been referred for an assessment
of the condition, are being invited to help.
Principal Investigator Professor Chris Hollis, who is leading the project
looking at better ways to diagnose, said:- "ADHD affects up to five in 100
children and if left undiagnosed the child can sometimes become isolated because
no one understands their behaviour.
There has been rapid growth in diagnosis over the last 30 years with the number
of children recognised and treated for ADHD in the UK increasing almost 10 fold
from the early 1980's. Despite the increasing numbers, clinical methods for the
assessing and treating of ADHD have hardly changed, so we want to look at the
best way to identify the condition."
The study will investigate how effective the QbTest test is, which a computer
based assessment tool that examines whether an individual is showing symptoms of
A motion tracking system measures the amount of movement the user makes when
performing the task.
The project entitled:- 'Assessing QbTest Utility in ADHD' (AQUA Trial) has
been funded by the National Institute for Health Research's Collaboration for
Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC).
It is also taking place in other areas around the country, including
Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
Professor Hollis is also a Consultant in Developmental Neuropsychiatry with
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Professor of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry at the University of Nottingham. "The other aims of the project
we are hoping to identify is to assess whether the QbTest will lead to earlier
treatment and improved patient outcomes. We will also be looking at the
financial implications the test may have on the NHS if introduced. Spending on
ADHD medication has increased seven fold between 1998 and 2005, so we want to
ensure the financial costs of the test are viable."
The QbTest test takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and the participant must respond
as quickly and as accurately as possible to certain geometric shapes appearing
on a computer screen by pressing a responder button.
As they perform the task, a camera located above the computer records movement
from a reflector located on the person's forehead.
When the test is finished, a report is delivered which takes into account the
person's age, gender and performance.
NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands is a partnership of regional health services,
universities and industry which turns research into cost saving and high quality
care through cutting edge innovation.
Merseyside Police signs up
to mental health campaign
MERSEYSIDE Police Chief Constable Andy
Cooke and Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy on Wednesday, 7 September
2016, pledged to challenge mental health stigma and promote wellbeing in the
workplace. During an event at Merseyside Police headquarters, attended by mental
health charities and Merseyside Police staff, both signed the Blue Light Time To
Change Pledge, to join the Blue Light Mental Health and Wellbeing Network. In
May 1016, Merseyside Police 1st signed up to the network, which was the 1st of
its kind in the UK, to develop access to mental health information and support
for all employees of emergency services in Merseyside. The Pledge, introduced
and delivered by the mental health charity Mind, is a growing movement of over
400 employers across different sectors in England who are all working to tackle
mental health stigma and promote positive wellbeing within their workplaces. The
event was timed to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, on Saturday, 10
September 2016, the theme of which is 'Connect, communicate, care'
and aims to foster connections with those who have lost a loved 1 to suicide or
have been suicidal themselves, to further suicide prevention efforts.
Representatives from the charities State of Mind Sport and Wirral Mind spoke at
the event, which was also attended by staff members who will be trained as Peer
Supporters within the organisation. Former Rugby League players Paul Highton and
Jimmy Gittins are trustees for State of Mind Sport and shared their stories to
Chief Constable Andy Cooke said:- "Merseyside Police is delighted to be
able to make this pledge, which is a great opportunity to share learning and
develop wellbeing across the force to support our Officers and staff. We do a
fantastic job protecting the public day in and day out, but it is a difficult
job, physically, emotionally and mentally. It is essential that we able to talk
about and recognise the signs of mental health symptoms, both in ourselves and
in others. Merseyside Police is fully committed to helping our Officers and
staff wherever we can by supporting them in this important area."
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:- "I was
pleased to join the Chief to make this important pledge today. 'Are you ok?' is
a small question to ask one colleague to another in the emergency services and
it may make all the difference to someone on the edge of mental ill health. Our
Officers, PCSOs and staff do a tough job, often in tougher circumstances and we
need to give them the support and care they need, when they need it. We all have
a part to play in ending the stigma around mental ill health. From the top down,
we have a duty to care and to support. By signing this pledge, we will
demonstrate our commitment to breaking down barriers and ending discrimination."
Rachel Gilbert from Wirral Mind said:- "Wirral Mind are delighted to be
working with Merseyside Police. This is a pioneering initiative and really
productive development in terms of tackling the stigma around mental health and
giving our Blue Light personnel the support that they both very much need and