Archive for October, 2011


92-year-old refused whisky after failing to provide proof of age

A 92-year-old woman was refused a bottle of whisky because she couldn’t prove that she was over 18.

Great-grandmother Diane Taylor, of Harlow, Essex, initially believed that the cashier serving her at the local One Stop shop was complimenting her when she was asked for ID.

However, after realising the female member of staff was serious, she had no choice but to find identification documentation to prove her age, her pensions card, bus pass, a blood donors card and even her pacemaker.

However, none of them were enough as they didn’t show her date of birth and she was not allowed to buy the bottle of whisky for her son.

Speaking to the Harlow Star newspaper, she said: “I was in a hurry and it caught me off guard when she asked to see some ID.

“When I asked her exactly what she wanted she said proof of age. But I don’t have a passport or driving licence so what did they expect me to do?”

Responding to the incident, a spokesperson for the shop said they had to enforce the ID policy or risk losing its licence, regardless of how old the customer looks.

He said: “Although we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused, staff at the store are required to ask all customers for ID as a condition of its licence to sell alcohol.”

The pensioner, who was born when Lloyd George was Prime Minister and George V was on the throne, had no problem buying a bottle of whisky elsewhere after being turned away.

 

Poundland

Poundland backs down over poppy ban

(UK)

Budget retailer Poundland has been forced to review its dress code after a row erupted on social networking sites following claims that it had banned staff from wearing remembrance poppies.

In a statement on Facebook, Poundland said it was not against employees wearing a poppy, but they were not allowed to do so on the shop floor because it is not part of staff uniform.
But the company said that it will now allow workers to “use their own discretion in wearing poppies” after hundreds of customers threatened to boycott its stores.
It had been claimed on Facebook that one member of staff was sent home from work and faced losing her job after refusing to remove her poppy.
But in a statement Poundland said: “On Friday 28th October a situation in Northern Ireland was brought to the company’s attention where a store colleague was politely asked to remove a poppy by our store manager in order to comply with company policy.
“The store colleague decided to walk out and stated that she would return on Monday next wearing her poppy.”
The red poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day and is worn as a mark of respect to servicemen and women who have been killed or injured fighting for their country.
The claims that Poundland had banned staff from wearing them sparked the row on Twitter and the store’s Facebook page, with hundreds of people expressing outrage at the policy.
Comments included “disgusting” and “shameful”, and some customers said they would no longer shop at the store, describing it as a “disgrace”.
One Poundland employee, Vicky Hill, left the message: “I don’t think this is right. It’s a sign of respect. Everyone has the right to wear a poppy”

A boycott could cost Poundland Millions in lost revenue in the run up to Christmas.

undefined
Poundland has decided to review its policy on poppies after customer backlash on Facebook and Twitter.

”NOTICE TO VACATE

To: All persons and persons unknown (the assembly) occupying the land at Victoria Square, Birmingham, West Midlands

Birmingham City Council has respected your right to protest and take part in a peacefull assembly on Victoria Square since Saturday 15 October 2011.

The Council wish to reclaim the land on Victoria Square for the benifit and use of members of the public. In particular, but not exclusively, continued occupation of this site may:-

1) Prevent and deter members of the public from the use and enjoyment of these spaces.

2) Impact adversley upon the various civic events taking place in the City including, by the way of example the Christmas switched on and Christmas parade on the 12th of November 2011 and commencement of building works for the Frankfurt Christmas Market from 13th November untill the 23rd December 2011.

3) Inevitably result in damage to the land in particular, resulting in additional costs of maintenance as well as preventing normal maintenance regimes.

In the circumstances therefore you are kindly requested to vacate Victoria Square. In order to afford you reasonable opportunity to do so, the Council is prepared to allow untill 12 noon on Thursday 3rd November 2011.

Anyone remaining in occupation after that time may be subject to legal proceedings for repossession of the site of the site and may incur legal costs incurred in court proceedings’

”NOTICE TO VACATE

To: All persons and persons unknown (the assembly) occupying the land at Victoria Square, Birmingham, West Midlands

Birmingham City Council has respected your right to protest and take part in a peacefull assembly on Victoria Square since Saturday 15 October 2011.

The Council wish to reclaim the land on Victoria Square for the benifit and use of members of the public. In particular, but not exclusively, continued occupation of this site may:-

1) Prevent and deter members of the public from the use and enjoyment of these spaces.

2) Impact adversley upon the various civic events taking place in the City including, by the way of example the Christmas switched on and Christmas parade on the 12th of November 2011 and commencement of building works for the Frankfurt Christmas Market from 13th November untill the 23rd December 2011.

3) Inevitably result in damage to the land in particular, resulting in additional costs of maintenance as well as preventing normal maintenance regimes.

In the circumstances therefore you are kindly requested to vacate Victoria Square. In order to afford you reasonable opportunity to do so, the Council is prepared to allow untill 12 noon on Thursday 3rd November 2011.

Anyone remaining in occupation after that time may be subject to legal proceedings for repossession of the site of the site and may incur legal costs incurred in court proceedings’

Brothel Woman Ordered To Pay Cash Back

Police, Courts and Treasury happy to benefit from the Immoral cash.

A woman convicted of running a brothel in Worcester has been forced to pay back more than £16,000 of her profits through crime.

Belinda Weston, aged 48, from Calf Heath, Wolverhampton, was convicted at Worcester Crown Court in March 2009 of keeping a brothel used for prostitution.

She had been running a brothel from a property in Malvern Road, St Johns until police officers executed a warrant on Thursday 28 May, 2008.

While Weston was fined £500 with £500 costs, she was ordered to disclose her assets for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act; this had been instituted by the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit.

The court determined that her criminal conduct during the operation of the brothel had resulted in her gaining a benefit of £14,396.48 and she was ordered to pay back this amount to Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS).

West Mercia Police has been informed this week by the HMCS Enforcement Unit that Weston paid back £16,132.16, the original order amount of £14,396.48 plus accrued interest of £1,735.68.

Chris Battin, Financial Investigator at the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said: “This represents a very satisfactory conclusion to the case as not only were the original offences detected and her activities stopped, but her criminal benefit was paid into the public purse.

“Because there were no direct victims who suffered losses as a result of her activities, the money paid back will be split between the Treasury, West Mercia Police, HMCS and the Crown Prosecution, which means it will be ploughed back into fighting crime in Worcestershire.”

Local Policing Officer for St John’s and officer in the case for the initial investigation, PC Andy Hall, added: “This is a great result and sends a clear message to people that make money from crime that they may have to pay every penny back.

“Belinda Weston acted illegally in a nice, law-abiding community and such behaviour was not tolerated by the police or residents.

“I would like to thank residents for the support and information they offered in connection with this case and would ask anyone who has concerns about any kind of illegal activity in their community to contact police.

I saw this from West Mercia Police so i thought i would ask them the following Question.

Does that mean the Police are benefiting from immoral earnings?

I don’t think the press office had ever been asked such a question as i got several answers.

I pointed out that it was the same money the prostitute had earned sleeping with men for money so in fact the Police were benefiting from immoral earnings.

As it was Immoral earnings when she was spending it the fact its the same cash but the Police were spending it still made it immoral earnings.

After several exchanges i think they gave up

they said “all crime is immoral”

‎”Because there were no direct victims who suffered losses as a result of her activities, the money paid back will be split between the Treasury, West Mercia Police, HMCS and the Crown Prosecution, West Mercia Police has been informed this week by the HMCS Enforcement Unit that Weston paid back £16,132.16, the original order amount of £14,396.48 plus accrued interest of £1,735.68.

But the Victims were the people who lived near it surely?

But the Community that put up with this brothal get nothing,  the money could be used for CCTV or extra street lighting or cutting back overgrown shrubs and hedges in the area.

It seems wrong to me that everyone other than the people affected get money from this as the Courts, the Treasury and crown split it like some find in the street.

It’s time any proceeds of crime recovered under the Proceeds Of Crime Act benefits the Community in the area not scambled over by the Police and Courts.

But a West Mercia Police spokesman hit back saying

” No, it just means that what the public purse has to spend on prosecuting those who benefit from immoral earnings is reduced.”

“All Crime is immoral says  West Mercia Police ”

But this is happening all over the Country and must run in to hundreds of millions a year.

This is money that could be used locally by local people to improve the area around them (A COMMUNTY FUND) instead it is lying in the coffers of the Courts and Police to pay for highly paid pen pushers.

The Proceeds of Crime Act seems to be a cash cow for the Goverment, money that should go in to a community fund to be spent on projects locally where the crime happened.

This could be CCTV for a sheltered housing complex,or funding for a resident’s group or setting up a  youth club to get children off the streets.

All a far better use for the cash.

Hospital deaths probed by Worcestershire trust

Hospital bed
The trust is looking into possible reasons behind the higher than expected mortality rate

An NHS trust has said it will look into why there have been more patient deaths than expected at three hospitals.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust is one of 36 trusts where the mortality rate rose in the past year, according to a new indicator used.

The trust includes the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, and Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The trust added that it would “investigate any underlying problems”.

‘Actively monitor’

The England-wide Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) looks at deaths in hospitals and up to 30 days after a patient is released.

Figures showed 2,681 deaths were recorded in the year ending March 2011, but only 2,442 had been estimated.

The indicator’s aim is to assess whether the mortality rate is within or outside the expected range after taking into account risk factors for the type of patients a trust treats.

Dr Charles Ashton, medical director at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We actively monitor our mortality rates and, where these are higher than average, this is used as a trigger to investigate and understand any underlying problems – whether in the quality of care that the hospital is delivering to its patients, care after discharge or in data collection processes.

‘On top of it’

“We are establishing a system for every death to be systematically reviewed by senior doctors and to ensure that they are recorded accurately in our records.

“This is the first time SHMI data has been published and we will now be looking at the information in detail in order to interpret exactly what it means and determine what action needs to be taken as a result.”

Peter Pinfield, chairman of the public and patient involvement committee, and member of the primary care trust board, added: “Like all figures, you have to take them with a pinch of salt, but of course they’re worrying and they’re serious.

“We don’t want people to die, so the figures tell a story, but we shouldn’t over react. Hospitals are there to make people better, but unfortunately sometimes people do die.

“There are thousands of people going through our two main hospitals and every one of those are entitled to proper safe quality care, now if that’s not happening or it’s slipping, then we need to keep on top of it.”

Meanwhile,  Pinhead of the Month is Cllr Nick Clarke, the Tory leader of Cambridgeshire County Council. At a council meeting earlier this month, Cllr Clarke led moves to increase councillors’ allowances by an eye-watering 25%.

Only four of his fellow Conservatives voted against the rise, which will increase councillors’ allowances from £7,610 to £9,500 and Cllr Clarke’s own package from £29,856 to £38,000. The changes will cost Cambridgeshire council tax payers an extra £166,000 a year.

Margaret Thatcher claims £535,000 for ex-PM duties

Tony Blair claimed £273,000

John Major claimed £490,000

Margaret Thatcher, with John Major in the backgroundMargaret Thatcher was the longest serving prime minister of the 20th Century
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has claimed £535,000 of taxpayers’ money over the last five years, government records have shown.

Baroness Thatcher, 86, who makes rare public appearances and suffers poor health, was paid from the public duties cost allowance available to ex-PMs.

Others to benefit have been her successor John Major, paid £490,000 in the last five years, and Tony Blair.

In 2008-9, Mr Blair claimed £169,076 – more than his Downing Street salary.

Since leaving office, Mr Blair, who ran the country for a decade from 1997, has claimed just under £273,000.

The system was set up by John Major in 1991, after one year in office, to reward former prime ministers for work including answering letters and attending public events.

In the past five years, the three former number 10 incumbents have cost the taxpayer in total more than £1.7m in public duty allowances.

The figures were revealed by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude following a written Parliamentary question from Tory MP Philip Hollobone.

Mr Maude said: “The public duties cost allowance is kept under review.”

In 2005, doctors advised Lady Thatcher, who served three consecutive terms in office, that she should not make public speeches in the wake of some minor strokes.

But she still attends some public functions, including an address by the Pope during his state visit to the UK last year.

In September, she attended a party to mark former Defence Secretary Liam Fox’s 50th birthday at his London apartment.

Meanwhile, Pinhead of the Month is Cllr Nick Clarke, the Tory leader of Cambridgeshire County Council. At a council meeting earlier this month, Cllr Clarke led moves to increase councillors’ allowances by an eye-watering 25%.Only four of his fellow Conservatives voted against the rise, which will increase councillors’ allowances from £7,610 to £9,500 and Cllr Clarke’s own package from £29,856 to £38,000. The changes will cost Cambridgeshire council tax payers an extra £166,000 a year. Not good at a time of cuts to services.

ON Monday The Sun’s image of Gordon Brown sticking two fingers up to the British public was provocative. But it was right.

 

What a difference to Churchill. When he made that salute, it inspired this country to wipe the scourge of fascism from Europe.

 

But for Gordon Brown, it’s a gesture to the British people saying: “I know best. Your views are irrelevant. Get used to it.”

 

Make no mistake, that’s the reason he refuses to give the British people a referendum on the EU constitutional treaty — he simply doesn’t trust them. It’s the arrogant belief that he — and only he — has the right to decide what’s best for Britain’s future.

 

Well, Prime Minister, I’ve news for you. The old politics that you grew up in no longer reflect the new world we live in. It’s a world where people are demanding — and getting — more power and more control over their lives.

Dave's stamp ... Cameron's signature

Dave’s stamp … Cameron’s signature

 

 

Take America. Over there, twice as many people get health information online than from their doctor. And in some towns, you can look at online crime maps before deciding where to buy a property.

 

And in the UK, the internet has transformed lives. At the click of a button we buy insurance, holidays and access information on just about anything. Gordon Brown just doesn’t get this. With him, freedom and control is fine — but only if he has the freedom to control your life.

 

Take Citizens Juries. He says he wants to listen to people. But they are just glorified focus-groups, hand-picked and cloaked in secrecy. Believe me, if they really reflected the will of Britons the message would be loud and clear — we want a referendum.

 

It doesn’t have to be like this. Giving people freedom and control over their lives is one of the things that makes me a Conservative.

 

And it is why from the moment the EU Constitution was dreamt up by elites in Brussels, the Conservative Party’s squadron was first in the air, demanding a referendum in this battle for our country’s future.

 

Since then, we have been keeping up the fight, looking out for the interests of Britain.

 

There is a second reason why I want a referendum on the treaty.

 

One of the great challenges we face is rolling back the tide of bureaucracy that is drowning our country in regulations and forms.

 

 

And you can’t do that without targeting one of the main sources of this bureaucracy — Brussels.

Because it is Europe that ties our businesses up in red tape.

And it is Europe that ties the hands of our courts. We won’t be able to deal with any of this unless we have a referendum.

The final reason we must have a vote is trust. Gordon Brown talks about “new” politics.

But there’s nothing “new” about breaking your promises to the British public. It’s classic Labour.

(UK)

BOSSES at two Worcester hospices say patients could lose out if people continue to play the new Health Lottery.

Mark Jackson, chief executive of St Richard’s Hospice, and David Strudley, chief executive of Acorns, have written to the managers of Tesco, WH Smith and Sainsbury’s stores across south Worcestershire to complain about the equal prominence given to the new Health Lottery and National Lottery in their stores.

Ideally they would both like to see people buying a ticket for south Worcestershire’s Hospices Lottery, but as a second choice they say the National Lottery at least gives more of its profits to charity, including hospices.

They are concerned that the new Health Lottery gives less profit to good causes and is yet to name the charities it will benefit.

St Richard’s and Acorns each receive £70,000 a year from the local Hospices Lottery, but there are fears that this income could be seriously affected if people choose to play the new Health Lottery instead.

The Health Lottery donates just 20p from each £1 paid to charities which have not yet been indentified, according to the letter.

The National Lottery gives 28p to charity and pays 12p to the Government in taxes.

In the letter, Mr Jackson and Mr Strudley say: “We are very concerned indeed. At a time when charity fund-raising is proving exceedingly hard, that money that would otherwise have come to the hospices will be diverted to this lottery.

“We truly appreciate your support now and in the past and urgently request that this decision is reviewed because of the potentially damaging impact upon local charities.”

Dawn Scott, manager for the Hospices Lottery, said: “With the NHS providing only a small proportion of our funding, we depend upon our lottery. We’re urging people who care about their local hospice to say ‘no’ to the Health Lottery.”

The Hospices Lottery “No to the Health Lottery” campaign is being supported by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and the Help the Hospices charity.

David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices, said: “Since the early 1990s hospice lotteries have been an important source of income for hospices across the UK and together raise nearly £50 million a year.”

No one from the Health Lottery was available to comment.

For more information about the Hospices Lottery, call 01905 760910 or 760909 or e-mail SWHLottery@strichards.org.uk

The health Lottery have since issued this statement to me

The Health Lottery Hi Simon Preston, rather than taking cash, The Health Lottery is creating new funding for charities in the health sector. We believe that there isn’t a conflict between local hospice lotteries and The Health Lottery. But we do recognise the concern, which is why we are working with the Hospice Lotteries Association and Help the Hospices to address their concerns.

My article has had a number of complaints and has even been reported to Facebook and Twitter as a virus and  containing threats in order to stop people reading it.

I can only take one guess of who is behind it

But luckily National Newspapers are publishing stories sadly not because of a moral issue but because the Health Lottery is run by the owner of the Express Newspaper and Channel 5.

Since i wrote this article the Daily Mail have taken up the cause  and done some digging and found out far more than i did.

 Before you go out and buy a ticket have a read of a couple of articles the Daily Mail have done on the Health Lottery.

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2056387/Stop-selling-Health-Lottery-plead-charities-Good-causes-losing-supermarkets-push-new-game.html?ITO=socialnet-twitter-mailonline