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yokel

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  1. How about one of the `outdoor' type shops. There are too many all selling the same brands. Millets, Blacks, Cotswold, Mountain Warehouse etc and also independents, often all close together in towns that are nowhere near walking/climbing areas and with Go Outdoors being the out of town, free parking, discounting, competition. Unless everyone needs a £200 down jacket for walking the dog.
  2. Good comments but looking at the NE for example, what I see is FTBs being `helped' to borrow a total of £144k on average, in an area where average house prices are around £120k. With an average number of bedrooms of >3, quite a few FTBs are buying 4 beds. The big assumption as well is that the developers can't be allowed to make a loss on their speculative purchase of land. If they are to have a go-slow on building and releasing, then another option would be to tax them on the value of the land or of the proposed houses. Make building and selling at the going rate the lease worst option for them. I'm sure I also saw some data on here recently showing that House price inflation was a lot higher for new builds than for other houses with the implication that although it might not appear to affect overall averages, without the HTB new builds in the equation there would be bigger average drops revealed.
  3. I think that's the thing. If a ftb has a lump sum (say £10k) then in JRM's world that would be the whole deposit on the purchase and the size of mortgage calculated accordingly. If a couple of thousand had to be kept back for stamp duty, then it is a big % drop in the available deposit and consequently a big % drop in the mortgage available. And that would never do.
  4. It would be good if someone asked May etc why they rejected the Dilnot report recommendations - he had done a careful review of the overall situation and seemed to have a cohesive, non political way of tackling the problem. His big thing was to pool part of the risk (the first 70 - 120k ish) of costs through private insurance or a charge on the house, with the govt paying above that. A kind of `excess' on an insurance policy. As I see it, what the tories are proposing is that there will be a massive financial hit on house owning families who are unfortunate enough to have a member needing care but not on those who don't. The onset of dementia or other reasons for care need will be a double hit - the human one, to which is added the prospect of an unlimited amount of money above £100k being taken. And I know about deprivation of assets etc, but would another loophole be to finally sell the house privately for £100,001 ? Maybe to a mate who returns the favour with their parent's house? The complexity of policing what happens to the assets of families where dementia starts to be suspected is going to be impossible. As others have said, keeping track of MEW and `values' will be horrendously complex. And yet again, the `price' of houses is being considered as national wealth to be tapped into and spent.
  5. As I understand it, diesel was encouraged because it produces less CO2 per km travelled (my own diesel gets 60 - 70 miles per gallon) on a rural A road most of the time. Diesels rather than petrol helps the UK meet climate change carbon targets. Diesels vehicles (but not necessarily engines) emit more NOx and that is the main problem. Most newer diesels vehicles now have particle filters so that is a declining problem. Petrol vehicles have catalytic converters which decrease NOx and CO (by converting the CO into CO2). What I don't know - does anyone here know, is: Are there no catalytic converters on diesels because of technical reasons or just because the MOT and EU regulations don't make it compulsory. If the latter, then surely catalytic converter route would tackle the issue (but not raise revenue for the govt.) Obviously I concur totally with the posters who point out that congestion is the biggest problem rather than any variation of engine - the record car `purchases' through cheap credit means more congestion and so worse air quality where everyone sits in gridlock. Ideally we would all make and buy cars but not actually drive them anywhere. y
  6. Thanks Breowan - it's good to have some arguments up our sleeves. y
  7. Its been a while since I asked advice on here but hope someone can help. A relative took a room in a shared house. There is a lead tenant and one more fairly recent one. The relative moved in, paid the outgoing tenant their share of the deposit and the tds scheme records were amended. This was all in advance of any contracts being signed by the relative or the ll or la. When the contract was sent to be signed it was with a very out of date inventory (over 3 years) - and it didn't reflect the current state of the property. My relative amended the inventory to bring it up to date and signed that, and the contract with riders that they would only accept liability for losses and damage from when they moved in. The LA /LL are playing hardball and threatening eviction of all tenants within 24 hours if my relative doesn't sign the old inventory and an unamended contract. The other tenants had been scared into signing and are now pressurising my relative to do the same as they are desparate to not get evicted. So the questions are: - Can an LA/LL legally insist on a contract tied to an inaccurate inventory? -Can they evict at very short notice? -If they try to evict, what legal process needs to be gone through in terms of paperwork, notice etc? Thanks in advance y
  8. yokel

    David Cameron

    What has irritated me more than the substance is the way he has hidden. It is the No.10 machine in operation rather than having the confidence o deal with it himself. It is always a "source" or a spokesperson. Or when he is allowed to speak the questions are carefully controlled and the answers rehearsed (only 1 question from a designated reporter, from Sky, was allowed when he was at PwC). I know he is always kept away from real interviews ad questions due to his poor engagement with issues but it had been very stark this week.
  9. There's an education `White Paper' today. Obviously the main things are to have a PR slogan as a title `Educational Excellence Everywhere'. It also reminded me of that character in the Reginald Perrin series - lots of use of the word `great'; great schools, great leaders etc etc. Hidden in it is the plan to measure primary school children's progress from the age of 7 to the age of 11. Last year the big government thing was to measure the progress from the age of 4 to 11 - it caused a big fuss, but was put in place, money spent, lots of time was spent developing and rolling out the assessment methods, and data collected on all the 4 year olds entering school. Nicky Morgan insisted it had to be done. Now, it seems, that whole process is to be written out of history because they want to do more tests on 7 year olds instead. Stand by for the contract for 7 year old tests to be given to one of the DfE's favoured companies and lots of valuable data on 4 year olds to be binned. I just wonder why the MSM haven't noticed this yet. Y
  10. On this universal academisation issue. After the Victoria Climbie tragedy there were major shifts to force council social service and education departments to co-ordinate or merge. The idea was to make communication on child protection easier and more likely. They also made social, health, police and education work under a common framework called "Every child matters". This included educational progress but also safety and prosperity. A data base to keep track was set up and wad being developed. There was also a programme called "extended schools" to stretch the school day. In came Gove et al. Data base abandoned. Extended schools abandoned. Every Child Matters abandoned and now schools to be all removed from easy communication with councils' child protection and health depts. Not saying councils cant be inept - Rotherham, Oxford etc says they can, but the risks have got to he greater for child protection in a fragmented, separated system. Any opposition to the govt plans have got to focus on child safeguarding as well as education and money. Academy chains run schools across several local authority areas so one chsin would have to co-ordinate with several social service departments from their head offices. A scandal/tragedy is waiting to happen Y
  11. Eric's elephant in the room has another aspect. Teachers (and I am one) look mostly on the Times Educational Supplement website for job vacancies. As a snapshot today, well over 10% of the jobs advertised are overseas. Many would provide subsidised accommodation. Many are in locations that would be very attractive to, particularly, young teachers. One of today's jobs, in Jeddah, for a maths teacher advertises: So, in the language of Cameron, there is a significant `pull factor'. This is in addition to the push factors described in this thread. Many of the schools are also run by recognisable multi schools companies (GEMS, Nord Anglia etc) or franchises of UK public schools so there is little risk of being in too different a culture. And back in the UK we have the truly awful Nick Gibb, Nicky Morgan and whoever is really pulling the strings in the DfE as well as Wilshaw whose answer to a complex problem of retention is to ban them from leaving. Y
  12. Agreed. Mrs Y was a public sector worker an union member. A smallish, mainly management and `professionals` union. When she lost her job (believed to be due to previous whistle blowing`, the union didn't want to know. The senior managers involved were also in the union and when she complained she was told to `send us your evidence and we will look at it`. Luckily our household insurance included legal cover, including employment. They looked at the evidence, decided there was a probability of success and funded an employment tribunal process including solicitor costs. Mrs Y won compensation for unfair dismissal - the union ended up with egg on its face and one of the factors in the success of the case was cutting out the information short circuit back to the management. Neither of us has been a union member since, despite me being in a heavily unionised profession (which has also saved me a few hundred pounds in not needing to join strikes).
  13. Your Ledbury library in the `Masters House' and my Ross on Wye library are both under threat of closure though - even though lots of money has been spent on building operations to put them in the same building as other council services. I like the way that a lack of staff is presented as a good thing in the council press release about Ledbury: Is there anyone to enforce quietness? Y
  14. I heard Priti Patel questioned on R4 by Humphries yesterday - just kept parroting that it was "the right thing to do". Also, when questioned about the funding levels having already been fixed, said that there would be a "review" to get it right. They are in a mess on this one - the current 15 hours "free" is funded at less than cost so the nurseries etc subsidise it by charging more outside of those 15 hours. They also match the numbers of children with their physical space and their staffing matches the numbers of children. In most cases there is not the physical space to give children 30 hours each, and even if there were, most nurseries couldn't take the financial hit of more hours at a loss, and consequently fewer hours at a profit. Like the Help to Buy for HA tenants, it was a political promise to get the votes of an important demographic in marginals. Y
  15. Just to say thanks WICAO As last year - fascinating. I live in Herefordshire - highest house prices and lowest income in the West Midlands. I suspect that the house prices are strongly influenced by the Escape to the Country type large rural houses which have quite a high turnover driven by outside money, whilst the settled local population stays put in their ordinary small houses in the city and towns so the ordinary small houses don't appear in the stats proportionately to their actual numbers. Certainly, rightmove never reflects the overall mix of houses with a disproportionate number of expensive houses for sale. Another factor is the high number of retirees and even higher number of NIMBYs wanting to `protect the countryside`. Still, our yokel brains overheat when wondering if we are rich because our houses are worth a lot, or poor because we have low wages. y
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