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Dave Dribble 2

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  1. Who are the two EAs you think are pricing to sell?
  2. In Wales, schools sometimes set a deficit budget, accompanied by a 3 year recovery plan agreed by the Local Education Authority. This can be for a whole myriad of reasons such as a particularly small year group coming through the school (meaning reduced funding) yet the school knows (from its partner primary schools) that a bulge of pupils (large year groups) is to follow. Things are tough in Welsh schools - they get about £530 less per pupil that schools in England. The problem lots of sixth form schools have had in Wales, was that last year, at the last minute, after schools had set their budgets, agreed option choices with children/parents and created the timetables for the year ahead, the Welsh Assembly Government announced a 6% reduction in funding for sixth form students. Although some of the schools in the list aren't sixth form schools. RAISE funding has also been drastically reduced. Schools are in a difficult position. They have to deliver the curriculum. They are required to do so and in Wales have to provide 20 odd pathways (curriculum entitlement) too. In Swansea, schools are in real trouble due to the Lib Dem council taking £5 million out of the schools budget. They are reducing the payment per pupil by 0.9%. They aren't passing on the 1.9% increase that the Welsh Assembly Government have given them for education and they aren't funding the final year of the teachers' pay award. There's a lot of redundancies being made. Hasn't hit the local press yet - anyone would think the local newspaper was run by Lib Dems.
  3. I shall re-phrase it then. For every £1 spent on public sector pensions the government doesn't collect £2.50 as a result of providing tax relief for the top 1% of earners.
  4. I think some people mistakenly think a final salary pension means the worker ends up with a pension paying an annual amount the same as the salary. There are a lot of ill informed people around and a lot of people who believe anything they're told by the right wing think tanks and politicians. There doesn't seem to be any informed debate on the issue or any attempt at "fairness". Teachers (who often come in for a lot of criticism on this site) have a final salary pension scheme. For teachers who joined the scheme before 2006, the pension is a 40/80ths pension. A teacher has to work forty years in order to receive a pension of half his/her final salary. So, starting at 22 that means s/he needs to work until 62. The average annual pension for a public sector worker is just over £5000. The average annual pension for a teacher is £9000. The retirement age is 60. Teachers retiring before 60 have their pensions actuarily reduced - by roughly 5% per year. So a teacher retiring at 55, only receives 75% of the pension s/he would get for the years of service (and contributions made) - a punishment for retiring early. In 2005 teachers' pensions were reviewed and a new agreement made with the government that led to increased contributions. Teachers and employers do contribute to pensions. In total it amounts to nearly 20% of salary. It isn't teachers fault that the government hasn't invested these contributions into an investment fund. Had this been done, teachers would have benefited from higher pensions. For every £1 the tax payer spends on public sector pensions, £2.50 is spent on tax relief for the top 1% of earners. One of the newspapers (might have been the Telegraph) recently reported that public sector pension liabilities amounted to (I can't remember the exact figure but it was something very high such as) 95% of GDP. A scary thought. But that was if the government had to meet pay all the pensions (for those that have retired and those currently paying into the scheme) in one year. They don't - I for instance won't be claiming my pension for another 22/23 years, will be continuing to pay into the scheme for hte next 22/23 years and even when I do retire will receive my pension over (I hope) many years. Again, I don't remember this precisely but I think the actual annual cost of making public sector pension payments is something like 3% of GDP. Yes, I'm a teacher.
  5. Article in today's Evening Post (available in shops from 8am - "Evening" my ****). Chris Hope from Dawsons talking about how the interest from buyers has risen by 80% maybe 100% on last year (or something like that). People are buying and selling houses he reckons. Spring is a good time with nicer weather and lighter evenings apparently. Bumper Property Post (80 pages) in tomorrow's paper. Evening Post are clearly taking hints from the BBC - I remember they used to lead the news on Breakfast with the story that that evening's Panorama would be about. Not on their web site yet so no link yet.
  6. I'm sure that's exactly what they said they were going to do. I'm sure I remember, when Meridian Quay was first muted, reading something along those lines in the paper. I'm sure I remember something about "high class shopping" or "boutiques" - that sort of thing too.
  7. My regular check of the EA websites has shown quite a few new properties for sale with Dawsons since Christmas (in my target area). Asking prices of those new to the market properties seem pretty much like 2007 prices. This last week, a few of them have been listed as Sale Agreed or Under Offer - a sudden burst of activity. Will be interesting in a few months (if the sales complete) to see what the sale prices are. There are other properties that have been for sale for a year or two. The prices for some have dropped, for others have stayed the same and for a couple have actually gone up in price the longer they've been on the market! Did the two EAs just volunteer that information (about their rival) or did you initiate the discussion? Just interested as to whether they were having an honest moment or whether they were trying to get on with you and build a relationship with you by telling you what they think you wanted to hear (sales people)?
  8. They compared Gower to South Pembrokeshire. Some Llangenith residents were filmed sitting in a pub talking about how expensive it had become and how upsetting it is their children won't be able to afford to live there. I think there was some reference to Gower being expensive whilst the rest of Swansea is much cheaper. One man couldn't afford to buy in Rhosili (I think although it could have been Llangenith), bought a terraced house in Mumbles, did it up and then was very upset that the only people who made an offer were English rather than locals. He then went to live in a cheaper suburb of Swansea. A few scenes were shot of EAs working in a Dawsons office and Chris Hope was intereviewed. That was about it really. It was a dumbed down approach to discussing rising house prices in Gower.
  9. Looks like you may have been right, Marty. The property by me that's had three viewings earlier this week is still listed on the agent's web site - not shown as under offer.
  10. Hey Andy, That's very kind of you. To be honest, I'm not desperately looking for a property at the moment. I'm not really willing to pay the inflated prices that are being asked at the moment. Really, I'm waiting to see what'll happen after the General Election. I think if prices don't start to be more realistic (drop) by the Winter then I will buy a home anyway. It's a bit of a balance between not wanting to pay too much and at some point wanting to get on with my life. Ideally, I'm looking to stay in the Killay, Dunvant, Sketty area (or if I win some money on the lottery then the Derwen Fawr, West Cross, Norton area - so no chance of that). If the right property came along at a reasonable price (less than 200K) then I would snap it up and just accept that prices will fall soon and I'll have paid too much. Would be happy to buy a house needing updating/upgrading and I'd enjoy doing it up but anything needing building work would be out of my league. Took a look at your web site earlier today. I like the photographs you've got on there (of Swansea/Gower). Is there a way of searching for properties for sale?
  11. The fact the tower gained planning permission is something that really should be questioned. It is far too tall in comparison with neighbouring buildings. It puts the bottom end of the Marina into shade in the early afternoon, even in the height of Summer. The whole Meridian Quay development just doesn't match the development further along - the green coloured terrace (by the Observatory). Although it does look nicer than the brightly coloured blocks of flats (that are ten a penny in any British city now) even further along that look like some sort of cheap modula/prefrab buildings that should really only be seen on University campuses. Have you noticed how the slightly sloping roofs on the smaller Meridian Quay blocks don't look as if they actually take rainwater off the roof. They seem to slope backwards towards a wall - suppose there must be some sort of internal drainage to deal with the water? The problem with planning is you have qualified experts working in the planning department but for most decisions they are only allowed to make recommendations and a sub committee of local councilors make the decisions.
  12. Did you watch it? I did. I think Chris Hope (Dawsons) said that in the last couple of months 60% of their buyers have been from outside Wales and of those 60% were cash buyers. Did I hear that correctly? It was quite ironic that the man who was upset he couldn't live in Llangenith (where he'd been brought up) and bought a house in Mumbles, then sold his Mumbles home to an English couple.
  13. I hadn't considered the fact it's the half-term holiday. Makes sense. I'm only interested in properties upto £200K but preferably less. There's not much about. Dawsons seem to be very dominant in the area. They seem to have far more properties for sale than the other agents.
  14. Ah, yes, the Edit facility is time limited. Perhaps clicking Report and asking the moderators to remove the post is an option? Article regarding theft at the restaurant on the Evening Post's web site. http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Swansea-Penthouse-Restaurant-theft-probe/article-1846151-detail/article.html
  15. Hi Jezza C. I feel very sorry for you having been caught up in all that. Since your business relationship seems to have turned sour, I think it could be wise to delete your post (click Edit and then delete the contents) to avoid any potential legal issues. You could be setting yourself up for a problem or weakening your position.
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