TEENAGERS CRUSHED Three teenagers were crushed to death as they waited to get into a St. Patricks Day disco at the Grenvale Hotel in Cookstown, County …
TRUST Like lots of others we rushed to renew our passport early because of the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which had more than nine months left on it Like lots …
DE MONTFORD UNIVERSITY AND VESTED INTERESTS The Vice-Chancellor of De Montford University, Dominic Shellard, has resigned over business links he …
SLEEP TIGHT One concern many travelers have is being the victim of an infestation of bed bugs, something that unfortunately happened to the writer at the Moorfields …
SIESTA TIME A study by Greek cardiologists has found that an afternoon nap is as good for reducing blood pressure as taking pills or reducing salt in the diet …
SHOAH : FOUR SISTERS Shoah, for many was the ultimate Holocaust documentary, taking its French director Claude Lanzmann 11 years to shoot and spanning more …
Three teenagers were crushed to
death as they waited to get into a St. Patricks Day disco at the Grenvale Hotel
in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
It is understood that around
400 young people were in the crowd waiting for the hotel’s club entrance door
to be opened at 9.30 pm when the lethal pushing and shoving started by people
desperate to get to the front of the queue, resulting in the deaths of Lauren
Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and Connor Currie, 16.
The owner of the hotel, Michael
McElhatton, 53, and a 40 year old man were arrested two days later on suspicion
of manslaughter. Mr McElhatton has since been released on police bail.
In a sad sign of our times sick
internet trolls quickly set up fake profiles mocking those who died.
The three-star, 11 bedroom
hotel on the outskirts of Cookstown is a popular venue for weddings, with a
capacity of 250, and conferences for up to 200.
Like lots of others we rushed
to renew our passport early because of the possibility of a no-deal Brexit,
which had more than nine months left on it Like lots of others we were
impressed that HM Passport Office were pledging to add up to nine months that
passports had to run to the expiry date. Indeed the helpful HM Passport Office
information leaflet we got a few weeks ago from the Post Office, who processed
our application, stated: “You can renew your passport whenever you want.
You do not have to wait for it to run out. We will add any period your passport
has left to run (up to nine months) to your new passport”.
Sadly this isn’t the truth.
Apparently last September HM Passport Office quietly “altered their
policy” and no longer add back up to nine months of validity. This is now
made clear on their web site as their information leaflets distributed by the
Post Office tell a very different story.
The concept of reduction in
trust comes to mind…
The Vice-Chancellor of De
Montford University, Dominic Shellard, has resigned over business links he had
with the chairman of the university’s remuneration committee, Anthony
Shellard owned shares in the
Metamorph Group, a holding company run by Stockdale, who approved a 22.4%
salary increase for Shellard, the largest pay rise of any UK University Vice –
Chancellor this year and one that bought Shellard’s salary to £350,000.
Following Shellard’s resigning Stockdale has resigned his post on the
university’s governing board.
The Office for Students watchdog has now launched a probe into “regulatory matters” at De Montford.
One concern many travelers have
is being the victim of an infestation of bed bugs, something that unfortunately
happened to the writer at the Moorfields Premier Inn, Liverpool last month.
So what’s it like? Well it’s
horrible. The bites don’t really come out till two days after, when they itch
maddeningly, and scratching too hard breaks the skin on the bumps that form and
risks infection. Creams can stop some of the itching but I needed a course of
anti-biotics and anti-histamine to properly clear it all up.
Just in case any of our
readers, or their delegates, are similarly unlucky we are publishing the emails
between ourselves and Premier Inn, part of Whitbread and these follow here.
1. From Premier Inn to Peter
Cotterell 08 March 2019
Shoah, for many was the
ultimate Holocaust documentary, taking its French director Claude Lanzmann 11
years to shoot and spanning more than nine hours after the selections had been
made from the 350 hours of footage shot. Shoah is Hebrew for
“catastrophe”, also “calamity” and “destruction”.
The film, released in 1985
concentrated on four main areas – the Chelmo, Auschwitz-Birkenhau and Treblinka
extermination camps in Poland and the Warsaw ghetto in Poland, and Lanzmann
interviewed survivors from, witnesses to and perpetrators of what has been
called the greatest evil of modern times. Excepting a poor reception in Poland,
where the hatred of Polish peasantry for the Jews was exposed (without
balancing this with the help given by many Poles to the Jews) Shoah was a
triumph, winning universal acclaim, a 100% score on the Rotten Tomatoes
website, based on 33 reviews giving an average rating of 9.2/10, and a BAFTA
award for the best documentary.
GREED ALL ROUND More bad publicity is dogging the gambling industry after a Daily Mail reporter infiltrated the offices of Bet365 in the tax haven of Gibraltar and …
HOW MUCH TO THE CAUSE? Charities may soon be obliged to divulge how much of the money from donors is being spent on the cause and how much is going on …
KNIFE CRIME A father who’s son’s death from being stabbed while he was trying to break up a fight inspired him to set up a charity to fight knife crime was awarded …
LIVES OF MIGRANTS SAVED BY CHARITY Most migrants who try to reach Britain illegally by boat and get into difficulties at sea are then rescued by the volunteers …
SICK TEENS Britain has the highest rate of obesity, and rates of illnesses, amongst teenagers in Europe, two charities have reported. The Nuffield Trust and the …
COMICAL A row has erupted over a picture of TV journalist Stacey Dooley cuddling a child in Uganda that was posted by Dooley on social media whilst she was …
BREAST CANCER SCREENING NO-SHOWS More women aged 50 – 70 are failing to turn up for breast cancer checks, say charity Breast Cancer Now, which points …
CARE HOME QUALITY WORSENS The Independent Age charity has revealed that in a third of local authority areas the quality of care homes is worsening, with 40% …
JUST SEMANTICS? Charity Matters has been advised by the mental health charity MIND (Stockport) that our use of the phrase “committed suicide” in our recent …
More bad publicity is dogging the gambling industry after a Daily Mail reporter infiltrated the offices of Bet365 in the tax haven of Gibraltar and discovered that the firm paid problem gamblers a proportion of their losses back, commonly 10%, to keep them gambling. And many bookmaking firms do likewise, sometimes up to 20% as well as rewarding big losers with VIP freebies such as Cup Final tickets.
Bet365 pays its chief executive Denise Coates £265 million a year in salary and dividends. Another beneficiary is actor Ray Winstone who fronts chummy TV ads for Coate’s firm, urging viewers to bet on live events.
The blame for the current immoral mess has been laid at the door of former Labour PM Tony Blair, who liberalised gambling laws in 2005, many now say recklessly, and opened the Pandora’s Box. Our current Conservative government has not shown much better judgment in its delaying of a much-needed crackdown on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s), many installed in some of the poorest parts of the country, on the basis of government concern that the crackdown deprived the Treasury of its lucrative cut from the losses suffered by problem gamblers.
Charities may soon be obliged to divulge how much of the money from donors is being spent on the cause and how much is going on such items as executive salary, public relations, human resources, staffing and IT, lumped together as “support and governance” costs. In many cases these expenditures are hidden in a gross figure for “charitable spending”, or under “fundraising”. The net effect is to persuade donors that charities are spending more of their income on front-line services than they actually are.
Following a recent expose in the Daily Mail newspaper headlined ALL IN A GOOD CAUSE? there have been calls for changes in the way that charities are allowed to report their expenditure, to give donors a better idea of how wisely, or otherwise, their donations are being used. A table of “support and governance” expenditure of the UK’s top ten charities showed that the National Trust spent £61.9 million, Save the Children Fund spent £42.9 million, Oxfam spent £33.9 million, Save the Children International spent £28 million and Cancer Research spent £18.4 million, followed by British Red Cross at £17.2 million, Marie Stopes International at £13.2 million, British Heart Foundation at £4.2 million, Sightsavers at £3.8 million and Barnado’s at £2.3 million.
A father who’s son’s death from being stabbed while he was trying to break up a fight inspired him to set up a charity to fight knife crime was awarded an OBE for his efforts late last year.
Kyle Prince was 15 years old when he died trying to break up a fight outside his school in 2006, and his father, Mark Prince set up the Kyle Prince Foundation to advise and empower young people considered at risk of becoming involved in knife and gang crime. To this end he has given more than 200 talks in schools.
The increasing number of young lives currently lost through the carrying and use of knives, 20 so far this year, has prompted politicians to call the surge a national emergency and pledge more effort to stop it.