Month: June 2015

The Newcastle Car Show 2015

The Newcastle Car Show 2015

The Newcastle Car Show 2015
Don’t forget to put a note in your diary to visit the Newcastle Car Show this summer. A superb new motoring event for  Newcastle upon Tyne, this promises to be a great value day out for all the family and not just the car enthusiasts. As well as provided access to the show and the many car related events, each ticket will include unlimited use of our fun attractions.

Saturday – 8th August

A collection of the finest Modified, custom and sport cars in the country. All makes and models on display from super slick German & Jap Street cars to the pure muscle Hotrods.

Classic Sunday – 9th August

Classic Sunday will see the best vintage vehicles, turn out in force, Priceless cars that have been restored to factory condition with owners all too happy to tell you how they did it. Remember the good old days and absorb yourself in nostalgia.

Show & Shine

Both days will see a show and shine competition the likes have never been seen before. Trophies galore from the best wheels to the best in show. Full presentation at the end of each day.

Please, remember that there will be Free Fun Attractions for the family including thrill rides, fair rides & other various attractions, accompanied by live music and DJ’s on the stage. There will also be a car and motoring related Jumble offering a large selection of trade and auto jumble over the weekend.

Tickets go on sale now and are available for individuals, the family, weekend or camping tickets. To book your tickets use the online booking system on the official Newcastle Car Show website to purchase the ticket of your choice.

Disabled Should Band Together to Bring Living Costs Down

Disabled Should Band Together to Bring Living Costs Down

Disabled Should Band Together to Bring Living Costs Down
Disabled consumers should be “bold and loud” about their spending power, says disability costs commission. A year-long enquiry into the expensive lives that disabled people have has concluded that working together as a collective consumer force is necessary to bring down the cost of living.

Despite the sizeable £212bn spending power that disabled people and their families have, dubbed the Purple Pound, businesses are still not wooing this group and disabled people need to recognise their collective power to get better deals from businesses. The recommendations come from the independent Extra Costs Commission which was set up by the charity Scope to collect evidence and find ways in which disabled people could use their financial clout to their advantage. It is chaired by investment manager Robin Hindle Fisher.

In a 2014 report called Priced Out, Scope found that disabled people spend on average an extra £550 per month. Although benefits like DLA and PIP exist to account for this extra spend, on average disabled people get £360 per month from them, so still pay a “financial penalty” on everyday living costs. The commission wants to see these benefits maintained at their present rate but their recommendations are an attempt to nudge disabled people into more beneficial relationships which lead to businesses providing a good service through which they can profit and importantly to disabled people having less expensive lives.

Although a sturdy pair of shoes might last your average consumer a number of years, Annabelle Vaughan, a solicitor from Portsmouth, has to buy a new pair every one-to-three weeks. She has cerebral palsy and gives her shoes a serious battering every day due to her non-standard way of walking.

“My left foot turns in a great deal, so actually I tend to walk on the outer edge of my left foot rather than flat on my left foot,” she says. “And, of course, what that means is that it wears down the left outer edge of my shoe very quickly because there’s no even weight distribution.”

She buys a particular brand that are flat and wide which, at £40, are expensive for high-street shoes. She carries a couple of extra pairs around with her in case the one’s she’s wearing fall apart. “I have shoes all over the place,” says Annabelle. “I have about four pairs under my desk at work for the same reason.” With a weakness in her left side, she also has difficulty washing her hair. She can manage a mini wash daily but once a fortnight she goes to a local hairdresser where she gets it thoroughly washed to keep it presentable for work. It costs her between £19 and £30. “Most women would only get a wash and blow dry for a special event,” she says.

Costs that other people don’t have can mount up in a surprising way and become more complex over the years.

Robert Swan from Water Orton in Warwickshire is 64 and has a developmental spinal disorder which led to a great deal of surgery in his 50s. He’s a power-chair user and is now much less mobile. “My gas and electricity bills are much more expensive because I’m in the house 24/7 so the lights are on, the TV is on, the fan is on in the summer and the heating’s on in the winter,” he says. He asked his energy company to compare his bills to those of his neighbours. “They told me the average cost for ‘combined energy’ customers in this row is £70 per month on average. I pay £129.”

He has irritable bowel syndrome as a result of the meds he is on and now has to buy more expensive gluten-free foods. As well as purchasing urine bottles and pads for the bed (which cost £12 at the local rehab hospital), he now has to pay for things he previously used to be able to do for himself like decorating or fixing things around the house.

The commission has recommended that disability organisations club together to bulk-buy products from clothes and shoes to energy provision, and secure a discount that could then be passed on. Hindle Fisher wants to see big retail firms jumping into things like the lucrative £720m per year wheelchair market to bring much-needed competition to the disability sector. Powered wheelchairs can cost from £2,000 to over £40,000 depending on requirements, so should be attractive to business. Chair maintenance is also an on-going cost.

He says they have seen a number of instances of good practice, where companies have directly targeted disabled people, and they would like to see more of this. He says it’s very hard for disabled people to get car insurance because the companies charge more and make it harder for disabled people to get it. “The firm I get my insurance from has focused on disabled drivers and has worked out that, because they value their mobility so much, disabled drivers actually present a lower insurance risk.” He adds that adapted cars are less likely to be stolen because they are unique and more difficult to sell on.

The commission surveyed 2,500 disabled people and found that three-quarters said they have walked out of a store due to bad service or lack of disability awareness. The commission notes that those businesses are missing out on their share of £420m of revenue per week.

Other findings include: disabled people rate friendly and helpful staff (71%) and good accessibility (55%) as the most important factors when shopping. And six in 10 businesses surveyed said that they would benefit from better information about disabled people’s consumer habits and preferences.

Hindle Fisher, who is himself disabled, is in his mid 50s and says that working on the commission has been emotionally moving for him, especially when he realised that part of the problem is that disabled people are often reluctant to come forward and identify themselves as disabled.

“When I was a child in the 60s and 70s, disability was deeply stigmatised by society and many of us have resisted being called disabled because we don’t want to be in any way labelled as being inferior. We want to be another version of normal.” If more of the 12 million disabled people in the UK were prepared to identify themselves as being disabled, he says, they could become a much more powerful consumer group.

The Commission will meet again in summer 2016 to analyse the success of its recommendations.

Lloyds Banking Group: Government Reduces Stake to 17%

Lloyds Banking Group: Government Reduces Stake to 17%

Lloyds Banking Group: Government Reduces Stake to 17%
The UK government’s stake in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen below 17%, as more shares have been sold to investors. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), the body responsible for handling the government’s stakes in the privatised banks, has been gradually selling down the Treasury’s stake in Lloyds. The banking group received £22.5bn from taxpayers during the financial crisis.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley handled the share sales.

The government originally owned a 41% stake in the bank, but started selling Lloyds shares in 2013. This latest sale means that about £11.5bn has been returned to the taxpayer so far.

“Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back,” Lloyds Banking Group said in a statement. UKFI’s “trading plan”, under which government-owned Lloyds shares have been sold to big institutional investors, was was due to end at the end of June. But it has now been extended to 31 December.

The Treasury said the extra six months would help it meet Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge to sell a further £9bn of Lloyds shares in 2015-16. Before the general election, Mr Osborne announced that a tranche of shares would also be made available to the public, possibly this year.

Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

Wedding Dress Cleaning & Preservation Services in the UK
Weddings, and wedding dresses, are more expensive than ever. These days, one can hardly imagine paying as little as £400 for a wedding dress even though most of us would suffer an acute case of sticker shock upon learning that we had to pay such an exorbitant amount for any other article of clothing not made of genuine leather or flecked with gold. With wedding dresses, a price in the four- to five-digit range is increasingly the norm, which means that you are committing not only to a very expensive dress but also a potentially valuable heirloom or collectible which must be cared for accordingly.

As a bride-to-be, it is important to think decades beyond your wedding day and make arrangements now to have your dress professionally cleaned and preserved so that it will still be in the same unspoiled condition in your old age as on the day you walked down the aisle.

When to have your Wedding Dress cleaned and why
When making plans to have your wedding dress cleaned and preserved, consider not only the quality of the service but also the timing. Ideally, you will want to have your wedding dress cleaned within one month of your wedding day. While there are few, if any, hazardous conditions present in a traditional religious wedding ceremony, the reception which follows is an entirely different matter. Think of your wedding dress as an artefact in a museum: if they go untreated, seemingly small and inconsequential food or wine stains or even greasy hand or fingerprints have the potential to cause significant and often irreversible damage to such a fine material over time.

Accidents do happen, so when your wedding dress is collected by your chosen cleaning and preservation service, be sure to point out all stains that you are aware of so that they can be treated appropriately before the full dress cleaning is done.

Wedding Dress Preservation techniques
While the cleaning of the dress is an important part of the process, the preservation is equally important. For most wedding dress fabrics, it is wise to opt for the museum-quality preservation method and have the dress stored in an acid-free preservation box which will protect the dress from moisture and prevent yellowing. A service which performs the cleaning in-house is generally a wiser choice than one which sends it to a separate cleaner, and in any case, never expect a rush job. Haste makes waste!

At Dulais wedding dress cleaning, we are renowned for being at the very cutting edge and forefront of bridal wear care and we are committed to protecting our position as the best in the business. Which means you know that your cherished dress will be treasured now and for generations to come. We treat every dress as unique, whether it’s classic or contemporary, modern or vintage, hand-painted or handmade. Every cleaning process should be unique also, so here at Dulais, our highly trained technicians treat every dress as an individual, creating a bespoke cleaning process for your gown and your gown only.

Our techniques are painstaking, time-consuming, and highly successful, which is why our brides tell their friends about us, building our reputation through word of mouth alone. We are also used and recommended by some of the country’s most reputable wedding dress retailers and consultants within the bridal industry.

We provide first class, high quality professional wedding dress cleaning and preservation services for brides in Newcastle and the surrounding areas. For as little as £90, we will collect your wedding dress at a time that is convenient to you and return your fully cleaned and preserved dress in a beautiful acid-free tissue paper box. By entrusting the care of your wedding dress to us, you can rest assured that your dress will look just as beautiful 50 years from now as when you wore it on your wedding day.

To learn more about our service and to receive an estimate, call us today on 01661 820700 or visit the Dulais Wedding Dress Cleaning website today.

Business:          Dulais Wedding Dress Cleaning



James Meade Ladies’ Clothing Summer Sale

James Meade Ladies’ Clothing Summer Sale

Fantastic Savings at the James Meade Ladies’ Clothing Summer Sale
Summer is well underway, and one of the many things to love about summer is the plethora of wonderful things to do outdoors. Between the wide variety of summer festivals across the UK, summer weddings and special events happening at popular city break destinations, no one can say that she wants for things to do in her leisure time.

If you are like many of us, you have a lucrative career and, at this time of year, a rapidly filling social calendar. With all the gatherings you will be attending this summer, it is important to look your best at each and to have the exact right thing to wear to each. There are times when it seems impossible to keep one’s wardrobe up-to-date without paying an exorbitant amount on new clothes two or three times a year, but this simply is not the case.

All it takes are several well-planned purchases of out-of-season or end-of-range clothing. Many clothing shops and online clothing retailers are already offering some very attractive sale prices on ladies clothing for summer so that they can begin making room for their new fall fashions. If you can expect to wear an item next year, or even in different seasons, that you find on sale right now, then by all means take advantage!

James Meade has been a purveyor of classic yet contemporary ladies’ clothing at affordable prices for over 20 years. Our 2015 ladies’ clothing summer sale is the perfect opportunity for you to find beautiful ladies’ cotton blouses, knitwear and much more.

Our free returns and a no-time-limit guarantee on all our exclusive designs allow you to enjoy your purchase entirely risk-free. Don’t miss out on the James Meade Ladies’ Clothing Summer Sale – visit one of our Salisbury- or Brampton-area shops or call us today!

They have been producing high-quality ladies’ clothing in classic styles for over 20 years. Our exclusive designs embody timeless elegance and will be welcome elements in your wardrobe and in those of friends and relatives with a preference for classic ladies’ fashions which help them put their best foot forward at all times. Our helpful size charts, free returns and no-time-limit guarantee make online shopping simple and worry-free. Save now during the winter sale, visit our online ladies fashions website or for more information or to place an order, call James Meade today on 0844 573 4970.

Business:             James Meade Clothing


Stock Markets Rise on Hopes of Greece Deal

Stock Markets Rise on Hopes of Greece Deal

Stock Markets Rise on Hopes of Greece Deal
Stock markets have risen on the hope that a deal may finally be agreed between Greece and its creditors, after Athens submitted fresh proposals to try and avoid defaulting on its debts. Paris and Frankfurt markets were up 3.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 was 1.4% higher. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 1.3%.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is meeting with his country’s creditors later. If a deal is not agreed, Greece risks defaulting on a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) loan repayment due at the end of June.

The proposals submitted by Athens have been received positively by its creditors – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission (EC) – and by its eurozone partners.

“I see the work that has been done,” said French Finance Minister Michel Sapin. “It is quality work.” He added: “A deal requires both sides to evolve. This work is underway and is being undertaken in good conditions.”

Earlier, a representative of the EC said the proposals represented a “good basis for progress”. Investors took heart from such comments, pushing markets higher in early trading, with the Athens Stock Exchange jumping more than 7%.

“The most likely outcome, with a 75% probability, is a deal,” said Credit Suisse analysts in a note.

However, they warned that any deal would probably only be agreed late in the day. “An unfortunate but predictable feature of European crisis decision-making is that such deals are only ever made at the last minute, ‘at the edge of the abyss’,” they said.

Greece’s creditors are insisting that Athens agrees to implement far-reaching economic reforms before it unlocks €7.2bn of bailout funds.

The country’s Syriza government has so far been unwilling to introduce such reforms. The outcome of Monday’s talks will depend on whether Athens’ latest proposals are deemed as an acceptable compromise.

Small Business Confidence in Robust Pick Up

Small Business Confidence in Robust Pick Up

Small Business Confidence in Robust Pick Up
There has been a strong improvement in small business confidence, suggesting the sector will grow this year, the Federation of Small Businesses says.

The lobby group’s small business index suggested there had been a “robust” improvement in confidence in the past three months. It said growth and investment intentions had reached new highs since it began compiling its index in 2010. It also said it had found “few negatives” in the overall picture.

The FSB said the latest survey readings on job creation, productivity and investment all bode well for small businesses sustaining the economy’s growth through 2015.

Businesses view their prospects for the coming months very positively, with nearly two thirds (65.3%) of small businesses aspiring to grow moderately or rapidly in the next three months – the highest figure ever seen by the index.

The FSB said productivity in the sector was increasing compared to the wider economy, something that should be encouraging to policymakers, who have been grappling with the issue of low productivity growth for some time.

However, geographically the mood is very uneven, the group said. The South East of England continues to dominate business confidence, followed by the West and East Midlands. But in Wales, confidence and employment fell, and Scotland also reported lower business confidence.

John Allan, the FSB national chairman, said: “The results… are very positive and show the major role that small businesses play in the growth of the UK’s economy.”

Huge Fine for AT&T over Speed Brakes

Huge Fine for AT&T over Speed Brakes

Huge Fine for AT&T over Speed Brakes
US telecoms company AT&T faces a $100m (£63m) fine for slowing down the internet speeds of millions of customers on unlimited data plans without informing them. It is the largest fine ever levied by the Federal Communications Commission.

AT&T is accused of misleading customers, although it denies any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, wireless operator Sprint announced that it would end its practice of throttling traffic.

AT&T is accused of offering a significantly slower service to customers on unlimited data packages after they had used a certain amount of data each month. According to the FCC, this affected customers’ ability to do things such as stream video or use Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping services.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”

AT&T began offering unlimited data plans in 2007, allowing customers to use unrestricted amounts of data. Although the company no longer offers such plans to new customers, it allows existing customer to renew their contracts for data plans that continue to be labelled as unlimited.

New stricter rules around net neutrality came into force this week, although AT&T was found to be in breach of earlier rules adopted in the 2010 Open Internet Order.

The order’s transparency rule requires fixed and mobile broadband providers to publicly disclose sufficient and accurate information about their network management practices.

AT&T said that major carriers had been slowing speeds for years as a way to manage network resources.

“The FCC has specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources for the benefit of all customers, and has known for years that all of the major carriers use it,” AT&T said in a statement. “We have been fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways,” the wireless carrier added, pointing to a notice posted on its website.

The new rules around net neutrality – which prevent broadband providers and mobile operators from slowing down or blocking specific net traffic – came into force this week. They also seem to be having an immediate effect.

Sprint, the US’s third largest wireless carrier, announced that it had ended its practice of dropping data speeds for heavy net users at times when its network was very busy. It said that it did not believe that it was contravening the new rules but ended the practice to be sure. “Sprint doesn’t expect users to notice any significant difference in their services now that we no longer engage in the process,” a Sprint spokesman said.

Sound & Air Testing in London

Sound & Air Testing in London

Sound & Air Testing in London
London is a major European city containing well over 5 million properties. In this overcrowded environment it is essential that noise transference between properties in kept to an absolute minimum for the occupant’s wellbeing.

APT Sound Testing undertake UKAS accredited Part E sound throughout London. We have extensive knowledge regarding the way different materials and construction methods can influence the results of a sound test, to ensure your company achieves complies with Sound Testing Regulations Part E. We also provide Air Testing Services for property services and other associated building trades, not only in London, but across the UK.

Pre completion sound testing under part E has been a mandatory requirement since July 2003. All new build properties and conversions which were built after this date require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested. Sound Testing is to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls or floors. In usual circumstances the room/s to be sound tested will be the living rooms and bedrooms, which are classed as the two main habitable rooms.

The sound test procedure involves setting up a noise source in a room on one side of the party wall or floor and measuring the noise on both sides of the partition.

Airborne sound tests may also be required between horizontally and vertically separated pairs of rooms. The sound tests are undertaken by using a sound source, amplifier and loudspeaker to generate a high noise level in one room (the source room). Noise measurements are then taken in both the source and receiver rooms using a prescribed number of source and microphone positions. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. This sound test is undertaken using a tapping machine which drops a series of weights onto the floor of the upper room. The noise level in the lower (receiver) room is measured for a prescribed number of source and microphone locations. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the impact sound insulation (LnT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

Our sound test engineers carry all the latest Norsonic equipment, which are class one rating and all of our acoustic testing/sound testing, is completed to a strict quality controlled standard. We provide full UKAS Accredited sound testing.

Pre-completion sound testing is generally carried out at the request of the Building Control Officer. The guidance contained within Approved Document E gives detailed recommendations for the partitions to be tested and for the number of sound tests that should be carried out. We recommend that the proposed sound testing is agreed in advance with the Building Control Officer prior to the London sound testing.

We can undertake both acoustic airborne sound testing to allow for speech, television etc, and impact sound testing to allow for footfall etc. This is in accordance with the requirements of Approved Document E of The Building Regulations and the relevant European and International standards. The testing methods for airborne and impact sound insulation testing in London are in full accordance with: the suggested methods presented in BS EN ISO 140-parts 4 and 7: 1998.

If you are in the construction stage of a new project and are not sure if your design will pass the building regulations then contact us at and we will check your acoustic design and / or air testing requirements and offer advice (if required) for the wall or/and floor partitions. Alternatively if you require sound testing for your London project please contact us now.

Business:               APT Air & Sound Testing


Fears Grow over Greek Banks Health

Fears Grow over Greek Banks Health

Fears Grow over Greek Banks Health
Fears are growing over the health of Greek banks after reports that savers have withdrawn billions of euros in the past week. Capital flight from beleaguered Greek banks this week alone could be more than €3bn (£2.1bn), reports say. Savers are moving funds as time runs out on Greek debt crisis resolution.

It is understood the European Central Bank will hold a meeting later to agree more emergency liquidity assistance for the banks. And on Monday, an emergency summit of leaders from eurozone nations will be held after the latest attempt to resolve the Greek debt crisis failed.

A meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday made no breakthrough. The head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said that “too little” progress had been made and that “no agreement as yet is in sight”.

Greece has less than two weeks remaining to strike a deal or face defaulting on a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund. The country has already rolled a €300m payment into those due on 30 June. If it fails to make the payment, it risks having to leave the eurozone and possibly also the EU.

But the European Commission, the IMF and the ECB are unwilling to unlock bailout funds until Greece agrees to reforms. They want Greece to implement a series of economic changes in areas such as pensions, VAT and on the budget surplus before releasing €7.2bn of funds, which have been delayed since February.

Mr Dijsselbloem stressed that “very little time remains” for Greece.

But Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that there will be a solution to Greece’s debt crisis. “The [eurozone] leaders summit on Monday is a positive development on the road toward a deal,” Mr Tsipras said in a statement. “All those who are betting on crisis and terror scenarios will be proven wrong.” He added: “There will be a solution based on respecting EU rules and democracy which would allow Greece to return to growth in the euro.”