The Birmingham Post (England)

The Birmingham Post is the daily newspaper of Birmingham, England. The Birmingham Post covers local and national news, sports, business, and weather.

Articles from April 22, 2009

Advice Coup for Wragge; LEGAL
Byline: TOMS COTNEY The pensions team at Midland legal giant Wragge & Co have won a major new client, after being appointed to advise the trustees of the pounds 200 million pensions fund of Grant Thornton. And the deal is just the latest...
AFH Taking a Positive Outlook towards the Future of Financial Services Industry
A Worcestershire financial services firm is bucking the economic trend, with a new appointment taking its workforce up to 33. Over the last 12 months, AFH Independent Financial Services has taken on several new members of staff and has recently...
A Step in the Right Direction; How the Intellectual Property Office Can Help You Take Your Idea to the Next Level
A ll businesses use aspects of intellectual property (IP): it could be the name it trades under, the process it uses or the products and services it provides. The UK's future economic success depends largely on this ability to innovate and create...
Bank Bail out to Leave UK Economy with Pounds 200 Billion Bill; BANKING
The UK faces a bill of almost pounds 200 billion for propping up its ailing banking system, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday. Its latest Global Financial Stability Report estimated the cost of support measures would run to 13.4...
Banking on Our Post Offices; City View
Byline: JOHN CRANAGE The Post Office is harbouring ambitions of turning itself into a major provider of banking services by launching a current account, managing director Alan Cook announced yesterday. Speaking to a committee of MPs, he said...
Banking Stocks Slide amid Pre-Budget Nerves; MARKET REPORT
The FTSE 100 Index was mired in the red yesterday as investors showed pre-Budget nerves and banking stocks continued their slide. Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays suffered as inflation figures gave investors a timely reminder...
Bevan Brittan Adds Two Senior Associates to Health Practice Team
National law firm Bevan Brittan has boosted its Birmingham health practice with the appointment of two senior lawyers from Mills & Reeve. Tracey Lucas joins the firm as a senior associate in the medical law team while Julie Ford joins as an...
Birmingham Firms Back Edgbaston Development
Byline: GRAEME BROWN Business leaders are backing controversial plans to redevelop Edgbaston cricket ground after they were blocked by councillors. Proposals to invest in new stands, improved hospitality and media facilities, a new pavilion, floodlighting,...
Boost Employment and Cut VAT; Simon Jonsson, Head of Tax at KPMG in Birmingham, Looks at the Measures the Chancellor Could Consider to Help the Region's Businesses during These Turbulent Times
Byline: Simon Jonsson This year's Budget is particularly challenging for the Chancellor and the Government. While there is clearly an urgent need to help businesses to survive the severe downturn there is also enormous pressure on public finances,...
Brown Is to Scrap MPs' Second Home Allowance
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Gordon Brown is to scrap second home allowances for MPs in a series of drastic reforms following the controversy over Jacqui Smith's expenses claims. The Prime Minister attempted to end the row over the home secretary's...
Call for Stricter Internet Controls to Combat Counterfeiting
B usinesses are concerned that counterfeiting will increase as a result of the recession, and want to see much stronger controls put in place to protect them from internet abuses, according to new research by Marks & Clerk, the leading intellectual...
Captains Miss the Boat for Lions' Mission to South Africa; McGeechan: Final Dozen Slots Were Tough to Call
Byline: ANDREWBALDOCK Ian McGeechan admitted "close calls and tough decisions" had to be made after naming a British and Irish Lions squad that snubbed three Six Nations skippers. England captain Steve Borthwick, Wales leader Ryan Jones and Scotland's...
Chancellor Should Lend a Hand
Byline: ALUNTHORNE An award-winning entrepreneur has urged Alistair Darling to use measures in his Budget to take the brakes off bank lending. Richard Harpin, Ernst & Young United Kingdom Entrepreneur Of The Year, says access to borrowing...
Chemist Buys Rival to Expand Its Network of Branches; PHARMACIES
One of Staffordshire's oldest chemists has hit the acquisition trail, buying rival Cowern & Hartsthorn for an undisclosed fee. Cornwell's, which has a history stretching back to 1835, has five branches in Stafford and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Its...
Cherries Aid Worcester to Sweet Taste of Victory; GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP: GLOUCESTER 6 WORCESTER 13 BRIAN DICK at Kingsholm
Worcester's victory over Gloucester at Sixways last month went a long way to restoring the bond between the club's failing team and its disillusioned supporters. Most Warrior fans are prepared to forgive anything for a win over the hated enemy and...
Clean Homes Not Helping Fight against Infections
World-class scientists will today gather in Birmingham to hear how to cut infectious diseases and MRSA in the community. Award-winning Professor Sally Bloomfield will explain her theory on how homes can be "too clean for our own good" and not allow...
Clinic Claims to Be First for Pioneering Eye Surgery
A Birmingham clinic is claiming a national first with a major accolade for pioneering laser eye surgery. Ultralase has further bolstered its reputation as a leading laser eye treatment specialist, by becoming the first national provider to have...
Commercial Law Specialists Use New Rules to Appoint Non-Lawyer as a Director
A Shropshire commercial law firm has become one of the first in the country to appoint a non-lawyer director, using new legislation that came into effect at the end of March 2009. Blackbourn & Bond, based in Shrewsbury, appointed Mark Callahan...
Designs at Auction on Period Wear
Byline: KATKEOGH A treasure trove of vintage designer clothing and accessories is set to go under the hammer at a Solihull auction house. Knowle-based auctioneers Bonhams is staging the vintage sale on Tuesday, as many shoppers think twice about...
Developer Presses for Eco-Town Alternative
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER; ALUN THORNE A controversial planned eco-town in the heart of the Midlands countryside could be scrapped as developers press ahead with alternative proposals for a new holiday site instead. Developer St Modwen is to apply...
Difficult Options for Darling; Ahead of Today's Budget, Bill Longe, Tax Partner at Business Adviser Baker Tilly Birmingham, Looks to What the Chancellor May Have in Store and the Impact on Businesses and Individuals in the West Midlands
Byline: Bill Longe The economic situation appears to be deteriorating at an alarming rate. Having attempted an economic stimulus in the autumn, the Chancellor is facing some very difficult options. How will he, and we, fare? Increases in taxation...
Dispelling Some of the Myths on Copyright; Neil Maybury, Consultant Head of Intellectual Property with Else Commercial Solicitors, Outlines the Facts regarding Copyright
opyright is one of the three main branches of the law of Intellectual Property, along with Patent Law and Trademark Law. The law of copyright was originally conceived to provide protection against unauthorised reproduction of books and gives the...
Essential Part of Protecting Your Business; How to Avoid Exporting Your Rights to Intellectual Property
rotecting your intellectual property is an essential part of protecting your business, its products and its brand. From a firm's corporate identity to the quality of its goods or services, exercising intellectual property rights enables companies to...
Eversheds' Jobs Cuts May Lift City Workload
Byline: TOM SCOTNEY More work could be heading to the property department at Eversheds in Birmingham after the firm cut ten real estate assistants at its London office. In its third round of redundancy in the last year, the company let the ten...
Family Firm Providing Better Lives for Patients
Byline: JON GRIFFIN A 300-year-old Birmingham familyowned firm is hailing a world first with a new medical breakthrough for stoma patients. Salts Healthcare has been continuously innovating from its Aston base for the past three centuries, and...
Final Curtain for Players at the Village Hall; Amateur Stage
Byline: John Slim After spending 50 years using the village hall as their home, members of the Ullenhall Players were there last night for the most dramatic reason of all. They were meeting the village hall committee to try to discover why they...
Football's New Religious Rituals; Chris Upton
Some years ago a friend of mine had the effrontery to suggest that football was my religion. I reversed the argument and told him that if the Protestants had played the Catholics at Wembley in 1539 they might have avoided all the bloodshed that...
Forget Tension and Play: Phillips' Premier Recipe; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP
Byline: ANDY WALKER St Andrew's could be set to witness a nerve-jangling 90 minutes on Saturday but it won't be a new experience for Birmingham City's veteran striker Kevin Phillips. Unless Sheffield United or Cardiff City lose earlier in the...
Formrite Back in Family Fold with Keelys Deal
Byline: TOM SCOTNEY A tooling firm has been brought back into the family firm in the latest business deal arranged by law firm Keelys. Aldridge-based Formrite Precision, which specialises in precision tooling for the aerospace industries, has...
Fury as City Counts the Cost of Regions Snub
Byline: NICK MCCARTHY The West Midlands will miss out on millions of pounds of investment and thousands of new jobs after it was snubbed in the race to become the country's first City Region. Chancellor Alistair Darling will announce later today...
Government Action Sought as Deflation Returns after 50-Year Gap; ECONOMICS
Business leaders want government action after the UK experienced its first period of deflation in almost 50 years. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation fell to minus 0.4 per cent in...
Government Cash Needed to Help out Local Media
Local newspapers need Government aid to help them survive, an MP has told Ministers. Jim Cunningham (Lab Coventry South) said the Treasury should subsidise local media because they provide a valuable community service. Culture Secretary Andy...
Hands-On Help for Mums; Solihull Mother-of-Three Liza Wilson Tells Diane Parkes How Osteopathy Took the Pain out of Pregnancy When She Developed Complications
Byline: Diane Parkes IZA Wilson was 20 weeks into her pregnancy when she developed pain in her pelvis and lower back. But rather than live with it, she decided to seek help. Liza visited osteopath Jeremy James at his practice in Solihull where...
Heskey Insists Villa Are Staying Upbeat despite Failed Ambitions
Byline: MAT KENDRICK Emile Heskey has denied that there is a melancholy mood among Aston Villa's players following the demise of their season-long aspirations. Villa's chances of Champions League qualification by finishing fourth have all but...
Holiday Hideaway Is Eco-Town Alternative
Eco-town changes - Front page Proposals for a major new town in the Warwickshire countryside are beginning to descend into farce, after the Government delayed a decision yet again. The creation of so-called eco-towns was one of Gordon Brown's...
Hols Carry over Will Take Up Time; Fergal Dowling
The current economic climate has increased pressure upon employers to ensure that their companies are increasingly lean and competitive so that they can benefit from the anticipated upturn. Employers can ill-afford sickness and absence at the best...
Identifying Hidden Treasure; Simon Barker, Senior Associate at Martineau, Says That Identifying Intellectual Property Can Reveal New Opportunities to Make Money
Byline: Simon Barker R ecently Birmingham was revealed as the city hardest hit by the current economic downturn. In increasingly difficult circumstances it is important to compete and prepare for a brighter future. The value of intellectual property...
IFAs Detail Help They Need to Write More Annuities
Independent financial advisers need to double the amount of annuity business they do to keep income streams up, according to research from Just Retirement. As mortgage lending and sales of other traditional income generators remain low, many IFAs...
Income Tax Increases Outstripping Pay Rises
Byline: TOM SCOTNEY Workers are seeing their wages eaten away by income tax because of the Government's failure to move up tax thresholds in line with pay rises, according to data from Birmingham accountants at UHY Hacker Young. The firm has...
IT Meltdown Need Not Be a Complete Disaster
Byline: JON GRIFFIN A West Midlands IT outsourcing business has set up a disaster recovery centre at its Tamworth headquarters to help firms avert potential hi-tech catastrophe. Quiss Technology is providing a centre capable of accommodating...
John's 'Great Honour' after Being Named Deputy Vice President of Law Society
The Law Society has announced the results of the 2009 presidential elections. Allen & Overy competition lawyer John Wotton will be starting office as deputy vice president in July this year when Bob Heslett becomes president and Linda Lee becomes...
Key Review of Shamed Hospital Due in Few Days
Health Secretary Alan Johnson is due to be handed the results of an independent review into A& E at shamed Stafford Hospital in the coming days, the Department of Health has revealed. Mr Johnson ordered national clinical director Professor Sir...
Labour Needs Cleansing; as the Budget Approaches, Chris Moncrieff Rounds Up Issues Facing Gordon Brown and the Country
Byline: Chris Moncrieff The entire Labour edifice appears to be collapsing and crumbling at the feet of the Prime Minister. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson tells us to stop moaning while today's Budget, however tough it may be, and we are told...
Lawton Smith Gives Up Wragge Post for Senior Directorship at Mercato Solutions
Wragge & Co LLP mergers & acquisitions specialist Andrew Lawton Smith is stepping down as partner of the commercial law firm to take up a senior director role with Birminghambased data-management technology provider Mercato Solutions. Mr...
Lawyer Rides to Rescue of Horse-Box Drivers; TRANSPORT: N European Law for HGV Drivers Causes Unexpected Hitch
Byline: TOM SCOTNEY A Warwickshire lawyer has been taken on by equestrian magazine Horse & Hound to lobby the Government over legislation which hits drivers of horseboxes. Jacqui Fulton, a solicitor at Blythe Liggins, said the interpretation...
Man Given Suspended Sentence for Abusing Assault Victim on Facebook
A 24-year-old has narrowly escaped jail after admitting harassing someone on the social networking site Facebook. John Maughan pleaded guilty to sending threatening and abusive messages through the site between January 1-22 this year. Maughan,...
Martineau Building on Title Success
Byline: TOM SCOTNEY Law firm Martineau has been re-appointed as the legal adviser to the property portfolio of the West Midlands local government pension scheme. The Birmingham firm won a competitive tender process to continue its work with the...
Melting Pot of Legal Eagles Set for Society's Seminar Events
Birmingham Law Society is launching a new programme of seminars and events aimed at bringing together different branches of the legal profession. BLS said the staging of the new events was prompted by the economic downturn, in an attempt to help...
MidTECH - NHS Innovations West Midlands; Dr David Gleaves, Chief Executive of MidTECH, Outlines the Expert Assistance the Company Provides to the Region's NHS Trusts and PCTs to Assess and Commercialise Innovations: ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE ON MIDTECH INNOVATIONS
Byline: Dr David Gleaves T he ability of NHS organisations, teams and individuals to innovate - to adopt new ideas to meet new challenges - is vital to ensure they continue both to respond to the changing needs of patients and to attract and retain...
Minister Fights to Keep Minton Archive in Midlands
The Government will do all it can to keep a unique and "incomparably rich" archive of ceramic drawings in Britain, MPs have been told. Culture Minister Barbara Follett promised to "work as hard as I can" to persuade a US-based equity firm to keep...
Moving the Club to NEC Impracticable
Dear Editor, Your editorial about the "balls up" at the County Ground (April 20) is welcome for its good sense about the bizarre shenanigans with the council cabinet and various committees and the assessment by Deloitte that the club's financial projections...
Mowbray Reflects on Equality and Quality; BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Byline: ROB TANNER Goalscorers are a different breed to other footballers. They are the match-winners, the glory boys, the men who can turn one point into three in a split second. They can mean the difference between success and failure. As...
New Diet Pill User 'Lost Two Stone in a Month'
Byline: ALISON DAYANI One of the first people in the country to use the controversial new diet pill has revealed how he lost two stones in a month. Tony Mullins, of Staffordshire, was part of a special programme to take the new fat-busting Alli...
Newly-Qualified Doctors Treated Dying Girl - Inquest
A girl dying from an internal infection was treated by a string of doctors who each had only a few days' experience. Sian Jones, 15, of Stirchley, died in agonising pain a week after being admitted to Heartlands Hospital in August 2007. Despite...
No-Record Hemming Nominated for Novellos
A warehouse worker without a record deal has been nominated for one of the music industry's most prestigious awards alongside international artists including Coldplay and Duffy. Nick Hemming, the guitarist and songwriter from little-known indie...
Nuclear Firm Boosted by LDC Investment; INVESTMENT
Byline: ALUN THORNE One of the region's leading mid-market private equity companies has completed a pounds 6.5million investment in a niche engineering solutions group. LDC - Lloyds TSB Development Capital - has made the investment in Nuclear...
Owners Begin to Feel Pain as Recession Hits Borrowings
Nearly half of all owner-managed businesses in the West Midlands are feeling the pinch of restricted borrowing, according to a survey. Those questioned said that finance and overdraft facilities were much harder to obtain compared with six months...
Payout Wait Goes on for Ex-Leyland DAF Staff; AUTOMOTIVE
Byline: JON GRIFFIN Hundreds of workers unfairly sacked by Birmingham-based van maker Leyland DAF 16 years ago face many more months of waiting for payments of up to pounds 6,000. Aggrieved workers are being frustrated by yet more delays in one...
Plucky Peter Offers Fashion Tips to Ladies Who Lend; John Bright
Brave man is Midlands business guru Peter Rees-Steer. He was the first speaker at a new women's networking group where he gave "A Male Appreciation of Women's Business Fashion". Alternatively named "Into the Lionesses' Den". Organised by REFER...
Pounds 3m Gives Peach Freehold for Two of Its Most Popular Pubs; ACUISITION
The Peach group of pubs has bought the freehold of two of its most popular pubs in a deal worth nearly pounds 3 million. With pubs across the Midlands and Oxfordshire, it bought the freeholds of one in Milton Keynes and the awardwinning Rose and...
Promotion to Top Flight Is a Dream Come True for Hill
Byline: LISA SMITH Wolves defender Matt Hill admits he still has to pinch himself as a reminder of the fact his side will be in the Barclays Premier League come August. And he has revealed the weekend when his side won promotion to the top flight...
Protecting Your Brand in the Online World
R ecent developments relating to use of brand names to generate online search results and promote brands online mean businesses need to ensure they not only monitor use of their own brand online, but are also mindful of the issues involved in using...
Protecting Your Ideas Can Grow Your Business; Understanding and Safeguarding Your Ideas Is a Vital Investment, Says Robin Webb, Innovation Director at the Intellectual Property Office
Byline: Robin Webb ntellectual Property is a term that is often heard but not always understood. Widely speaking, Intellectual Property Rights can be used to safeguard the competitive edge gained through new ideas, products and services and give...
Recession - Worst Is Yet to Come; Research by Ernst & Young Found Dozens of Profit Warnings Issued Already This Year, as the Recession Hit Hard. Restructuring Partner Ian Best Looks at the Regional Picture, and the Impact of the Credit Crunch on West Midlands PLC
Byline: Ian Best UK PLC issued 117 profit warnings in the first quarter of 2009, as the impact of the credit crisis continues to bear down on cash-strapped companies. This is the highest first quarter figure since 2001 and the third quarter in...
Refugees Being Used in 'Propaganda' War
Byline: TERRY WEBSTER Terrified refugees caught between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan forces trying to crush their opponents' last stronghold were also being used in a propaganda war between the two sides yesterday. As record numbers of civilians...
Rival Bikers Used Weapons in Birmingham Airport Brawl
Up to 30 rival bikers fought a mass brawl inside Birmingham's airport terminal building armed with knives, a machete and other weapons, a court heard. A jury sitting at Birmingham Crown Court was told the "battle", which left on-lookers frightened...
Scrappage 'Still in Doubt' as Mandelson Holds Talks
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, were still locked in talks last night over proposals for a long-awaited "scrappage" scheme to boost the car industry. With the Chancellor due to announce...
Serial Boys' Brigade Sexual Abuser Handed Three-Year Prison Term
A former officer in the Sutton Coldfield Boys' Brigade who serially sexually abused a boy he had befriended has been jailed for three years. Martyn Park (57) of Court Lane, Erdington, who has worked as a driver for the police, was also ordered to...
Signs of Improvement in Consumer Confidence; RETAIL: Food and Drink Sales Thriving in Economic Downturn
Byline: TOM SCOTNEY The better than expected performance of the retail sector is a sign consumer confidence could be picking up, according to analysts at Grant Thornton. The proportion of negative trading statements issued by retailers listed...
Solanki's Boys Toil in the Sun; CRICKET: LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
TRENT BRIDGE: Nottinghamshire 334-5 (A C Voges 99, S R Patel 95, C M W Read 69 no) v Worcestershire England discard Samit Patel showed some early season form with 95 as Nottinghamshire made a solid start to their LV County Championship campaign on...
'Spend Bears' Loan on Housing'
Byline: PAULDALE A Birmingham MP is urging the city council to spend the pounds 20 million it is set to lend Warwickshire County Cricket Club on improving housing instead. Lynne Jones (Lab, Selly Oak) is demanding to know why "commercial" redevelopment...
Spot the Talent in Apprentices
Byline: andy dent It has become an annual ritual watching the brilliantly belligerent Sir Alan Sugar ruthlessly whittle down a bunch of wannabes until he finds his Apprentice in the hit BBC TV show. The programme, in which contestants fight it...
Squatters in Double Victory after Eviction Bids Fail
Social housing protesters scored a double victory after efforts to evict them from two city centre properties failed. The Justice Not Crisis movement have been squatting in the abandoned Beechwood Hotel on the Bristol Road and a series of empty...
Stage Star Is the Strongest Link; Actor Matt Rawle Tells Terry Grimley about His Journey from Northfield to the West End
Byline: Terry Grimley You might have seen Matt Rawle, Birmingham-born star of the European premiere of award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza, on television at the start of the year. He was a contestant in a version of The Weakest Link...
Technology Solution to Increasing Fraud Risks; with Fraud in the Midlands Running at Record Levels, Local Businesses Are Being Warned to Get to Grips with the Risks or Potentially Face Significant Losses. Jonathan Lovell, Head of Forensic at KPMG in Birmingham, Looks at the Role Technology Is Playing in the Detection and Prevention of Fraudulent Activity
Byline: Jonathan Lovell The threat of fraud is increasing rapidly in the Midlands. In KPMG's Fraud Barometer, fraud in the Midlands reached pounds 380 million in 2008 - the highest value recorded since it began 21 years ago. History teaches us...
The Changing Face of Intellectual Property Advice
B udgeting for IP support can be problematic for small and large businesses alike. Never has this been truer than in the current economic climate. Ollila Lanoe LLP, a firm of patent attorneys with offices in Warwickshire and Colorado, is tackling this...
The Changing Scene for Gilts; Sean Raftery
With UK base rates now at an historic low of 0.5 per cent, income is increasingly difficult to come by. The fall in UK base rates over the last 18 months from 5.5 per cent to the current level, combined with prospects for lower inflation, quantitative...
The Language of Budgets
Annual Equivalent Rate - what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded each year. Benefits In Kind - benefits, excluding salaries, given to employees. Examples are cars and car fuel, medical insurance and gifts. These are taxed...
Third PM Today into G20 Death
A third post-mortem examination will be carried out today on the body of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, who died during the G20 protests. Lawyers for the police officer questioned over the death of the 47-yearold made the request after conflicting...
Warwicks Hand Miller Championship Debut
Byline: ANDY WALKER Ashley Giles has already proven that he is not afraid to give a young player his big break and Warwickshire's director of cricket will do just that today. Having watched his gamble in promoting a teenage Chris Woakes pay off...
We Have the Skills Says Lord Jones; AUTOMOTIVE
Byline: ANNABLACKABY Former trade minister Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham has called on the Government to get behind the automotive sector in today's Budget and introduce a raft of measures to keep the struggling industry afloat. Sir Digby also...