Binder Gujjar. “I hope the derby on Sunday will be electric.
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Binder Gujjar. “I hope the derby on Sunday will be electric.
Public sector pays the priceOn 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Congestion charging is here to stay. It looks like public sector staff willpay the price for working in the capital – but there’s been no sign ofdisruption on or off the roads. Jane Lewis reportsIt has been hailed a triumph by some, and it certainly wasn’t the”bloody day” that Ken Livingstone warned Londoners to expect. But while it is still too early to call the congestion charge a success, itis probably safe to say that anyone who took up William Hill’s 5:1 odds thatthe charge would be scrapped by the end of the year, must have resignedthemselves to taking a hit. Nearly three weeks into the scheme, there has been no sign of the widespreaddisruption, violent public protest, or mass refusal to pay the £5 charge thatso many predicted. Now it’s here, how are we going to live with it? And who will be mostaffected? In the run-up to the launch, the most vociferous opposition came froman unlikely coalition of Smithfield meat-workers and West End theatre staff,who teamed up with solicitors Class Law to mount a High Court challenge onbehalf of all low-paid workers. Taxing the poor Both Livingstone and the company responsible for managing the scheme,Transport for London (TfL), have long maintained that the impact on this groupwould be minimal, claiming that 85 per cent of those on low incomes living inor around central London don’t have cars anyway. This was challenged in some quarters. “Poorer people tend to shift workat unsocial hours when public transport is least available,” claimed theRAC. Nonetheless, the action was quietly dropped after raising just one tenth ofthe £500,000 it needed to bring the case to court. Its sponsors claimed victorybecause Livingstone has given assurances that he would at least considerintroducing a cheaper rate for drivers on low incomes. The controversy still raging, however, relates to key public sector workers.Here the scheme’s devisors appear to have shown remarkable inconsistency. Whilegovernment chauffeurs, police, firefighters and certain NHS staff carryingequipment or drugs are exempt from the charge, the majority of NHS workers,ambulance drivers and teachers are not. “We are already hearing anecdotal evidence that schools in the zone arebeing hit, with some teachers considering resignation,” said a NationalUnion of Teachers spokeswoman. For many, the prospect of spending an extra £1,200 a year just to get towork is a step too far – particularly in the absence of any forthcoming deal tohelp with the costs, “and there’s very little that individual schools cando”. One option under consideration is to raise the London Weighting allowanceto compensate for the charge. But this, as she pointed out, “is a veryblunt instrument”. Staff shortages London Ambulance staff are marginally better off, having struck a deal withemployers that gives those working in the zone £550 per year towards the charge– a move that will cost more than £250,000 a year. This is more likely to put pressure on other NHS chiefs to follow suit –particularly given strong language from unions. “This charge will tip manyon the breadline over the edge,” said Unison’s London spokesman GeoffMartin. The fear is that the charge will only add to the chronic staff shortagesalready gripping the NHS in London, making it even more difficult to recruitand retain doctors, nurses and paramedics. “It will add to the continual dripeffect, making it difficult for people to work in central London. Given thechoice of a job just inside the zone, or one outside, which would youchoose?” added Martin. The strategy HR chiefs in the NHS appear to be taking is to tackle theproblem on a case-by-case basis. Headed by Tim Higginson, personnel director at Guys & St Thomas’, theyhave come together and set up an appeals panel. Given that the charge has sofar provoked just one recorded resignation (a clerical officer at MoorfieldsEye Hospital), this selective approach may well turn out to be the mosteffective. Recruitment and retention is likely to prove less of an issue in the privatesector, said Charles Cotton, adviser on reward and employment conditions at theCIPD. “I don’t think someone is going to move out of central Londonbecause of the congestion charge. Uncertainty about the economy means therewon’t be a large number of people wanting to move job at present,” hesaid. However, he noted, there is still widespread concern that the dire state ofpublic transport could prove the Achilles heel of the congestion charge. “There may well be a lot of complaints from companies that staff arearriving at work stressed and exhausted,” said Cotton. Employers foot the bill Luckily, many staff may not have to worry about the cost. Research by lawfirm Fox Williams shows that 35 per cent of London employers have decided tofoot the bill. But, as employment specialist Helen Monson pointed out, thiscould have complicated implications for tax. While business journeys can be treated as expenses under existing InlandRevenue rules, the same is not true of journeys to and from work. Thus, ifemployers choose to reimburse staff for travelling to work, it will be treatedas a taxable benefit. That could put an extra 40 per cent on the bill for anupper-bracket taxpayer. Employers taking this course of action, she added, could also facechallenges for unfair treatment from staff using public transport. If commuterswho drive to work are reimbursed for their journey, why not them too? Path to flexible working The charge may well have other implications for HR in London. “There is a very real possibility that homeworking and more flexiblehours will become more popular,” said the Institute of Directors,”though this is likely to be confined to larger companies who can affordto accommodate different working patterns rather than small business.” Are we likely to see an extension of the congestion charge elsewhere? Theshort answer is yes. The launch of the scheme has attracted massive support ona global basis, while in the UK, some 35 towns and cities, including Bristol,Edinburgh and Nottingham, have announced an interest in following suit. Indeed, individual congestion schemes may shortly be overtaken by somethingmuch bigger. Sources close to the Government claim that widespread publicacceptance of Livingstone’s scheme – combined with its huge revenue-raisingpotential – means that plans for a national road toll scheme, based oninstalling sophisticated satellite tracking technology in every vehicle in thecountry, “have moved sharply up the political agenda”. Compared with the implications of a New Labour-inspired ‘spy-in-the-skysatellite’ scheme, charging from 3p a mile on quiet roads, to £1.30 a mile incrowded city centres, the London congestion charge will soon seem small beer. www.londontransport.co.ukwww.data.teachers.org.ukwww.unison.org.ukwww.iod.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
Two high-profile estate agents in Scotland are the latest to launch an off-the-high-street agency.Celia and Patrick Paton, who are to run their eponymous estate agency from the family home, say they want their firm to concentrate on personal service and upmarket property marketing all with technology at its heart rather than a physical branch.Paton & Co will be based at their borders home but cover the whole of Scotland although the pair say they will still offer a face-to-face service.“Instead of a shop window, we will provide enhanced online marketing, which makes perfect sense when 95% of home buyers start their house search online,” says Patrick.“A year ago, we might have been looking for office premises, but recent events have highlighted the possibilities of working from home and using technology more effectively to allow a better work-life balance.“With two young sons, we know how important that is, which is why we understand clients who are searching for a particular lifestyle as much as a new house.”Property backgroundsThe pair have extensive industry experienced. He worked at Knight Frank and Smiths Gore before becoming a partner at Rettie, while Celia worked in property marketing for several years at McEwan Fraser Legal.Unusually for a start-up, Paton & Co is to market its homes on all four UK property portals – OTM, Zoopla, Rightmove and Boomin.It will also offer virtual tours for all its properties as standard and is using what3words tech to help those attending viewings find out-of-the way properties.Main pic: Patrick and Celia Paton with sons, Jock and Freddie, and dog, Fidget.Celia Paton Patrick Paton Paton &Co online agent Scotland April 7, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Industry power couple launch off high street estate agency previous nextAgencies & PeopleIndustry power couple launch off high street estate agencyCelia and Patrick Paton say Covid has proved agencies don’t have to operate a branch to be successful.Nigel Lewis7th April 20210802 Views
Mayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,Last Saturday (June 3), we held a town hall meeting to share information on our 2017 bayside dredging program. Many in attendance had questions about dredging private boat slips. I’ve asked my team and ACT Engineers to work together to create a simple fact sheet explaining the responsibilities of individual owners, the city and the state when it comes to completing this work. I will update you within the next two weeks with a link to this new resource.At last night’s City Council meeting, it was announced that the city issued $25 million in short-term notes to help pay for capital improvements in the city. The interest rate on this borrowing is just 1.06 percent. That rate is directly related to Ocean City’s exceptional AA Standard & Poor’s rating. This helps Ocean City continue to make responsible investments in infrastructure work citywide.City Council also voted to accept a gift of more than $150,000 from the Friends of the Ocean City Pops to install cameras and video screens at the Ocean City Music Pier. The screens will add a lot to the experience of attending a Pops concert – providing close-ups of musicians and headliners and bringing all of the visuals a lot closer for those seated in the back of the auditorium. The equipment will be available not just for Pops concerts but for the entire lineup of Music Pier shows and entertainment throughout the year.I’d like you all to join me in thanking the Friends of the Pops for this generous gift, and I want to encourage you all to attend a Pops show this summer. The season opens on June 25 with Vanessa Williams taking the spotlight. The summer schedule includes something for music lovers of all tastes and ages (see complete schedule ). The Pops and the Music Pier are two of Ocean City’s greatest treasures, and this gift will make them even more valuable.I’d like to remind everybody that the twice-a-week trash and recycling pickup schedule begins on Monday. You can check pickup days for your address here.The Ocean City Exchange Club honored Tom Oves Jr. on Monday with its annual “Book of Golden Deeds” award. The honor recognizes citizens who make selfless contributions to their community, and Tom is the perfect recipient. It was inspiring to see so many people from all parts of Ocean City come out Monday to pay tribute to him. He has served the community as an educator, Board of Education member, youth sports coach, Junior Wrestling Club founder, business owner and neighbor. It’s people like Tom who help make Ocean City such a great place to live and visit.I also want to remind you that Restaurant Week in Ocean City runs tonight through next Friday. The week offers a great chance to try a new place or to get a great deal at one of your favorites. Check menus and offers at eatinocnj.com .Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayor
Chip Miller Skatefest 2018. (Chip Miller Facebook) The Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation will present a fundraiser, the “Slide for Amyloid” tomorrow, July 20 at the Ocean City Water Park to raise awareness and funds to combat the deadly disease, Amyloidosis.The event, which starts at 5 p.m., features food, music and surprises.The food feast, “A Taste of Ocean City,” will feature specialties from eight Ocean City restaurants.Tickets are $50 for children and young adults aged 5 to 20 ($60 at the door $75 adults 21 and up ($85 at the door;) with Family Four Packs of four tickets priced at $200 ($225 at the door.) Kids aged 4 and under are free.It’s all to combat Amyloidosis, a rare disease which is usually fatal if not diagnosed in time. Amyloidosis is a condition which has no known cause and no known cure. It results in the buildup of amyloid proteins on the organs.Chip Miller, a longtime Ocean City resident and supporter of its surfing community, was stricken with the disease in and passed away in 2004, just a few months after his diagnosis.Chip’s son Lance, an event organizer, said rather than dwell on the tragedy, the event is “a big party and a celebration of my Dad’s life. At the same time we hope to make people aware of the disease and encourage early diagnosis.”A Surf Fest bearing Miller’s name will take place on Friday July 20 at 7th Street Beach in Ocean City. Sign-ins begin at 7:30 a.m. and the contest starts at 8:30. If there are no waves, the contest will take place on Saturday or Sunday July 21 or 22.To register for the Slide and/or the Surf Fest in advance, visit the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation website at www.chipmiller.org.