Debate over future of London airports takes flight

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Dearman backs minister to ditch red diesel

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BAM: First Pile Driven at Petroleum Jetty in Sierra Leone

first_imgBAM International and its South African joint-venture partner Stefanutti Stocks have driven the first pile for the construction of the petroleum jetty at the Kissy Oil Terminal of Freetown in Sierra Leone. BAM and Stefanutti Stocks were awarded the contract or the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the petroleum jetty in December 2013. The hand-over of the jetty to client Petro Jetty Ltd is expected in February 2015.The new petroleum jetty comprises a 240 metres steel trestle on steel piles, including a concrete offloading platform of 12 x 25 metres, four mooring dolphins, two breasting dolphins and a fender rack.For the top works, sister company BAM Leidingen & Industrie will engineer and supply the hose tower, the firefighting system and the piping and electrical part.[mappress]Press Release, July 31, 2014last_img read more

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Cameron told: ‘engage with profession on PI’

first_imgThe Law Society has urged David Cameron to engage with the legal profession following his attack on the health and safety ‘monster’ and personal injury fees. In a speech last week, the prime minister proposed capping fees for personal injury claims at £25,000 and including public and employers’ liability claims in the restrictions. In line with the 2010 Young report, he plans to extend the current portal scheme for road traffic accidents to an upper limit of £25,000. Speaking to an audience of small businesses, Cameron described existing health and safety regulations as an ‘albatross around the neck’ of small firms and invited insurers to suggest possible reforms. He did not mention solicitors in his invitation. Solicitors have told the Gazette they feel sidelined in the debate over civil litigation. David Bott, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, expressed ‘grave concerns’ that the government was pushing through far-reaching changes without proper consideration. The Law Society has joined calls for consultation. In a letter sent this week to Downing Street, president John Wotton said it was ‘vital’ to use the legal sector’s experience. ‘It is essential that the progress over recent years in reducing injuries at work is not reversed, and that those injured as a result of another’s negligence can secure adequate compensation.’ He added: ‘I would like to meet with you on a similar basis to your planned meeting with the insurance industry next month, to discuss how this issue can most effectively be tackled.’ In his speech, Cameron declared that he is ‘waging war’ against what he called the ‘health and safety culture’, although he gave few details about how that war would be waged. Details are expected to emerge in the government’s response to last year’s consultation on solving disputes in the county courts. It was due for publication in October, but the Ministry of Justice said this week there is still no date set for its release. John Spencer, director of PI firm Spencers Solicitors, said Cameron had ‘put the cart before the horse’ in pre-empting the consultation response. ‘Either the government knows its response and has not published it, or it has made its mind up regardless of what the report says,’ he added. The proposed extension of the RTA Portal scheme comes as 2,000 claims are being notified through the portal to insurers every day, raising concerns about the scheme’s capacity to expand. Tim Wallis, chairman of RTA Portal Co, said the detail of extending the upper limit had to be ‘considered carefully’, and promised to work with the MoJ to avoid any ‘significant disruptions’.last_img read more

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Still beating the drum

first_imgHere we go again … A training levy – the “apprenticeship levy” – kicked in on 6 April 2017. It’s a neat 0.5% on your wage bill, if you are a big boy employer. Yes, that’s on top of your CITB training levy, if you are a constructor.Now, let me tell you a story. In 1964, the government introduced industrial training levies. They were for all parts of commerce, as well as construction. It established 31 industrial training boards (ITBs): hopeless, useless and resented. Margaret Thatcher abolished 29 of the ITBs at a stroke. Of the two left, one was the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) (along with the Engineering Industry Training Board). The CITB stayed by the skin of its teeth.Let me tell you another story. My very first page here was precisely 30 years ago. It was about the CITB. More particularly it was about the daftness of how the CITB levy was collected. That criticism is not about the notion of having a CITB. It was about slamming the industry with a tax (the levy) and the bitter resentment it was causing and that much of the world of building was telling the CITB to go to hell no matter what was available in the training levy. That page, 30 years ago, campaigned for a change in levy collection. It said put the training levy on basic building materials: 2p on plasterboard, 2p on bricks, and more besides. I still believe that is the trick that will give us all the cash for training. But it’s like talking to a brick wall.Another piece, three years ago, described the plethora of contract documents contractors had to contend with. I believed then that hardly any constructor reads, let alone understands, those documents. I still wholly believe that even if folk attempt to read the clauses, sub-clauses and more besides, they will not be understood. Except that every corner of the construction world those 30 years on has cottoned on to the business of claims. Building things seems to have become a sideline, while the rest of us have happily become disputomaniacs about building.The big disputes industry is not just a UK epidemic. Consultant Arcadis have been tracking global construction disputes. Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America have almost identical causes of disputes:Failure to administer the contract How come? Construction folk are busy every day doing the putter-uppering. Niceties as to contractual procedures, letters and notices are a complete pain in the neck and in any case frequently written in language of lawyers, so get put to one side.Poorly drafted claims documents True. For goodness’ sake, drafting a claim is lawyer’s work, but that’s expensive. So the chaps in the office write amateur claims.Errors and omissions in the contract documents Agreed. Time and again the dispute is about what the contract is thought to mean. Even the unfiddled well-known standard forms are open to interpretation and then can be exploited.Failure to understand and/or comply with contractual obligations by the employer/contractor/subcontractor Do you see how all these points overlap? The contractual rules are unfathomable to the lads doing the actual building workFailure to make interim awards on extensions of time and compensation This is the big tease, the big notion of wait and see, the big opportunity to put pressure and expense on constructors to scramble to make up time. It causes ructions on site and poor rushed work as well.Needless to say morale sags, profits evaporate and the claims game thrives. We have more claimsters, lawyers, and consultants than we do bricklayers.By the time of the mid-1990s litigation was severely criticised. Lord Woolf’s 1995 report declared litigation was not fit for purpose. Arbitration aped litigation and was condemned for its expense and delay. Building magazine, at that time, beat the drum for dispute resolution to be much more commercially savvy.And parliament listened to theses voices and to the Latham report. It’s now 19 years that we have had adjudication: 28-days of crash-bang-wallop dispute deciding. It has at its heart the question of “which party will pro tem have the cash?” It’s not a forum for deciding the dispute, not the forum for an ultimate decision on the rights to the cash. It is not litigation. It is not a trial. It’s not an inquiry, which tests the evidence and story of witnesses, nor expert witnesses. It’s 28 days to do the best to say who will pay or hold the money. The 19 years since have seen an unwitting pull for adjudication to adopt litigation process. Stop it. That idea is not working. It is putting up the cost. The innovation of 28-day adjudication here in the UK has in these years seen the idea take off in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Ireland. The amount we have learned about the idea is huge.So the challenge now has to be dispute avoidance. We still don’t understand collaboration, but it is vital. We don’t understand how to simplify contractual bumf. We don’t understand how to avoid disputes. That idea must be a drum for Building magazine to beat. Beat it.Tony Bingham is a barrister and arbitrator at 3 Paper Buildings, TempleTo read Tony Bingham’s debut from April 1987, as well as the 2014 piece he references, download the PDFs from the Related files sectionlast_img read more

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Project cargo helps lift the Seaports of Niedersachsen

first_imgAt the port of Brake, Bullish project cargo activity saw 39,251 tonnes handled in 2011, an increase of 42 percent on 2010’s 27,727 tonnes.The port of Nordenham saw more than a doubling of 2010’s 5,962 tonnes to see 13,033 tonnes in 2011 while project cargo, especially wind energy components, were significant at Emden.The Seaports of Niedersachsen represents the nine Lower Saxon seaports on the rivers Elbe, Weser, Jade and Ems which form one of the most significant German cargo hubs. The ports will be represented at the HUSUM WindEnergy exhibition in June 2012 to promote its wind energy components traffic.The Seaports of Niedersachsen comprise Brake, Cuxhaven, Emden, Leer, Nordenham, Oldenburg, Papenburg, Stade and Wilhelmshaven.www.seaports.dewww.seaports-offshore.delast_img read more

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Ridership surge prompts SNCF to order more TGVs

first_imgFRANCE: SNCF Mobilités announced an order for 12 double-deck TGVs on July 31 as part of its fleet renewal strategy. Branded TGV Océane by the operator, the Avelia Euroduplex trainsets are to be supplied by Alstom for use on routes between Paris and Metz and Nancy in eastern France, and from Paris to Nantes and Rennes in the west. They will be similar in design to the l’Océane trainsets supplied for the launch of high speed services to southwest France on LGV Sud Europe Atlantique in 2017, but updated to reflect advances in wi-fi and passenger information provision. The trains are expected to enter service in 2021-22. SNCF is currently taking delivery of 55 Océane trainsets under two contracts placed in 2013 (40) and 2017 (15). The latest procurement has been brought forward in response to a strong increase in high speed ridership in recent months. Reporting quarterly results on July 31, SNCF said TGV traffic was up by 11% against the same period in 2017, 2018 having been disrupted by industrial action. The TGV Océane order is intended to bridge the gap until the first of 100 ‘TGV of the Future’ trainsets are delivered in 2023. The additional trains will also enable SNCF to accelerate the withdrawal of older high speed trainsets. The contract value is €335m. Eight Alstom sites are to be involved in production of the trains: La Rochelle (final assembly), Belfort (power cars), Ornans (traction motors), Le Creusot (bogies), Tarbes (traction equipment), Villeurbanne (onboard IT systems), Petit-Quevilly (transformers) and Saint-Ouen (design work).last_img read more

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Partners Against Rural Crime – Dumfries and Galloway

first_img“The financial cost of crime to rural businesses is significant, and for the victims of these crimes it can go beyond the cost of simply replacing the property stolen; loss of earnings, hiring of replacement vehicles etc. Generally speaking, a Rural Crime is one which affects any person living, working or visiting a Rural Area. This is any geographic area located outside a town or city or any area within a small town or village and will include farms, businesses, private dwellings, country estates, woodland or forestry areas.“Typical crimes which may amount to a Rural Crime are:All types of theft involving vehicles, machinery, equipment, metal, fuel and livestock;Housebreaking and Opening Lockfast Places in respect of commercial and domestic properties;Wilful damage to property including Vandalism and Malicious Mischief;“Crimes against livestock and other protected animals, including livestock worrying.“This list is not exclusive and any other crimes could be considered – particularly where the perpetrator has travelled to a rural area for the purpose of committing the crime.“Each local policing division is working with partners to enhance intelligence, prevention and enforcement activity through their Rural and Wildlife Crime Governance Groups. Each local policing division has a rural and wildlife crime lead who can be contacted for local issues, I am the lead for Dumfries and Galloway Division regarding rural crime and Constable Andy Wheeler, Divisional HQ for wildlife crime”“Rural Crime is a priority for Police Scotland and here in Dumfries and Galloway we are working with partners and within communities to enhance intelligence, prevention and enforcement activity in connection with rural crime. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInThe Dumfries and Galloway Partners Against Rural Crime met on Wednesday 17 August 2016 at Police Scotland’s Dumfries and Galloway Divisional Headquarters at Cornwall Mount in Dumfries.  Police Scotland Chief Inspector Stuart Davidson who chairs the group said “Police Scotland understand the concern that exists in the community about rural crime and we treat this as a priority, working with a number of partners to tackle the issue. “While most people in rural areas experience low levels of crime, when it does happen, it can have a disproportionate effect as victims can feel a greater sense of isolation and vulnerability. A partnership approach is an effective way to reduce crime in rural areas by targeting offenders and enhancing crime prevention and the Dumfries and Galloway Partnership Against Rural Crime has been set up to work together with partner organisations such as the National Farmers Union of Scotland and Scottish Land & Estates to prevent crime and protect rural communities.center_img “Residents in rural locations can assist police by taking simple security measures to reduce the opportunities for criminals to commit a crime against their property. There is a booklet entitled “Guide to Security in the Rural Environment” and other crime prevention advice which can be found on the Police Scotland website. This site has valuable information for all those who live and work in our countryside.” http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/home-and-personal-property/rural-crimelast_img read more

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PNP dismisses statement on crime by Jamaican National Security Minister

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The opposition People’s National party (PNP) Monday dismissed criticisms by National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang that the PNP is to be blamed for the upsurge in criminal activities in Jamaica.SuperciliousIn a statement, the PNP said it “rejects as supercilious” Chang remarks made at a conference of the Jamaica Labor Party’s (JLP) affiliate youth arm, Young Jamaica in Montego Bay over the last weekend.A signal to criminals Chang said the PNP’s decision not to support the extension of the state of public emergency(SOE) signaled to criminals that they now have the greenlight to once again to carry out their evil deeds with impunity.“The current wave of crime which dampens the country, we see solutions that the country could relate to but the People’s National Party has forced us to discontinue with this anti-crime measure because they used a narrative which was completely wrong based on lies and innuendos and the country needs to understand how it emerged,” Chang told the conference.RefutedBut in its statement, the PNP said it found the statement by Chang, who is also the JLP general secretary, to be “contemptuous, reckless and inimical to the process of by-partisan talks, which both parties started a few weeks ago.The opposition party said the statement by Chang “is another indication of the government’s failure to arrest the murderous state of affairs in Western Jamaica, and elsewhere in the country.A red herring“Dr Chang and the JLP government are well aware of the PNP’s position which is firmly rooted in principle and the Jamaican Constitution, as outlined by our team of lawyers at the Vale Royal Talks. His statement, therefore, is a red herring which is aimed at distracting the nation from the core issue of the government’s policy failure on crime,” the PNP added.It quoted Shadow Minister of National Security and the PNP’s Chairman, Fitz Jackson, as saying that Chang is seeking to scapegoat the PNP for the obvious failure of the government “to bring a credible solution to the crime situation in the country”.He said the PNP and civil society have been asking the government for a crime plan and to date, the government’s response has been the promulgation of the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) and the declaration of states of emergencies in selected areas.“The statistic shows that even while those measures were in effect, crimes and gruesome murders were still taking place. Since the start of the year, for example, 183 Jamaicans have been killed violently in various communities across the country. In Montego Bay and other areas where the special operations zones and/or states of emergency were enforced, more than 16 persons were killed, and other crimes continued unabated.“Dr Chang needs to use his time to convince Prime Minister Andrew Holness to schedule the long-awaited meeting with civil society stakeholders as agreed at the Vale Royal Talks,” Jackson said.“We eagerly await the resumption of those talks, to which the Office of the Prime Minister is yet to schedule so that the nation can come to a consensus on a set of crime fighting principles to break the continuous cycle of crimes affecting our citizens in every socio-economic stratum,” Jackson added.The PNP said that it would “never accept blame for the upsurge in crime for defending the principle that fighting crime cannot be on the sole basis of the arbitrary detention of hundreds of our citizens without due process.“As a democratic party rooted in the principle of justice for all, we would not now or in the future, support the trampling of the basic human rights of the Jamaican people. It is not in our DNA.”Jackson said that the PNP “therefore, urge Dr Chang to desist from politicizing the crime situation and seek by-partisanship to tackle the situation in the interest of nation building.last_img read more

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Young Professionals Want to Invest in Jamaica

first_imgShe noted that JN Bank remains the country’s leading private mortgagee, assisting hundreds with financing the purchase of realty. A young Jamaican professional in the United States of America says there is a desire among other young professional Jamaicans overseas to invest in Jamaica, although he acknowledges that there is a lack of understanding among some about saving and investing generally. Contributing to a discussion recently about how Jamaicans in the Diaspora can invest in Jamaica during the JN Bank’s Redesign Your 2020 Goals series on social media, David Mullings, CEO of the Florida-based, Blue Mahoe Capital, noted that there are several young professionals like himself, in the Diaspora, who want to own property or do some kind of investment in Jamaica. JN Bank has representative offices in Florida in the USA; Toronto, Canada and London, England which provide prospective members with the requisite documents and instructions needed to open accounts; and convenient linkages to allow them to manage their accounts while living outside Jamaica. She outlined that once all the information is received to open an account, the representative offices forward them to JN Bank in Jamaica, so that the relationship can be established. “Most of us were not taught about investment or financial literacy while we were growing up; but the most important thing is to, start and be consistent,” he insisted. Echoing Mr Mullings’ point, Ms McIntosh pointed out that savings accounts in Jamaica offer interest, while many banks overseas, particulary in the United States of America, do not. Beyond maintaining savings, however, Ms McIntosh informed that the real estate sector is a good investment for Jamaicans overseas, pointing to the marked growth of the sector in recent years, which was facilitated by changes in government policy; and also the dramatic growth of the short-term rental market, supported by platforms, such as Airbnb. Pre-COVID-19, Jamaica recorded 20 consecutive quarters of growth in its economy; and achieved a high level of confidence among consumers and businesses; as well as, a bullish stockmarket. The online series, JN Bank Redesigning Your 2020 Goals is geared to provide the public with information about how to navigate 2020; and still achieve their financial goals, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The series, which can be viewed on the JN Bank‘s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages, ends on July 23. “Interest rates in the United States are low; therefore, we are looking for better savings options and better interest rates. We are also looking to invest, because according to Bloomberg, the Jamaican Stock Exchange has been the best performing stock exchange in the last five years; therefore, everybody wants to own a piece of the rock. They want to know how they can trade on the Jamaican Stock Exchange; and lastly, a lot of us want to, ‘Own a Piece of the Rock,’ in terms of real estate, Mr Mullings pointed out. ” Janice McIntosh, Chief Representative Officer, JN Florida Representative Office Supporting Mr Mullings’ observation, JN Bank’s chief representative officer in Florida, Janice McIntosh, underscored that there is a lot of interest in Jamaica among Jamaicans overseas. She saated that it was important for them to maintain even a savings account, for example, so that they would have a source of funding and a financial footprint, when they visit and do other kinds of business in Jamaica. “A lot of Jamaicans are looking to diversify their investment portfolio; and they are looking at real estate as one viable option. They want to ensure that a part of their wealth is in Jamaica,” she said. “More and more Jamaicans overseas are making Jamaica their choice for vacations and family reunions; and as a result, they don’t necessarily want to travel with too much cash. They can establish an account so that they can get a debit card to do point-of-sale purchases, and conveniently access their money via automated teller machines, while in Jamaica,” she explained. In that vein, Ms McIntosh said JN Bank’s Representative Offices assists with the acquisition of mortgages for homes and property in Jamaica. “Once the pre-approval is done, we give them a list of requirements, they provide us with same; we then compile the application and  it down to Jamaica electronically, initially; and the adjudication team or underwriters there, either approves, suspends or denies it,” she explained. “We also encourage everyone who establishes a relationship with JN Bank, to sign up for our online banking platform, JN Bank LIVE, as it is extremely extensive and convenient; and allows you to access your savings accounts, pay bills, transfer funds to local and overseas banks, request statements, and so much more,” she informed. She said that although most Jamaican banks and other financial institutions do not have subsidiaries overseas, there are some organisations which have representative offices, such as JN Bank, to facilitate the opening of savings accounts in Jamaica. David Mullings, CEO of the Florida-based, Blue Mahoe Capital “Properties ususally have a high re-sale value and they can also double as Airbnb and other forms of short-term rentals, thus providing another source of income. Jamaica is a high tourist destination, so once someone can secure a property in Jamaica, especially in the resort areas, they can be used for vacation homes or retirement property,” she outlined. She added that once the money is sent through JN Money, it goes directly into the bank account and is immediately accessible. But, Mr Mullings acknowledged that although many young Jamaicans overseas want to invest, there are those who are not as literate as they should be about saving and investing. “We can facilitate the entire mortgage application from our office here in Florida. What we do is to send interested persons the information to do pre-qualificationsl and once they are pre-qualified, we will finance the purchase,” she explained. “We don’t have a banking licence in the US; therefore, persons have to fund their accounts through wire transfer or remittances, that can be facilitated conveniently through our sister company, JN Money, which allows persons to send funds online from overseas,” she said. However, similar to other countries around the world, the Jamaican economy is now experiencing a downturn; but its reopening last month has signalled hope for its re-emergence, as some fundamentals, such as the Net International Resrves (NIR), have begun to demonstrate a marginal uptick. NIR rose 1.54 per cent last week, the Bank of Jamaica reported.last_img read more

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