Sunday, 17 September 2017

Just for Pets Goes Into Administration

Wynnstay, the agricultural and retail group, provides the following update on Just for Pets Ltd.

As previously reported, the trading environment for JfP, which comprises 25 stores, has shown a marked deterioration over the last year. Changes in consumer buying behaviour, coupled with additional sources of competition and greater cost pressures, have placed an increasing strain on the business and the subsidiary has become loss-making. 

It became increasingly clear that restructuring measures were required and, as announced in the Company's half year results on 21 June 2017, a review of the options for the business was commenced and the Company recognised a goodwill impairment charge of £3.89m in relation to JfP. Following a careful and extensive consideration of alternative solutions, including a sale of the business, the difficult decision has been taken to give Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators to the Just for Pets business. 

The Company intends to work alongside advisers in order to preserve as much value as possible for all stakeholders of JfP, including its employees, customers, suppliers and Wynnstay shareholders. For the six months to 30 April 2017, JfP generated £7.0m of revenues, approximately 3% of Wynnstay's total revenues for the period, and an operating loss of £0.25m. 

The Company's total adjusted operating profit for the same period was £4.24m. Current segmental net assets relating to JfP totalled approximately £2.2m. Management expects to recognise exceptional charges relating to the write-off of net assets and associated costs. 

Read the full press release here - 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pay boost for public sector prison staff

  • All public sector prison staff to receive a pay uplift after Justice Secretary, David Lidington, implements in full Public Sector Pay Review Body’s recommendations
  • Pay uplift follows £100 million government investment to recruit 2,500 new prison officers by 2018.
All prison staff in England and Wales will receive a pay boost as Justice Secretary, David Lidington implements in full the independent Public Service Pay Review Body’s recommendations.
All prison staff, including operational support grades and governors, will receive an increase to their salary averaging 1.7% across the service.
Justice Secretary David Lidington said:
Our hardworking prison staff do an outstanding job, often in the most challenging of circumstances. It is therefore right that this work is recognised and that they are awarded a well-deserved increase in pay.
During my visits to prisons around the country I have been hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication they show to make prisons safer and improving the lives of the offenders they manage.
Prison officers provide a vital public service. Their work is often out of sight but is crucial to keeping the public safe.

The government has already boosted the pay of thousands of frontline staff in London and the South East thanks to a £12 million package announced in February. Prison officers at 31 establishments have received a boost of up to £5,000 and new starters are now receiving a total pay of up to £29,500 — an increase of £5,000.
The £29 million of funding for the annual pay increase announced today will be drawn from existing budgets. It comes just weeks after the Justice Secretary announced a net increase of 868 new prison officers between January and June 2017. An additional 738 job offers have been made to potential recruits who are expected to start after June 2018.
This means more support for colleagues, and more support for prisoners, implementing the new key-worker scheme that will train each officer to work more closely with 6 offenders, building stronger relationships to bring about positive change.
By having more staff on the ground, staff will be better supported to do the job they came into the prison service to do, and spend more time reforming offenders.

Works to strengthen road safety measures in Sneyd Green

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is carrying out the improvements at the junction of Milton Road and Repington Road. Work will see an existing mini roundabout replaced with a small raised standard roundabout. A sequence of road humps will also be installed in Milton Road to reduce traffic speed between the roundabout and bridge.
The work is expected to take between four and six weeks to complete, and will start on September 18.
Ward councillor Joanne Powell-Beckett had campaigned for the improvement works in the wake of an accident which resulted in the death of a seven-year-old boy in Repington Road last year.
Councillor Powell-Beckett said: “We know that the death was caused by careless driving and not as a result of the condition of the road. But it really rocked the whole community and I have been working with families and the local school since then to examine in detail the road layout and traffic flow.

“These measures are designed to strengthen road safety and reduce traffic speed further. The works are taking place to support the community and have been arranged in conjunction with them.”
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, added: “This scheme will reduce the speed of vehicles and improve road safety on Milton Road, at the junction with Berwick Road and Repington Road.
“It will mean some disruption to motorists while the work takes place, and we ask drivers and other road users for their patience until the work is completed.”

Met Office - Storm Aileen First Named Storm Of Autumn 2017

Storm Aileen is the first storm to be named since this season names were released last week and it will bring strong winds to central parts of the UK.

A deepening area of low pressure will bring very strong winds across much of England and Wales during Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. An Amber National Severe Weather Warning is in place, warning of gusts of 55-65 mph in particular across parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.  Gusts up to around 75mph gusts could also be possible in exposed locations such as the coast and hills in these areas.

A Yellow weather warning for rain is also in place for parts of Northern Ireland, Northern England and Southern Scotland which warns of 30-40mm of rain falling within 6-9 hours which could cause some disruption.

Chief forecaster Frank Saunders said: “Storm Aileen is expected to bring strong winds of up to 75mph to a central segment of the UK and an Amber weather warning has been issued. As well as the strong winds, there will be some heavy rain pushing eastwards overnight which could see accumulations of 30-40mm. The low pressure system that is bringing these strong winds will move fairly swiftly from west to east over the UK and although there will still be some disruption through Wednesday morning, the winds will ease by the afternoon leaving a day of blustery showers.”

There has been some speculation that this weather is being driven by the severe weather in the Caribbean and US, there is no such connection. Met Office Deputy Meteorologist Chris Tubbs said: “There are no links between the very strong winds we expect to see here in the UK and the hurricanes affecting the United States and the Caribbean at present. This system originated well north in the Atlantic Ocean, independent of the current Caribbean hurricanes”.

As Storm Aileen clears out eastwards into the North Sea, the UK will be left with cool showery conditions through the end of the week and into the weekend. The showers will still be blustery on Thursday with the winds easing as we get closer to the weekend. Within the showers there will be some periods of brightness although it will still feel cool across the whole of the UK with top temperatures only reaching 18-19°C

You can find out the current forecast in your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store

Sunday, 10 September 2017

UK Matches Public Donations To Hurricane Irma British Red Cross Appeal

For every £1 given towards the relief effort in the Caribbean, another £1 will be added through DFID's Aid Match scheme, up to £3 million.

The UK government today (Saturday) pledges to double any public donations to the British Red Cross appeal for victims of Hurricane Irma.
For every £1 given towards the relief effort in the Caribbean, another £1 will be added through the Department for International Development’s Aid Match scheme, up to £3 million.
Donations will support people through the region, including in the badly hit British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos.
Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel says:
Today we are announcing we will double any public donations which are made to the British Red Cross appeal through DFID’s Aid Match scheme.
The overwhelming generosity of the UK public in times of crisis is one of the things that makes Britain truly great.
This will help get water, food, shelter and power to those left devastated by Hurricane Irma.
This donation is on top of the £32million already pledged by the UK government.‎

Mike Adamson, chief executive, British Red Cross says:
We would like to thank DFID for supporting our Hurricane Irma appeal, raising urgent funds for those affected by this devastating disaster. The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic has left major destruction in its wake. Red Cross teams are on the ground now supporting people in shelters, providing first aid and doing whatever they can to help.
Ms Patel’s pledge came after she visited her department’s disaster response centre in Kemble, Gloucestershire on Friday.
While there, she saw vital aid begin its journey to the disaster zone, including 10,000 UK aid buckets and 5,000 UK solar lanterns. This aid is will reach those in need in the next few days by the quickest and most effective route possible.
Ms Patel also pledged on Friday to double the number of humanitarian experts in the region from four to eight, who are now working in the field across several islands to assess need. Further advisors are expected to arrive in the coming days.
‎In addition to delivering emergency humanitarian relief, DFID is working with agencies across the Caribbean to plan how to rebuild and reconstruct areas damaged by the hurricane.
To donate to the British Red Cross Hurricane Irma appeal visit: or call 0300 456 4999.