Manx Independent letters, May 2, 2013

0
Have your say

Dedication service thanks

So many people have contacted me to say how much they enjoyed the Service of Dedication for the Manx Merchant Navy Standard, at St George’s Church, I thought I should let them know the people who deserve thanks.

They are Captain Kane Taha, marine superintendent, Mark Woodward, chief executive, Brian Convery, sales development manager, who are from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, as well as Archdeacon Andrew Brown and Bishop of Sodor and Man Robert Paterson for a very enjoyable service. Willie Kneale, member of Castletown Band, David Cain, in charge of Isle of Man Sea Cadets, also performed their duties in an exemplary manner, as did the standard bearers for which we all felt very proud.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Mariners’ Choir, and all the members of the congregation for giving their time to attend, with a big thank you to those who turned out in relevant uniform/dress – it all added to the wonderful atmosphere.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to my daughter Lynn for all her hard work, plus Terry Cringle and Alex Brindley for their sterling efforts, ensuring the event was well advertised.

A. Bridson, Cronk-y-Berry, Douglas.

-----------

Sweetheart deal for Sefton Group

How big is the Sefton Group scandal?

Even a cursory examination of the government’s bail-out of the Sefton Group shows it to be, whichever way it is spun, a sweetheart deal in favour of the directors and shareholders, as it benefits them more than anyone else.

Why? Let’s start with who loses out and in what order when a company goes into receivership.

1. The directors – they lose their jobs and fees.

2. The shareholders – they lose their invested capital.

3. Unsecured creditors. If they are not insured, they are unlikely to recover all they are owed. They may get nothing.

4. Secured creditors. They will lose something if the value of the security has dropped below the amount of the loans.

5. Employees. However, if the underlying businesses are viable when shorn of debt, then those businesses will be continued and jobs protected. This looks to be the case with Sefton Group.

As directors and shareholders are first in line to lose in a receivership, the injection of liquidity in the taxpayer bail-out has protected their jobs, fees and investments. It is therefore very much in the public interest that we know exactly who they are.

It is incumbent on the parties concerned, that a full list of directors and shareholders, direct and indirect, be printed in the local press, and a list of unsecured creditors for good measure.

This will reveal who got most benefit, and could highlight some possible conflicts if interest in this sweetheart deal.

So much spin has been out on the Sefton story when and since it first appeared in the Examiner on April 22 that the thing has gone round faster than a gyroscope. So many disingenuous statements made that if they were all listed here, this letter would be much too long.

To pick out just two, Eddie Teare ‘this was not a bail-out’. Allan Bell ‘there was nothing underhand or secretive at all’. Do these gentlemen have an over-developed sense of humour, or have they decided to insult our intelligence?

If taxpayers’ money injected into Sefton Group was not a bail-out, then what was it?

Why didn’t Sefton Group obtain £4.5 million from commercial sources?

Two reasons spring to mind.

Firstly, finances in the group were so stretched or even precarious that commercial funding was not available, or, secondly, the directors knew there was a secret sweetheart deal with government on the table. In either case, it is against the public interest that the sweetheart deal was done.

Information published so far is uncomprehensive.

The public are entitled to much more and much more detailed information to understand the ramifications of what has been and is still going on.

Both Sefton Group and government have an obligation to provide it.

Alan Walton, Baldrine

-----------

Yesterday’s news delivered today

As a resident of Port-e-Chee Avenue we are as you know currently affected by the road works on Ballanard Road.

It must be said that while it is an inconvenience, the Department of Infrastructure has so far handled it very well. Before works began a letter was hand-delivered to every home affected with details of works.

At the other end of the spectrum is Isle of Man Water and Sewage Authority. For a few days I have noticed that my cold water was very cloudy and running weak and was worried about giving it to my children.

This morning (Tuesday, April 30) I have received in the post a letter from them dated April 26 informing local residents that essential works will be taking place in Port-e-Chee and Ballanard Road on Monday, April 29, from 09.30am (yesterday).

I have just called and was politely told that I have to take the late delivery of the letter up with Isle of Man Post as they were posted on Friday!

I informed them that they should have considered hand delivering them.

So who is responsible? The Water Authority or Isle of Man Post?

Nadine Sgoura, Port-e-Chee Avenue, Douglas

-----------

Opposition to landlord Bill

With reference to the landlord and tenant registration consultation and proposed Bill which would require all landlords and their properties to comply with minimum standards made by the Department of Social Care; I write to state my complete opposition to this proposal and therefore consider it inappropriate to answer the questions therein.

I suppose by definition I am a landlord and a reluctant one at that. I rent out my own flat as the tenants were in the process of buying it, but could not sell their own property. It is now up for sale.

I have an interest in another purpose-built apartment, largely owned by my mother, who is in residential care.

This property is rented because she is surcharged by the Department of Social Care against the ‘value’ of the flat , to provide funds for her care.

No doubt there are many other folk in residential care who have to rent their properties to help pay for their care, while property-owning MHKs can seemingly walk into sheltered , subsidised accommodation.

This proposal is wrong. The sub-standard properties which you admit are known to you, together with their landlords and to which your officers have visited on many occasions, constitute – according to Mr Robertshaw – less than 4 per cent of the rental market.

This shows you need to make existing rules more effective, and maybe a greater enthusiasm to act.

It’s simply wrong to involve the whole island rental sector – 96 per cent must be OK if only 4 per cent are demed sub-standard.

If this is adopted it will be the thin edge of the wedge towards greater and greater intervention by ‘well-meaning’ civil servants and yet more social-engineering.

Who will decide what are minimum standards, what is sub-standard and who you can rent to?

The proposed fines are absolutely ridiculous. It would be better to go to prison and be kept at a cost of £58,000 p.a.

For goodness’ sake – we need less government not more. Concentrate on the ‘leak’, not the whole ‘supply system’.

Mrs. K.M. Jones, Ormly Grove, Ramsey

So many people have contacted me to say how much they enjoyed the Service of Dedication for the Manx Merchant Navy Standard, at St George’s Church, I thought I should let them know the people who deserve thanks.

They are Captain Kane Taha, marine superintendent, Mark Woodward, chief executive, Brian Convery, sales development manager, who are from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, as well as Archdeacon Andrew Brown and Bishop of Sodor and Man Robert Paterson for a very enjoyable service. Willie Kneale, member of Castletown Band, David Cain, in charge of Isle of Man Sea Cadets, also performed their duties in an exemplary manner, as did the standard bearers for which we all felt very proud.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Mariners’ Choir, and all the members of the congregation for giving their time to attend, with a big thank you to those who turned out in relevant uniform/dress – it all added to the wonderful atmosphere.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to my daughter Lynn for all her hard work, plus Terry Cringle and Alex Brindley for their sterling efforts, ensuring the event was well advertised.

A. Bridson

Cronk-y-Berry, Douglas.

Sweetheart deal for Sefton Group

How big is the Sefton Group scandal?

Even a cursory examination of the government’s bail-out of the Sefton Group shows it to be, whichever way it is spun, a sweetheart deal in favour of the directors and shareholders, as it benefits them more than anyone else.

Why? Let’s start with who loses out and in what order when a company goes into receivership.

1. The directors – they lose their jobs and fees.

2. The shareholders – they lose their invested capital.

3. Unsecured creditors. If they are not insured, they are unlikely to recover all they are owed. They may get nothing.

4. Secured creditors. They will lose something if the value of the security has dropped below the amount of the loans.

5. Employees. However, if the underlying businesses are viable when shorn of debt, then those businesses will be continued and jobs protected. This looks to be the case with Sefton Group.

As directors and shareholders are first in line to lose in a receivership, the injection of liquidity in the taxpayer bail-out has protected their jobs, fees and investments. It is therefore very much in the public interest that we know exactly who they are.

It is incumbent on the parties concerned, that a full list of directors and shareholders, direct and indirect, be printed in the local press, and a list of unsecured creditors for good measure.

This will reveal who got most benefit, and could highlight some possible conflicts if interest in this sweetheart deal.

So much spin has been out on the Sefton story when and since it first appeared in the Examiner on April 22 that the thing has gone round faster than a gyroscope. So many disingenuous statements made that if they were all listed here, this letter would be much too long.

To pick out just two, Eddie Teare ‘this was not a bail-out’. Allan Bell ‘there was nothing underhand or secretive at all’. Do these gentlemen have an over-developed sense of humour, or have they decided to insult our intelligence?

If taxpayers’ money injected into Sefton Group was not a bail-out, then what was it?

Why didn’t Sefton Group obtain £4.5 million from commercial sources?

Two reasons spring to mind.

Firstly, finances in the group were so stretched or even precarious that commercial funding was not available, or, secondly, the directors knew there was a secret sweetheart deal with government on the table. In either case, it is against the public interest that the sweetheart deal was done.

Information published so far is uncomprehensive.

The public are entitled to much more and much more detailed information to understand the ramifications of what has been and is still going on.

Both Sefton Group and government have an obligation to provide it.

Alan Walton

Baldrine

Yesterday’s news delivered today

As a resident of Port-e-Chee Avenue we are as you know currently affected by the road works on Ballanard Road.

It must be said that while it is an inconvenience, the Department of Infrastructure has so far handled it very well. Before works began a letter was hand-delivered to every home affected with details of works.

At the other end of the spectrum is Isle of Man Water and Sewage Authority. For a few days I have noticed that my cold water was very cloudy and running weak and was worried about giving it to my children.

This morning (Tuesday, April 30) I have received in the post a letter from them dated April 26 informing local residents that essential works will be taking place in Port-e-Chee and Ballanard Road on Monday, April 29, from 09.30am (yesterday).

I have just called and was politely told that I have to take the late delivery of the letter up with Isle of Man Post as they were posted on Friday!

I informed them that they should have considered hand delivering them.

So who is responsible? The Water Authority or Isle of Man Post?

Nadine Sgoura

Port-e-Chee Avenue

Douglas

Opposition to landlord Bill

With reference to the landlord and tenant registration consultation and proposed Bill which would require all landlords and their properties to comply with minimum standards made by the Department of Social Care; I write to state my complete opposition to this proposal and therefore consider it inappropriate to answer the questions therein.

I suppose by definition I am a landlord and a reluctant one at that. I rent out my own flat as the tenants were in the process of buying it, but could not sell their own property. It is now up for sale.

I have an interest in another purpose-built apartment, largely owned by my mother, who is in residential care.

This property is rented because she is surcharged by the Department of Social Care against the ‘value’ of the flat , to provide funds for her care.

No doubt there are many other folk in residential care who have to rent their properties to help pay for their care, while property-owning MHKs can seemingly walk into sheltered , subsidised accommodation.

This proposal is wrong. The sub-standard properties which you admit are known to you, together with their landlords and to which your officers have visited on many occasions, constitute – according to Mr Robertshaw – less than 4 per cent of the rental market.

This shows you need to make existing rules more effective, and maybe a greater enthusiasm to act.

It’s simply wrong to involve the whole island rental sector – 96 per cent must be OK if only 4 per cent are demed sub-standard.

If this is adopted it will be the thin edge of the wedge towards greater and greater intervention by ‘well-meaning’ civil servants and yet more social-engineering.

Who will decide what are minimum standards, what is sub-standard and who you can rent to?

The proposed fines are absolutely ridiculous. It would be better to go to prison and be kept at a cost of £58,000 p.a.

For goodness’ sake – we need less government not more. Concentrate on the ‘leak’, not the whole ‘supply system’.

Mrs. K.M. Jones,

Ormly Grove,

Ramsey

Back to the top of the page