Monday, June 30, 2014

Chancel Repair Liability Insurance

I'm hearing stories of those buying new houses or moving house being contacted by their solicitors or mortgage brokers with regard to the taking out of chancel repair lability insurance.

I'm guessing this has been prompted by stories of landowners suddenly being presented with invoices from their local church as their property, being within the diocese, are liable for its upkeep.

As such it seems that such insurance is being made a compulsory part of the mortgage agreement or that solicitors are badgering homeowners into taking it out.

All well and good if your particular church has such a provision in place, not so good if they don't. Not that such niceties seem to be concerning those pushing this insurance.

(Oh wait it seems the premiums for this insurance is quite low until it's confirmed that the property may actually be liable at which point they increase)

Indeed one homeowner pointed out to an insistent firm of solicitors that their local church had no such provision in place with written documentation to back up their claim yet this same firm continued with their selling tactics to the point they handed over money just to shut them up.

Given the PPI mis-selling scandal does this have the makings of another?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Tesco and the Squirrel Inn at Stourport

Once again Tesco puts the moves on Stourport this time over the river and in Areley Kings, this time with a bid to turn the old Squirrel Inn into a Tesco Express.To some this may seem a little odd given the hold-up with the new store that, rumour has it, will finally be built and ready by September this year. However this isn't odd in the slightest given the proximity of a Londis, a newsagents, and a pharmacy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Eye operation

After some eye troubles at the weekend I was booked into Kidderminster hospital with a detached retina in one eye. The operation apparently went well but for the next couple of weeks I'm pretty much blind in that eye.

Hopefully the jobcentre will accept "can barely read or write" as a good reason die not pursuing jobs as diligently as normal

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The joys of the job hunt - an open letter to politicians

I have now been unemployed for 3 months, by the rhetoric of most government  politicians I am some sort of lazy soul who simply isn't looking hard enough as such let me elucidate those who have never had to look for a job in their lives (i.e. most government politicians) or deal with the many ways of searching for one.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The problem with shift work

Huzzah unemployment is down with less young people signed on and there are more private sector jobs being created every day. Proof, if proof were need, that the Conservative economic policies are working. Really?

Take the new apprenticeship scheme, a government funded package aimed at 16-19 year olds and pays half the minimum wage. Anyone think they count towards the unemployment figures?

But what about all these jobs? Awesome except most are part-time shift work. There's nothing wrong with shift work, however there does seem to be a problem with employers who offer it.

I'm not talking about the government's current "gosh we must do something about this" zero hour contacts, but something more insidious.

Three tales to tell that were simply offered to me with no pushing, I'll start with the shortest I've already told in another entry.

A gentleman working morning shifts applies for extra work doing afternoon shifts elsewhere, the new company expects him to quit his morning job.

A young mother working at a food retailer drops her children at school, works her shift, collects her children, goes back to work more. She's told she's not "committing enough" and is fired.

A lady workng for a different food retailer on an 8-hour week is told which days she'll be working 4-hours for, is called up at various times to cover other shifts. If she can't "there are plenty of other people who can".

A part-time job that doesn't offer enough to live on and excludes the ability to get another complimentary part-time job.

That's what this government is crowing about.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Job seeking - the Conservative Party conference 2013

The headline news this morning was the multi-million trust-fund owner and tax-break giver George Osbourne stating that they'll be no money for nothing under their administration. They're going to make the long-term unemployed do community work.

What I find annoying anything about this is that they're partially right, but due to their indulgent background and rigid dogma they're doing it wrong.

First up is the non-explicitly stated, but easily-inferred, assumption that these people can't get jobs because they're lazy so let me tell you a tale.

A friend of mine works part-time and, coincidentally, also does voluntary community work. He was looking to supplement his earnings with another part-time job that complimented his existing employment. He applies for suitable positions and gets asked: "So you'll be giving up your other part-time job then?".

Why this question? Because they don't just want him to work the stipulated hours they want to be able to whistle and have him run.

Take my position - I've 20 years of IT and office admin experience and I can't get a job. Why? Well I saw one company advertising for an Admin post, an IT post, a Marketing post and for a PA. No that wasn't four jobs, that was one job combining skills that don't normally go together. I've applied for jobs that turn out to be nothing like what's been advertised and for ones in which I've been deemed too old and/or overskilled.

If it's a choice between employing someone young that you're not legally obliged to pay as much as someone older; or someone with no skills (or long-term unemployed) who has to take whatever shit the job shovels at them who would you take?

Yet according to good old George this is all our own fault. But is there a way around this, possibly.

Consider the local councils creating two 4-hour shifts a day over the whole week. Someone doing three shifts for the ~£70 a week in benefit would be on minimum wage. Given that technically they're already paid by the government why not work for the government?

As the local councils are already cutting staff etc. it's not really going to affect full-time staff and may require more managerial positions to oversee the 'community' workers. At the same time we'll see a reduction in litter, graffiti as well as tidier verges etc.

Except that's not going to happen as that would be an expansion of government over private enterprise. Far better to make people work for free for privately hived off services and charities than for the public sector.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bioshock Infinite - Lady Comstock 1999 mode

I'm playing through Bioshock Infinite at the moment and trying it on the hardest difficulty setting 1999'
s mode.

It's not been too bad until I reached Lady Comstock, oh boy.

The graveyard encounter was okay thanks to the numerous medkits around. The bank encounter was made easier by staying behind a thick vault door. But outside the house was a major pain in the proverbial.

I checked various sites, watched videos and so many went with the run and hide technique that proved dicey. It was the bank encounter that provided me with the clue to a method that allowed me to win without once needing health.

Lady Comstock is restricted to her movements, she cannot step beyond the carts at the bottom of the steps. Except the dead soldiers she revives can. Ah but she can only revive and re-revive soldiers within her range. Getting the idea?

Head to the area with the machines and use the range boosted vigour "Undertow" to grab soldiers then kill them. If you run out of salts stay put and you only need to deal with the few melee soldiers before Elizabeth will throw you some.  Use the Mosquito to whittle things down.

Once all the soldiers are piled up at your feet just let the Mosquito take her out.

Job done