Q&A: Stewart Baseley on resolving the housing crisis

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What the Office of the Public Guardian is doing to help you

first_img Document Exchange (DX) address is:Office of the Public GuardianDX 744240Birmingham 79 I feel privileged to be the public guardian when I consider that my office supports and protects some of the most vulnerable people in our society – as well as giving everyone the chance to think about a time in the future when they may no longer be able to make decisions for themselves. The statistics relating to this area of work can be staggering – it’s estimated that around two million people in England and Wales lack capacity to make decisions, and are looked after by around six million carers – family members and professionals. In the UK 700,000 people have dementia (15,000 of these people are under 65) – and by 2021 this figure is expected to reach one million. That means that almost every one of us will be affected by issues of mental capacity in some way – as a sufferer, family member, a carer, a friend or through our professional lives. The figures also tell that we can expect demand for our services to increase over the years to come, especially as we have a duty to let people know about their options to plan ahead. Against this backdrop of increasing rates and demand, it is vital that Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) services be fit for purpose and truly customer-focused. I know that, in the past year, customers have experienced real problems when dealing with us. We are now processing applications much more effectively. But I also know that we need to do more to continue to restore confidence in our services. We have already made a number of important changes in response to feedback, and from our own experiences, since the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). For example, where appropriate, we now accept newly executed part Bs and Cs for lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) where errors have been identified. This means that the donor does not have to make a completely new application or pay a further registration fee. We also regularly update our website with useful information regarding lasting and enduring powers of attorney. Similarly, the Court of Protection is piloting a dedicated section within our contact centre dealing with enquiries, including those relating to applications. As part of a government commitment, we are planning a longer-term piece of work to help to review the impact of the MCA, the associated code of practice, the OPG and the court since their launch in October 2007. We will be working closely with both the Department of Health and the Welsh Assembly Government. This evaluation will take around 18 months. The results will tell us what difference the act is really making in practice and where improvements might be possible where it is working less effectively than planned. The consultation paper ‘Reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005: forms, supervision, and fees’, which closed on 15 January 2009, asked for comments on the revised draft LPA forms, and the new tier of supervision for deputies supervised by the public guardian and the fees charged by the OPG and the court. A total of 76 written responses were received from a range of stakeholders, professional bodies, interested parties and members of the public – the majority of responses came from the legal profession or organisations representing them. The government response was published on 11 March. Responses have been analysed and results have guided the conclusions and next steps. Supervision of deputiesMost respondents to the consultation, who offered an opinion about the supervision of deputies, agreed that type 2A supervision would provide flexible protection, support and a robust approach. A number of suggestions were received that were outside the scope of the consultation, such as having more visits and increased checking of accounts. Where these further ideas would support effective and proportionate risk management, as well as an efficient and cost-effective service to customers, they will be incorporated into future business improvement activity. New supervision level 2A was introduced on 1 April. More guidance on the new and existing supervision levels can be found in our guidance booklet OPG507, ‘A guide to supervision of deputies’, at www.publicguardian.gov.uk. New feesThere was broad support for the changes to the OPG and court fees, especially for a reduction in the fee for applying to register an LPA. Some other comments were received not directly related to the consultation questions, such as the OPG clarifying how its charges were calculated – where multiple applications to register LPAs are made, fees should be reduced. The OPG will consider these further suggestions as part of the ongoing work to look at the implementation and impact of the MCA. The fee changes were implemented on 1 April 2009 and include: The postal address for the Office of the Public Guardian changed on 5 May. It is now:Office of the Public GuardianPO Box 15118BirminghamB16 6GX Full details can be found in our guidance booklet OPG506, ‘Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian – Fees, exemptions and remissions’, also at www.publicguardian.gov.uk. We will continue to make improvements to OPG services over the months and years to come. A complete business process review is under way which will streamline the processes applied to all stages of our work and will remove surplus activities that don’t add value and in effect may hinder our service. I have also been giving thought to whether the OPG is best organised to deliver excellent services. An office with a single presence in London is not, in my view, ideally placed to meet the demands of increasing workloads and the needs of customers who want a responsive and effective service. For that reason, work is going on to moves parts of the OPG business to locations out of London in a phased way. From 5 May 2009, some business functions moved to a new office in Birmingham and later in the year other functions will transfer to Nottingham. During these changes we will maintain the quality of service our customers expect to receive. The court transferred to become part of HM Courts Service on 1 April, joining the Royal Courts of Justice Group. The staff and operations will remain in Archway Tower until HMCS estates plans in London develop. Over the coming months, the court forms, guidance and practice directions will move to the HMCS and DirectGov websites, although the OPG website will continue to provide signposts to this information. For further information about the work of the OPG, the options to plan (including all the forms and guidance materials) and to access our new ‘Information for professionals’ section, which is specifically aimed at professionals, visit our website. Alternatively, telephone the customer contact centre on 0845 330 2900, or email [email protected]center_img In July 2008 Martin John assumed the role of public guardian and chief executive of the OPG. The OPG supports and promotes decision-making for those who lack capacity to make decisions or would like to plan for their future, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. New LPA formsResponses to proposed new LPA forms were generally supportive – there was strong support for incorporating guidance notes into the margins of the form. Suggestions to reword or add to the guidance notes will be considered in the final redesign. Respondents acknowledged difficulties in finding a balance between the length of the form, and including the requirements and safeguards laid down in the MCA. Where we can reduce the length of the form, we will do so during the redesign. The OPG is working with professional accessibility experts to help with the redesign of the LPA forms. A critical part of the process will be thorough testing of the new forms by customers, stakeholders and staff. It is our intention that the forms, revised guidance literature and supporting regulations will be introduced into parliament at the beginning of July 2009, in readiness for launch from 1 October 2009. Fee payable on making an application to register an LPA reduced to £120.00, the same as that to register an EPA; Fee to assess the appropriate supervision fee for deputies and for placing deputy details on a register reduced to £100; and a New type 2A supervision fee of £350. The Court of Protection postal address is:11th FloorArchway Tower2 Junction RoadLondonN19 5SZlast_img read more

Kenyan man correctly predicts scores of 17 matches & wins $2…

first_imgFor Samuel Abisai, the past weekend was nothing short of life changing after he became the lucky Kenyan winner of $2 million (Sh221 million) SportPesa mega jackpot.Probably the most expensive text ever received in Kenya… pic.twitter.com/yO6bnbh1Ye— SportPesa (@SportPesa) May 2, 2017Abisai had perfectly predicted scores of 17 matches last weekend in the football betting jackpot in what is one considered as one of the biggest ever payout in Kenya and Africa.SportPesa on Monday said the winner placed Sh200 on two mega jackpot picks of Sh100 each and by the time the company called him, he had realised that he had won and was already celebrating.28 year old Samuel Abisai correctly predicted 17/17 games in last weekend’s mjp walking away with a coveted Kshs. 221,301,602/= !! #221milli pic.twitter.com/xVkxu7QzlB— SportPesa (@SportPesa) May 2, 2017“The consumer had realised that something monumental was in the offing as soon as the French top flight Ligue 1 clash between Dijon FCO at home to Bordeaux ended 0-0 as they had predicted,” SportPesa said in a statement.According to the Africa Review, the 28-year-old, having been assured of a big windfall, left home to join his best friend at a joint in the outskirts of Nairobi before the last two games of the week’s jackpot — the North London derby pitting Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal and the Italian Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Napoli — were played.“The consumer said he met his friend with whom they bet and as they were discussing what to do with the millions a call came through,” SportPesa said.A word from the man of the day!!! Where was he and what was he doing when he learnt of his great fortune? #221milli pic.twitter.com/Ah8nrJPDu2— SportPesa (@SportPesa) May 2, 2017The new multi-millionaire was unveiled on Tuesday at a red-carpet ceremony at the Carnivore Restaurant in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.He was picked up in a white limousine together with his friends and brother from his home in Roysambu, approximately 12 kilometers from the Nairobi central business district.Abisai now says he doubts whether he will ever bet again.“I think I am not going to bet again,” Mr Abisai told journalists in Nairobi.He plans to give some of his winnings back to the society, including supporting his local football team in the western region of Kakamega; a team that is run by his brother.“I love football and have plans to sponsor a sports academy that my brother runs back in the village, Sichilai Lurambi, Kakamega County,” he was quoted by the People Daily.Another winner took home 41 million Kenyan Shillings ($397,865 USD) for predicting 16 out of 17 matches. 24-year-old Ahmed Ali was also chauffeur-driven in a customized Land Rover Luxury SUV to the cheque presentation ceremony.41 million mega jackpot bonus winner, 24 year Ahmed Ali, definitely had something to say. #221Milli pic.twitter.com/aAQinLJiR7— SportPesa (@SportPesa) May 2, 2017Gambling in Kenya is huge. Three-quarters of 17-35 year olds in Kenya admit to having placed a bet, a recent survey by the GeoPoll said.And this has been made easier because it can be done via the phone. Payments are done through their mobile phones.The Kenyan government is worried and it and has just slapped a 50% tax on bookmakers, lottery companies and sports betting sites. Mr Abisai is however lucky, the taxation comes into effect next year.The father of one daughter works for a Chinese company and speaks fluent Mandarin. He has not decided whether he will quit his job.However, he did say that top on his list of priorities is buying a car and investing in real estate.last_img read more

Brain surgery for newlywed after ‘Durban blast’ in family living room

first_img“On Thursday evening, Saleem Khan told local media that his son had undergone brain surgery and remained in critical condition.” Image courtesy: IOL “On Thursday evening, Saleem Khan told local media that his son had undergone brain surgery and remained in critical condition.” Image courtesy: IOLA victim of a bomb attack that injured five in a residential area of Durban has undergone brain surgery.Zakariah Khan, son to Saleem Khan – who is believed to have been the target of the attack – was seriously injured when a bomb hidden within a “Get Well Soon” gift exploded outside the Khan family home.Zakariah’s wife, Maseeha, and his grandmother, Sara-Bibi, were also injured in the attack.On Thursday evening, Saleem Khan told local media that his son had undergone brain surgery and remained in critical condition.“He also has massive burns on his skin,” Saleem told South Africa media.“My mother [Sara-Bibi Khan] is still in hospital and due to the extent of her lacerations, may require the amputation of her leg.“My daughter-in-law [Maseeha] is out of hospital but is very traumatised.”Two explosives hidden within a pot plant delivery, with a card saying “Get Well Soon” arrived at the Khan home last week. When 22-year-old Zakariah opened the parcel in the living room where his wife and grandmother were also sitting, the first explosive went off.The two delivery men who dropped off the parcel were also injured.Saleem arrived home soon after to find his family bleeding and in “extreme shock” in the ripped-up lounge.They were rushed to hospital, and police later found a second explosive in the pot.No suspects have been arrested yet.last_img read more

Harris Corporation Gets a U.S. Air Force order for Falcon III Multiband Handheld Radios worth $6.5 Million

first_imgThe U.S. Air Force is acquiring the Falcon III AN/PRC-152(C) to provide line-of-sight communications to civil engineering teams for a range of ground-based missions, such as fire and emergency management and explosive ordinance disposal. “The AN/PRC-152(C) handheld will provide Air Force civil engineers with high-performance voice communication capabilities for a wide range of tactical missions,” said George Helm, president, Department of Defense business, Harris RF Communications. “The AN/PRC-152(C) is part of the broader Falcon III® family of radios, which addresses current operational and emerging requirements for voice and wideband data networking on the battlefield.’’ The Air Force is acquiring the AN/PRC-152(C) radios via the Consolidated Single Channel Handheld Radios Project through the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS). The AN/PRC-152(C) is the most widely fielded NSA Type-1 certified, JTRS SCA-certified handheld radio, with more than 160,000 units deployed worldwide. The radio provides capabilities such as SINCGARS interoperability, ultra high-frequency (UHF) ground-to-ground line-of-sight communications, close-air support and programmable encryption. The AN/PRC-152(C) was developed using the JTRS Enterprise Business Model, which encourages companies to develop next-generation solutions in tactical communications using their own investment capital to integrate JTRS waveform software. This approach stimulates competition, increases innovation, and reduces costs through software re-use. The company’s Falcon® family of software-defined tactical radio systems encompasses manpack, handheld and vehicular applications. Falcon III is the next generation of radios supporting the U.S. military’s JTRS requirements, as well as network-centric operations worldwide.last_img read more

NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Betting Preview: Odds, trends, pick for Packers-Bears

first_imgFor the first time since 2004, the NFL’s Week 1 Thursday night kickoff game will not involve the previous season’s Super Bowl champion. Instead, the league’s longest rivalry will take center stage when the Bears host the Packers. The betting markets are split to how to handle this game, so the experts from BetQL are here to break down the odds, stats, and trends you need to know.TThursday’s game features a 46.5-point total, and the Bears are listed as three-point favorites. Check out more betting numbers and information about the matchup on BetQL! BetQL data shows the betting markets aren’t sure what to do with this game, as 53 percent of the wagers were on the Packers with 55 percent of the money on the Bears (as of Wednesday afternoon). One of QL’s many betting trends highlights the fact that Green Bay has posted a 3-8-1 record against conference opponents over the last two seasons. The Bears were the better team last season, have the best unit on the field, and are at home. While it’s always uncomfortable to bet against Aaron Rodgers, who can single-handedly win games when he’s locked in, Chicago is simply the better team at this point and by more than the three points Vegas is asking you to lay. BetQL is giving one team in this matchup a 5-star rating in its NFL Model. Find out who that is and get full access to the rest of the slate! Week 1 DFS Lineups:FD Cash | DK Cash | FD GPP | DK GPP | Y! GPP | Y! CashLast year’s meetingsThese teams split last year’s series. The Packers erased a 20-3 fourth quarter deficit to win 24-23 in Week 1. In Week 15, the Bears sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and forced him into a season-low quarterback rating of 68.9 en route to a 24-17 victory.Green Bay’s 2018 and what comes nextThe Packers finished last season with a 6-9-1 record, missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Mike McCarthy’s tenure also came to an end in Week 13 when the team suffered an embarrassing loss to the Cardinals. The Packers finished the season 19th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric (seventh on offense, 29th on defense, 29th on special teams).  Second-year Packers GM Brian Gutekunst broke organizational tradition in the offseason and secured his defense immediate help in the free agent market with the signings of safety Adrian Amos and OLBs Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. First time head coach Matt LaFleur, a disciple of offensive gurus Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, was brought in to compete for the division title and return Rodgers to the playoffs. LaFleur is a highly regarded offensive mind with a track record of success, but we honestly don’t know with any certainty what this offense will look like, as Rodgers didn’t take a preseason snap. The Packers will be a fascinating watch this season, as LaFleur came in with the mandate to give structure to an offense led by an all-time great quarterback who’s been at his best in the absence of structure while making second-reaction plays.While pairing an offensive wunderkind with a magician under center should work, it could absolutely be a rocky road to success if the two butt heads while trying to find the right balance of structure and improvisation.WEEK 1 DFS: Values | Stacks | RotoQL Lineup BuilderChicago’s 2018 and what comes nextThe Bears finished last season 12-4, falling to the Eagles by one point in the first round of the playoffs. Chicago finished the season fifth in DVOA (first on defense, 20th in offense, 26th on special teams).Second-year head coach Matt Nagy has his eyes firmly set on the NFC title as he returns most of 2018’s best defense (except defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who landed his first head coaching gig with the Broncos). Mitchell Trubisky is also expected to take a leap forward in the Andy Reid-derived offensive system. Trubisky has plenty of weapons to work with, as the Bears return a receiving corps of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and tight end Trey Burton. Rookie David Montgomery and veteran Mike Davis will share the running back duties with pass-catching savant Tarik Cohen.  Week 1 Non-PPR Fantasy Rankings:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerWhen Green Bay has the ballThe Packers had the seventh-best offense in the NFL last season according to DVOA with a counter-intuitive split for an Aaron Rodgers team (the 12th best passing offense and third best rushing offense). Green Bay can be expected to find some success running Aaron Jones against last season’s second-best rushing defense. Jones is a naturally explosive back (31 percent of his 2018 carries resulted in a first down or touchdown, the highest rate in the NFL) running behind one of the league’s best offensive lines, according to Pro Football Focus.  When taking to the air, Rodgers will lean heavily on Davante Adams, who established himself as an elite wide receiver last year by catching 111 balls for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns while drawing the focus of every defensive coordinator. Tight end Jimmy Graham and second-year receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be Rodgers’ other top targets.Khalil Mack will once again be in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year trophy, and none of the other individual talents on the Chicago defense are expected to see a significant drop-off. However, it’s unlikely the Bears will again be the NFL’s top unit. Defenses have a fair amount of year-to-year variance, and being DVOA’s top passing defense and second-best rushing defense in consecutive seasons is a tough ask no matter how good the players are. There may also be a period of adjustment with new DC Chuck Pagano calling the coverages.WEEK 1 FANTASY PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWhen Chicago has the ballTrubisky’s play on Thursday night will inform the national television audience whether to take the Bears seriously. Trubisky made strides across the board in his first season under Nagy (his completion percentage leapt from 59.4 to 66.6, throwing for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns on 434 attempts), but that only led to the NFL’s 20th-best offensive output according to DVOA (up from 28th in 2017). If the offense can jump another eight rungs this season, Chicago will be legitimate Super Bowl contenders.Robinson has earned a reputation of being an upper-tier receiver despite a career spent catching balls from Blake Bortles and an improving Trubisky. He should draw shadow coverage from Packers top corner Kevin King, who, at 6-3, has the size to give Robinson fits. Robinson caught 7-of-14 targets for 115 yards across two matchups with Green Bay last season.Green Bay’s improvements to their linebacking and safety corps will be immediately tested by Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen. Those units provided atrocious coverage last season, ranking 27th against passes to the tight end and 32nd against passes to running backs, according to DVOA. Iowa State rookie David Montgomery has drawn a lot of training camp buzz as he looks to have cemented himself as the Bears’ top rushing option, but he’s not a terribly explosive back, rushing for 2,925 yards on just 4.7 yards per attempt in college. You’d expect that level of efficiency to drop facing the bigger, stronger, faster defenses of the NFL.Despite jettisoning McCarthy, Green Bay retained defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for a second year. Pettine has six years of experience coordinating defenses at the NFL level and should be expected to produce at least a modest improvement in a unit that was 28th against the pass and 23rd against the run in 2018. Bottom linelast_img read more