Monday, February 19, 2018
Legal

Power of Attorney

The latest government backed scheme offers a partial refund for each Power of Attorney registered and applies to both Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Refunds can be claimed online by the Donor or the Attorney https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund or by telephone if the Donor has passed away, does not have a UK bank account or a Deputy has been appointed to act by the Court of Protection.

Refunds must be paid to the Donor. The amount of the refund depends on when the fees were paid as follows:-

  • April – September 2013 – £54
  • October 2013 – March 2014 – £34
  • April 2014 – March 2015 – £37
  • April 2015 – March 2016 – £38
  • April 2016 – March 2017 – £45

 

Interest can be claimed at 0.5%

The Ministry of Justice has advised that the process could take up to 12 weeks for refunds to be issued.

How we can help

Should you have any concerns about this article or require legal advice relating to Powers of Attorneys please speak with our experts David Hilton, Sue Darlington or Susanne Furness

dhilton@bromleys.co.uk

sdarlington@bromleys.co.uk

sfurness@bromleys.co.uk

T: 0161 330 6821

Alternatively, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries. Please click here for dates and times – No appointment necessary.

Pictured left to right are Anthony Seddon’s mother Donna Thomas and her husband Brian Thomas, Paul Westwell of Bromleys

A Tameside charity which supports people with mental health problems has received a cash boost from Bromleys Solicitors.

Staff chose The Anthony Seddon Fund as the firm’s charity of the year for 2017 and raised £1,353.18 to support its activities and projects.

Anthony, who lived in Ashton, took his own life in 2013 at the age of 30 after a 12-year battle with bipolar disorder.

His family set up the charity in his memory to raise money to improve the quality of life of people with mental illness and their relatives, friends and carers.

It also campaigns to increase awareness about the issue, in particular among young people.

Bromleys partner Paul Westwell said: “The Anthony Seddon Fund provides invaluable assistance to people suffering from various forms of mental health issues and we are delighted to have supported this excellent charity.

“It’s right on our doorstep and, although our 12-month commitment has come to an end, we have forged a close friendship and will continue to support them where we can and remain involved with them.”

Anthony’s mum Donna said: “Small charities like ours are in desperate need of core funding and our thanks go to Bromleys for their amazing fundraising efforts.

“We’ve had such fun working with the team and everyone has been so welcoming and supportive.”

Staff at Bromleys has voted Francis House Children’s Hospice as the firm’s charity of the year for 2018.

Francis House supports more than 460 children and young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families from across Greater Manchester.

Lauren Taylor, of Bromleys’ charity committee, said: “We’re delighted to be raising money for Francis House this year.

“Everyone at the firm loves getting involved in our charity events and activities. They are fun and help to boost staff engagement, as well as being a great way to raise funds and increase awareness of a good cause.”

Emma Rapley of Francis House said: “We are most grateful to Bromleys for making this commitment to our charity and we look forward to working with the team throughout the year.

“We get very little government funding, so we rely on the support of the local community and organisations to ensure that we can continue to provide a free service to the families who need us most.”

 

 

Greater Manchester’s faith and community leaders have come together to declare zero tolerance of female genital mutilation (FGM).

At an event to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM (Tuesday 6 February), faith and community representatives signed a pledge cementing their commitment to help end the illegal practice by raising awareness within their organisations and places of worship, and protecting and empowering girls and young women to seek support and speak out.

Although illegal in the UK, more than 2,000 girls living in Greater Manchester are estimated to be at risk. Between April 2016 and March 2017, 765 cases of FGM were identified by local health professionals*. Many women are forced to live with the long term impacts of the procedure, including gynaecological problems and mental health issues.

Unfortunately, due to the ‘hidden’ nature of the crime, the true number of victims is unknown.

Greater Manchester has made great strides in tackling this issue including: training more than 1,000 frontline staff across health, education and community and voluntary sectors; commissioning a specialist medical screening service for women and children; and the launch of the Guardian Project, which coordinates care and support for young girls affected by or at risk of female genital mutilation. This service has supported more than 80 people in its first year.

A year to this day, Greater Manchester also became the first UK city-region to declare zero tolerance of FGM.

Opening the event today, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: “Today, we share Greater Manchester’s journey to tackle FGM and cement our commitment to continuing our work to protect and empower women and young girls affected by this abhorrent crime. Our faith, community and voluntary partners have been instrumental in this work so far and I look forward to strengthening our relationship as we continue on our path to eradicating FGM. Together we send a clear, united message that FGM has no place in our communities.”

The Greater Manchester FGM Forum leads regional efforts to combat FGM, and is supported and governed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. It brings together multiple public agencies and voluntary organisations to combat the practice, support victims and provide a robust and consistent response for victims across the region’s public services.

Jaria Hussain-lala, Chair of the Greater Manchester FGM Forum, said: “The Greater Manchester FGM Forum has been at the forefront on this issue and over the last six years we have made great progress, and become a national model of good practice in addressing FGM. A firm commitment by all our partner agencies together with the political support has enabled this agenda to be given a priority within many work areas.

“However we do still have challenges. One of which is raising awareness within all communities of the support available to victims within the region, as the number coming forward to access support does not reflect the number of victims affected. I am hoping today’s event will address some of this gap as faith and community leaders pledge to raise awareness of FGM and support services.”

Attendees at the event heard about the work of the Guardian Project including the experiences of a peer mentor who works within communities to raise awareness of the issue and supports women and young girls who have been affected by FGM.

Peggy Mulongo, Project Manager at the Guardian Project added: “Working towards zero tolerance, Greater Manchester has been successful in piloting a new initiative that meets the recommendations of the current multi-agency statutory guidance on FGM, standardising FGM response and addressing the gap in support and service provision that is culturally competent.

“Working hand in hand with local authorities, health, education and third sector agencies, we are proud to ensure a clear and effective coordination of care and support for girls and young women affected by FGM through the Guardian Project, aiming to effectively and permanently prevent FGM in Greater Manchester.”

For more information and advice on FGM please visit www.gmvictims.org.uk/fgm or contact the Guardian Project on 07449651677 / guardian.project@outlook.com

A couple who quit their jobs for a new challenge are pursuing their dream of running a vegan health food shop.

Beth and Dan O’Toole have taken over The Peak of Health in Glossop and have revamped the business.

They have changed its name back to its original title, ‘Glossop Wholefoods’, and have transformed it into a vegan-only enterprise which is attracting customers from as far away as Oldham. The shop is based in The Old Co-op Building in Norfolk Square.

Martin Blaylock, a solicitor in the corporate and commercial department at Bromleys, advised Beth and Dan on their purchase of the business and lease arrangements.

Martin said: “The shop is in a great location near the centre of Glossop and looks fantastic following the refurbishment.

“We are delighted to have advised Beth and Dan with their acquisition of Glossop Wholefoods and wish them well as they push the business on to greater success.”

Before embarking on their venture Beth, aged 30, was a stylist for events such as weddings, hen parties, baby showers and corporate launches, while Dan, 36, was an insurance fraud investigator.

Beth said: “We wanted a new challenge and, after going travelling to New Zealand for two months, we came back and saw the opportunity to buy The Peak of Health.

“We are both vegan and are passionate about that lifestyle, and we thought we could make a real go of it.

“We won’t stock anything that we would not eat ourselves, and we can see there is demand for the products we are selling. We’re offering a whole new shopping experience for the area.

“The vegan community of Glossop and surrounding areas is growing, as people become more aware of the health benefits of the lifestyle. Personally it helped me to overcome chronic fatigue and other conditions through vegan food and supplements.”

The couple have refurbished the shop and introduced a range of ‘grab and go’ snacks, vegan baby foods, toiletries, sun creams and make-up, as well as biodegradable household products.

They have also reduced the amount of plastic used in store, offering paper and organic cotton tote bags, stainless steel straws and bottles, and reusable coffee cups and sandwich wrap.

A podiatrist has taken space on the shop’s mezzanine level, and the couple’s future plans include selling vegan wines, beers and ales.

For more information about GLOSSOP WHOLEFOODS, visit www.facebook.com/glossopwholefoods or call 01457 865678

Bromleys has been shortlisted for an accolade at the 2018 Manchester Legal Awards.

The practice is in the running for the award for law firm of the year for those with between one and five partners.

The ninth annual awards have attracted a record number of entries and will be presented at a gala dinner at Manchester’s Midland Hotel on Thursday, March 1.

Senior partner Mark Hirst said: “We are delighted to make the shortlist, which shows that the judges have recognised the all round strength and excellence of the practice.”

Bromleys’ achievement in making the MLA shortlist follows its triumph at the 2017 Pride of Tameside Business Awards, which were presented in November. Bromleys won the corporate social responsibility category.

The past 12 months have been hugely successful for Bromleys. The firm has made a string of key appointments to cater for an increasing number of instructions and has been recognised for its success with a series of accreditations, including retaining Investors in People Gold status and the Lexcel quality mark from the Law Society.

 

S.W.A.T. from R to L – Andy Birtles (team leader), Amanda Walsh, Lindsay Patchett, Joanne Cahill, Kath Whitehead.

Tameside Housing association, New Charter Homes has re-launched S.W.A.T., its Specialist Welfare Advice Team in order to help their tenants cope with the roll-out of ‘full service’ Universal Credit.

The controversial benefit was launched amongst new benefit claimants in Tameside in 2013 but on 7th March the ‘full digital service’ will be rolled out across the region, meaning that anyone currently claiming any of the six benefits it replaces who has a change of circumstances will be asked to claim Universal Credit.

New Charter has already seen nearly 85% of its tenants who are currently claiming Universal Credit either fall into rent arrears or have their existing arrears increase dramatically. To combat this, the association has put together a squad of specially trained advisors whose mission it is to help, advise and inform those who may be affected by the switch to Universal Credit.

There are around 6,000 households in New Charter’s neighbourhoods that have been identified as potentially moving to Universal Credit after 7th March 2018.

Between now and March, S.W.A.T. will be carrying out a triage process to identify those tenants who need general advice and guidance and those who need more intensive support in readiness for the move to UC.

The team will visit neighbourhoods and speaking directly to New Charter tenants and helping them with all manner of queries linked to UC, from advice on getting online and setting up email addresses (which are needed for the application process) to budgeting to prepare for change

Andy Birtles, S.W.A.T. team leader said, “We’ve already seen how Universal Credit has affected many of our tenants, causing some to fall into arrears and debt, we have asked current UC claimants what it’s been like for them which has helped us to identify the main problems that people are facing. These included the 7 day initial waiting period (which thankfully has now been removed), the stress of getting into debt whilst waiting for the first payment and the fact that Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears directly to the tenant, including the housing element for the payment of rent. With the right help and advice, these issues can be avoided and our team is looking forward to getting out there and doing what we can.”

A previous incarnation of S.W.A.T. existed from 2012 to 2014, when the so-called “Bedroom Tax” was introduced. The project saw the team visit the majority of New Charter households who were going to be affected by the bedroom tax (2,200 in total) to raise awareness and give advice and address tenants’ debts.

For their work, the team won the 24 Housing Welfare Wise Award in 2013.

Keep an eye out for S.W.A.T. in your neighbourhood over the coming months. They can also be contacted by phone or by email at; swat@newcharter.co.uk.

 

Law firm Davis Blank Furniss has appointed Matthew Handley as an assistant solicitor in its Family team.

His new role will see him acting on behalf of clients seeking advice and assistance in relation to family matters including divorce, civil partnership dissolution, nullity, financial proceedings and children proceedings. He will be working closely with Caroline Bilous – senior solicitor in the Family team.

Matthew is five years’ qualified and has joined Davis Blank Furniss from Tedstone, George & Tedstone Solicitors in Staffordshire. He studied for his Law Degree at Keele University and his Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.

Caroline Bilous commented: “We are delighted that Matthew has joined Davis Blank Furniss and we are looking forward to him becoming an integral part of the team.”

Matthew added: “I’m really excited about my new role. It’s an exciting time for the firm and my focus is now on helping to grow the Family team’s work across the North West.”

As part of this year’s National Children’s Takeover Day, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Bev Hughes has given one young person a taste of what life is like in her role and on the frontline.

Jake Lockwood, 17 was given the opportunity to become Deputy Mayor for the day and shadowed Bev to a number of appointments. The day started at Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) Firearms Unit where both Jake and the Deputy Mayor were given a tour of the unit and shown the weapons that they use.

Speaking on the day, Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes said:

“It has been really enjoyable to share my working day with Jake. I think initiatives like Children’s Takeover Day are hugely important in giving young people a glimpse into the working world. I hope that today has helped to inspire everybody that has taken part in the initiative, not just the young people who have gained work experience, but those they have shadowed. Days like today prove how valuable young people are in giving a fresh perspective on the world.”

After the visit to the Firearms Unit Jake and Bev then travelled to GMP Headquarters where they met with senior officers about Tackling North West Serious Organised Crime (TITAN), specialist operations and 101.

Deputy Mayor for the day Jake Lockwood said:

“It has been great acting as Deputy Mayor for the day. I want to be a police officer and today has inspired me to continue to strive for this job. The best part of the day was meeting all the different people that make up the police force, it has shown me the different career options available to me if I became a police officer. I would definitely take part in the day again!”

Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine who also took part in Child’s Takeover Day said:

“As authority figures I think it’s important that the police are seen as approachable and days like today allow young people to not only see this but to get a true insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the police force to make sure we can keep our communities safe.”

National Child’s Takeover Day was originally created in 2006 by the Children’s Commissioner for England. The initiative gives young people the opportunity to gain an insight into the working day of senior decision makers.

 

On Friday 27th October ‘Your Tax Shop’ in Tameside held a Halloween Charity Ball to raise funds for two deserving charities; Willow Wood and Variety, the children’s charity.

The event took place at Best Western Hotel Smokies Park, in Oldham and involved a red-carpet arrival for 200 guests, a photo booth, four-course meal, luxury raffle (with prizes worth up to the value of £275!) – a live auction held by ‘Your Tax Shop’ partners Yvonne Cookson and Fiona Heyes, followed by a silent auction and not to forget, a live performance from ‘The Real Thing’!

The event was organised in its entirety by members of ‘Your Tax Shop’s’ dedicated team; from choosing the venue, preparing the menus, raffle tickets, table plan and board of thanks to sourcing raffle and auction prizes and all of the additional planning involved with an event of this scale.

Speaking at the event, a very proud Yvonne Cookson, ‘Your Tax Shop’ partner said, “We are absolutely made up with the total.

“The Halloween Ball was a huge success and the very fact that the team smashed their target of £10,000 and raised £11,260.10, is testament to show how the whole company has come together and all did amazing in their individual roles. – All in all we all just had a ball!”

The team would like to say a big thank you to Elaine from Willow Wood and Lyn from Variety for their help on the night!

 

‘Your Tax Shop’ was also nominated in the recent 2017 British Accountancy Awards for the fourth year running. They were invited as guests of their software provider IRIS this year, and enjoyed front row seats and free champagne on the night!

The British Accountancy Awards are one of the profession’s most prestigious honours, and are only open to accountancy practices who are leading the way in this increasingly competitive industry.

Yvonne and Fiona who represented the company at the annual event said, “Although we didn’t win on the night, we are still very proud to be shortlisted as finalists in the ‘independent firm of the year – north’ and ‘outstanding community engagement and contribution’ categories, not only for the first year, but three years in a row and to be given a chance of winning both awards demonstrates that our unique way of working has been recognised by our peers for our dedication and commitment to client satisfaction and staff development!”

On behalf of all the team at ‘Your Tax Shop’, we would also like to congratulate all the winners and other finalists on the night. We had an amazing evening, and enjoyed celebrating the success of everybody in our industry!”

To complete a continued a run of awards for the successful accountancy practice, the company has just been presented with a ‘highly commended’ certificate in the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ in the recent ‘Pride of Tameside Business Awards’ event.

The company were finalists in the following 4 categories: Professional Services Business of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Award, Entrepreneur of the Year – Yvonne Cookson and Apprentice of the Year – Chloe Lees, Kieran Ward, Joshua Thomas.

Yvonne said, “We were presented with a ‘highly commended’ certificate in the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ category and we’re so proud to have been finalists in so many other categories!

Again, congratulations to all of the winners and finalists from everyone at Your Tax Shop!”

Email:hello@yourtaxshop.co.uk

Ashton Office: 01613395689

Ashton Mobile: 07525916361

Mossley Office:01457837744

Mossley Mobile: 07734957889

 

 

Bromleys has won a business award which recognises the firm’s commitment to its staff and involvement in the wider community.

The firm won the corporate social responsibility accolade at the Pride of Tameside Business Awards. The category was sponsored by New Charter Group.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall, hosted by BBC Radio and TV presenter Andy Crane.

In their comments, the award judges said they were impressed with Bromleys for its investment in staff and across the wider community.

“They have a breadth of involvement in local good causes, supporting with time, skills and money, backed up by a genuine engagement of staff in these projects,” the panel said.

Bromleys provides free legal surgeries each week at its offices in Ashton and monthly at a local women’s centre.

The firm is sponsoring Curzon Ashton FC’s home shirts this season and is raising money for The Anthony Seddon Fund, which is based in Ashton and supports people with mental health problems, as its charity of the year for 2017.

Bromleys also backs a number of other charities and provides work experience and placements for students at Clarendon Sixth Form College in Ashton.

Marketing associate Carol Parker has joined the Ashton Town Team’s executive committee as treasurer. The team promotes the town’s social, economic, cultural and environmental regeneration.

Meanwhile, Bromleys’ commitment to staff was recognised earlier this year with the retention of its Investors in People Gold status.

Mark Hirst, senior partner at Bromleys, said: “We are proud of our strong ties with the communities of Tameside and are passionate about helping others, by giving up our free time as well as through sponsorship, donations and sharing knowhow.

“We take our corporate social responsibilities seriously while having fun at the same time, and our activities help to boost staff engagement across the firm.

“We are delighted to be recognised for our commitment with this Pride of Tameside business award.”