Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Families Matter

The Government has announced new legislation to overhaul divorce and reduce family conflict.

Divorcing couples will no longer need to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage following an announcement by the Justice Secretary David Gauke.

The proposed legislation will update the 50-year-old divorce law which has been shown to exacerbate conflict. The current laws are excessively harsh and demand that the Petitioner proves fault as a ground for divorce: unreasonable behaviour; adultery; desertion or to prove a period of separation to show that a marriage has broken down irretrievably.

At present, a small minority of cases are defended, which is a practice misused by abusers choosing to contest a divorce to continue their coercive and controlling behaviour.  The new legislation will bring an end to defended divorces.

The new proposals for changes in the law will include: –

  • Retaining the irretrievable breakdown as the sole ground for divorce.
  • Replace the requirement to provide evidence of fault with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.
  • Retaining the two-stage legal process currently referred to as decree nisi and decree absolute.
  • Creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside retaining the option of one party being able to initiate the process.
  • Removing the ability to defend a divorce.
  • Introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months, from the petition stage to the final dissolution [20 weeks from the petition stage to decree nisi; 6 weeks from decree nisi to decree absolute].

The 20 week timeframe is designed to allow the parties to have a meaningful period of reflection and the opportunity to change their minds.  The 20 week period will also enable couples to reach agreement on practical arrangements in the future.  The new legislation will enable divorcing couples to separate with dignity and less conflict.

How we can help

Should you need any advice in relation to divorce or relationship breakdown, or any matters arising from those,  please do not hesitate to contact our expert family team on  0161 330 6821 or email:

Keith Bull –

Denise Pinder –

Kristie Fawcett –

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


Davis Blank Furniss has promoted property lawyer Jennifer Smith to partner and Lewis Thompson, private client solicitor, to associate solicitor.

Jennifer joined the firm in 2013 and handles all aspects of commercial and residential property, including commercial property sales and acquisitions, advising on business tenancies for landlords and tenants, and sales, purchases and re-mortgages of residential properties.

Lewis Thompson was appointed in March 2017 and works in the firm’s Glossop office. He specialises in all areas of private client work including Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Court of Protection matters and Probate.

Also, Charlotte Tyrer has been admitted as a solicitor in the Family and Private Client Departments following the successful completion of her training contract.

Kate Oldfield – managing partner – said: “Both these promotions are incredibly well deserved. Jennifer and Lewis have worked extremely hard and have shown tremendous commitment and energy to our clients and are central to the firm’s future. We are also delighted that Charlotte is continuing her career at Davis Blank Furniss and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding addition to the team.”

Jennifer added: “Being promoted to partner is a real milestone in my career, but my focus will continue to be on adding value to my team, the wider business and our clients.”


The Ceremonial Mayor of the City of Salford, Councillor Ronald H Wilson, and Mayoress, Pat Wilson, joined staff, volunteers and patients from St Ann’s Hospice to celebrate a very special anniversary in the organisation’s history.

The special birthday gathering took place at the charity’s Little Hulton hospice site in Salford, to mark 40 years since the building opened.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, explained: “In April 1979, we opened the doors of our second hospice site in Little Hulton and started caring for patients there.  The opening was the result of a huge Greater Manchester-wide fundraising appeal, which led to the amazing local community raising a massive £600,000 for the second St Ann’s hospice site.

 “Our Heald Green hospice had already opened in 1971, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, came to officially open the Little Hulton hospice site in May 1979, welcomed by many of our staff, volunteers, patients and families.

“We’ll be celebrating in lots of different ways this year to mark this special 40th anniversary, and we were pleased to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress to St Ann’s to kick start our activities.  It’s a very exciting few years for the hospice as we’re ramping up to the 50th birthday of St Ann’s as a whole in 2021 – it’s a real privilege that our team is in a position to ensure the hospice remains fit for purpose and able to provide care for patients and their families well into the next century too.”

St Ann’s Hospice is one of the oldest and largest hospices outside of London, and staff care for patients with life-limiting illnesses from their three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital.  The hospice also runs a variety of community and outreach services, as well as providing training and support in palliative and end of life care to other organisations and health care professionals.

Eamonn added: “Though hospice care has changed so much since the hospice first opened, our ethos and values remain the same.  I’m proud to be part of a team that is committed to providing truly holistic care, treating each patient as an individual and responding to their own personal needs and wishes.

 “As we look back at what has gone before, and plan ahead to ensure St Ann’s remains fit for future generations of patients and families too, we never lose sight of the core values that make us what we are. Thanks so much to everyone in the local community for the support they’ve given the hospice over almost half a century.  We simply couldn’t care for our patients without you.  Thanks so much for all you do for us.”

For more information on St Ann’s, or to make a donation, please visit


Two staff members at Bromleys Solicitors have qualified as mental health first-aiders as the firm enhances the wellbeing services it offers to its team.

Associate solicitor Laura Stansfield and legal cashier Hailie Applegate undertook a two-day Mental Health First Aid course with training provider St John Ambulance.

Mental Health First Aid, which was launched in England by the Department of Health in 2007, is a training scheme which teaches people practical skills to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue in a non-judgmental and confidential way, and to offer advice and guidance on where they can seek the right support.

Louise Nolan, practice manager at Bromleys, said: “These qualifications demonstrate our commitment to enhancing the services we provide to staff which focus on their well-being, and we are looking at ways to improve this further.”

Laura, the head of Bromleys’ wills, probate and planning for the future department, said: “Mental health is less the taboo subject that it used to be, but there is still very much a general lack of understanding and support.

“Our role is to help anyone who might have a problem and to be a first port-of-call.

“Through our training, we have been given resources that we can refer on, and guidance on how to help people seek the professional help they may need.

“We are not here to judge or diagnose, only to assist people.”

Hailie, who works in the accounts department, said: “I hate the thought of anybody feeling completely lost and like they have nobody to turn to, so when the opportunity arose I really wanted to be involved.

“Life can be overwhelming at the best of times. There are occasions when people feel unable to cope or they don’t know where to turn in a mental health crisis.

“We hope to be that ‘safe place’ for everyone at Bromleys, by giving advice regarding coping strategies for stress, signposting towards professionals or simply being a non-judgmental ear.”

Nationally, mental health issues cost employers an estimated £35bn a year in sickness absence, reduced productivity and substituting staff members who are off work, according to MHFA England

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that, in 2016, 15.8 million work days in the UK were lost due to mental illness, while NHS England says approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health illness each year.

Hailie, (left) and Laura are pictured with their certificates.

On Saturday 13th APRIL 2019, you can come face to face with a life sized dinosaur who’ll be lurking in the shops and stalls on the Hyde Town Centre Jurassic trail.

Organised by members of Hyde’s Town Team, together with Hyde Markets and The Clarendon Centre, and generously supported by Philip Harris – the UK’s leading science equipment supplier to schools and Colleges, together with assistance from The Tameside Reporter, this event has been created as part of a programme of events, designed to actively promote the Hyde Town Centre shopping experience through a wide range of tactics that help increase awareness of the varied range of retail outlets in the town centre and to encourage patronage of both the local indoor and outdoor markets stalls.

The huge dinosaur will be stalking the town, plus, visitors and shoppers can find out more about dinosaurs and their long lost relatives inside The Clarendon Centre at their fossil finding event.

Also on the day, children have been invited to show off their model making skills by entering their model dinosaurs in the Town Team/Tameside Reporter competition, where the winning entry will win a voucher for £100 courtesy of Philip Harris – making Hyde Town Centre on the 13th April the ideal playground for young palaeontologists.

Dinosaur are fascinating to kids and seeing one ‘close up and personal makes learning about Natural History fun and interesting. Bring your children along were they can discover and learn all about some of the amazing dinosaurs that once roamed the earth.





Over the past 45 years the name Pete Garcia Fabrications has grown to be synonymous with the production and delivery of a wide range of quality fabricated steel products and solutions to customers both large and small, from local authorities to residential ornamental ironwork, who have all come to appreciate their know-how, dedicated service and their unique brand of common sense and charitable community involvement which has seen PG Fabrications become one of Tameside’s premier family run second generation businesses.

From its beginnings in the 70’s, the company quickly developed into one of the region’s leading ironwork specialists.

Founder Victor Garcia senior, himself a working steel fabricator; saw the need for a specialist fabrications company to answer the growing need for specialist ironwork throughout the region. So, from humble beginnings in a small foundry and workshop in Hyde, where they began producing steel gates, fencing and other fabricated solutions which saw the Garcia steel fabrication service launched.

Today, now know as PG Fabrications, the company’s operations continue the tradition of craftsmanship, superior quality and ease of doing business that was established by the founder over 45 years ago.

During the 80’s Victor senior’s sons, Bill and Peter, quickly followed in their father’s footsteps, by starting at the bottom and working their way up, during which time they both developed an in-depth knowledge and appreciation of each skill set required by getting involved in all aspects of works undertaken to deliver successful projects.

Many of PG Fabrication’s customers know that whether they place an order for ornamental garden gates or are invited to tender for a substantial contract, the same dedication and attention to every detail will be employed by the Directors who will personally put their long experience working with steel to practical use in designing specific, cost efficient and sustainable solutions.

Pete Garcia, the company’s MD still adopts those “hands on” principles which were responsible for the company’s early success, said, “By paying close attention to our markets and our customers, we’ve continually adapted our skills base, training and offering products and solutions in line with local building requirements, which all in all, plays a huge part in setting local standards.”

Bill Garcia, added, “Form large commercial sites requiring fully coordinated on-site management to small domestic homes.….Our continued ability to meet our customers’ needs still remains the basis in developing our business “common sense”, an approach, which provides new and existing customers with a high level of service, which makes it easy to do business with us.”

Some people may think that metal bashing is a dying craft! But look around you; look at all the uses and creative ways in which our craft has grown. No, far from it! We are very much alive!” Today’s customers not only favour ironwork for its inherent strength and security aspects, but also for its aesthetic qualities.”

“It isn’t uncommon for a domestic customer to call us in to up-grade a hinge on a wrought iron gate that was originally purchased by their grandparents or an urgent call from a large, commercial client to replace a steel fire-escape that was installed decades ago.”

So, with 45 years in the making, PG Fabrications provides a professional, reliable and trustworthy service throughout the North West by offering fabricated production and installation solutions to many large businesses’s, local authorities, domestic homes and housing associations, and are always looking to add to their impressive portfolio.

In conclusion, Pete Garcia said, “Customer care and satisfaction are at the core of our business and the many long term partnerships with many of our clients are testament to this. All our fabricator engineers are qualified operatives in their fields and will provide you with a friendly professional service.”

The most heartening outcome of my interview with Pete and Bill Garcia, however, was the evidence they presented regarding the rich contribution their family enterprise has made to the community and the history and success of our region, and long may that success continue!

By its very nature, bespoke products are obviously hard to define and list. So for any bespoke fencing, gate, railing or barrier related product you require, please contact them directly on: 0161 368 7080 to discuss your requirements.

 PG Fabrications Ltd can be found at: Unit 5, Clarendon Industrial Estate, Clarendon Road, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 2EW


If you would like to promote your business to readers right across the region, please contact:



The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) conceded on 27th March that the planned changes to probate fees, which could see some rising by more than 3,000%, will not come into force on 1 April as originally intended.

A spokesperson for the MoJ confirmed that the statutory instrument (SI) bringing the revised fee scheme into force would not be laid this week and that Brexit matters had taken precedence.

The plans mean that probate charges would be linked to the size of the estate. Estates valued at more than £2m would be charged £6,000. At present there is a flat fee £155 for those applying through a solicitor (or £215 for a personal application).

Usually, a SI passes unchallenged unless there is a formal objection – all that is required is that the name of the SI is read out before the House and for no-one to shout ‘object’.

It has however been indicated there will be objections. There is no date for when the SI will be laid. If and when the SI is passed it usually takes 21 days to come into force so there is no chance of it being ready for 1st April.

How Bromleys can help

Contact Laura Stansfield, Sue Darlington or Susanne Furness in our Wills, Probate & Planning for the Future department to discuss how one of our team of experts can help guide you through this process.


Tel: 0161 330 6821

Following reports that primary schools in Manchester have been contacted by parents unhappy over sex and relationships lessons that teach children about LGBT rights

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “I believe in inclusive comprehensive education that encourages young people to see life from all sides and celebrate what we have in common, and our diversity.

“It is right that children learn about all kinds of relationships and the equality of every relationship. This supports LGBT young people, teachers and parents and helps to build strong, cohesive and united communities.

“I welcome the leadership LGBT Foundation and others have shown on this issue and want to assure our LGBT communities that we stand with you.”

With only one month to go until this year’s Manchester Midnight Walk, you can almost hear the sound of cheesy disco tunes and the buzz of excitement as thousands of local people embrace the event’s Manchester bee theme and warm up for a night of fun and fundraising to support a local charity.

St Ann’s Hospice’s flagship fundraising event is back on Friday 26th April, and will be starting and finishing at Manchester’s iconic Cathedral, thanks to the support of the team there.

The event, which is sponsored by Betfred, is celebrating its thirteenth year, and has raised over £2million for the hospice since its launch.

The fun starts at 9pm with BBC broadcaster Phil Trow hosting the main stage to get the crowd ready. There’ll be a Zumba warm up to kick-start the walk, and the fabulous Throb Lovelace & The Pitts will be showing off their best moves as they play cheesy disco hits to get everyone in the mood.

The route for the 10km sponsored walk, which sets off from the cathedral at midnight, takes in many of Manchester’s famous landmarks, and all finishers will receive a special goodie bag and medal to thank them for taking part.

Organisers are urging anyone wishing to enter and join in the fun to do so quickly, as places are booking up fast.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s said: “We’d love anyone who is still thinking of taking part to sign up to join us on the night. It is such a fun event, with a real party atmosphere, and we are always tremendously grateful to everyone who turns out to support the hospice in this way.

“The event is real testament to the power of local people, from our local community, getting together to do something amazing for others. All of the money raised really does make a huge difference to the lives of our patients, and just as importantly, those who take part always tell us how much they enjoyed the experience.

“Some walkers join us to walk in memory of lost loved ones, whilst others simply join for a night of fun in our amazing city. Whatever your reason, please do come along. I can’t wait to see you there.”

*To register, or find out more, please visit, call the hospice on 0161 498 3631 or email

Seven neighbours in Marple are in the money after their postcode, SK6 7LH, was announced as a Street Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery.

The win saw the bank accounts of six of the Thornholme Road residents boosted by an incredible £30,000 each, while the seventh doubled their prize to £60,000 thanks to playing with two tickets.

People’s Postcode Lottery Presenter Danyl Johnson visited Marple and said, “There’s nothing better than seeing neighbours share the joy of winning together – it’s what People’s Postcode Lottery is all about! I’m sure there will be plenty of parties coming up in Marple as our fantastic winners celebrate their windfall.”