Week at the Union: The EU

first_imgby Fraser RaleighCries of ‘shame!’ rang through the chamber as it half emptied before the debate itself had even commenced, after yet another Free Speech diversion; heaven forbid the issues at hand are the main attraction any more. Ed Waldegrave, by his own admission, bumbled through his first paper speech with an acceptable overview of the issues delivered with a likeable style. Austin ‘Haddock’ Mitchell, however, served as an example of what happens when you throw an eccentric speaker into a potentially boring debate. Charismatic and over the top, he bought up questions central to European integration such as: ‘Do British fish carry passports?’ and ‘Do they go on holiday to Spanish waters?’ As entertaining as he was dogmatically simple, he was one of the few speakers who managed to bring a smile to the face. Corey Dixon made some good points, speaking of how the advantages of the EU serve as a carrot for development and improvement with a slightly irritating, though earnest style. In a well argued riposte, Alex Betts spoke logically and in great detail but was far too long and somewhat grating. Sometimes, it seems like Union debates are two speakers away from perfection and this was one such occasion. Eight speakers can often yield the appropriate variety of style, content and depth but when two of them are uninspiring and repeat arguments already made the debate feels disjointed and overly long. Lord Pearson, UKIP peer, delivered an interminably boring summary of previous points while David Curry was similarly forgettable. The surprise of the night, however, was Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP. While many didn’t subscribe to his politics, few could refute his stylistic competence. Bestriding the chamber like a cross between Hugh Laurie and Jeremy Clarkson, his voice carried through the chamber, his rhetoric was persuasive and his delivery smooth, articulate and off the cuff. Despite these criticisms, however, the debate was a well balanced approach to a complex and divisive issue; it’s just a shame that so many felt the need to walk away from such discussion and debate. We have our politicized Union back, but at what cost to its fundamental purpose?last_img read more

Press release: Grading under review for First Priority Housing Association Limited

first_img The regulator’s purpose is to promote a viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector able to deliver homes that meet a range of needs. It does this by undertaking robust economic regulation focusing on governance, financial viability and value for money that maintains lender confidence and protects the taxpayer. It also sets consumer standards and may take action if these standards are breached and there is a significant risk of serious detriment to tenants or potential tenants. The regulatory framework can also be found on the website. For more information visit the RSH website.Our media enquiries page has contact details for journalists.For general queries to RSH, please email [email protected] or call 0300 124 5225. The Regulator of Social Housing reports that First Priority Housing Association Limited’s grading is currently under review.The regulator notifies that First Priority Housing Association Limited has fewer than 1,000 homes and therefore does not have a current published regulatory judgement in accordance with our established procedures. The outcome of the investigation will be confirmed in a regulatory notice, once completed.The regulator is currently investigating a matter which may impact on First Priority’s compliance with the Governance and Financial Viability Standard.The GUR list is available on the website.Further information The regulation of social housing is the responsibility of the Regulation Committee, a statutory committee of the Homes and Communities Agency. The organisation refers to itself as the Regulator of Social Housing in undertaking the functions of the Regulation Committee. Homes England is the trading name of the HCA’s non-regulation functions.last_img read more

Love Forests? Join the I Heart Pisgah Adventure Team

first_imgAre you a runner, biker, paddler, hiker, triathlete, adventure racer, or climber who wants to help protect the places where you play? Join the I HEART PISGAH Adventure Team! Our I HEART PISGAH Adventure Team includes elite athletes and everyday adventurers who love exploring, enjoying, and protecting public lands.Send your athletic resume and cover letter explaining why you love Pisgah (or other national forests) to [email protected] Team members receive free I HEART PISGAH swag and special opportunities, and they will be featured in our magazine, on our site, and across our social media platforms. Share your training, racing, and outdoor experiences with our BRO audience.You’ll also be supporting I HEART PISGAH, a coalition of over 100 outdoor organizations and thousands of individuals protecting the special conservation and recreation areas in the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest. Blue Ridge Outdoors is a proud member, and joining the coalition is free and easy. Learn more about I HEART PISGAH at iheartpisgah.org.last_img read more

Tribune stock up on news of dueling acquisition bids

first_imgThe joint bid put the two squarely against real estate mogul Sam Zell, whose own bid is reportedly valued at $33 per share. Representatives of Tribune presented Broad and Burkle with a series of questions on their bid late Friday afternoon, according to the person familiar with the talks. The pair responded to the questions and said they stood by their current offer, the person said. The Burkle-Broad joint bid includes $500 million in cash and would use an employee stock ownership plan to raise money for a buyout. A previous bid by the duo was also valued at $34 per share and included $500 million, but did not include the stock ownership plan. It is believed that Zell was proposing to invest $300 million and use a stock ownership plan. It was unclear Friday if Zell would update his offer, or whether the company’s board would extend its Saturday deadline to review Broad and Burkle’s bid. A spokeswoman for Zell declined to comment. The nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher by circulation also is said to be considering a “self-help” plan that would involve spinning off the company’s broadcast division and borrowing money to pay a one-time cash dividend to shareholders. CHICAGO – Investors awaiting word of a Tribune Co. buyout sent the company’s stock up nearly 2 percent in afternoon trading Friday, as a special committee of directors considered dueling proposals to acquire the media conglomerate. The Chicago-based company set an end-of-March deadline to announce results of its six-month-long strategic review. But company spokesman Gary Weitman remained silent on the status of negotiations Friday afternoon. Tepid bidding for Tribune Co. took an eleventh-hour twist Thursday night when Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle submitted a sweetened offer for the company that owns the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. The pair valued their offer at $34 per share, according to a person familiar with the offer who was not authorized to disclose details and asked to remain anonymous. As the Saturday evening deadline approached, everyone from Wall Street analysts to anxious journalists were left to speculate about the outcome of any deal. “I’m certain they want to get closure sooner rather than later,” said S.W. “Sammy” Papert, head of newspaper consulting firm Belden Associates in Dallas. “From an operational standpoint, this is driving people crazy. It’s tough enough in the newspaper space right now without these distractions going on.” Tribune announced its willingness to sell all or part of the company in September after being pressured by several large shareholders angered by its lagging stock price and sagging fortunes. Leading the outcry was the Chandler family, which owned the Los Angeles Times for decades.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more