Friday, January 25, 2013
A wedding ring still matters in Britain
With it, a man can be ripped off. Without it, a woman can be ripped off. If British divorce laws had not been so punitive towards men, the couple below might have married and the woman would have got something out of it. As it is, an Englishman who marries is a supreme optimist
A woman who lost her home and business when she split from her partner of more than three decades is a victim of sexist property laws, a top judge said yesterday.
Pamela Curran, 55, had worked with Brian Collins, 52, at his kennels and cattery.
But after their relationship ended in 2010, a county court judge ruled that she had no right to a share in the business, or the home where they had lived together.
Pamela Curran, 55, was left penniless when her 30 year relationship with Brian Collins, 52, ended but has been given the right to appeal a ruling that said she had no right to share the business or the home where they lived
Miss Curran was left penniless, with her belongings placed in storage while she stayed with any friends who could take her in.
But she is now able to appeal the ruling after judge Lord Justice Toulson said she is a victim of unfair and old-fashioned property laws that are biased against women of her age and position.
‘Sadly, the appellant found herself in the classic position of a woman jilted in her early fifties, having very much made her life with the respondent for over 30 years. The law of property can be harsh on people, usually women, in that situation,’ he said.
‘Bluntly, the law remains unfair to people in the appellant’s position, but the judge was constrained to apply the law as it is.’ The Court of Appeal heard that the couple began their relationship as teenagers in the Seventies, and remained ‘an item’ until their split three years ago.
They lived and worked together at Haven Boarding Kennels and Cattery near Ashford, Kent, which was bought in Mr Collins’s name in 2007.
Miss Curran said she had ‘trusted’ in her partner that, if they ever split up, she would be given a ‘fair share’ of the property and business, bought for a total of £750,000. However, when the case reached the Central London County Court last May, Judge Hazel Marshall concluded that the couple had not established a business partnership.
Miss Curran told Lord Justice Toulson yesterday that she had put a lot of hard work into making the business successful, but was left with nothing to show for it.
'Sadly, the appellant found herself in the classic position of a woman jilted in her early 50s, having very much made her life with the respondent for over 30 years.The law of property can be harsh on people, usually women, in that situation. Bluntly, the law remains unfair to people in the appellant’s position, but the judge was constrained to apply the law as it is'
He added that, given Judge Marshall said she believed Miss Curran was essentially a truthful witness – and that Mr Collins himself had at times suggested to third parties that the business had truly been a partnership – Miss Curran should have permission to bring a full appeal against the initial decision.
Mr Collins was neither present, nor represented at the hearing.
A report published by the Law Commission in 2007 had recommended that property laws be reformed as they were unfair to those in Miss Curran’s position.
The body wanted to give those in cohabiting relationships the same rights as married couples in order to ‘reflect the growing prevalence and public acceptance of cohabitation’.
However, the Government announced in 2011 that it had no plans to change the law.
We'll take adoption away from councils: Minister warns town halls that bar would-be parents
Power-mad British social workers finally being confronted
Councils which turn away would-be adoptive parents for spurious reasons face being stripped of their right to run the service, ministers will warn today.
New powers will allow the Government to crack down on authorities which fail to play their part in tackling a ‘chronic’ national shortage of prospective adopters and a backlog of 4,600 children waiting to be adopted.
Ministers are concerned that would-be parents are coming forward to adopt only to be told ‘they are not wanted’, in some cases purely for geographical reasons.
Some parents are turned away because the council they approached has no need of more adopters – even though shortages nationally are acute. Reasons given to parents include ‘we are not recruiting within our own city council’ and ‘we were out of their area’.
Others fail because of arbitrary barriers, such as being overweight or too old.
Recent reports revealed how couples who hope to adopt are being told that one of them must give up their job.
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson will today outline plans to create new powers for ministers to intervene in councils which fail to recruit more adoptive parents and consider the needs of children nationally.
They could be stripped of their role recruiting and assessing potential parents and instead required to deal with voluntary agencies to find them.
Mr Timpson said: ‘There are over 4,000 children waiting to be adopted nationally but year-on-year local authorities are not recruiting enough people to give them stable and loving homes. We cannot stand by while children’s futures hang in the balance.’
He said local authorities ‘must now demonstrate that they are up to the challenge or we won’t hesitate to intervene’.
Recent figures from Ofsted reveal how only one in eight of the couples and individuals who try to adopt children are approved by social workers, meaning that more than 22,000 would-be adopters vanish each year.
Ministers have promised to sweep away barriers to adoptive parents over recent months, including race bars which have seen white parents routinely rejected as adopters of black or Asian children.
The barriers to adoption have helped push down the number of children who find new families from 20,000 a year in the 1970s to few more than 3,000 now.
In further measures being announced today, £150million will be restored to local authorities from cuts elsewhere to spend on adoption reforms.
Referring to the plan for voluntary agencies to become involved, David Simmonds of the Local Government Association said: ‘Removing councils from the process of recruiting and screening potential adopters could adversely impact on the very children and potential adoptive parents the Government is trying to protect and should only be considered as a very last resort.’
British oldsters' social fundraiser for elderly care home cancelled after council tells them to pay £100 for BOUNCERS
A group of pensioners have been banned from holding a singalong concert at their local community centre – unless they hire security.
The event was organised by 78-year-old Alma Morris to raise funds to help save the threatened venue. She wanted a bar so some of the 100-plus elderly guests could enjoy a sherry but was told by council officials that, if alcohol was involved, she would need two bouncers.
The former caretaker, from Sandyford, Staffordshire, said: ‘I don’t know what they think might happen in a room full of pensioners – it’s ludicrous. ‘We just wanted to put on a nice night of singing.
‘Some people like to have a drink at these things but there is certainly not going to be any binge-drinking going on.’
The decision has angered residents because Stoke-on-Trent Council has pledged to support them in their attempts to take over local community halls.
Mrs Morris said booking Goldenhill Community Hall would cost £120 before paying an extra £100 for security – eating straight into any potential profit.
Eric Jankowski, 82, said: ‘It's not about ticking boxes but making a sensible decision. A load of OAPs in their 70s and 80s are hardly likely to go wild are they? We just want to have fun like everyone else.
‘Now it seems that some jobsworths are, as usual, spoiling the party. It's such a shame that people don't seem to have any common sense anymore.
Denise Harding, 72, said: ‘They don't have doormen or bouncers on the door at my local pub when my son takes me on Thursday afternoons and they have a bar there. ‘Why does the community centre need one? It doesn't make any sense to me.’
Tom Simpson, 55, who is secretary of Sandyford and Goldenhill Residents' Association, said: ‘If they were organising drunken booze-ups then I could understand but not with fund-raising events like this one.
‘I think the council needs to consider every event on merit and it is hard to fathom why they have to pay extra for security.
‘The bar staff are already city council employees. I'm sure if there was a problem they would be capable of calling the police. We have never had anything like that happen before.’
Peter Price, the council's resident director of services, said that he and Councillor Ruth Rosenau would make a final decision on the security guards after looking over the profit and loss margin in the coming months and a council spokesman confirmed it was investigating the matter.
British city attacks the messenger
There can’t be many drivers who haven’t become exasperated at the proliferation of potholes on our roads. And now one has come up with an eye-catching way of highlighting the problem.
But the mystery motorist, who has painted the words ‘fix me’ next to a number of the craters in Swanage, Dorset, could face prosecution if caught.
Martin Hill, maintenance manager for highways at Dorset County Council, said: ‘We have found several potholes marked in this way. It is illegal and anyone caught doing it could be prosecuted.
‘We haven’t received any enquiries about these potholes and our local inspection team had already identified them before the markings were made.
‘They have been added to the work schedule for the next week. It’s important to note the roads in Swanage are in no worse state than the rest of the country.’
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.