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SMTC Presents Dick Whittington 28th - 31st January 2015

SMTC Presents Dick Whittington 28th – 31st January 2015

SMTC Presents Dick Whittington
A Pantomime For All The Family

28th – 31st January 2015

Families and theatre goers in Salford may be a little surprised by the latest pantomime offering from award winning Salford Musical Theatre Company as the annual community pantomime transports audiences back to 14th Century London town to recount the tale of 3 times Lord Mayor Dick Whittington and his magic cat.

SMTC have given the pantomime their usual twist on events with comic characters filling the stage including Rover – Dick’s magic cat, who has obviously been watching too many TV adverts and wants to be more dog!

Man mad Sarah the Cook wants to find a nice rich boyfriend, Idle Jack is lazily obsessed with roses and Alice Fitzwarren, who doesn’t even notice. Her father, Alderman Fitzwarren is fed up of his shop being plagued by rats, and so is Sheik Dabooty of Abu Dhabi, who could be a dead ringer for TV’s Celebrity Juice host Keith Lemon and there are plenty more surprises in store for the cast and audiences as the evil King Rat tries everything to stop Dick being made Lord Mayor of London, including framing Dick for a crime he did not commit and sending his hordes of ratlings to eat everyone’s sweets and generally cause havoc!

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Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Fracking Concerns Ignored By Local Authorities And Government

There is a great deal of speculation and controversy surrounding the latest methods for extracting natural gas from under our feet, a process known as “Fracking” where a toxic mixture of chemicals are pumped into well heads to release gases trapped in the underlying bedrock.

The process is designed to fracture the rock strata, allowing gas to escape and rise to the surface and the controversial method is already being exploited widely in some states in the USA, with alarming results. Minor earth tremors are being caused and ground water is becoming saturated with methane and other flammable gases and some residents living near the remote drilling sites have to rely on bottled supplies to be able to drink and water cattle, however the companies controlling the drilling are happy to pay people off and ignore what they are being told.

Here in the UK, gas companies have identified potential sites that they reckon hold enough natural gas reserves to last for the next 30-40 years, unfortunately these areas are also heavily populated, not like in the USA.

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Showcase For The Christie Raises Funds For Fight Against Cancer

Showcase For The Christie Raises Funds For Fight Against Cancer

On Sunday 21st of July 2013 Rachel and I were part of an annual charity fundraising event at the Lyric Theatre at the Lowry in Salford, with this year’s proceeds going to The Christie.

The 2 ½ hour show was included as part of the BBC’s Million Pound Appeal aiming to raise £1 Million (GBP) to benefit cancer patients in Greater Manchester through a new mobile chemotherapy unit that will take valuable Christie care closer to patient’s homes.

Over 200 performers from 7 amateur musical theatre companies from the Greater Manchester area performed short excerpts from popular musicals to a 1700 capacity audience.

The generosity of the audience was matched pound for pound by Barclays bank, and £3,500 was raised on the night just from the proceeds of the raffle, with even more promised to the The Christie nhs Foundation Trust charity after costs are calculated.

The annual celebration of amateur theatre talent was the brainchild of founder Saunie Williams, who sadly lost her own fight against cancer many years ago but the celebrations keep going in her spirit.

It was a great privilege to take part in this fantastic event again with Salford Musical Theatre Company (SMTC), after last year’s superb performances and my own personal triumph, with a principal role that I had waited 25 years to perform on a stage. On that occasion Showcase 2012 supported the excellent work of the Macmillan Nurses and the committee handed over a cheque for £7,000 (GBP).

This year’s charity – The Christie nhs Foundation Trust, is world famous for the groundbreaking treatments and care they provide for cancer sufferers, including treatment provided for Showcase front man – Mike Sammon who was diagnosed with throat cancer a few years ago, thankfully Mike was given the all clear following his treatment, for which everyone in the showbiz world are eternally grateful for, as there is no-one else on earth who could get away with those gags.

I am writing this post because I want to publicly thank everyone involved in organising and arranging everything so that amateur performers from all over the area can put on a superb evening of entertainment containing a breathtaking showcase of amateur talent as this is a fantastic way to help raise much needed funds for many different charities around the North West of England.

So on behalf of the societies involved; Salford Musical Theatre Company, PADOS, Romiley Operatic Society, Sale and Altrincham Musical Theatre, All Saints Musical Productions, Whitefield AODS and HATS, a huge thanks to Dave Bamford, Mike Sammon, Ian Legate, Helen Litherland, Dennis Carter, Brian Marney, Simon Pickup and the Showcase band plus an army of helpers, of whom there are too many to mention and of course all the people from each of the musical theatre societies who gave their time for free preparing the performers for their sections – THANK YOU ALL !!!.

For more information about the appeal or to get involved visit http://www.christie.nhs.uk/bbcradiomanchester

or call

0161 446 3988

Mike Clarke shows off SMTC's Best Panto Award

Mike Clarke shows off SMTC’s Best Panto Award

As many of our readers may already know, Rachel and I have been members of Salford Musical Theatre Company (SMTC) for more than 10 years and have been fortunate to have appeared in numerous award winning musical productions.

In 2008 when the theatre company faced massive debts, it was decided to stage a pantomime for the first time in the societies 60 year history. From humble beginnings the annual panto has entertained audiences of all ages and our last production in December 2012 “Puss In Boots” was adjudicated by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) for the first time ever.

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Landlords In Salford Face Selective Licensing

Landlords In Salford Face Selective Licensing

The City of Salford local authority (my local council), have finally approved proposals for a selective licensing scheme for landlords in another 3 areas within their region, these are the areas of Langworthy, Weaste and Seedley.

The areas outlined in the plan are currently undergoing some regeneration as historic churches are flattened along with the former home of Salford Reds rugby ground and entertainment venue, The Willows. New homes are currently being built on former brownfield sites within the area, that is just 5 minutes walk from the new home of the BBC at Media City.

Despite delaying the decision for over month, to consider outcomes and exit strategies, the scheme was finally approved, although it remains unclear if the objectives for the scheme are actually in place.

Instead, Salford promised to implement a number of discounts for compliant landlords and establish an engagement group which will supposedly meet to support the effective implementation of the scheme and shape its development.

The decision by Salford comes just a few weeks after the local authority revealed that the previous pilot scheme, which lapsed in May 2012, had lost £239,533 (GBP) during its five-year cycle; with further undisclosed costs for senior management support, enforcement action and Land Registry searches.

During the same period, Salford refused just five landlord licences, and revoked a further 73 landlord licences.

However, the local authority refused to say on what grounds the landlord licences had been revoked, and whether or not this figure included individuals who had simply sold their rental properties and left the private rented sector (PRS).

Chris Town, vice chairman of the Residential Landlords’ Association responded to Salford’s selective licensing decision,saying “The RLA is extremely disappointed with this decision. We are not satisfied that there is a strong case for this selective licensing scheme. Other local authorities such as Manchester, Leeds and Bournemouth have rejected selective licensing and are now looking at alternative methods of raising housing standards, particularly greater promotion of accreditation schemes and improved enforcement. Selective licensing simply does not work and is the legislative equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

Want your voice heard?    Join The RLA today!

Award Winning Property Management in Manchester

Award Winning Property Management in Manchester

Property managing agents in Manchester are reporting a rise in the number of enquiries from new property investors looking to enter the buy-to-let market and a high volume of existing landlords requiring better management of their current rental property portfolios.

According to Mike Clarke, Director of Castledene Property Management (Manchester) Ltd, Manchester city centre is a great place to purchase rental properties, as the current rental market is performing well. With a large number of students studying at different universities* in and around the Manchester area, the demand for rental property, in particular, shared and student accommodation (HMO – House of Multiple Occupation) getting stronger.

With the UK property sales market at rock bottom and asking prices for residential property still falling, there really is no better time to invest in property. With PRS rental returns increasing, and a wealth of products and services being made available, it is a really good time to be a landlord.

September is typically one of the busiest times of the year, with students returning to universities and private tenants moving into properties that have been available for rent and on the market since June/July.

Operations Manager at Castledene Property Management (Manchester) Ltd Mike Clarke stated that Manchester and the surrounding areas have become increasingly popular in the last 12 -18 months, with a number of proposals being put forward to improve the infrastructure of the area, including Port Salford, set to create thousands of new jobs, and new developments continuing to spring up around the city, landlords are looking for suitable properties to purchase for rental purposes in prime locations around the city centre and Salford Quays.

Castledene Property Management - Manchester

Castledene Property Management – Manchester

 

If landlords need award winning quality property management anywhere in Manchester or the North of England 

call 0161 777 8844 or 0191 527 4000 .

 

Award Winning Property Management Services

Award Winning Property Management Services

  

 

   

 

 *Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University, and The Manchester College

 

Just like HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2012 marks the Diamond Jubilee of Salford Musical Theatre!

Having been formed in May 1952, we have performed and showcased many shows over the years from the early days of Gilbert and Sullivan to the modern era productions of Carousel, Oliver and Les Miserables.

To celebrate our 60th Anniversary our main show this year is called

“ 60 Glorious Years ”

A review of our history, the history of Salford and we are reprising songs from some of the shows we have performed over the past sixty years

Salford Musical Theatre Company celebrate 60 Glorious Years!

Salford Musical Theatre Company celebrate 60 Glorious Years!

Songs will be performed from, amongst others:

Les Miserables, Hot Mikado, Spamalot, Oliver, Carousel, South Pacific, Chicago, Oklahoma…..

Performances will take place 15th to 19th May at Patricroft United Reform Church, Shakespeare Crescent, Eccles Manchester M30 0PX.

Ticket information can also be obtained by calling our Ticket Secretary –  Jean Forrester on 01204 578216

or obtain tickets online http://smtc60.eventbrite.co.uk (fees apply) or via any SMTC member.

Please visit our website for more information http://www.salfordmusicaltheatre.co.uk

A quick note about ticket prices and fees – When tickets are sold online, there are extra costs involved (postage, paypal fees and Eventbrite fees) and we ask that the person booking the tickets pays these fees rather than the Society.

If you do not agree to paying these fees, please purchase your ticket in the traditional way by either telephoning the ticket secretary on 01204578216 or ordering from a cast member. Thank you for understanding.

Residential property affordability is at its most favourable in almost a decade, according to the latest Lloyds TSB Affordable Cities Review.

My home town of Salford, in the North West, is the most affordable UK city with an average property price of £102,391 that is 3.81 times the average gross annual earnings.

This partly reflects a 32% fall in house prices in this part of Greater Manchester since 2008.

The average price for a home in a UK city is £173,202 equating to 5.5 times the average gross annual earnings.

This is an improvement on 5.7 times the average gross annual earnings in 2011 and is significantly below the peak of 7.2 times the average gross annual earnings observed in 2008.

10 most affordable UK cities, 2012

UK cities

Region

Price to Earnings ratio

Salford

North West

3.81

Londonderry

Northern Ireland

3.87

Bradford

Yorkshire and the Humber

3.98

Lancaster

North West

4.00

Stirling

Scotland

4.04

Belfast

Northern Ireland

4.08

Durham

North

4.08

Lisburn

Northern Ireland

4.09

Hereford

West Midlands

4.26

Birmingham

West Midlands

4.43

UK cities average

 

5.51

Sources: Lloyds Banking Group, ONS

The marked improvement in affordability in UK cities over recent years has been driven by the significant fall in residential property prices.

Since 2008, the average house price within a city has fallen by 18% (£37,403) from £210,605 in 2008 to £173,202 in 2012.

  • 7 out of the 8 most affordable cities are in Northern Ireland and the North of England.
  • Ely in the East of England is the most affordable city in the south of England (4.60).

The least affordable city in the UK is Truro in the South West where the average property price (£250,489) is nearly ten times (9.71) the average gross earnings in the area. The benefits to the quality of life associated with living in this picturesque part of Cornwall have supported residential property prices in this area for the past decade.

Oxford (8.80) is the second least affordable city, followed by Winchester (8.76). Inverness (5.97) and York (5.95) are the least affordable cities outside Southern England.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, commented: “The improvement in housing affordability within many of our major urban conurbations has been significant during the past few years and reflects the decline in house prices over the period. There is, however, a distinct north-south divide to the locations of the most affordable UK cities. Looking forward, the marked improvement in city affordability is likely to help support demand for those able to enter the housing market. Much of this benefit, however, maybe offset by the continuing difficulties many households face in raising a deposit and uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy.”

Last week saw the worst rioting in the UK since the 1980’s.

Whilst the unrest caused by the shooting of a man in the London borough of Tottenham sparked a civil disturbance that quickly spread to other parts of the nations capital, others saw an opportunity to jump on the band wagon sparking violent scenes as hundreds of youths went on the rampage through the streets of other major British cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Birmingham where 3 men were callously run down while trying to protect their community.

Whilst the British public focus on the causality of the violence and the financial cost of the devastation that has tainted our cities, the rest of the world looks on as we clean up the smashed glass, burnt out cars and buildings, watching how severley we deal with those people that decided to ignore the law and attempt to devastate our communities.

With over 2000 arrests across the country the police and British legal system are fast tracking justice in an attempt to provide a swift punishment for those involved. The cost to repair the damage is expected to run into Billions of pounds (GBP)

Businesses with damaged or looted sites are able to claim back losses through insurance policies, resulting in increased premiums for everyone in years to come. However, it is not the same story for many homeowners and landlords with Buy-To-Let property in the affected locations.

Hidden in the small print of some UK domestic insurance policies and some landlord Buy-To-Let buildings insurance policies is a “get out” clause for liability.

Under what IS NOT covered, the phrase “ …riot, civil disturbance, violent disorder, strike or malicious acts”, will mean some UK home owners and landlords having to foot the bill for the repairs to property themselves.

Whilst the UK Government state they will back those affected by the trouble, it will do little in the short term for those who have lost everything.

£30 Million (GBP) of Government money will go to help those in need. £20 Million of this will be in the form of a high street support scheme, with the remaining £10 Million to be used as a recovery fund to help clean up the streets and damaged buildings across the country.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a £50 Million (GBP) fund to make major improvements to the capital’s town centres and high streets damaged by the recent riots across the capital.

Mr Johnson said “We have always recognised the importance of improving London’s town centres and clearly after the destruction caused by the recent events across the city this is a bigger challenge than ever. That is why I am allocating £50 million to ensure that these areas are regenerated quickly and transformed into safe, attractive, vibrant and economically successful places to live, work and invest in”.

The riots could also have an indirect effect on the future UK economy, particularly as foreign companies or overseas developers may be reluctant to invest in London or other UK cities and may choose to take their construction projects elsewhere, in the fear of being vandalised by out-of-control youths.

It is only through excellent community spirit and co-operation that Britain is getting its house back in order.

If you own property in any of the affected areas and were fortunate to escape any major damage from the atrocities on our streets it may be advisable for insurance policy holders to check the specific wording of their insurance policies.

Domestic and Buy-To-Let insurance providers can be found here

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