Scotland takes radical new approach to helping first time buyers

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Scotland takes radical new approach to helping first time buyers previous nextHousing MarketScotland takes radical new approach to helping first time buyersSNP leader Nicola Sturgeon announces new, more generous scheme that will loan £25,000 to those wanting to get the property ladder.Nigel Lewis30th April 201901,567 Views Scotland’s ruling party the SNP has announced at its annual party conference in Edinburgh that it is to offer first time buyers simple cash loans via a new Help to Buy scheme.The country’s existing Help to Buy schemes are similar to those offered in England and Wales and offer equity loans and new-build specific packages. The new scheme is expected to fund up to 6,000 house additional purchases over the next two years.In total £150 million is being made available to first time buyers, who will be able to access loans of up to £25,000 to buy a property. Applicants who can save up 5% of a property’s value will then be given access to the loans and be able to spend it on buying both new and resale properties.The scheme will also be open to couples even if one of them has previously bought a property. The loans will be secured on future equity within the property and repaid only when it is sold.“For too many, the simple truth is that, even on decent incomes, saving for a deposit takes so long it has become a distant dream,” said SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (left).“Many are even paying more in rent than they would pay for a mortgage and don’t have the money left at the end of the month to save for a deposit. In a fair and equitable country that cannot stand.”help to buy Nicola Sturgeon SNP Scotland April 30, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Mantinga and Boulangeries de France merge

first_imgUK specialist frozen bakery distributors Mantinga and Boulangeries de France have announced their businesses are to merge, generating a combined turnover in excess of £8m.It is expected that all 52 employees will be retained at the firm in order to build the business from its current 2,000-plus customer base, to supply all the sectors of the UK bake-off market. Tierry Cacaly, MD, said the merger provided an “enviable list of synergies and efficiencies to be realised”.“With the distribution hubs of Mantinga in Gloucester and Chester combined with the Boulangeries de France distribution hub in London, the business will be responsible for a quality next-day delivery service to customers across the majority of the UK,” he explained.“Our product ranges are also very complementary with the strong French product range of the Boulangeries de France, which we will amalgamate with the diverse European-wide speciality bakery products supplied by Mantinga.”The new firm’s key business strategies will be to strengthen supplier partnerships by working closer to a select number of suppliers in order to maintain preferential distributor status, and to ensure competitive pricing in the UK market. Founder of Mantinga, Steven Mackintosh, has now moved into the role of commercial director. “We will be maintaining both the Mantinga and Boulangeries de France brands and product identities whilst we develop a new combined brand that will provide a clearer representation of our vision and business purpose,” he said. “Mantinga Retail Ltd will continue to trade with the wholesale side being integrated into Boulangeries de France Ltd and the retail remaining with Mantinga Retail Ltd.”The businesses where brought together through an acquisition of Mantinga Retail Ltd by Boulangeries de France. This saw the release of the Sameer Group as the private equity investor and shareholder of Mantinga.last_img read more

Greggs remembers Robert the Bruce

first_imgThe new Greggs bakery in Dumfries has put up a plaque in-store, to mark the spot where Robert the Bruce began his bid for the throne of Scotland.In 1306 Bruce killed his rival for the crown, John ‘Red’ Comyn, on the site where Greggs now stands – Greyfriars Church stood in its place at the time.A local trust (The Bruce Trust) had hoped to buy the premises and turn them into a visitor centre, but they were leased to Greggs instead.Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Joan McAlpine contacted the firm to explain the historic significance of the site and, in response, they have now installed a plaque.It was designed in collaboration with the Dumfries-based Robert the Bruce Trust and its expert Professor Ted Cowan, emeritus professor of Scottish History at Glasgow University.McAlpine joined Cowan, and Ian and Margo McClumpha of the trust, to unveil the plaque.McAlpine said: “I warmly congratulate Greggs for their response, which will give visitors a focus and educate people about the dramatic events that changed the course of history.”McAlpine wrote to Roger Whiteside, Greggs’ chief executive, and was “delighted” when the company responded “so positively”.last_img read more

Radiohead Shares ‘Burn The Witch,’ Their First New Single Since 2011 [Listen]

first_imgThe new Radiohead album has been in the works for years, and the anticipation for a new release has only been growing throughout the recent months, weeks, and days. The band first discussed the album years back, and got fans even more excited when they said they’d be performing new music at various festivals and tour dates. Between the leaflets mailed to UK fans and the band’s decision to delete their website and social media presence, it has seemed that a major announcement could happen at any moment.While we still don’t have the title or release date for the new album, Radiohead has officially released the very first single. Titled “Burn The Witch,” the song has been teased many times in the past, but now finally sees a full release. Complete with a clay-mation-looking music video, the song is Radiohead’s first since 2011’s King Of Limbs.Feast your eyes and ears on “Burn The Witch,” below:The band has also added some artwork to their Facebook page:last_img read more

Targeting childhood obesity early

first_imgThis is the second installment in a three-part Harvard Medical School series on childhood obesity.With childhood obesity now affecting 17 percent of American children, the nation is rallying around the concept that serious action is required. In 2010, President Barack Obama established the first Task Force on Childhood Obesity, aimed at reducing the rate of such obesity to just 5 percent by 2030.Although many of the plan’s 70 recommendations focus on approaches such as improving access to healthy, affordable foods; increasing physical activity; and empowering parents to make smart nutrition choices, a large chapter of the report is dedicated to reducing the risk of childhood obesity early in life. Since the president released his Task Force Call to Action, two Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports have emphasized the need for early interventions to prevent obesity.That’s welcome news to researchers like Matthew Gillman, Elsie Taveras (who is a member of the IOM Committee on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies), and their colleagues at Project Viva, a longitudinal research study that examines a woman’s lifestyle and other factors during pregnancy and, after birth, the effects on her health and the health of her child.Taveras is an associate professor of population medicine and pediatrics and co-director of the Obesity Prevention Program at Harvard Medical School’s (HMS) Department of Population Medicine. Gilman is a professor and director of the program.Since 1998, the project has studied thousands of expectant mothers and their children, including more than 1,110 visits with 7-year-olds. Thanks in large part to Project Viva’s findings, a growing body of evidence has found that childhood obesity begins in utero, and early intervention can go a long way toward quelling the problem.There’s good reason to start preventing childhood obesity as soon as possible. It’s well established that more than half of obese children are already overweight by age 2. Approximately one in five children will be overweight or obese by age 6. In addition, many of the racial and ethnic differences in risk factors for childhood obesity appear to occur early in life.One large Project Viva study, published in the April 2010 issue of Pediatrics, found that black and Hispanic children were more likely than white children to have gained weight rapidly during infancy. What’s more, they spent less time breast-feeding, were introduced to solid foods sooner, consumed more fast foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, slept less, and had television sets in their bedrooms during the first three years of life — all risk factors for childhood obesity. Black and Hispanic mothers were also more likely to begin their pregnancies overweight or obese, to have depressive symptoms during pregnancy, and (Hispanic only) to develop gestational diabetes.Although the exact reasons for such disparities are still largely unclear, researchers continue to find associations of these and other risk factors with childhood obesity, including:Maternal habits. What’s good for a pregnant mother is good for her child, and the inverse holds true, as well. One 2007 study by Gillman, Taveras, and their colleagues found that children of mothers who had gained more weight in pregnancy had about four times the risk of being overweight by age 3. Other Project Viva findings suggest that children whose mothers smoked while pregnant have twice the risk of being overweight by age 3 as those whose mothers did not smoke.C-sections. A 2012 study by Project Viva researchers found that 3-year-olds who had been born by cesarean section were twice as likely to be obese as those who had been delivered vaginally. That may be because babies born by C-section have different bacteria in the gut than those born vaginally, and some emerging data suggest that this microbiome could be important for energy balance.Breast-feeding. Studies suggest that children who are breast-fed have a lower risk of obesity, possibly because breast-fed children may learn to self-regulate how much they eat — and mothers may learn to control how much they feed their children — by responding to hunger rather than other cues. A study by Gillman and colleagues in the March 2011 issue of Pediatrics sheds light on formula-fed infants, too. Those who were introduced to solid food before 4 months old had a sixfold increase in their odds of being obese at age 3, compared with those whose parents waited until they were at least 4 to 6 months old to introduce solids.Infant sleep. Research by Taveras suggests that adequate sleep during infancy is just as important to babies as it is to their weary parents. Her 2008 Project Viva study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, was the first to examine the effects of sleep during infancy. She found that babies who slept less than 12 hours a day were twice as likely to be obese by age 3 as those who got more shut-eye, possibly because sleep is crucial for a proper balance of the hormones that regulate appetite.Starting the fight early. Findings like these are helping physicians, public health advocates, and others make recommendations to parents even before a child is born. “It’s becoming obvious that early prevention is a big part of the answer to childhood obesity,” said Gillman. The goal, he stresses, isn’t to blame parents. “We’re focusing on expectant and new mothers, because most women are especially receptive to making positive changes for their child’s health during and right after pregnancy.”Early interventions may have impressive effects on children’s behavior. In a study published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Maternal and Child Health, Taveras and her colleagues assigned new mothers and their babies (ages birth to 6 months) to two groups. One group received an intervention that included conversations with pediatricians, motivational counseling by a health educator, and group parenting workshops. The other group received usual pediatric care.After six months, the researchers found that infants in the intervention group breast-fed longer and were less likely to be introduced to solid foods, watched less TV than their peers, and slept more. “If we can help parents change some of these risk factors early in life,” said Taveras, “we may be able to protect against obesity later on, and possibly decrease the disparities we see with the disease in many nonwhite populations.”But what about children who, at age 5 and older, are past the point of such early interventions?“It’s certainly easier to start preventing childhood obesity very early on,” said Gillman. “It may be more difficult as kids get older, but we do need to continue making changes throughout their lives.”Next week: 800 gallons of sugary Cokelast_img read more

David Rockefeller dies at 101

first_imgDavid Rockefeller ’36, a prominent member of a storied family, a global leader in business and philanthropy, and a longtime Harvard University benefactor and Overseer, died Monday at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. He was 101.Born into a family whose name was synonymous with fame and largesse, Rockefeller graduated from Harvard College in 1936. He did graduate work at Harvard with economist Joseph Schumpeter before earning a doctorate in economics at the University of Chicago in 1940. The grandson of John D. Rockefeller, who founded the family’s fortune, David Rockefeller embarked on an immensely successful career as a commercial banker and businessman, serving as the chairman, president, and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and chairman of the board of the Rockefeller Group. He also was an influential figure on the world stage for decades.He was a generous donor to Harvard faculties and Schools, and that generosity has had a lasting impact on the University’s institutions and vision. Capping decades of support for a variety of University priorities, in 2008 he pledged $100 million to increase learning opportunities dramatically for undergraduates through international experiences and participation in the arts, as well as supporting the renovation of the Harvard Art Museums. The gift was then the largest from an alumnus in Harvard’s history.“David was a visionary leader, an extraordinary philanthropist, and a devoted friend,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “His passion for Harvard was infectious, and his commitment to the arts, to experiential learning, and to increasing knowledge of other cultures has made a lasting impact on the University and the thousands of students and scholars who have benefited from his generosity. The Harvard community is deeply saddened by David’s death, and we extend our deepest condolences to the Rockefeller family.”Rockefeller was a member of the executive committee of the Committee on University Resources, and was honorary chair of The University Campaign, which raised a record $2.6 billion for Harvard between 1994 and 1999. He also served on the Harvard Board of Overseers from 1954 to 1966, and was president of the board from 1966 to 1968. In recognition of his many forms of service to the University, he received an honorary degree in 1969.Described by Fortune magazine in 1977 as “the nation’s leading business statesman,” Rockefeller was also an innovative philanthropist with a wide range of interests, including Latin America, modern art, and the sciences. In 1994, he donated $25 million to create the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard, which has become one of the pre-eminent institutions of its kind in the world and is distinguished as the first interfaculty initiative for international studies at Harvard.Rockefeller’s initial gifts to the center, which provided endowments for three chairs in Latin American Studies, have been emulated by other donors, and Harvard now benefits from seven new endowed professorships dedicated to the study of Latin America. In addition, eight endowed fellowships for visiting researchers have been added.Harvard President Drew Faust met with David Rockefeller during his visit to campus on April 25, 2008. File photo by Justin Ide“In the early 1990s, David Rockefeller had the vision to help lead Harvard’s effort in creating the first University-wide center of its kind,” said former Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine in 2008. “David realized that the time was right to turn attention — in a much more powerful and concentrated way — on Latin American affairs.”Rockefeller credited Harvard for his interest in global issues. “Harvard opened my eyes and my mind to the world,” Rockefeller said in 2008. “It was because of Harvard’s language requirement that I spent the summer of 1933 in Germany and saw firsthand the ominous rise of fascism. And it was at Harvard that I first studied art history. Harvard provided me with an intellectual framework to understand what I was seeing and experiencing that has stayed with me for my entire life.”Funds provided to students through the David Rockefeller International Experience Grants, established as part of the 2008 gift, have created opportunities for a generation of students to travel the globe to work on projects spanning the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences. “It seems entirely fitting that David’s remarkable gift will ensure that all undergraduates, regardless of financial means, will have the opportunity to follow David’s example and to become citizens of the world,” Faust noted.Rudenstine said in his 2008 remarks that Rockefeller’s philanthropy was only one of his many callings. “It has characterized a life in which a natural spirit of generosity has been strengthened and deepened by an equally strong sense of responsibility for the common good — and for the health of institutions and societies around the world,” he wrote, quoting his 1999 speech at the New York Public Library.Many in the Harvard community felt Rockefeller’s death personally. “For all its inevitability, this news is no less heartbreaking,” said William L. Fash Jr., the Charles P. Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology. “That truly is a gap that can never be filled. We can find solace by reflecting on all the wondrous and productive and world-changing things that he made possible for us and for our students, but also for generations to come.”Others recalled Rockefeller’s lively mind and wide-ranging interests. As a child, Rockefeller developed a fascination with bugs. His beetle collection grew to 2,000 species and 150,000 specimens. He also amassed a huge, museum-quality art collection of 15,000 pieces.“This is a deeply sad time for us all, as David touched our lives in so many unique ways,” said Brian Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center. “He was a tireless advocate for higher education and particularly for international experiences, with a boundless intellectual curiosity in everything from beetles, our shared passion, to art and world cultures.”last_img read more

SMC implements new Mass translation

first_imgSunday marked the first use of the new translation of the Roman Catholic Mass, and Saint Mary’s Office of Campus Ministry said the transition went without a hitch. Regina Wilson, assistant director of campus ministry, said she hopes the new translation will help students think more about the meaning the words they recite during the Mass. “I feel the change in the translation of the liturgy gives all the faithful a new and rare opportunity to reflect more carefully on what we are saying in our worship,” Wilson said. Wilson said her office began preparing for the change and practicing the new translation in October. “From what I observed on Sunday’s Mass people are paying more attention,” Wilson said. “They’re noticing new phraseology and words as the liturgy went on. The liturgy seemed to progress smoothly with a few little mix-ups as people spoke the old responses they all knew so well. It will take several months for all of us to internalize these changes.” The changes were made to unify the Masses more and for a better translation for the original Latin text. In the new translation, for example, the congregation will say, “And with your spirit,” instead of “And also with you.” “Over time, we will grow more accustomed to this new translation, and it will feel more comfortable to us,” Wilson said. “We have the added benefits of some rich new texts to contemplate as we pray which should benefit to our faith and in the end, our relationship with God.” Sr. Amy Cavender, a political science professor at Saint Mary’s, said the ritual editions of the Roman Missal typically arrive at parishes in October. Among other things, the revised edition of the Missal contains prayers for the observances of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic prayers, and Masses and prayers for various needs and occasions; some updated and revised rubrics or instructions for the celebration of the Mass. “After all we’d been using the previous translation for approximately 40 years,” Cavender said. “Adjusting to a new translation will just take time.”last_img read more

Choir aims to serve the community

first_imgLast March, the Notre Dame Celebration Choir visited the Westville Correctional Facility, an Indiana prison with thousands of inmates.Sophomore and choir vice president Anna O’Connell said the experience was profound.“To see the prisoners come in, it was a really cool thing because people in prison are definitely marginalized and forgotten about a lot,” she said. “… There’s not much excitement in their life, but we were able to bring some joy and some happiness. Obviously it’s hard to tell when you’re singing to people, whether it’s impacting them. But there was one guy in the front row. He was standing up and swaying.”Service and community outreach are central features of the Celebration Choir, which was created in 1997 to accommodate campus visitors who could not fit in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart for Mass on football Saturdays. Director Karen Schneider-Kirner said the choir regularly sings at correctional facilities, including Westville and the Juvenile Justice Center.“I had some poignant letters from afterwards of the prisoners saying how much it meant to them that people were willing to do some outreach,” Schneider-Kirner said. “[The prison is] largely a forgotten place where most people aren’t going to go.“When we went, we tried to have some interaction where we can talk with people, to show human compassion. We’re really trying to live out all of what [Pope] Francis has exemplified in his Evangelii Gaudium document, of bringing the joy of the Gospel to those who most need to hear it.”Schneider-Kirner said the choir, in addition to singing at football Masses and prisons, also visits local parishes and dorms, goes on an annual tour with the Handbell Choir and performs at special events and concerts, often with other Basilica choirs. She said the choir has a diverse repertoire, ranging from traditional hymns to 20th-century compositions, with a variety of accompanying instruments.“Catholic means ‘universal,’ so [we want to] be indicative of the whole universal church and sing in different languages and in different styles from different eras of music composition,” she said. “We enjoy doing gospel music as well as classical music. I’m also a published composer, so often I’m using the choir as a training ground for trying out new compositions.”Schneider-Kirner said the choir welcomes students without much experience in order to help them develop their musical skills.“We tend to be open to all,” she said. “We don’t put up any barriers. We want to meet students exactly where they’re at with their music skills.“I realize, for instance, that a lot of — primarily — men may be used to, in high school, being pushed towards sports, but then they get to be college aged and realize they might want to develop those gifts, but then they haven’t really sung in a choir, haven’t played an instrument. I do some vocal coaching on the side just to help students with their skills.”Senior Celebration Choir president Kenny Kraynik said the choir’s accommodation of beginner-level singers as well as the service component encouraged him to join.“I wasn’t much of a singer before college, and I knew the Celebration Choir really welcomed new singers with not that much background, so that’s what I was originally looking for,” he said. “Then when I started to sign up, I started hearing about all the service opportunities they do – prison visits, visits to parishes that could use the help – it just seemed like a really good fit for me.”Schneider-Kirner said the choir also acts as a “training ground” for students interested in getting involved as liturgical musicians, by incorporating lessons on planning liturgies, recruiting musicians and including Catholic Church thought on liturgical music into choir rehearsals.“We’ve had a great number of students over the years who [may not] have gone on to careers in sacred music, but they still use their talents and skills,” she said. “Even though they may be lawyers or other things, they’re still actively engaged in music ministry. I think that’s a really valuable thing to be able to offer the Church.”Sophomore Morgan Widhalm, the choir’s accompanist, said she was a member of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, when Schneider-Kirner, who is also the assistant director of the Folk Choir, invited her to audition as a pianist for the Celebration Choir.“Playing in a different capacity, being the accompanist, it’s brought me a lot of blessings,” Widhalm said. “I’ve gotten to develop my skill a lot. I’ve never accompanied a choir like this before.“I’ve done pieces with my choir in high school where I would do a piece, but it was more classical and I would just have to go with the sore. But here I’ve had to develop improvisation skills and other general accompanist skills that I would not have gotten without this position.”This fall, the location of alternate football Masses changed from Stepan Center to Leighton Concert Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC).Widhalm said the location change adds to her experience as a liturgical musician.“It’s such a wonderful space,” she said. “I actually wasn’t part of the choir last year when they played in Stepan after football games, but I know from what everyone else in the choir has said [that] it’s been an immense improvement.“For me, just the experience in DPAC alone has been amazing. Playing on an amazing Steinway piano, seeing that beautiful hall fill up with people, it’s a really wonderful experience, and I think it’s something that not a lot of people get.”In the upcoming semesters, the choir will go on tour, perform with various campus musical groups in an interfaith prayer concert and sing with other Basilica choirs in a Beethoven showcase. O’Connell said the choir will also go on an annual retreat, one which fosters the sense of community that drew her to the choir.“Choir gives me a foundation socially,” O’Connell said. “A lot of my really close friends are in choir, which is really cool. I hope that it provides that community for other people. That’s something I’m working on as vice president, to make it a community where people feel totally welcome.”Tags: Celebration Choir, community outreach, prison, Schneider-Kirner, Westville Correctional Facilitylast_img read more

Dates Set for London Return of Funny Girl

first_imgShe’s officially the pip with pizzazz! Dates are now set for the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Funny Girl, starring two-time Olivier winner Sheridan Smith. The musical, which catapulted Barbra Streisand to stardom on stage and screen, returns to London beginning November 20. The production, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer, will open on December 2 and run through March 5, 2016.No word yet whether the production has any intention of crossing the pond to play New York following the London run. A Bartlett Sher-helmed revival of the musical—headlined by Lauren Ambrose—was set to play Los Angeles and Broadway in 2012 before being postponed indefinitely. And then there was Lea Michele…Smith won consecutive Olivier Awards for her performances in Legally Blonde and Flare Path. She returns to the Chocolate Factory after starring in Little Shop of Horrors in 2006. Her additional U.K. stage credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hedda Gabler and Into the Woods. She’s appeared on screen in Blackwork, The C Word, Cilla, Mrs. Biggs and Hysteria.The tuner, which first played London in 1966, tracks the rise of Fanny Brice’s career as one of Broadway’s biggest stars by way of the Ziegfeld Follies, as well as her doomed romance with Nicky Arnstein. The score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill features such iconic show tunes as “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “I’m the Greatest Star” and a book by Isobel Lennart.The production will feature choreography by Lynne Page, set design by Michael Pavelka, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Richard Brooker. View Commentslast_img read more

Last Mile Celebration’ on reopening of all Vermont roads after Irene Dec 29

first_imgLast Mile Celebration ‘ The planned reopening of Vermont Route 107 between Bethel and Stockbridge ‘ the final segment of state highway closed due to Tropical Storm Irene.WHO: VTrans, State and Local Officials, Contractors, Local Partners, Community MembersWHEN: Thursday, December 29, 1:00 pmWHERE: Stockbridge Central School2933 VT Route 107Stockbridge, VTSUMMARY: To coincide with the planned reopening of Vermont Route 107 this week, state and local officials will join with project partners and community groups to celebrate this important step in Vermont’s recovery. This event is open to the public.last_img