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  1. I was just browsing and got caught up in this terrible story. Michael came over as a decent, honest, sensitive guy who was the victim of a terrible injustice, but I was shocked to the core at how it ended up. I think if it were one of my children, I'd print this entire thread out and send it to every newspaper, tv and radio station in the country - but I also realise that people react differently to such a tragic loss of someone dear, and that perhaps that's not your way. It shines through that people who knew Michael were never in any doubt that he was absolutely innocent - that was also perfectly clear to the many people here who did not know him personally, but who offered advice, sympathy and support to a stranger whose story appalled them and touched their hearts. I hope you are able to find peace in the New Year.
  2. Ironic that they were quite happy to leave it alone all the time I didn't need it. I was very tempted to go out and look for another bank account today, but on reflection, I shall wait till the money from the sale of mum's house is deposited in my account, then go in and close it. Probably won't mean a lot to them, but at least I'll feel better for it.
  3. I didn't ask for 'support' - they just gave it to me. I doubt if I've dipped into that overdraft more than half a dozen times in as many years., until mid October. It looks very suspicious that only a matter of weeks after I really began to use the facility, they decide to withdraw it .............. and don't bother to tell me!
  4. Back in 2003 or 4, I got a letter from Abbey awarding me a £600 overdraft. "That's nice" I thought - I hadn't asked for it and I've barely used it over the years, but it's always printed on my statements that it's still there. Anyhow, my mother died in October, which turned out to be an expensive exercise - not least because I was her Carer and received £200 per month Carerer's Allowance, which obviously stopped immediately, so I've been using my overdraft. Today I called Santander for an unconnected reason, and during the conversation the callcentre operator just happened to mention that my overdraft expires on January 1st! I've had no call, no letter, nothing. I didn't even know overdrafts 'expired' unless they'd been arranged to do so. I've no idea whether this is 'normal' or if it's only happening to me, but I'm just flagging it up in case other Santander customers ge a nasty New Year shock.
  5. Thanks for the reply. I had of course thought about using the capital as a deposit to purchase my council house, but I'd need at least a £65 - 70k mortgage for that, and without the rental income coming in, I'd be hard pressed to do that, even if anyone was prepared to lend it to me. Having said that, if I was able to do that, and sit tight for three years, I could get planning permission to build a new house attached to my current one (plenty of examples of that already on my estate) and really do well out of it. It's just SO damned annoying that it feels like all this is JUST beyond my financial reach.
  6. Just a quick heads up to anyone planning on a short break with their Clubcard points. I recently exchanged £55 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers for £220 worth of Best Western vouchers. I picked my hotel, checked availablity for my chosen dates, and saw that the advertised rate for a Leisure Weekend B&B was £105 per night. You have to call a special designated number for Clubcard bookings, which I did, only to be told that the rate for Clubcard bookings was actually £123 per night. I still feel I've had an ok-ish deal, but feel a little bit sore that this was sort of sprung on me over the phone, rather than being made clear while I was planning my trip. :-|
  7. That's how I felt when my mum needed a stairlift, so I called the local council, even though we knew she wouldn't qualify for financial help (she's comfortably off, hasn't hidden her money in other people's accounts and doesn't believe in stealing from taxpayers and those who may well be less well off than herself). They made an appointment for a Stannah rep to call, and a woman from the council came too, and asked all the right questions, pointed out the pros and cons of the various options etc., and really helped us work out exactly what mum needed. We then got a couple of other companies to call, without the woman from the council, and the knowledge gained from that first visit was very useful when dealing with other reps. We ended up with Acorn, who were considerably cheaper, and the lift has given sterling service for over 3 years now.
  8. Hello and thanks for the replies so far. I probably didn't make it clear enough that we're actually trying hard not to do anything that could be seen as 'fronting'. Son's dad was intending to give him the car on his birthday, and son would have it insured in his name, but we're now wondering if it might be better to leave the car in dad's name and take out learner insurance until he passes his test. Son intends to have lessons, but his dad is also willing to take him out for a bit of practice until he passes his test. It will be the only car son has access to, and dad will go on any future policy as a second driver.
  9. My soon to be 17 year old son will start learning to drive next month in an Nissan Micra which currently belongs to his dad, but which he planned to give him as a birthday present. A browse through various comparison sites show that it will cost somehwere around £1,800+ if my son owns it and insures it in his own name, but there are a couple of specialist companies who do it slightly differently for learner drivers. It would seem that if his dad keeps the car and continues to insure it for himself, my son could then take out short term learners insurance (under £75 a month) at least until he passes his test, without it affecting his dad's insurance or NCB, even if there's a claim. Two of these companies are Collingwood and Quinn (I understand Quinn have recently been in administration) but I wonder if any other forum members have experience of these policies and companies, and looking forward, what happens once my son passes his test. Thanks.
  10. There's the Intelligent Giving site which gives a fairly objective overview, as far as I can tell - Independent ratings and reviews of charities | Intelligent Giving and obviously the Charity Commission website, where you can look up detailed accounts etc - Charity Commission Homepage Unfortunately Conniff hasn't posted me that link yet. As far as I can see, Barbara Stocking, the CEO of Oxfam earns around £90,000, which although it looks like a lot, is less than the principle of a medium sized secondary school or a GP.
  11. I read The Charity Commission's report on their accounts and the Intelligent Giving website's summary and still can't find where it says only 8p in the £1 gets to Africa. I'd be really grateful if you could show me. Thanks in anticipation.
  12. I'd be interested in seeing a link to that information please. (Not that Oxfam do child sponsorship anyway, but I don't think you should post 'facts' that can't be verified).
  13. Obviously your perogative. I also support the RNLI as well as my local neonatal unit where both my children were born and cared for for the first few months of their lives. I'm hoping we'll all get something out of sponsoring a child as a long term project, and I'm sure I won't miss all those bubbly baths and boxes of chocolates if I can feel reasonably confident that a child somewhere is not going to bed hungry and uneducated because of our efforts.
  14. Not so much 'Did you know...?' as 'Do you know....?' I've asked my kids to sponsor a child in a developing country instead of buying me a birthday present this year. They're happy to do so, but we're struggling to work out which charity to go with. Do any of you have experience of this, or any links to somewhere which gives an unbiased overview of the different organisations? I'd prefer to go with a non religious charity if possible. Thanks.
  15. Ok, thanks for all that. I have the Certificate of Conformity and other documentation, and I have read the DVLA stuff, but I'm wondering why I need to complete a VAT form 414. I have the retailer's receipt, but sadly it's in French and as mine is at best schoolgirlish, I'm not sure what it's telling me! Does Prix U. Prix HT Prix TTC ring a bell for anyone? The Prix HT was 709 euros, the Prix TTC was 849 euros and as that seems to roughly equate to 16% so maybe I should assume the VAT's already paid and I'm not going to be landed with a tax bill.
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