British Fashion Council announces KPMG Enterprise as its latest patron

To mark the start of London Fashion Week 2015, KPMG, the professional services firm, has announced that it has become the latest patron of the British Fashion Council (BFC).

As part of the patronage, KPMG’s Enterprise practice, which works with privately-owned businesses from start-up through every stage of their development and growth, will support the BFC via a mentoring programme, which will see mentors from across KPMG Enterprise providing pro-bono advice and expertise to some of the UK’s brightest designers and fast-growing fashion businesses.

In addition to designers benefiting from the mentors’ wide range of skills and expertise, the BFC will also provide its members with access to KPMG’s Small Business Accounting service, offering the service to designer brands as part of its business support function.

Iain Moffatt, Head of Enterprise for KPMG in the UK, commented:”Our partnership with the British Fashion Council is a platform for KPMG Enterprise to support budding designers in their desire to run successful businesses,helping them to grow and develop, and maybe even rise to become the international catwalk brands of the future.”

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO at British Fashion Council, commented: “We are truly delighted to announce that global professional services giant KPMG has committed to become a patron of the British Fashion Council. As part of the BFC’s Business Pillar KPMG will bring its incredibly talented advisory teams to work closely with some of the UK’s most promising designers to help support their business growth”.

Bivek Sharma, Head of Small Business Accounting at KPMG, commented: “Our Small Business Accounting offering will give talented designers access to an easy-to-use finance platform and ‘virtual FD’ service, taking away some of the stress that comes with running a business and freeing up time for them to focus on their creative designs. Our work will also span across the BFC Business pillar, including the Fashion Fund and Fashion Trust and we look forward to seeing this partnership develop and progress in the future.”

How passion for a product can lead to a full-time business

Lisa joined Simply Naturals two years ago. Married to an Army Officer, Lisa was looking for a home based business that would endure through the two yearly cycle of house moves associated with frequent postings.

LisaWhen Lisa discovered the Simply Naturals Business Opportunity, it really was the answer to her prayers. This was a British Company that with a unique flagship product, ‘Sizzling Minerals’, that Lisa could become passionate about, and it knew its market well. This wonderful product was changing peoples’ lives and the testimonials were nothing short of amazing.

Lisa’s background is in Nutrition. As a former State Registered Dietitian and former Team GB athlete, she is passionate about health and wellness. Lisa decided to join Simply Naturals and started taking the Sizzling Minerals to experience the positive health benefits herself.

Her brother, Alister, experienced such a boost to his health after taking ‘Sizzling Minerals’, despite a demanding shift work pattern, that he was eager to join the business and spread the word too. An airline pilot and former Royal Marines Officer, Alister was looking for business that would provide an additional income stream that would endure beyond his working life as a pilot.

Another reason that Lisa and Alister decided to get involved with Simply Naturals is because they knew of the Directors, Eric Cole and Peter Willoughby. Eric and Peter were the first and fastest to NMD (National Networking Director) with Utility Warehouse Warehouse Discount Club. Eric and Peter’s reputation is second to none, which is reflected in the Simply Naturals business model. To read the inspirational story of their rise in Utility Warehouse, go to:

Peter and Eric used their experience as former ground floor MLM distributors to design a business that provides a unique, ethical health product for customers, coupled with a generous compensation plan for distributors who are serious about the business. This includes a free car, and mortgage payments. Not only are each of these achievable, they are not mutually exclusive.

Lisa and Alister are continuing to build and support a substantial team of distributors, the ‘Simply Flying Team’. They are passionate about embracing diversity and supporting people to develop their Simply Naturals business in their own way. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in this business and the distributors and the team members are a testament to this.

When Lisa and Alister became distributors, their initial aim was to cover the monthly cost of the Sizzling Minerals purchase of £23.97. Unlike other network marketing businesses, there was no need to spend large amounts of money each month on additional products just to qualify for commissions.

The Multi-Level Marketing, network or referral marketing industry is worth over $200 billion annually worldwide and like many businesses is changing rapidly due to the ‘communications revolution’. The traditional methods for growing this type of business are now augmented by many new digital possibilities which means that people can choose from a range of online and offline methods to grow a business in a way that performs for them when and how they want. If they are not comfortable with this, the traditional methods of getting out on foot, handing out leaflets and talking to people remain highly effective. You don’t need to be a ‘tech geek’ to succeed in this business! Alister and Lisa don’t ask that their new team members follow their techniques or schemes, they merely show them what they have done to create passive residual income in their lives. The rest is down to their team members’ freewill.

Lisa is a Simply Naturals Senior Manager and can be contacted on 0800 024 87 85

Scottish Independence Referendum: statement by the Prime Minister

“The people of Scotland have spoken” said Prime Minister David Cameron following the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum.

Prime Minister David Cameron gave a statement to media at Downing Street following the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum.

He said:

“The people of Scotland have spoken. It is a clear result. They have kept our country of 4 nations together. Like millions of other people, I am delighted. As I said during the campaign, it would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end.

And I know that sentiment was shared by people, not just across our country, but also around the world because of what we’ve achieved together in the past and what we can do together in the future.

So now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together, and to move forward. A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement - fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well.

Let us first remember why we had this debate - and why it was right to do so.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) was elected in Scotland in 2011 and promised a referendum on independence. We could have blocked that; we could have put it off, but just as with other big issues, it was right to take - not duck - the big decision.

I am a passionate believer in our United Kingdom - I wanted more than anything for our United Kingdom to stay together.

But I am also a democrat. And it was right that we respected the SNP’s majority in Holyrood and gave the Scottish people their right to have their say.

Let us also remember why it was right to ask the definitive question, Yes or No. Because now the debate has been settled for a generation or as Alex Salmond has said, perhaps for a lifetime.

So there can be no disputes, no re-runs - we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people.

Scotland voted for a stronger Scottish Parliament backed by the strength and security of the United Kingdom and I want to congratulate the No campaign for that - for showing people that our nations really are better together.

I also want to pay tribute to Yes Scotland for a well-fought campaign and to say to all those who did vote for independence: “we hear you”.

We now have a chance - a great opportunity - to change the way the British people are governed, and change it for the better.

Political leaders on all sides of the debate now bear a heavy responsibility to come together and work constructively to advance the interests of people in Scotland, as well as those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, for each and every citizen of our United Kingdom.

To those in Scotland sceptical of the constitutional promises made, let me say this we have delivered on devolution under this government, and we will do so again in the next Parliament.

The 3 pro-union parties have made commitments, clear commitments, on further powers for the Scottish Parliament. We will ensure that they are honoured in full.

And I can announce today that Lord Smith of Kelvin - who so successfully led Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games - has agreed to oversee the process to take forward the devolution commitments, with powers over tax, spending and welfare all agreed by November and draft legislation published by January.

Just as the people of Scotland will have more power over their affairs, so it follows that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over theirs. The rights of these voters need to be respected, preserved and enhanced as well.

It is absolutely right that a new and fair settlement for Scotland should be accompanied by a new and fair settlement that applies to all parts of our United Kingdom. In Wales, there are proposals to give the Welsh government and Assembly more powers. And I want Wales to be at the heart of the debate on how to make our United Kingdom work for all our nations. In Northern Ireland, we must work to ensure that the devolved institutions function effectively.

I have long believed that a crucial part missing from this national discussion is England. We have heard the voice of Scotland - and now the millions of voices of England must also be heard. The question of English votes for English laws - the so-called West Lothian question - requires a decisive answer.

So, just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish Parliament on their issues of tax, spending and welfare, so too England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, should be able to vote on these issues and all this must take place in tandem with, and at the same pace as, the settlement for Scotland.

I hope that is going to take place on a cross-party basis. I have asked William Hague to draw up these plans. We will set up a Cabinet Committee right away and proposals will also be ready to the same timetable. I hope the Labour Party and other parties will contribute.

It is also important we have wider civic engagement about to improve governance in our United Kingdom, including how to empower our great cities. And we will say more about this in the coming days.

This referendum has been hard fought. It has stirred strong passions. It has electrified politics in Scotland, and caught the imagination of people across the whole of our United Kingdom.

It will be remembered as a powerful demonstration of the strength and vitality of our ancient democracy. Record numbers registered to vote and record numbers cast their vote. We can all be proud of that. It has reminded us how fortunate we are that we are able to settle these vital issues at the ballot box, peacefully and calmly.

Now we must look forward, and turn this into the moment when everyone - whichever way they voted - comes together to build that better, brighter future for our entire United Kingdom.”

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On sale now: First laptops certified to ‘Respect Your Freedom’

Gluglug X60 Laptop now certified to Respect Your Freedom

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to Gluglug X60 laptops. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. This is the first laptop to receive RYF certification from the FSF.

It can be purchased from

The FSF has had a call out for a laptop sold with a free OS and free boot system since 2005. Today it announced that the call has been met.

“Finally there is a free software laptop that respects your freedom as it comes from the store,” stated Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the FSF.

The boot programs (such as a BIOS) run when a computer is turned on and their primary purpose is to initialize the hardware before loading the operating system. Computer makers not only install nonfree boot programs, but they also have made it notoriously difficult for free software developers to have access to the necessary hardware specifications and information needed to produce free software replacements.

When a user purchases a product that bears the Respects Your Freedom certification mark, they can be confident they are recieving a product that comes with a free boot program and OS, as well as documentation under free licenses, multimedia unencumbered by proprietary formats, and the assurance it is not known to contain any backdoors and is not designed to share users’ information without their knowledge (e.g. spyware).

“This announcement comes at a time when people have a heightened concern over controlling their data and securing their communication. Proprietary software is by nature fundamentally insecure, because it uses both force of law and technological measures to prohibit a user from controlling and securing her own computer. This new complete system runs on free software and is backed by the FSF’s commitment to do our best at ensuring respect for your freedom and privacy,” said FSF executive director John Sullivan.

The Gluglug X60 laptops are refurbished models of Lenovo’s ThinkPad®† X60. Gluglug has updated the computer by adding a modern wifi chipset, replacing the proprietary BIOS with a free software boot system made by modifying Coreboot to remove all proprietary microcode and proprietary blobs, and replacing the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS with the FSF-endorsed, Trisquel GNU/Linux OS.

“The Gluglug X60 laptop is a major victory for computer users and supporters of the Free BIOS campaign. Not only has Gluglug produced a 100% free version of Coreboot that carries freedom to each user, but it has made it easy and fun to install updates, which in my experience, make real and noticeable improvements to the operation of the laptop. I also found that despite the hardware being a few years old, the Gluglug X60 remains a durable machine that is more than capable of running modern GNU/Linux distro,” added Joshua Gay, the licensing & compliance manager who heads-up the FSF’s RYF certification program.

Francis Rowe of Gluglug issued the following statement:

Gluglug is very proud to have achieved RYF certification and we will always try to exceed the requirements. The mission of Gluglug is to promote free software in a practical way by making it easy to find a system built for total freedom. With the X60 laptops sold through the site you get everything: free boot program, free operating system, free drivers, free applications. The machines also come pre-fitted with a new 802.11n wireless card that is fully compatible with free software.

The machines come fully loaded with Trisquel GNU/Linux, and they can also have gNewSense or Parabola GNU/Linux installed on request. With the Gluglug X60, you get full source code for all of the tools used to create the boot program, plus documentation. If you want to hack your machine, you can. That’s really the whole concept.

You also get updates, so when the Gluglug makes a substantial change to the firmware it ships, you will receive a copy of it along with documentation for how to flash it and tweak it to your needs.

A project like this is especially important in this day and age when more and more devices are becoming locked down with with things like Restricted Boot, and containing hardware-based backdoors. The Gluglug provides an opt-out for that kind of mistreatment.

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification, including details on the certification of the Gluglug X60 laptops, as well as information on source code for the device, visit Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult criteria at

For those needing to purchase other hardware, the FSF recommends the database, as well as direct users toward hardware sellers that offer laptops with GNU/Linux preinstalled. The FSF is also asking supporters to write to Intel asking for the company to ship laptops with a free boot system to begin with, so that users can buy brand new freedom-respecting hardware in the future.
About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF’s work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

About Gluglug

The Gluglug is a Canvey Island, Essex, UK based company dedicated to Free Software. We sell computers that are made to respect the freedom of users to study and hack their machine. Visit

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Major milestone: single charger spec for notebook computers will significantly reduce e-waste

IEC publishes first globally relevant technical specification

IEC, the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, announced today the publication of the first globally relevant Technical Specification for a single external charger for a wide range of notebook computers and laptops.

Each year billions of external chargers are shipped globally. Power supplies for notebooks weigh typically around 300 but sometimes up to 600 grams. They are generally not usable from one computer to the next. Sometimes they get lost or break, leading to the discarding of computers that may still work perfectly well. It is estimated that the total e-waste related to all kinds of chargers of ICT devices (Information and Communication) exceeds half a million tons each year; basically the equivalent of 500 000 cars.

This new IEC Technical Specification covers critical aspects of external chargers for notebook computers, their connector and plug, as well as safety, interoperability, performance and environmental considerations.

The new IEC Technical Specification opens the way to a significant and very real reduction of e-waste related to power supplies and will allow consumers to use a single external charger with a wide range of notebook computers. This will also make it much easier for external chargers to be reused or replaced when needed. IEC work ensures that the charger is reliable and safe to use, and that it provides the required level of performance.

The IEC cooperates with a wide range of organizations and continuously watches out for relevant technology developments, bringing them on board as soon as possible.

In 2011, the IEC published the first globally relevant Standard for a universal charger for data enabled mobile phones. This work was accomplished in the IEC with relevant input by CENELEC and ITU-T, with which the IEC has a long-standing cooperation agreement (NB (EU only): today, 82% of European Standards in electrotechnology are identical or based on IEC International Standards). With a single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers, the IEC has achieved another important milestone in the reduction of e-waste.

IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk said, “The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste.  A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available.”

The IEC Technical Specification 62700: DC Power supply for notebook computer, comprises the input of experts from many countries around the world and has been accepted by the National Committees participating in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment.

Even though some organizations are discussing and examining the merits of a universal power adapter covering numerous ICT (Information and Communication Technology) devices, due to the technical realities, this is likely still a long way from being achievable.  Therefore, rather than chasing a dream that remains out of reach today, the IEC has leveraged its global technical expertise to bring concrete solutions to the market place.

Vreeswijk also commented, “The IEC is all about bringing concrete, feasible solutions to the market place. We welcome input from many sides to make our work as broadly relevant as possible. The result are state-of-the art tools that allow policy makers to initiate achievable and effective energy-efficiency and waste-management programmes. They also enable industry, research institutions and other stakeholders to consistently develop better, more environmentally friendly products.”

IEC Technical Specification 62700: DC Power supply for notebook computer, will be available in early 2014.

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RWE npower announces sale of subsidiaries to Utility Warehouse owner, Telecom Plus Plc, for £218m

On 19 November, RWE npower and Telecom Plus agreed the sale of RWE npower Limited’s subsidiary companies, Electricity Plus and Gas Plus, to Telecom Plus Plc, the owner of the Utility Warehouse brand. The transaction is subject to both the approval of Telecom Plus shareholders and the OFT; Completion is expected in late December or early January.

Once complete, this transaction will result in Utility Warehouse further enhancing its position as a major force in the UK energy supply market with more than 770,000 customer accounts nationwide.

Telecom Plus Plc will pay Npower Limited an initial £196.5m for the companies and their electricity and gas customer accounts, with a further £21.5m paid after three years. Telecom Plus and RWE npower have also agreed a new wholesale supply agreement, under which npower will continue to supply electricity, gas and other services to Electricity Plus and Gas Plus for the next 20 years at a more competitive rate.

Paul Massara, CEO RWE npower, said,

“In one move we have helped to create the biggest independent competitor in Britain’s household energy supply market. This is good for competition and good for consumer choice. Today’s announcement shows that Britain is well on the way to having a Big 7 rather than a Big 6.”

“Both Electricity Plus and Gas Plus have expanded substantially over recent years and we are pleased to be able to provide long term support for an entrant which now has more than 770,000 customer accounts nationwide. This shows that there is a willingness to compete in Britain’s energy market, and that the market is anything but broken.”

“This is good news for Utility Warehouse customers, for npower, and for the energy industry.”

Charles Wigoder, Executive Chairman Telecom Plus said,

“This is a transformational deal for the company, delivering significant earnings enhancement, a revised and improved twenty year supply agreement with npower and the opportunity for us to provide even more competitive energy prices to our customers in future. The combination of these will play a major role in helping us accelerate our current rate of high quality organic growth, and achieve our goal of supplying our unique multi-utility proposition to more than one million households over the medium term.”

Summary in Numbers

  • The deal enhances competition in the domestic energy supply market; Npower Limited will sell Electricity Plus and Gas Plus subsidiaries to Telecom Plus by share sale for £218m
  • On completion, over 770,000 customer accounts will cease to be included by npower within its reported customer numbers. However, these customers will see no change in their service or contracts, and will continue to be supplied in future under Telecom Plus’s Utility Warehouse brand.
  • Npower will supply Telecom Plus with electricity and gas and certain other services for these customers for the next 20 years.

Further Information

  • Telecom Plus Plc is a FTSE-250 supplier of energy and telephony services trading under the Utility Warehouse Brand.
  • The 774,735 customers accounts served by the Electricity Plus (417,878 accounts) and Gas Plus (356,857 accounts) companies, as of end of Oct 2013, will transfer with the sale of the two companies to the Telecom Plus group and trade under the Utility Warehouse name.
  • Although the Electricity Plus and Gas Plus subsidiaries are owned by Npower Limited, all their customers are being supplied under the Utility Warehouse brand and managed by Telecom Plus in accordance with a management services agreement entered into between Telecom Plus and Npower Limited in March 2006.
  • This agreement will reduce npower’s customer accounts from 5,447,181 customer accounts (3,207,815 electricity accounts and 2,239,366 gas accounts) to 4,672,446 customer accounts (2,789,937 electricity accounts and 1,882,509 gas accounts), as of end of Oct 13.

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Start In Business

The Utility Warehouse was launched as a multi-level marketing opportunity.

Lost NASA Archive of Historic Viking Mission’s First Ever Exploration of Martian Surface Recovered

Indie software studio Cartesian Theatre is pleased to announce the successful digital recovery of the first photographs ever returned from the surface of Mars (see The studio recovered a substantial amount of NASA’s previously inaccessible Viking mission data. The historic billion-dollar mission to Mars was the most ambitious in history. Launched in 1975, it was the first to successfully reach and photograph the surface of the Red Planet.

The raw mission data was placed in the public domain in 1995 by a division at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In the early 1990’s JPL technicians discovered the original 20 year old Viking magnetic tapes were deteriorating and transferred the data to more stable CDs. However, the data was nearly lost to history again with the original proprietary technology essential to unlocking it abandoned decades prior - akin to an email attachment a recipient cannot open (present, albeit unusable).

The indie startup has made its début in authoring Avaneya: Viking Lander Remastered (VLR), a digital forensic archaeological package which runs on a home computer. The software features alayman’s point-and-click user interface, powerfully analyzing and recovering photographs within the 14-gigabyte historic mission tape archive included on the DVD. An assistant manager with the JPL remarked:

Fortunately, we were successful in salvaging the data thru the migration from magnetic tape to CD so that someone, someday could write software to read and use the data.

The VLR was initially intended as an internal research tool to facilitate the studio’s need for reference material to assist in the production of lucid and highly realistic virtual environments for its ambitious upcoming cerebral science fiction game title, Avaneya (pronounced ‘av-an-EH-uh’). Public interest, however, inspired the studio to consider the data recovery challenge in a different light - as a creative opportunity to leverage crowdsourcing to offset costly research and development of the game, as well as act in the direct interest of the general public.

The VLR is geared towards a wide range of users including educators, technologists, science fiction fans, space-science and astronomy enthusiasts, hobbyists, photographers, and gamers alike. The technology is software libre, released under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3. DVDs can be purchased at the product order page below for $15 CAD or equivalent in bitcoins.

About Cartesian Theatre

Cartesian Theatre is a small, pioneering, Canadian software studio with its primary research and development in White Rock, British Columbia. The company specializes in pushing the envelope in the advancement of the libre arts, culture, and technology by striving to enhance the desktop experience of the tens of millions of users worldwide of the GNU operating system and its popular incarnations, such as Ubuntu.

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Payday lending: tougher new rules welcomed by government

UK HM Treasury News Story - 3 October 2013

New payday lending rules put consumers first, explains Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid.

Tough new payday lending rules put forward by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are a clear signal to the payday lending market that they need to get their houses in order, Treasury minister Sajid Javid has said.

The new rules state that a loan can be rolled over no more than twice, and lenders must signpost borrowers to debt advice at a rollover.

The FCA has the powers to take strong, bold action to protect borrowers.

Its announcement sets out robust new standards for the industry, demonstrating that the FCA is prepared to be tough and decisive in defending consumers’ interests when it comes to payday lending.

The announcement supports the government’s commitment to strengthen the way the lending market is regulated.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid said:

“These rules are a clear signal to the payday lending market that they need to get their houses in order now. We set the FCA up to put consumers first and these rules do that. Payday lenders now know what the FCA expects of them and will have to comply or face tough sanctions.

“The government wants to see financial rules that protect hardworking people from sharp practice in the financial sector.

On April 1 2014, responsibility for consumer credit regulation will transfer from the Office of Fair Trading to the FCA.

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Scrap metal laws to stop metal theft come into force

UK Home Office - 1 October 2013

Rogue traders who buy and sell scrap metal for cash face £5,000 fine under new laws designed to stamp out metal theft.

All scrap metal dealers will need to apply to their local council for a licence to operate under new rules which come into effect today (1 October 2013).

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which clamps down on rogue traders, will also give local authorities and police new powers to inspect premises where they suspect illegal activity.
Metal theft

Magistrates will be able to issue fines of up to £5,000 to scrap metal dealers who trade in cash.

As well as having the power to issue licences, councils will be able to refuse or revoke licences if a dealer is deemed unsuitable.

Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said:

“Metal theft costs the UK economy around £220 million a year and it has a huge impact on our communities - from disrupted rail services to desecrated war memorials and damaged church roofs.

“Our changes, including increasing financial penalties and banning cash payments, have already helped slash metal theft across the UK.

“This new legislation will help tighten the net around rogue dealers who flout the rules and wilfully purchase stolen metal, while reforming the system to support legitimate businesses.

The new scrap metal laws will also mean:

  • all scrap metal dealers must verify the name and address of the seller at the point of sale, which is recorded and retained by the dealer
  • the cashless offence will apply to all scrap metal dealers including ‘mobile collectors’ who collect door to door
  • there will be a single national publicly available register of all scrap metal dealers

Scrap metal

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther, from British Transport Police (BTP), said:

“Today marks a very significant milestone in the fight against metal thieves

“The Act demands a greater level of awareness and responsibility from traders, ensuring they verify who they are doing business with, but it also protects law abiding recyclers from unscrupulous traders.

“It is vital that scrap metal traders are aware of the changes, including the new licensing regulations.

“Metal thieves cause misery for thousands of people, whether targeting the rail network, power cables or telecommunications and today’s changes signal the introduction of a more robust licensing scheme to be monitored by local authorities.

Know the law

  • All scrap metal dealers can apply for a licence from 1 October 2013.
  • If a scrap metal dealer who is registered under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 or Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 applies on or before 15 October 2013 they will be deemed to have a licence until the local authority issues a licence decision.
  • Local authorities will complete checks to assess applicants’ suitability to hold a licence between 15 October and 1 December 2013.
  • If a registered scrap metal dealer does not submit an application on or by 15 October 2013 their deemed licence will lapse on 16 October. A deemed temporary licence which has lapsed does not give rise to a right to appeal. The dealer must submit an application and wait for a licence to be issued before they can trade legally.
  • A local authority can impose conditions on a deemed temporary licence pending an appeal for the refusal of a licence.
  • Scrap metal dealers who are not registered under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 or the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 can apply for a scrap metal dealer’s licence from today 1 October 2013 but must wait for a licence to be issued before they can trade legally.
  • The offence of buying scrap metal for cash comes into force on 1 October 2013.
  • Local authority officers and police officers will have the right to enter and inspect from 1 October 2013.
  • The majority of the other enforcement provisions within the Act will come into force on 1 December 2013.

Also see:

Scrap metal dealers will have to hold licences

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Access to Finance Stalls UK’s Business Competitiveness Score

Problems with getting access to finance has been cited as one of the main reasons that Britain’s position in the list of ‘best countries to do business in’ has fallen this year.
The World Economic Forum’s annual global competitive index was released recently and it documents how various countries around the world fare in terms of ease of doing business in. Scored out of a possible 7, the UK actually achieved 5.4, the same as last year’s value; however Japan and Hong Kong bettered their 2012 performance, taking them above the UK in the standings. The WEF was keen to stress that ‘ease of gaining access to finance’ was the main reason behind the stagnant score; however it praised the UK’s tax rates, innovation and business regulation.

On the other hand, the cross-party think tank Demos disagrees, having published a report that found only 40% of small companies applied for business finance over the previous twelve months with only 1 in 4 being turned down. Director Jodie Ginsberg pointed out that the theme of ‘banks not lending to small businesses’ has been a slightly wide-of-the-mark undertone since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. Whilst business finance can still be hard to come by for those seeking access to finance for the purposes of international growth, acquisitions and buyouts, the green shoots of recovery are arguably more visible than ever before.

Another report, released recently, suggested that growth forecasts are at a three-year high, with a new breed of lenders seeking to address some of the challenges faced by small and medium sized companies struggling to get that all-important access to finance.

Switzerland remained in the top spot on the WEF’s list, followed by Singapore and Finland. Germany, the US and Japan also made it into the top ten. It is likely that due to the country’s large selection of financial institutions, getting access to finance is relatively straightforward in Switzerland. A favourable tax rate has also been cited.

The priority for UK growth now has to come from the very top, with the government being urged by accounting and business firms to provide the kind of fertile environment required to foster business growth initiatives now and in the future.


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