Current Issues

HMRC scam warning

HMRC is alerting people to a scam aimed particularly at older or vulnerable people.

The scammers prey on victims by cold calling them and impersonating an HMRC member of staff. They tell them that they owe large amounts of tax that they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple’s iTunes store.

Victims are told to go buy the vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the
scammer, who has kept them on the phone. The conmen then sell on the codes or
purchase high-value products, all at the victim’s expense.

The scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim’s property or involve the police. The use of vouchers is an attractive scam as they are easy to sell and hard to trace once used.

It goes without saying that HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a
method.

Most victims are aged over 65 and suffer an average financial loss of £1,150.

To report this or any other scam, phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.

Carillion Liquidation

 

You will be aware that Carillion has gone into liquidation, which has prompted many people to wonder what the effect may be on the completion of the A6MARR road.

The road is being built by a joint venture (JV) comprised of Carillion and Morgan Sindall, under a contract with Stockport Council and the official line is as follows.

The Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture contract is drafted such that the partners are joint and several. This means that should one partner become insolvent the other has an obligation  to continue to perform the contract. The supply chain is  engaged through the JV, not Carillion and their agreements will simply revert to Morgan Sindall when the JV dissolves.

A contingency plan is in operation to deal with issues associated with staff and labour only suppliers which will retain the current A6MARR delivery team.

The main elements of the contingency plan and all necessary arrangements are underway to keep the project moving and work is continuing on site.

Seashell Trust Planning Application REFUSED

At the meeting of the Council’s Planning Committee, this evening (11 Jan), it was decided to refuse the Seashell Trust’s planning application to rebuild their school and construct 325 houses on the Greenbelt to pay for it.

The excellent work done by the Trust was praised and the Committee was keen for it to continue. However, the Committee was not convinced that the building of 325 houses in the Greenbelt was the only way to finance the building of a suitable school. It is, of course, open to the Trust to appeal against the decision to refuse. If they do so, the application will go to a Planning Inspector, who will hear the cases for and against, probably at a public enquiry. The Inspector will then make the final decision.