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About Confudler

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  1. Really? I see Scots notes pretty often. I can't say I have ever had a £50 note in my wallet. I'd be more suspicious of someone spending a £50 than Scottish notes.
  2. I'm much more bothered about the inconvenience than the cost. P&D is a pain when you have kids to manage (especially when they have worked out how to escape). Would be happier to pay a higher fixed price for a permit and to support the parks a bit more. Another concern is the management of this. I hope they don't go down the route of private car parks with spurious charges and threatening letters. If they are allowed to use the council enforcement powers, I hope they do it proportionately (i.e. without the penalties you might need to enforce short-stay on-street parking).
  3. Had the same thing in my last house (You're not in Norton Lees are you?). Once we knew it wasn't rats, we relaxed a lot. Although we intended to block the hole once they'd gone, we actually got used to it and decided we wouldn't be bothered the next year.
  4. Advance for materials is reasonable (even if builder has an account, they're still liable). The main issue with giving 50% up front is that it removes any incentive for the builder to get on with stuff. Once they've got your money, no-one else is getting the work so they can take their time. Don't hold money back unreasonably, but try to ensure that it's always worth their while to finish the job.
  5. I'd disagree with the MSE advice to respond if you weren't the driver. In doing so you open up a dialogue in which anything you say will be used against you. Plus they send you random bits of legal rulings. So save paper and effort: better just to ignore ignore ignore.
  6. Whoa there, Cyclone's. You missed a step. What happened to 'Notice of intent to provide notice of court summonses'? You barely sound like a PPC solicitor at all! It's no wonder WalkleyDave is running rings around you if you can't even write a letter that imitates official court documentation. Plus I insist on your inclusion of a scrappy photocopy of an unrelated judgement. WalkleyDave has argued his case - he's clearly on the hook and you are missing a prime opportunity to get an unwise disclosure from him.
  7. Gym membership is mostly a premium service for those with disposable income. It probably costs me 50% more to be a member than to PAYG in a council facility, but I like the slightly nicer facilities so it's worth it. It's probably great value for a few individuals who train a lot. For example, I was training for a run a few years back and for a few months this would have averaged less than £1.50 per visit. I don't think there's anything naughty about the 12 month membership, especially as shorter membership options are available. It's just like anything else that can be bought in bulk for a discount. Also, they will normally allow you to break the contract if circumstances mean you can't use the service (e.g. moving miles away from any club in the chain). The horror stories normally relate to 'grayer' situations (e.g. where the member finds they can no longer afford what they signed up for). In these situations, they have every right to resist (otherwise, how could they justify the discount for 12 months membership).
  8. Ignore adamf who is referring to the other virgin active (formerly Esporta) near Sainsburys. Brand would be pretty low on my list of criteria for choosing a sports club, but I happen to quite like the Virgin brand applied to fitness clubs. I'm a member of the broadfield club. It has a nice vibe, plenty going on for all types of member. Like most places, it's quite full at peak times but loads of capacity the rest of the time. I think there is scope to negotiate on the pricing. There are monthly memberships available for a bit more. There are discounts for all sorts of things (teachers, various other employers). I've got a type of joint membership that is no longer offered, but works very well for us. It's worth talking to a number of gyms and seeing what the best you can get is.
  9. They do tend to pay for themselves. They are completely different from laptops and, in reality, much more likely replace printouts than a laptop. The payback in print savings is usually less than 1 year (I imagine councillors have a fair bit of reading printed on their behalf - even if they don't read it all). And, of course, there are many other reasons that electronic documents are better (update-able, transportable, less waste to dispose of with security requiring shredding). I hate to say it (as an Android tablet owner) but alternative tablets are not yet that common, so you risk buying a technology that will become non-standard. So I say, spend the money, set really stringent printing limits and reap the benefits. In fact, spend more, get them keyboards and ditch the laptops altogether. The real waste is in giving councillors PCs that have capabilities they'll never require.
  10. Of all the 'illegitimate' ways to make a living, scrap collection really does seem to be the most benign. I'm therefore happy to aid these people to make a living through their free collection service that, additionally, ensures that the material is recycled. Until someone can present me with a convincing argument why scrap collection is wrong (other than, that the same people might do thieving - which could be said for just about any trade with a van), I will continue to leave items for them.
  11. I would propose some 'road rationalisation' first. There's surely many miles of road that could be closed and therefore no repair will be required. Then I suggest a bit of work to define 'pot-holes'. It's quite likely that many so-called 'pot-holes' are actually 'minor surface damage' and outside the contractual obligations. Then it's time to check the margins - has enough profit been made from this venture? If not then pursue the above to a greater extent. Plus introduce a system of 'opt-in' top-up payments that help a road get prioritised (this would help achieve the desires of the OP). All in all, make sure that funds (that aren't profit) go to the most important place - lawyers, financiers, assessors, managers. Spending it on manual workers and equipment leaves you susceptible to injury-at-work claims and asset depreciation.
  12. Why is it illegitimate to allow scrap collectors to collect scrap? I know metal theft is an issue, but that doesn't mean all scrap collection must stop or have some paper trail. That would reduce recycling, hurt industry and increase fly-tipping. Most collectors just drive around searching skips and taking stuff that is purposefully left. They're about my area frequently, and I've yet to see any that stop and go searching properties. Now I know that, technically, removing stuff from skips is not legal, but no-one with common sense puts items they wish to retain into a skip.
  13. It is generally a scam. However, this doesn't give you the right to park anywhere on private land without consequence! If that was the case, you could leave a car in all manner of antisocial locations. It sounds like you may have parked where their deliveries go, and had you disrupted this, they might be able to claim costs against you. However, this being the normal PPC companies (and their regular associates), it's more than likely that there is no reasonable claim, just a desire to bully money out of you.
  14. I ignored one last year and after a series of threatening letters it all stopped. So unless the invoiced amount seems reasonable (whatever that may be), don't be bullied. For expert advice and reassurance use the forum at pepipoo. Note: Thousands of people get these letters, you won't get specific help unless you actually get a court summons.
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