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Image source: Team Van OordA £6.8 million coastal protection scheme, aimed to reduce the risk of coastal flooding in Lincolnshire, has officially begun. Over the next 6 weeks, beaches at Trusthorpe, Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells, Trunch Lane, Wolla Bank, Chapel Six Marshes and Huttoft will be replenished with 350,000 cubic meters of sand dredged from designated areas 20km offshore.Mark Robinson, senior coastal adviser at the Environment Agency, said: “The beaches take the brunt of the waves’ energy, which would otherwise impact on coastal defenses such as sea walls. Storms and large waves are more frequent during winter months, leading to erosion of the sand from these beaches.”Robinson added that replacing the sand helps extend the life of the sea defenses – defenses that reduce coastal flood risk to more than 30,000 homes and businesses, 19,000 static caravans and 35,000 hectares of land.The dredger used will be the TSHD HAM 316, which carries about 10,000 tonnes of sand at a time.[mappress mapid=”23963″]
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At the end of 2015 cross-bench peer, Lord Aberdare, tabled an amendment to the Enterprise Bill. The amendment sought to protect cash retentions by placing them in a ring-fenced account. The amendment was withdrawn following a promise by the (then) business minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, to review the retention system. That review is delayed and unlikely to be published until after the election: in the meantime, on 26 April, Alan Brown MP introduced a Construction Industry (Protection of Retentions) Bill as a private member’s bill. This would have required cash retentions to be placed in trust but, again, the election has intervened.On 31 March (just gone) legislation was implemented in New Zealand imposing trust status on retention money. There is a growing recognition around the world that some form of protection is required. This comprises everything from payment bonds and bank guarantees to charges on the land (on which the work was carried out) and statutory trusts. Anything less than some form of statutory protection will not help to safeguard retention cash. The UK government’s Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter has an “ambition” to get rid of retentions by 2025 but no mechanism to achieve this. If cash retentions are to be kept in a secure “pot”, there would be little point in withholding the cash – since it cannot be used.Anything less than some form of statutory protection will not help to safeguard retention moniesA recent independent scrutiny of the accounts of the UK’s top dozen contractors revealed that they were owed £1bn worth of retention cash. Approximately 90% of the £1bn is funded by their supply chains. No other industry sector would tolerate such volume of cash being wholly at risk. In 2015 almost £50m worth of retentions was lost by SMEs following insolvencies further up the supply chain. Not surprisingly lending institutions do not consider a firm’s retention ledger as sufficient security for lending purposes.All contracting firms have their horror stories. One small plumbing company recently revealed that it had lost £150,000 worth of retention over the last five years because of insolvencies. In recent years the insolvency risk has increased because large companies are holding on to their supply chains’ retentions for a longer period. Subcontract retention release has been pushed out to two, three or more years after handover. This is to counteract the fact that main contractors can no longer simply delay release by linking subcontract release dates to some certificate stating that the main contract works are fully compliant.But contractual consent for holding back retentions (from already due payments) does not extend to their being defrayed for the purpose of satisfying the payer’s creditors. Their purpose – ostensibly – is to provide security in the event that a firm does not return (whether for reasons of insolvency or any other reason) to remedy non-compliant work. Contractors agreeing to retentions being withheld should insist on greater clarity as to the purpose for which the money is handed over.Firms concerned about the security of their retentions may be able to obtain a declaration from an adjudicator that the money is trust moneyIn effect retentions are a conditional loan; the condition being that the loan will be repaid in the event that the works are in accordance with the contract or the contractor has rectified any non-complaint work. In a 1970 case, Barclays Bank vs Quistclose Investments Ltd, Quistclose had lent money to a company to enable it to pay a dividend to shareholders. Instead the company had used the loan to pay off an overdraft owed to Barclays Bank. The House of Lords (as it then was) decided that Barclays held the money on trust for Quistclose, because it had not been used for its intended purpose.Similarly misuse of retention cash (that is, using the cash for unconnected purposes such as paying off a loan or bolstering working capital) could attract trust status. In a more recent case (Twinsectra Limited vs Yardley and Others ) Lord Millett in the House of Lords explained the Quistclose trust as follows: “[It] is a simple, commercial arrangement akin […] to a retention of title clause […] which enables the borrower to have recourse to the lender’s money for a particular purpose.”Until or unless the money is used for the designated purpose, it is branded as trust money and should be ring-fenced. Firms concerned about the security of their retentions may be able to obtain a declaration from an adjudicator that the money is trust money. As such it should be ring-fenced in a trust account.For now we await publication of the government’s review.Professor Rudi Klein is a barrister and chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group
ITALY: Celebrations were held in Milano on December 5 to mark the completion of the final sections of the north-south high speed rail corridor, which opens for revenue service with the timetable change on December 13.Completion of the Novara – Milano, Bologna – Firenze and Napoli – Salerno links brings the total length of Italy’s Alta Velocità network to more than 1 000 route-km, stretching from Torino to Salerno. Describing the occasion as ‘an Italian miracle’, FS Group Chief Executive Mauro Moretti said the high speed line would act as a ‘vertical spine’ for the country, linking most of the major cities and serving around 65% of the country’s population.Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was guest of honour at the event, along with Transport & Infrastructure Minister Altero Matteoli, as well as Moretti and FS Group President Innocenzo Cipolletta. Two Frecciarossa ETR500 trainsets conveying guests from Torino and Salerno met at Milano Centrale station for the formal inauguration.From December 13 Trenitalia will reshape its high speed service pattern, running frequent 300 km/h Frecciarossa trains on the trunk route, augmented by 280 km/h Frecciaargento Pendolino services to other destinations. Fastest journey times for the Milano – Roma trip which uses 515 km of high speed line has been cut to 2 h 45 min, with most services now below 3 h. The 720 km Milano – Napoli journey will come down to 4 h 10 min, as will the 640 km between Roma and Torino. At peak times Trenitalia says it will be operating high speed trains between Roma and Milano at 15 min intervals.
A J$630 road repair project is to be conducted across Jamaica before Christmas.Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has announced a J$630-million roadworks program for all 63 constituencies in Jamaica.J$10 million to each constituencyIn an address to Parliament earlier this week, Holness explained that $10 million will be allocated to each constituency for pothole patching, drain cleaning and de-bushing.Funding will be provided through the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Road Maintenance Fund and the Consolidated Fund, with the work to be jointly undertaken by the National Works Agency and the National Solid Waste Management Authority.“I expect all Members of Parliament (MPs) will quickly get into gear and work with the technocrats to ensure a smooth implementation process. I expect that this program will make a significant difference in the lives of many residents who traverse the island’s road network,” the Prime Minister said.Holness added that he expects MPs will ensure that good balance is found during the discussions with the technocrats about the works.Expects value for each dollar spent “The Government expects that in the execution of the works, the people of Jamaica will get value for each dollar spent. I am going to hold the technocrats responsible for the quality of works to be undertaken.”Holness said he has noted the concerns about the quality of some of the works undertaken recently, and that he expects quality work under this program.Sound and reasonable contracting soughtAs a result. the Office of the Contractor General has been invited to have a free hand in ensuring that all requirements of sound and reasonable contracting are observed, and to assist in the inspection of the works before payments are made.“This time around, we expect every dollar to be spent according to the policy that we have announced. It is also incumbent on every member of Parliament to ensure that the resources are spent wisely and that the work is done,”Holness said.The roadworks are scheduled to begin before the Christmas season.“We will clean up Jamaica and we will make Jamaica nice again,” Holness said.
South Africa Rastafarians Square Kilometre Array Project – REUTERS South Africa moved closer to establishing the world’s largest radio telescope observatory, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Observatory, as the national parliament ratified the convention for its creation.Square Kilometre Array Project – REUTERSThe parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology approved the convention signed by officials in Rome this year to create the inter-governmental governing body for the SKA.South Africa became a founding member of the SKA Observatory by signing the convention in March, along with six other countries, including China, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Britain.The convention needs to go through national parliaments to be ratified for the SKA Observatory to come into existence.The adoption of the convention “will facilitate the biggest scientific collaboration the world has ever seen, and help attract foreign direct investment into South Africa,” said Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee Philly Mapulane.The SKA, a collection of telescopes spread over long distances that will combine to unlock the universe’s mysteries, will be constructed in South Africa and Australia, with later expansion planned for both countries as well as other African countries.The project is envisioned to act as a catalyst for science, technology and engineering business opportunities, jobs and innovation, with the potential to put Africa on the map as a world Big Data and analytics hub, Mapulane said.The SKA, about 50-100 times more sensitive than any other radio telescope on earth, is designed to probe the edges of the universe and help scientists answer fundamental questions in astronomy, physics and cosmology, including the nature of dark energy and dark matter.Related South Africa Elections Coverage South Africa eSports team finish 14th at the World Championships
Walter Lemon Jr. of the Boston Celtics (45) handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during a preseason game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. GETTY IMAGES / AFP LEBRON James is gone but the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics still have an intense NBA rivalry that spilled over into a scuffle in a preseason game.Cleveland guard J.R. Smith and Celtics guard Marcus Smart were involved in an altercation eight minutes and 22 seconds into the first quarter of the Cavaliers’ 113-102 preseason home victory over Boston.The rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals lacked some of the drama of May’s showdown between the clubs, which featured James before the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player left the Cavs for the Los Angeles Lakers.But it wasn’t lacking for passion after Smith and Australian forward Aron Baynes of the Celtics tangled in the paint and began shoving each other. This prompted Smart to join in and shove Smith, with both men needing to be restrained to calm matters. Smart was ejected and Smith issued a technical foul. More punishment could be coming from the league.“I’m not too worried about it,” Smart said. “Whatever consequences come with it, come with it.”Smart also said he gestured for Smith to “meet him in the back” to which Smith replied on Twitter: “Meet me on street damn the back!!”The teams will have some time to cool off before they meet again. That will come in a regular-season contest at Boston on Nov. 30.The Cavaliers open the season Oct. 17 at Toronto while the Celtics open Oct. 16 at home against Philadelphia. (AFP)
Ducati Malaysia launches new Ducati PJ showroom–Ads– Speaking of carbon fibre chassis, this includes the swingarm, wheels, fairings, biplane wings, and other bits which resulted in a bike that weighs only 159kg dry. That’s a whopping 16kg lighter than the standard Ducati Panigale V4. This translates to a power-to-weight ratio of a staggering 1.54hp/kg in ‘racing kit configuration.’ Regarded as the brand’s company’s greatest masterpiece in terms of engineering, performance and design, the Ducati Superleggera V4 has been finetuned for ultra-premium track performance thanks to its racing configuration that offers superior power, outstanding stopping prowess, and agile manoeuvrability unlike any other Ducati superbike of the past.How powerful, you ask? When fitted with the racing kit and slick tyres, the Ducati Superleggera V4 when around the Mugello Circuit at 1:52.45; only two seconds slower than the Ducati Panigale V4 R WorldSBK-spec (both piloted by Ducati’s MotoGP test rider, Michele Pirro).Perhaps, the bike’s most outstanding feature has to be its biplane wings. Inspired by the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 MotoGP bike, the wing/fairing combination offers great levels of aero efficiency that is said to not only match but exceed current MotoGP bikes.The sheer amount of downforce these wings produce is around 50kg when hitting 270km/h which is a whopping 20kg more than the Panigale V4 R. This results in a bike that can accelerate harder and faster without having to worry too much on power loss when the front wheel goes up as well as added stability during hard braking.Its 998cc Desmosedici Stradale R V4 engine punches out a hefty 224hp in road mode but when fitted with the type-approved Akrapovic exhaust (available in the racing kit), that figure rises up to 234hp and offers access to a “RaceGP” display. Designed to give great input to Ducati MotoGP rider, Andrea Dovizioso, owners of the Superleggera V4 can also experience the same instrument panel as the Desmosedici GP20 machine.Other unique specs include:Three reprogrammed Riding Modes + – five additional personalised Riding ModesUpgraded lap timer with five track presets (Laguna Seca, Mugello, Jerez, Sepang & Losail)Ducati’s latest DTC & DQS EVO 2 electronics packageLightweight Öhlins suspension with GP-derived valvesBrembo Stylema R callipers Ducati has finally unveiled their latest and most powerful Ducati Panigale yet, the Ducati Superleggera V4. Coming in hot with 234hp (when equipped with the Akrapovic full titanium race exhaust), the Ducati Superleggera V4 is the first street-legal motorcycle in the world that comes with a full carbon fibre chassis. Only 500 units will be produced ever (at USD100,000 or RM407,760) and as icing on top of that already deliciously baked and expensive cake is a chance to purchase an exclusive Superleggera V4 premium leather suit with integrated airbag and carbon fibre helmet from Dainese and Arai respectively. But wait, there’s more!Alvaro Bautista on the Ducati Panigale V4 R at Phillip Island, Australia – Photo credit WorldSBK.comEach owner will be offered the “SBK Experience”, a chance to rider the WorldSBK-spec Panigale V4 R in Mugello, Italy! Want more? Out of the 500 owners, 30 lucky individuals will be offered the “MotoGP Experience”; a chance to ride the Ducati Desmosedici GP20 on the same track and time as Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci. *insert silent fanboy scream here*
Share RelatedSummer Causeway run setBy ESTEVAN MEDRANO Port Isabel-South Padre Press firstname.lastname@example.org The Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce has been actively seeking special events to add the community’s list of activities as a means to stimulate the local economy prior to the summer tourist season, which typically doesn’t occur until the middle of June. One…June 5, 2015In “News”4th Annual Summer Causeway Run set for SaturdayBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press email@example.com The Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce is busily preparing for one of the most anticipated events of the summer, the 4th Annual Summer Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk. The event is set to take place bright and early this Saturday morning, Chamber…June 1, 2018In “News”33rd Causeway Run set for SaturdayBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press firstname.lastname@example.org Thousands of runners and walkers are expected in Port Isabel this weekend for the 33rd Annual Longest Causeway Run and Fitness Walk. The popular event is hosted by the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce and draws repeat participants year after year from locals…January 13, 2017In “News” By DINA ARÉVALOPort Isabel-South Padre Presseditor@portisabelsouthpadre.comLace up those running shoes because the Summer Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk is set to take off this Saturday, June 3.“We’re very excited. Early registration is going very well. We’re slightly ahead of where we were last year. And we’re looking forward to a good turnout Friday night for late registration,” said Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce Director Betty Wells.Over a thousand fleet footed people are expected to take part in the popular event, which is the summertime doppelganger to the wintertime original Causeway Run. And like the original, runners will be treated to panoramic views of South Padre Island, Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre as they trek across the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway. But, unlike the original three-decade-long run, which begins in Port Isabel and ends on the Island, the summertime course is reversed; runners start on the Island and finish in Port Isabel.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.