The by-election follows the resignation of Labour Councillor Anne-Marie Canning, which created a vacancy in the ward. Canning told the Oxford Mail that the reason for her resignation was that her job as a head of department at a London university was becoming increasingly demanding. Canning was first elected to Oxford City Council in 2012, taking the seat for Labour from the Liberal Democrats. In that election Canning won the seat by a margin of 53 votes, with 288 votes, while the Green Party’s Adam Ramsay came second with 235 votes.Canning is the third Labour city councillor to announce her intention to stand down from the City Council in the past two months.In the May 2014 Oxford City Council election, for the other City Council seat in Carfax ward, Ruthi Brandt of the Green Party replaced incumbent Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Brett. Brandt won the ward by only 35 votes, receiving a total of 483 votes, while Labour Party candidate and former council leader Alex Hollingsworth came in second place with 448 votes.The Deputy Leader of Oxford City Council Ed Turner said, “It is sad that Anne-Marie has had to resign, as she’s done a fantastic job, especially in campaigning on cuts to homeless services. It would be completely unacceptable to leave students without a second ward councillor, especially at the crucial start of term period, and delaying the by-election would serve no useful purpose as the electoral register would be massively out of date until March. It would include last year’s finalists who no longer live in Oxford, but exclude first years. I would encourage any students keen to participate to apply for a postal vote.”One student commented, “Students don’t often get to have their voice heard and often suffer as a result, so at opportunities like this – when 70% of the ward is made up of students – it’s really important that our voice is heard so that our needs can be met.”Applications for postal votes, for the by-election, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Oxford Town Hall by 5pm on Tuesday 19 August 2014.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%10089%%[/mm-hide-text] © Crown Copyright and database right 2011. Ordinance Survey 100019348 A by-election to replace a vacant seat on Oxford City Council in Carfax ward has been scheduled for Thursday 4 September 2014. The ward, of which approximately 70% of its residents are students, was previously represented by Labour city councillor Anne-Marie Canning, who announced her resignation from the seat last week citing personal reasons.Each ward has two representatives on Oxford City Council, with half of the 48 seats in the City Council coming up for election every two years, meaning that councillors are elected on an alternate basis. Canning filled one of two council seats representing Carfax Ward on Oxford City Council, with the other being held by Green councillor Ruthi Brandt, who was elected in the May 2014 city elections.Oxford City Council is currently Labour controlled, with the Labour group possessing 33 of the 48 seats. The other seats on the Council are held by the Liberal Democrats, who have eight seats, the Greens, who have six seats, and an independent councillor.The by-election was triggered after a request for an election to fill the vacancy was submitted to Oxford City Council Returning Officer Jeremy Thomas by two local government electors from Carfax. Following the request an election to fill the vacant seat was required within 35 days, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972.The ward contains a large proportion of Oxford’s retail centre, as well as many Oxford colleges and Oxford University buildings. The 2011 Census found that Carfax had a total population of 6,361 people of which 4,236 were students living in communal establishments. Overall, the census found that 70% of the residents of Carfax ward were full time students. However, the Oxford University term does not begin until Sunday, 12 October, meaning that many students will not be in Oxford when the by-election takes place on 4 September.
Source: Getty ImagesBakeries are unveiling their plans to celebrate Cake Week from 31 August – 6 September.Launched by Nudge PR, the first-ever Cake Week is set to raise awareness of ‘the nation’s favourite sweet treat’. It is designed to help UK bakeries, bakers, ingredients and equipment companies promote cake, said the firm.In anticipation of the occasion, bakeries are whipping up special edition treats, organising baking and decorating classes and running competitions.Those taking part include London-based Luminary Bakery and Rosalind Miller Cakes as well as Gloucestershire-based Vanilla Pod Bakery.Here’s what is planned for Cake Week so far:Chocolatier Paul A Young has unveiled a Victoria Sponge truffle, comprising homemade Victoria sponge mixed with his signature white chocolate ganache, layered with raspberry jam and a decorative sugar topLily Vanilli will be serving up pastel-coloured cakes including Vanilla Peach, Gluten-Free Banana with Buckwheat Chia & Salt Caramel, Vanilla Cherry and Double Chocolate Pretzel. The cakes will be available on 6 SeptemberJournalist and food writer Sudi Pigott will host a Cake Week quiz on 1 September.Rosalind Miller Cakes will hold a competition to win two new online classes, Baking Fundamentals and All About Buttercream. The classes will cover baking the ‘perfect sponge’ and essential buttercream skills bakers need to ice and decorateSocial enterprise bakery Luminary Bakery will be sharing a recipe from its new book Rising Hope: Recipes and Stories from Luminary BakeryBlack Box Cakes will launch Black Box Cake Masterclasses, which consumers will be able to pre-order during Cake Week. If bakers purchase a full set of tutorials during Cake Week, they will also receive a free Cake Troubleshooting guide. Black Box will also be releasing videos with tips for ‘better baking’Celebration cake maker Delights by Cynthia will create a fondant fancyLindy’s Cakes, operated by international cake designer, sugar craft expert and cookbook author Lindy Smith, will demonstrate a hyper-realistic cake and run a live demonstration of a technique from her new book One Tier Party CakesVanilla Pod Bakery will run a competition for one baker to win a 6” round Indulgent Belgian Chocolate Buttercream Celebration Cake.The week is sponsored by Carr’s Flour, Guittard Chocolate, Fab Flour (the consumer arm of the National Association of British and Irish Millers) and The Easy Peasy Baking Campaign, Fab Flour’s consumer campaign to inspire the UK’s non-bakers to bake.
The company added that it would “continue to work closely with our unions on a sustainable and affordable solution for the provision of pension benefits after 31 March 2018”.The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) proposed an equity-heavy risk-sharing scheme in March. Royal Mail rejected this plan but retained some elements of it in another proposal, which formed one of several options being considered for a replacement pension arrangement.Both the CWU and Unite unions have threatened industrial action, including strikes, in relation to the DB scheme’s closure.‘Standard Life Aberdeen’ to cut 800 roles post-mergerThe planned merger between Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments – which would create one of the biggest asset managers in Europe – moved a step closer this week as the two companies issued official documents.The two companies said in the scheme documents for the merger that they expected to remove roughly 800 roles from their combined workforce of approximately 9,000 during the integration process.The companies said they aimed to achieve annual savings of up to £200m.The combined entity would be called Standard Life Aberdeen, the companies announced.Aggregate DB shortfall climbs in AprilThe combined deficit of UK corporate DB pension funds rose by 8.4% in April to £245.6bn, according to data from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).This was the highest figure recorded by the PPF’s 7800 index of DB schemes since October 2016.Total liabilities rose during last month, while assets fell.Andrew Tunningley, head of UK strategic clients at BlackRock, said many schemes were “underhedged”.“UK index-linked gilt yields – crucial to determining pension liability values – are driven by a powerful force that is sometimes underappreciated: supply and demand,” Tunningley said. “The proliferation of liability-driven investing among the pension community has caused demand for linkers to grow at a much faster pace than supply.”He added: “We estimate that over the next five years demand for index-linked bonds could be around four times the projected supply available to pension schemes… In our view, this persistent imbalance could act as a powerful anchor preventing a sustained pick-up in yields. Today’s low real yield environment will prevail for some time, meaning that materially better market levels at which to hedge liabilities may not arise any time soon.” Royal Mail’s pension scheme contributions will reach £1.3bn (€1.5bn) from next year, higher than initially expected, according to its latest valuation.The company, which runs the UK’s postal network, announced the closure of the Royal Mail Pension Plan (RMPP) to future accrual earlier this year. This is due to take effect from 31 March 2018.In a statement to the stock exchange on Monday, Royal Mail said the defined benefit (DB) scheme had a surplus of £1.7bn as of 31 March 2017. However, combined employer and employee contributions to the scheme were estimated to be higher than the £1bn the company estimated when it announced the closure of RMPP. The company currently pays £400m a year into the scheme.“Accordingly, we expect that the actuarial funding surplus would be exhausted during 2018 if the plan had remained open in its current form,” Royal Mail said. “After this time, the annual cost would be more than double the current contributions, which, as we have pointed out to plan members in a number of communications, is unaffordable for the company.”
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – After a successful weekend debut for the division at Central Arizona Speedway, promoter Jonah Trussel is looking for more of the same when Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods race for the first time at Arizona Speedway next month.A high of 20 and an average of 18 IMCA-sanctioned Northern SportMods ran during the Feb. 19-21 Snowbird Classic at Casa Grande. Opening night at Apache Junction will be March 19.Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds also run at both venues.“We have had an X-mod division for a long time and told drivers in that class two years ago that we’d be switching to Northern SportMods this season. We started the conversion last July,” Trussel said. “Nobody wants to spend more money than they have to and this division is a great way to even out the playing field. Everyone is happy with the situation.”Car counts for the X-mods were around 20 last year. Encouragingly, most of the Northern SportMods entered in the Snowbird Classic were home state cars and to back up Trussel’s comment about a level playing field, different drivers – Eric Winemiller, Trevor Miller and Cory Hemphill – won the features.“I like IMCA’s rules. These cars are definitely more economical and the crate motors are easy to police,” said Trussel, who has purchased a Northern SportMod for those rare nights when he’ll get to race himself. “We started out with 20 cars and we averaged 18 a night for the first weekend. I think we can grow from there.”The IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season at both tracks continues into mid-July, then resumes in September.
Chief Executive Officer of Asante Kotoko Opoku Nti says they are ready for the start of the new premier league season. The Porcupine Warriors will open their title defence on January 18 away to the Dormaa stadium to play Aduana Stars.Kotoko have played high profile pre-season matches including a goalless draw with Togolese champions AC Semassa and a 2-0 win over AS Port. This the second consecutive time Kotoko will be playing the 2010 champions in their first match of the season and Opoku Nti believes they can defend their title.“We should be ready for the league, the league will start in about two weeks time and we are aware of the task ahead,” he told Joy sports“We played some high profile friendlies and I believe we have prepared so well to defend the title we won last season.” Last season, Kotoko beat Aduana 2-1 at the Sunyani Coronation Park due to a Ghana FA ban but lost the corresponding fixture 2-0 at Dormaa stadium on the final day of competition.