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Kirsten Childs to Discuss Legacy of Black Women Artists at City Center

first_img View Comments Kirsten Childs(Photo: New York City Center) A pre-show discussion led by Kirsten Childs, creator of the 2000 musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, will be a part of the New York City Center Encores! Off-Center’s Lobby Project series. This and other special events will take place before select performances of the Encores! Off-Center season.The series will begin featuring songwriters who submitted original songs inspired by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical Assassins. The winners, Sebastian Durfee, Deepali Gupta, Jess Newman, Taylor Ferrera and Bob Ferrera, will present their pieces before three evening performances of the show (July 13 at 6:30 pm, July 14 at 7:00pm and July 15 at 7:00pm) and participate in a nightly panel to discuss their influences and inspirations.On July 26 at 6:30pm, Ayodele Casel, Helga Davis and Okwui Okpokwasili will participate in a discussion about their experiences onstage in connection with Childs’ The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Casel will also perform a piece commissioned especially for The Lobby Project. The following evening, July 27 at 6:30pm, Childs will discuss the legacy of black women artists in America and the contemporary nature of her work.For Maurice Sendak and Carole King’s 1980 family musical Really Rosie, The Lobby Project has commissioned original songs from Broadway Bound Kids and Rosie’s Theater Kids. Each youth group will perform an opening number about their neighborhood and New York City in 2017. Performances (August 2 at 6:00pm, August 4 at 6:00pm and August 5 at 1:00 and 6:00pm) will be followed by a discussion about how the groups created their songs.The Lobby Project takes place in City Center’s Grand Tier lobby one hour before select performances and is free for that evening’s ticket holders. Led by Artistic Director Michael Friedman, the popular Encores! Off-Center series returns for its fifth season of landmark off-Broadway musicals including Assassins, directed by Anne Kauffman (July 12-15); The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, directed by Robert O’Hara (July 26 and 27) and Really Rosie, directed by Leigh Silverman (August 2-5).last_img read more

Hugh Panaro & More to Join Off-Broadway’s Site-Specific ‘Pie-Shop’ Sweeney Todd

first_imgHugh Panaro(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 26, 2018 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Related Showscenter_img View Comments Broadway veteran Hugh Panaro will join Tooting Arts Club’s acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd in the title role beginning on August 29 at off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theatre. Norm Lewis, who currently plays the role, will play his final performance on August 13 with David Michael Garry playing the role of Sweeney Todd from August 15-27.Also joining the company on August 29 will be Jake Boyd as Anthony, Eryn LeCroy as Johanna, Michael James Leslie as Judge Turpin and John Rapson as The Beadle. Brad Oscar plays his final performance on August 20 with Colin Anderson playing the role of The Beadle from August 22-August 27. Matt Doyle, Alex Finke, and Jamie Jackson will play their final performance as Anthony, Johanna and Judge Turpin (respectively) on August 27.Continuing with the company will be Carolee Carmello as Mrs. Lovett (who reunites with Panaro after co-starring in Broadway’s 2006 musical Lestat), Stacie Bono as Pirelli & Beggar Woman and John-Michael Lyles as Tobias. The cast also includes Matt Leisy, Liz Pearce, Danny Rothman, Monet Sabel and Anne Tolpegin.Immersing audiences in a completely new theatrical experience, this production of the classic tale of blood thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London. Tooting Arts Club first mounted this Sweeney Todd in the winter of 2014 in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, one of the oldest continuously operating pie shops in London, seating only 35 people at each performance. In 2015, the production made the leap to the West End where Tooting Arts Club re-created Harrington’s in the 69-seat Shaftesbury Avenue venue. The Harrington’s shop environment has once again been brought to life for its US debut in the 130-seat Barrow Street Theatre.Sweeney Todd features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, and is directed by Bill Buckhurst. It features set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangements by Benjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, choreography by Georgina Lamb, lighting design by Amy Mae and sound design by Matt Stine.last_img read more

Stuart Thompson, Producer of More Than 70 Broadway Shows, Dies at 62

first_img Stuart Thompson, a prolific theatrical producer and manager whose Stuart Thompson Productions brought some of the greatest works of theater to the Broadway stage over the last 20 years—including Proof, The Book of Mormon and Curious Incident—died at his home in New York on the evening of August 17 at age 62. The cause of death was complications from esophageal cancer.Stuart James Thompson was born in Sydney on July 8, 1955 to Rosamund A. Thompson and J. H. Barrington Thompson and grew up in Adelaide before studying drama at Flinders University and working in arts administration in Australia.Thompson moved to New York in 1980 to study arts administration at New York University, remaining in the U.S. and working at the Kennedy Center with the American National Theatre under the artistic direction of Peter Sellars from 1984 to 1986.Mentored by legendary producers Robert Whitehead and Lewis Allen, Thompson’s first Broadway assignment as a general manager was on Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men (1989), followed by Tru in the same season.Thompson began his producing career on Broadway with David Mamet’s The Old Neighborhood (1997) and went on to co-produce Art (1998), The Chairs (1998), Not About Nightingales (1999), The Play What I Wrote (2003), The Retreat From Moscow (2003), On Golden Pond (2005) and the three longest-running plays on Broadway of the last 25 years: The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife (2000), Proof (2000) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2014).Later on, Thompson oversaw both his company’s general management activities and produced shows including The Book of Mormon (2011) as executive producer for the U.S. companies and co-producer of the West End and Australian productions. Thompson’s most recent credits include No Man’s Land/Waiting for Godot (2013), King Charles III (2015), Sweat (2017), Six Degrees of Separation (2017) and The Present (2017).Stuart Thompson Productions remains a producer on the Broadway-bound musical Mean Girls. Thompson’s producer partner, Lorne Michaels, said, “A true gentleman and a joy to work with. He led Tina Fey and I through the process of developing our show. We look forward to presenting Mean Girls in both Washington, D.C. and New York to the high standard that Stuart has set for us.”Thompson won six Tony Awards amid his efforts on more than 70 Broadway productions. In 2010, he was presented with The Robert Whitehead Award for “outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing.”Thompson is survived by his husband, Joseph Roland Baker III; brother Graham Thompson, sister-in-law Nicole Thompson and niece Lucy Thompson; sister-in-law Paula Baker and brother-in-law Ben Fournier; nephews Joey Fournier, Beau Fournier and Drew Fournier; father-in-law Joe Baker Jr and mother-in-law Joyce Baker; cousin Margot McCowage and additional family. Stuart Thompson(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Commentslast_img read more

Rutland Regional receives 5-Star ratings from Healthgrades

first_imgRutland Regional Medical Center,Vermont Business Magazine For the second year in a row, Rutland Regional Medical Center is one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement according to new research released by Healthgrades(link is external), the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems. Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data, and outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 16 states.Rutland Regional is the only hospital in Vermont to receive this award, and is the only hospital in Vermont to receive the Healthgrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ for 3 Years in a Row (2019-2021); Five Star Recipient for Total Knee Replacement for 11 Years in a Row (2011-2021); Five Star Recipient for Total Hip Replacement for 3 Years in a Row (2019-2021); and for the third time, a Five Star Recipient for Gallbladder Removal Surgery (2017, 2018, 2021). Rutland Regional was also awarded a Five Star Rating for Treatment of Sepsis for the second year in a row (2020-2021).“It makes me tremendously proud to know that Rutland Regional Medical Center has been recognized as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement for two years in a row,” said Claudio Fort, President and CEO of Rutland Regional Medical Center. “To have received this honor, along with the Five-Star Ratings awards for Gallbladder Removal Surgery and the Treatment of Sepsis, illustrates the unwavering commitment to patient care, safety, and desired outcomes by our staff and physicians.”“To have reached this level of achievement for the second year in a row is the product of physicians who are passionate about delivering high quality care, a highly responsive and supportive administration, and the best and most engaged clinical and support staff I have ever had the honor of working beside,” stated Melbourne Boynton, MD, Chief Medical Director.About Healthgrades Ratings:For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 45 million Medicare inpatient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide to assess hospital performance in 32 common conditions and procedures. Healthgrades recognizes a hospital’s quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance, and overall clinical quality. Individual procedure or condition cohorts are designated as 5-star (statistically significantly better than expected), 3-star (not statistically different from expected) and 1-star (statistically significantly worse than expected). The complete Healthgrades 2021 Report to the Nation and detailed study methodology, can be found at is external).About Rutland Regional Medical CenterRutland Regional Medical Center the largest community hospital in Vermont,  and is supported by a medical staff of 256 physicians trained in 37 specialty areas and over 1,600 employees. With a strong patient-centered focus, consistent quality performance, Magnet® Nursing Recognition, and award-winning care, Rutland Regional remains dedicated to improving the health of families and individuals throughout Rutland County and beyond. For more information visit is external)Source: RUTLAND, VT – Rutland Regional Medical Center 10.20.2020last_img read more

Triathlon Training Spain & Journey Beyond Travel present first Swim Smooth…

first_img Related Triathlon Training Spain has announced that it will be partnering with Journey Beyond Travel to present ‘the world’s first Swim Smooth / Triathlon Training Camp in Africa.’The camp is to be held in Morocco over the week 9-16 March 2014 and will use the facilities of the Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. The university is located in the cedar-forested Middle Atlas Mountains and has a world-class 50m indoor pool and offers superb running trails.Although the camp is swim focused, it also includes running and strength-training sessions, as well as triathlon training discussions alongside individualized feedback based on HD video recording and observation.The university pool, track and surrounding area was used by Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee for training prior to the London 2012 Olympics but has been the home of other Olympic gold medallists – such as Moroccan former middle distance runner and double Olympic gold medallist Hicham El Guerrouj.Triathlon Training Spain, owned by Martin Hill, a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach and a Certified Swim Smooth Coach, is located close to Alicante, Spain. Martin provides coaching that is tailored specifically to small groups of swimmers and triathletes to enable them to benefit from high quality coaching in a relaxed homely environment that is fully catered.Journey Beyond Travel has been offering quality Morocco tours for a decade – specialising in trips for individuals, couples, families and small groups. The founder, Thomas Hollowell, attended a Swim Smooth camp with Coach Martin Hill in Spain. Inspired by what he learned and how he progressed at the clinic, he began a collaboration with Triathlon Training Spain to hold such a clinic in Morocco – Africa’s first Swim Smooth triathlon camp.The Swim Smooth / Triathlon CampThe week’s Swim Clinic will comprise a full Swim Smooth Clinic with full HD video analysis, stroke correction, pace awareness and open water coaching all supplemented by classroom seminars. Swim specific and overall body strength and conditioning sessions as well as run technique and trail running will also feature to make this a challenging but enjoyable week.The partnership between coaching provider and travel firm will provide a combination of a world class venue and world class coaching where the participating athletes can expect to have a challenging and rewarding experience that will improve their swimming whilst experiencing a different culture.The week includes special Azrou Family meals and entertainment to complement the highly individual coaching and training each attendee will receive.This Swim Smooth Clinic is made possible with collaboration from the Athletic Department of Al Akhawayn University and specialist Morocco tour company Journey Beyond read more

Adams and Reese donated more than 400 pounds of food to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic

first_imgAdams and Reese donated more than 400 pounds of food to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic December 15, 2012 Regular News ADAMS AND REESE employees donated more than 400 pounds of food to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic to assist in providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need. The food was distributed both directly by the SPFC and through the 62 partner agencies in South Pinellas County to which the SPFC food bank provides in-kind assistance. The Thanksgiving donation total brings the Adams and Reese St. Petersburg office’s contribution to 1,200 pounds of food this year to the food bank. From the left are the firm’s Tellie Settimi; Aby Paz, St. Petersburg Free Clinic warehouse supervisor; and Richard Malchon, Adams and Reese partner and member of St. Petersburg Free Clinic Board of Directors.last_img read more

Gophers look to make first statement in Columbus

first_imgGophers look to make first statement in Columbus David McCoyFebruary 17, 2005Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintWith all its success this season, there is one thing Minnesota’s women’s basketball team is still lacking as it heads into the final two weeks before the postseason.A statement win.The Gophers (19-5, 9-3 Big Ten) have maintained a consistent top-15 ranking, have a stranglehold on a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament and should be set to make some noise at the NCAA Tournament once again.But No. 14 Minnesota still has yet to prove it can run with the major contenders in the Big Ten – much less the rest of the country.The Gophers have not lost to a team behind them in the Big Ten standings. The problem, however, is that they have not beaten anybody above them either.“We need to compete at that level,” coach Pam Borton said. “That’s the biggest thing. I think we need to prove to ourselves that we can compete against those teams.”With a cupcake schedule (Wisconsin, Indiana and Northwestern) to round out the regular season, Minnesota’s last chance to get that statement win is tonight at No. 2 Ohio State (24-2, 11-1).Once again, the guards will be key.Coming off an appalling 0-for-17 effort from three-point land Feb. 10, Minnesota’s guards said they feel a new wave of confidence after contributing more than their fair share in a win over Purdue on Sunday. “They have a lot more confidence in themselves that they can get the job done at both ends of the floor,” Borton said. “I’ve always had confidence in the guards, but it’s them having the confidence and knowing that they can get the job done on both ends of the floor.”As far as stopping Buckeyes senior Caity Matter, who leads the Big Ten in three-point shooting at 47.1 percent, the Gophers are likely to sic stopper Shannon Bolden on her. Bolden has struggled lately but appears to have regained her form after throwing a blanket over All-Big Ten guard Katie Gearlds against Purdue.And similar to Minnesota’s 20-point victory at Purdue on Jan. 13, which snapped a 20-year losing streak in West Lafayette, Ind., Minnesota said it is hoping for another such win tonight against Ohio State.“We’re definitely going to come out with something to prove,” McCarville said. “I think we haven’t played up to our standard against the top teams in the conference. It’s a big game on the road, and we haven’t faired well on the road.”It will be tough.Minnesota, which lost three times to Ohio State last season, has not won in Columbus, Ohio, in 20 games.The Buckeyes are also ranked fifth in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, which is one of the main instruments the NCAA selection committee uses to seed teams for the NCAA tournament.So if Minnesota, ranked 14th in the latest RPI rankings, can manage to pull off the upset, it would be exactly the kind of statement win the Gophers are looking for.“I think our whole team – we just want to prove that we can play a top-caliber team in the Big Ten and in the nation,” Bolden said.last_img read more

Study: Many outbreak fungal infections involved CNS

first_imgAbout 81% of patients identified in the early stages of a year-long multistate outbreak of fungal infections linked to contaminated steroid injections had central nervous system (CNS) infections, but non-CNS infections were more frequent later in the outbreak, according to a study today in the New England Journal of Medicine.In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded study, US researchers examined 328 patients who didn’t have peripheral joint infections, of the more than 700 outbreak cases. The patients studied were those who received methylprednisolone acetate injections after May 19, 2012, and whose cases were reported by Nov 19, 2012, from the six hardest-hit states: Florida, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Virginia.The authors wrote that little is known about infections from Exserohilum rostratum, the predominant outbreak-associated fungus.Of the 328 patients, 265 (81%) had CNS infections and 63 (19%) had non-CNS infections only. The team said that lab-confirmed E rostratum was found in 96 of 268 patients (36%) for whom samples were available. They also said that strokes were associated with more severe abnormalities in cerebrospinal fluid (P < 0.001).Of the 250 patients in the study who had meningitis, 229 (92%) received the diagnosis at the time of initial hospital admission, and 21 (8%) received the diagnosis later. Thirty-five patients had evidence of stroke. Lumbar puncture was performed in 29 of them, and all had pleocytosis in cerebrospinal fluid that was consistent with meningitis.The authors conclude, "Fungal infections caused by epidural and paraspinal injection of a contaminated glucocorticoid product can result in a broad spectrum of clinical disease, reflecting possible variations in the pathogenic mechanism and in host and exposure risk factors."Largest healthcare-related outbreakIn a press release yesterday that noted the 1-year anniversary of the fungal infection outbreak, the CDC said it is the largest-ever US outbreak of healthcare-associated infections. The agency said many outbreak patients continue to struggle with complications, including side effects of antifungal drugs.The agency said it has awarded a contract to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to assess up to 500 outbreak patients. The study will run through at least August 2015 and explore longer-term health impacts, treatment efficacy, and potential relapses."These outbreaks show the urgent need to address shortfalls in the oversight and safety of compounded drugs to reduce the inherent risks associated with these products, which have not undergone review and approval by the Food and Drug Administration," the CDC said in the news release."CDC supports efforts by FDA and state Boards of Pharmacy to provide appropriate and effective oversight of compounding pharmacies."Two more cases, 1 additional deathThe CDC reported in an update yesterday that the outbreak has now reached 751 cases and 64 deaths, an increase of 2 cases and 1 death since its previous update on Aug 5. Twenty states have been affected, a number that has not changed (see CDC map below).The CDC said 233 cases were meningitis only, 151 involved meningitis with spinal or paraspinal infections, 7 involved stroke without lumbar puncture, 325 were paraspinal or spinal infections only, 33 were peripheral joint infections only, and 2 were paraspinal or spinal infections with peripheral joint infections.The outbreak is linked to three recalled lots of methylprednisolone acetate made by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.See also:Oct 24 N Engl J Med studyOct 23 CDC news releaseOct 23 CDC outbreak updatelast_img read more

Traffic Alert: Motorists Asked Not To Use Mari Mac Village Parking Lot As Shortcut Between Trinity And Central … Safety Concerns!

first_imgTraffic Alert:Motorists are reminded that westbound Trinity Drive continues to be reduced to a single lane from DP Road to the Knecht Street intersection.This closure is necessary for the removal and installation of new curb and gutter, sidewalks and driveway pads through this area, as part of the New Mexico Department of Transportation N.M. 502 reconstruction and roundabout installation.Star Paving placed new, additional signage today that cautions: “ROAD CLOSED TO THROUGH TRAFFIC”.The additional signage was requested in response to safety concerns received by the County that motorists are using the Mari Mac Village entrance to travel across the parking lot to exit onto Central Avenue without using proper parking lot driving lanes.This activity of “cutting across” parking spaces in the lot has increased over the past three weeks and created a potentially dangerous situation with other motorists and pedestrians in the lot.For the safety of others, motorists are being asked to detour safely using roadways, such as 15th Street, rather than detouring across parking spaces at the parking lot at Mari Mac.last_img read more

Atomic City Transit After School Routes Begin Oct. 19

first_imgCOUNTY News:Atomic City Transit is announces that Express Routes 7(C) – North Mesa, Route 8 – North Community, Route 9 – Aspen Area, Route 10 – Barranca Mesa and Route 11 – White Rock Area will resume operations beginning Monday, Oct. 19, the same day as the beginning of Los Alamos Public Schools Hybrid Attendance Model for elementary schools.Rides on the Express Routes must be requested in advance using the Dial-A-Ride reservation system. Express Routes will operate as a reservation only service every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.Reservations must be made for the Express Routes the day prior to secure a space as capacity will be limited. Please assure you have the rider’s name, pick-up location and drop-off location and a phone number when scheduling a ride (505).661.RIDE (7433). Reservations will be accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You also can call the same day and request a trip on a space available basis.To maintain passenger safety, Atomic City Transit continues to comply with the public health recommendations in accordance with the current Governor’s Executive Order:Passengers will be required to wear face coverings in order to board and while riding the bus.The number of passengers allowed on each bus will be limited and seats will be blocked off to comply with social distancing recommendations.Atomic City Transit continues to follow measures to further enhance public health safety:Hand sanitizer will be available on all vehicles for both customers and staff;All transit vehicles will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to being put into daily service, as well as high touch areas disinfecting between trips, throughout the day; andPassengers will board and depart the bus only through the back doors only (when available).Fixed route bus service, currently in operation, will continue to be provided on Routes 1, 2M, 2T and 6.For the detailed Route 1, 2M, 2T and Route 6 service schedules, visit ACT website.Regular Dial-A-Ride service remains available to the general public in areas not serviced by a fixed route bus. Call the ACT Office at (505).661.RIDE (7433) the day prior and schedule your appointment. You can also call the same day and book your trip on a space available basis.last_img read more

Middle East Analysis: A stimulated market

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Coronavirus: Praxair supplies New York hospitals

first_imgIn a recent social post, the industrial gas giant expressed how its US branches are all teaming together to help those in need during the pandemic.“Our Newark team is the biggest supplier of medical cylinder gases to New York City,” said Bob Phillips, Director of Production at Praxair. “The team is now filling and distributing thousands of oxygen cylinders every day to meet the demand, but they are not doing it alone.”“We’ve been bringing in cylinders to Newark from some of our branches, including Allentown, Redding and Fairless Hills, and from our Linde Life Gas colleagues in Dayton, New Jersey.”The company highlights that as the Newark teams, along with others, are supplying the New York area hospitals, Praxair’s Sparks and Amarillo workrers are supporting the Dayton team by preparing and shipping equipment to the site.“This is another instance of our teams across the country doing whatever it takes to supply oxygen to hospitals and other medical facilities with the medical oxygen they need,” Phillips concluded.last_img read more

Pulling the trigger

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Ireland: Green shoots

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

A chance to stop retention abuse

first_imgCash retention in the construction industry is a scourge that causes bankruptcies, loses jobs and reduces training […] Cash retention is like an underground poker game.”These words were spoken by Baroness Donaghy a couple of years ago in a House of Lords debate on retentions initiated by cross-bench peer Lord Aberdare. The debate was prompted by an amendment – inspired by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group – to the (then) Enterprise Bill. This amendment required the government to review the cash retention system to come up with the most effective method for securing the monies (and then legislate to implement it).A statutory retention deposit scheme […] is the only effective option that would help overcome the abuse (the late and non-payment of retentions) and the non-payment due to insolvencies The government agreed to review the system and, much later than promised, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published its review and is consulting on the best way forward. The consultation document contains 57 questions, and I suspect that very few firms would be keen to answer every one (assuming they could).The department is consulting on three policy options:Option 0: do nothingOption 1: improve awareness of existing statutory requirementsOption 2: create a retention deposit scheme.These options have been informed by a considerable amount of research carried out by consultant Pye Tait.Option 0 appears to have been discounted, since existing measures to improve payment performance do not directly deal with cash retentions.Option 1 is included because the Pye Tait research indicated that some firms are not asserting their rights under the Construction Act. The amended act outlaws clauses that make payments (such as retentions) conditional on the performance of obligations (or the issue of a certificate) under another contract. But making firms aware of their rights in this context is unlikely to end retention abuse, which the Pye Tait research revealed to be widespread.Neither would it deal with the scandalous loss of £229m (at 2015 prices) worth of retentions per year due to upstream insolvencies. Even worse was the £7.8bn of retentions that were not paid when due for release, over a three-year period, according to the research. This represents a massive drain on the resources of the industry’s SMEs. For this reason alone, legislation is necessary to ringfence the monies withheld as retentions.Retentions are a source of free credit which, over the long term, have impaired the growth and productivity of SMEs. They have also contributed to undermining trust and teamwork in the industry  Option 3 – a statutory retention deposit scheme – is the only effective option that would help overcome the abuse (the late and non-payment of retentions) and the non-payment due to insolvencies.According to the impact assessment contained in the consultation document: “The total combined benefit to construction contractors from having their retention money protected and paid to them in the event of upstream insolvency would therefore be an estimated £229m per year. This provides a 10-year [present value] of approximately £1967m.”Every SME in the construction industry should respond to this consultation, if only to confirm that a statutory retention deposit scheme is the solution. This could be introduced by way of a simple amendment to the Construction Act, although more detailed regulations may be required to govern the operation of the scheme. An existing model is the tenancy deposit schemes introduced under section 215 of the Housing Act 2014, whereby deposits provided by shorthold tenants must be deposited in a government approved scheme.Anyone requiring a cash retention should have to deposit it in an approved scheme. Failure to do so would render void the clause imposing the retention. They would have to be registered with scheme, and the party from whom monies were withheld would have to be notified by the scheme. The scheme could be operated by a commercial outfit or a not-for-profit organisation.The business department is concerned about the cost of such scheme. One of the government approved tenancy schemes – the aptly named Tenancy Deposit Scheme – pays for itself out of the interest earned on the deposits. Any profits go to a charity providing training in the rented sector.The department also asks whether such a deposit scheme should only apply to contracts above a certain value. The answer should be a definite “no”.We must press on with this measure and ensure the necessary legislation is passed in this parliament. The department acknowledges that retentions are a source of free credit which, over the long term, have impaired the growth and productivity of SMEs. They have also contributed to undermining trust and teamwork in the industry. For thousands of SMEs in construction, now is your chance to respond to this consultation to end the scourge of retention abuse. The consultation closes on 19 January 2018.Rudi Klein is a barrister and chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Grouplast_img read more

Dan-Czech presses ahead

first_imgThe heaviest components, weighing up to 136 tonnes, were transported via the inland port of Melnik before they were delivered by road. Dan-Czech loaded the largest items on its 14-axle Goldhofer trailer.Including a push truck, the combination measured 30 m x 5.2 m x 5.1 m and had a total weight of 196 tonnes.dan-czech.czlast_img