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Things seem a bit stormy at Chamber of Commerce.

Byline: Rex MAKIN

The Liverpool lawman is Makin his point LIVERPOOL Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jack Stopforth promised members a "robust plan for recovery" after revealing annual losses of more than pounds 700,000.

He blamed a "perfect storm" for the disappointing annual performance at the Chamber's 160th annual meeting held in Liverpool's Jury Inn hotel last week.

Not only did the business lobby group plunge into the red, it saw turnover tumble from pounds 10.2m in 2008-09 to pounds 5.8m in the 2009-10 financial year.

He explained the timing of certain contracts meant the Chamber is unable to reap the financial benefit until the next accounting year.

He said it had been caught in the eye of a "perfect storm" in the second half due to late starts on key contracts in international trade and workforce development and revenues from sales in the Chamber's Skillworks programme not being allowable until 2010/11, when the training begins.

. ANYONE who sees the name Liverpool Victoria Insurance may think there is some connection with Liverpool. If there is, it is in the dim and distant past. It is good to know that insurers think the inclusion of Liverpool in the name may have an attraction for customers.

. THE news that Cammell Laird has made a pounds 10m profit is music to my ears. My mother arrived in Birkenhead in 1911 where I was born, and always said when Laird's were prosperous the town she loved smiled.

Birkenhead is really a gem and that includes the gentrified parts where the posh people live.

. IF I were in charge of the Labour party nationally, which fortunately I am not, I would dump Jack Straw. His conduct over Michael Shields was, to put it mildly, unfortunate and to put it more strongly diabolical, and now he has opened his big mouth over the rape of unfortunate girls showing what some people have interpreted as racial bias.

There are scores of other instances when his behaviour certainly has called for criticism. The sooner he is out of politics some people may think the better.

Equally obnoxious is oafish John Prescott who was former deputy prime minister and now cavorts in the House of Lords somewhat hypocritically.

. THIS week at the Holocaust Memorial Service held at the Town Hall, a familiar figure was missing. Eric Strach, the distinguished orthopaedic surgeon, died on January 10. In his later years he never missed, even though he was wheelchair bound. He was 96 and in addition an amateur astronomer.

He originated from Czechoslovakia and did not perish like the millions of others at the hands of the Nazis, but re-established himself here where he attained a great reputation for his skills and devotion to the memory of those who perished.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 28, 2011
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