Rogue builders warning issued for Penwortham

Con artists are believed to be operating in the Penwortham area running a rogue building firm.

Preston Police have issued a warning about a group of three men.

All described as being in their early 20s the men have carried out minor works to a good standard before then tricking the homeowner into taking on more major works.

PC Scott Fairclough said: “On asking for up front payments to purchase tools / flags etc, the three leave, never to return having not carried out the work they have been paid for.

“The men are canvasing the area using leaflets for a company called ‘EasyBuild’. Please note there is a genuine company on this name, but not operating locally.”

The leaflet given out for the firm includes the phone numbers 0345626642 and 07444266402. An address in the Ribbleton area is also provided but this is an empty home.

Police say the three men are travelling around in a white colour Ford Escort type van.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 and quote log number 599 of the 6th February 2017.

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Ronnie O’Sullivan dazzles the crowd in Preston at the World Grand Prix snooker

Iconic snooker superstar Ronnie O’Sullivan eased into the second round of the World Grand Prix at Preston’s Guild Hall before delivering an awkward post-match interview.

The 41-year old clinically dispatched Chinese youngster Yan Bingtao 4-2 in a best of seven encounter before appearing non-committal to the media after the match.

The current Masters champion is facing on-going disciplinary action from governing body World Snooker after a post-match outburst at last week’s German Masters where he was surprisingly knocked out in the first round by Mark King.

And the player, affectionately known as ‘The Rocket’ for his speed of potting, has clearly taking umbrage at the investigation, despite dazzling the Preston crowd with century breaks in both the opening and final frames.

O’Sullivan is currently competing at the 2017 Ladbrokes World Grand Prix which sees a ranking snooker event return to the venue for the first time since 2005.

The World Grand Prix, with extensive live coverage each day on ITV4, sees the top 32 players on a one-year ranking list compete for a top prize of £100,000 with the final this Sunday, February 12.

The event, which had been held for the past two years in North Wales, also features defending champion Shaun Murphy as well as a host of other stars including World Number One Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.

The Guild Hall is synonymous with snooker, going back to 1978 when the UK Championship was staged at the venue for the first time.

Despite a number of exhibition matches and qualifiers over the past year, this week’s tournament is a major coup for the venue after undergoing a multi-million pound renovation over the last few years.

Tickets are still on-sale for both afternoon and evening sessions and start from £9 – for more information call 01772 80 4444 or visit the Guild Hall Box Office.

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Another cinema visit to Preston Retail Park

Now showing…

Moonlight stand for:

  • Providing enjoyable cinema experiences
  • Creativity, newness and difference
  • Doing our bit and giving back to the local community
  • Professionalism and service
  • Social and environmental responsibility
  • Providing worthwhile, rewarding employment

Moonlight Drive-in Cinema is coming to Preston (Deepdale Retail Park) from Friday 10th March to Thursday 16th March.

Deepdale Retail Park is the venue for the films were drivers are able to drive through for food, then kick back and watch the film.

Deputy centre manager at Deepdale Catherine Holmes confirmed the showings would take place.

She said: “It is due to be set up on the top right hand side of the shopping park behind Costa Coffee.

“There is only a small space required as the event is kept quite tight with limited spaces and must be booked in advance.”

The showings cost £25 per vehicle, you arrive, order food and tune your radio to 104.1FM and you’ll pick up the films sound in your car.

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Lancashire doctor found guilty of £24k NHS fraud

A hospital doctor has pleaded guilty to defrauding the NHS of nearly £24,000.

John Coffey, of Goose Lane, Chipping, worked as a consultant radiologist at the Royal Preston Hospital, responsible for reviewing and reporting on a variety of medical scans. He was not contracted to study plain film scans from standard x-rays as part of his job plan. But he agreed to do so at a rate of £4 per film, outside his working hours (after 5pm) to help his department to clear a ‘waiting list’ backlog.

“When we identified an anomaly in the financial claims made by Mr Coffey our counter-fraud specialists immediately undertook a thorough investigation, and subsequently referred the matter to the police”

But the already highly-paid 53-year-old cooked up an audacious plan for an unearned, unapproved bonus at the taxpayers’ expense. He was eventually caught out after the hospital noticed an anomaly in his financial claims.
Sue Frith, managing director of NHS Protect, said: “John Coffey abused his position of trust as a Consultant Radiologist to defraud the NHS of nearly £24,000. That much could have paid a nurse for a year.”

Previously, when asked by management, Coffey had said he was far too busy and without any capacity for any additional duties.

However, once extra money was made available for the extra work, he completed most of it within his normal working hours.

The scam involved him lining up almost-completed reports after working on them earlier in the day and waiting until 5pm to re-enter the clinical IT system and hit the “submit” button.

When later challenged, he tried to argue he had technically completed the work after office hours.

In one day in March 2014, between 11.20am and 5pm, Coffey reviewed and reported on 100 plain film x-rays during a session when he was supposed to be doing his normal job plan work, resulting in a £400 loss to the NHS.

The fraud investigation showed this was not a one-off. Coffey was routinely and consistently undertaking ‘after hours’ waiting list work during NHS contracted hours.

In just over a year between autumn 2013 and autumn 2014, Coffey’s series of frauds bumped up his earnings by £23,916.

This breaks down to £4 each for 5,979 plain film reports he claimed for as ‘waiting list’ work.

When interviewed under caution, the consultant strenuously denied having been dishonest – but was unable to offer a good reason for entering each x-ray patient’s record once before, and once after, 5pm.

Coffey stated that although he had completed the work during the day, as he hadn’t pressed the submit button until after 5pm, it was not his fault if he was “efficient”.

Karen Swindley, workforce and education director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take extremely seriously our responsibilities to ensure public money is spent wisely and in accordance with the law and with our policies.

“Our robust systems and practices enable us to identify and immediately investigate any potential fraudulent activity within our organisation.

“When we identified an anomaly in the financial claims made by Mr Coffey our counter-fraud specialists immediately undertook a thorough investigation, and subsequently referred the matter to the police.

“Whilst this was ongoing Mr Coffey resigned from his position and we can confirm he no longer works at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.”

Ms Frith added: “NHS Protect encourages anybody with a suspicion that fraud against the NHS could be taking place to report their concern. Health workers and the public can do so via the established channels of their Local Counter Fraud Specialist, or via our national Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line. Whether by telephone or online, these reports can be made anonymously.”

Coffey was investigated by Local Counter Fraud Specialists Claire Smallman and Simon Regan, with support from the national level counter-fraud body, NHS Protect.

He pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court and is due to be sentenced at the same court on March 3.

The defrauded amount has been recovered in full.

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Celebrating the good in Preston Podio Magazine

Preston has a new platform for local Preston Businesses

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Podio’s Promise

Despite possessing a commercial flair, we are technically part of a broader PR1-based social enterprise Global Amigos. Podio PR1 is supported by approximately ten local community members; we aren’t in receipt of any funding but commit to the following aims:

To offer work experience & training

To support & promote Preston activity

To celebrate Preston’s diverse communities

Andrew Neale the co-founder of Podio says:

We’re a social enterprise, all our money’s being reinvested back into the project and to other projects to help do our bit in Preston. It started from my time in Latin America (was volunteering for a year and was sick of all the negative stuff coming up online whenever I googled what was happening) … the idea is we only promote the positive things going on in and around the Preston area.

Podio is available as a published magazine and online. You can grab a hard copy from our street team during our distribution weeks or pick one up from one of our many city centre vendors.

You can also view the full magazines here

For more information on this great magazine, you can head over to here. If your a local business and wish to advertise with this magazine then head over here to contact a member or the Podio team.

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