Daily Archives: February 13, 2017

VIDEO: Why you will want to get your teeth into this gorgeous egg

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THIS glorious giant Easter egg is raising money for Torquay’s green heart.

Master chocolatier Tony Fagan of Torquay’s Cockington Chocolate Company has created by hand a mammoth egg decorated with stunning wildflower decoration.

The 10 kilo egg took two full days to create .

Two years ago he created a giant egg and raised hundreds of pounds for Children’s Hospice South West. This year they are raising money for the Cockington Green Heart Appeal towards improvements to the Cockington Country Park.

This year’s egg is 79 cm high and 50 cm wide and make of marbled milk, dark and white chocolate.

It is decorated with a delicate mixture of spring flowers including daffodils, tulips and scilla.

Tony said: “I think this is the best one I have done. Last year’s was in the style of a Faberge egg but this year it is Spring flowers with a marbled finish.

“It has attracted a lot of interest and has created a lovely atmosphere in the shop.”

The egg can be won by customers who spend at least £25 in the shop in the craft centre.

For each purchase the company will make a donation to Cockington’s Green Heart Appeal. The £1.6million Green Heart restoration project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Allan Fels calls for compensation scheme for Domino's workers

Embattled pizza giant Domino’s faces calls for an independent compensation scheme for exploited workers as well as heightened scrutiny from the workplace regulator and the Senate amid allegations of widespread wage fraud.

The chairman of the migration workers taskforce Professor Allan Fels said Domino’s needed to take the lead and arrange a “genuine” and “independent” compensation scheme for underpaid workers, who he believes could be in the thousands.

“It is hard to believe that underpayment at Domino’s doesn’t number in the thousands,” he said. “Once systemic underpayment occurs, it spreads quickly through much of the system.”

Fairfax Media on the weekend exposed allegations that Domino’s franchisees were engaged in widespread underpayment of workers and, in some cases, visa fraud. It also produced evidence that many franchisees struggled to make a profit.

Despite denials from the company of any issues, Domino’s shares were down as much as 6 per cent in morning trading before closing at $61, down 4.76 per cent for the day.

Professor Fels chaired the 7-Eleven wages review scheme, which has so far paid out $73 million to underpaid workers. Domino’s has more than 14,000 workers across its 600 network of corporate and franchised stores.

“It looks as if illegal visa payments are occurring on a worrying scale,” Professor Fels said.

Repayment priority

Domino’s would not say whether it would consider a compensation scheme but a spokesman told Fairfax Media that “where an employee has been underpaid, the first priority should be to ensure they are repaid correctly”.

“We have never been contacted by Professor Fels, but would welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with him and outline our rigorous systems and processes in place to identify unethical behaviour by a limited number of franchisees.”

Meanwhile, the Fair Work Ombudsman said it would also be “conducting further investigations over the next few months” and work with other agencies “if the need arises”.

Nationals senator John Williams said there needed to be a wider inquiry into the $170 billion franchise industry, particularly after the latest Domino’s wage fraud scandal.

“This needs to be looked at and I intend to call an inquiry after the life insurance and whistleblower inquiries are complete,” he said.

Domino’s has launched an investigation into a franchisee after Fairfax Media obtained a phone recording of the store owner asking for money in exchange for sponsorship at a Domino’s store in regional Queensland. 

The Department of Immigration would not say whether it was also investigating the case, but said it was illegal to ask for or receive a benefit for visa sponsorship with penalties including two years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $324,000. It said it takes all allegations of visa fraud “very seriously”.

Domino’s won’t say how many suspected instances of underpayment it has come across in its network but Fairfax Media has compiled a list of hundreds of employees from Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia where Domino’s’ own audits found potential fraud and underpayment.

The company said many instances of underpayment were just “simple misunderstandings” and warned against conflating “deliberate and accidental employee underpayments”.

The company announces its half-year results on Wednesday.

Fianna Fáil calls for briefing on Cork events centre costs

Fianna Fáil has called for a full and open briefing on the controversial Cork events centre project before another cent of public money is pumped into it, writes Eoin English, Irish Examiner Reporter.

The party’s finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, ramped up the pressure on the stalled project as the first anniversary of the sod turning passed without a brick being laid.

More than two years after €20m in public funding was sanctioned, and a year after the sod turning, building work has yet to start on the 6,000-seat venue, earmarked for the former Beamish and Crawford site on South Main St.

Mr McGrath said he now has concerns that a request for more state funding could have legal implications for the original tender process.

“Public confidence in this process has drained away over the last year. We are not going to be party to any more false starts,” Mr McGrath said.

“It is obvious the sod turning was a sham event.”

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney dismissed the criticism from those he accused of doing nothing to deliver an events centre for Cork during the boom.

He said he “accepts and appreciates the annoyance, frustration and anger” around the stalled process but insisted: “The Government will do what’s needed to make this happen.”

Developers BAM and venue operators, Live Nation, have agreed on final internal designs in recent days, and BAM is expected to sign off on final costings within days.

That is expected to trigger a formal request to Government for an increase of up to €10m in state funding.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

RUGBY: Totts Hav Hampshire bragging rights

EIGHTY minutes of bitter rivalry matched the bitter winter weather as Hampshire’s top two teams came face-to-face at the weekend.

And it was home side Tottonians who won the day against one of the south’s biggest rugby union clubs in an enthralling, end-to-end encounter.

Havant, for many years the premier club in the county, were beaten 34-29 by a determined Totts squad who have lived in their opponents’ shadow for so long.

The Portsmouth side have been looking like their old selves this season and still sit in second place in London 1 South, despite their disappointing defeat.

But Totts, who finished last season as the county’s highest placed club, had a point to prove and did it in style to warm the hearts of home supporters who braved the cold weather.

The win keeps Totts in fourth spot and on track to improve on last season’s efforts.

President Ken Johnston put the victory down to ‘guts, courage, skill and a never-say-die attitude’.

Havant went ahead after five minutes, shipping a line-out ball across the field to touch down close to the corner and convert.

Totts then pounded their visitors’ line for almost ten minutes with Mike Searle being help up.

Havant added another three points from a penalty but Tottonians’ persistence eventually paid off when Mike Searle touched down to capitalise on his forwards’ hard work.

However Havant pulled away again when they breached the home side’s defence, going into the break 17-7 up.

There was no sign of the enthralling clash – said by many spectators to be one of the best at Water Lane in recent years – letting up and Totts came out of the blocks in the second half.

Breaks from Tommy Foster and Richard Buck ate up precious yards, forwards secured possession and Searle went over for his second try.

Totts then went into the lead for the first time when Ali Ramus crashed over and they moved to 24-17 up with a Pierre Clark penalty.

Excitement continued as Havant levelled with a converted pushover try but the scoreboard changed again within a minute – Robbie Searle’s interception and break taking his side up to the whitewash before prop James Gay stretched over and Totts went 31-24 in front.

With Robbie Searle yellow carded for a dangerous tackle and just a few minutes left on the clock, Havant made another onslaught and went over in the corner.

The difficult conversion would have evened the scores once more but it was scuffed and fell short and wide.

Clark gave his side a little more breathing space with a long range penalty but it was all hands to the deck over the last five minutes as Havant’s brave efforts to force a draw, or a win, were repelled.

Totts’ assistant coach Adrian Spafford said: “It was a quality game, both in the first and second half.

“Our defence won it for us in that last five or ten minutes of the game. It was incredible – body on the line defending.”

“The last time I saw a game like that was up here against London Cornish a couple of years ago.

“We made a few mistake in the first half which they scored from and in the second half we dug deep and the defence won us the game. Just incredible,” added Spafford who picked out Number 8 Ieuan Williams as Totts’ man of the match for his efforts in defence and attack.

Gosport & Fareham lost out 39-18 at home to Cobham with the Gos’s points coming from tries by back row Will Larkin and centre Wayne Dugan, with Tom Lewis kicking a conversion and a couple of penalties.

Read the full round-upof the weekend’s rugby in Tuesday’s Daily Echo

Traffic delays on Hampshire motorway

DRIVERS approaching Winchester from both the north and south have hit delays.

One lane on the south bound A34 is blocked following an incident just north of the interchange with the M3 at junction 9, Winnall.

Earlier at around 7.30am there was a rolling roadblock northbound between junctions 9 and 10 at Winchester to allow for the clearance of debris on the carriageway.

Meanwhile the M27 eastbound between junction 2 at Ower and junction 7 at Hedge End is said to be slow going by ROMANSE traffic management system, with delays of 30 minutes.