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Curtly Richards has 289 articles published.

Community Insight

in Community Insight

Lest We Forget

This ten metre veil, adorned with almost 5000 poppies, was created by members of the Arts and Crafts Association with help from residents of Mount Alvernia, Knit Gibraltar and other members of the public during lockdown.

His Worship the Mayor was extremely pleased to see this beautiful and creative tribute to the fallen, take pride of place at City Hall for all the community to see.

Minister for Culture John Cortes met with Chenille Brown, together with her Dance Teachers from The Showdance Company to congratulate her on her recent success abroad.

Chenille, who had come fourth in the International Dance Organisation European Jazz Championships, won representation at the prestigious Sussex Festival of Dance at this year’s Gibraltar International Dance Festival. She competed in the Sussex Festival recently and was placed 2nd in the Contemporary division and 4th in the Modern section.

The Minister, Chenille and the Showdance team discussed various aspects of Dance in Gibraltar, remarking on how successful dancers from Gibraltar have been at competitions, and professionally, abroad, and on the large number of young people who take part in the performing arts in Gibraltar.

The Minister wished Chenille, currently studying A levels at Westside, well for the future and success in pursuing Dance as a career.


Calpe House London Visit

His Worship the Mayor, Mr Christian Santos GMD was delighted to accept an invitation by Albert Poggio and the trustees of The Calpe House Charitable Trust to visit Calpe House in Norfolk Square, London.

His Worship had the opportunity to meet the staff and trustees, the people who work tirelessly to ensure this building lives up its motto of being ‘home from home’ for patients requiring medical treatment in the UK and their escorts.

He met current guests of the House and prepared a meal with them. An avid cook and host himself, His Worship can fully appreciate the importance of sitting around a table with friendly faces, especially at times when a family member or friend is not feeling their best.

For more information, please contact
mayor@gibraltar.gov.gi or call 200 47592.


48th Gibraltar International Art Exhibition 

The Gibraltar International Art Exhibition organised by Gibraltar Cultural Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture is being held at the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery.

Artists from Gibraltar, Spain and Romania submitted a total of one hundred and twenty-eight works.

The Minister for Education and Culture, the Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change, Heritage and Public Health, The Hon Prof. John Cortes MBE JP MP officially opened the Exhibition and presented the awards on Tuesday 2nd November 2021. Mr John Maine RA RWA, a Royal Academician from the United Kingdom, carried out the adjudication.

The Prize winners included:

The Gustavo Bacarisas Prize

1st Prize Karl Ullger ‘Forgotten Patio’

The Jacobo Azagury Prize

2nd Prize Monica Popham ‘Blue Light’

The Leni Mifsud Prize

3rd Prize Cristina Lopez Ramirez ‘Carrusel’

The Rudesindo Mannia Prize

Best Gibraltar Theme Ronald Gingell ‘Majestic Rock’

The Mario Finlayson Prize

Best Young Artist Tyrone Anthony Vera ‘Disconnection’



HC CANCER CENTER WEAPONS AGAINST BREAST CANCER

in Features

October is breast cancer prevention month, although for many, awareness and the fight against this disease form part of every day of the year. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in both developed and developing countries. It is estimated that 1 out of every 8 women in Spain will develop breast cancer. Despite this, the cure rate is increasing and thanks to early detection campaigns prognosis for this disease has improved. 

Medical advances have made it possible to learn more and more about the biology of the disease, developing more effective and less aggressive, personalized treatments. 

At HC Cancer Center we face this disease every day, our team comprises specialists in different fields who investigate the tumour starting at its origin and together plan the optimum treatment for each patient.

The first step in this fight begins with prevention and early diagnosis. All women aged 45 or over should have a mammogram. Tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, can detect very small lesions that previously passed unnoticed, increasing cancer detection by 40%. As a result, cancers are diagnosed in their early stages, significantly increasing patient survival.

When cancer is localized, the treatment of choice is usually surgery or radiotherapy, sometimes combined with chemotherapy to maximize the effect.

Surgically, conservative surgery is currently the preferred option, i.e. the removal of the lesion with an adequate margin, avoiding mastectomy whenever possible. 

In order to provide this more conservative treatment, while still maintaining local control and the survival figures previously obtained with mastectomy, it is ALWAYS necessary to supplement treatment with radiotherapy. “New radiotherapy is more precise, conformed, and safe,  improving treatment tolerance while maintaining effectiveness”, explains Paula Sedano, radiation oncology specialist at HC Cancer Center. 

In cases where systemic drug therapy is required she continues, “We have different genetic platforms that provide information on the genetic mutation of the tumour. This enables evaluation of the risk of relapse in each patient and therefore understanding of the benefits of supplementing treatment with chemotherapy, or even the identification of a drug targeted at that specific mutation”. In hormone-dependent tumours, hormone therapy will also continue to be an essential part of breast cancer treatment. 

Each treatment has its function and its time, and it is therefore essential that it is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team. “We have a breast unit made up of different specialists, among them gynaecologists, radiologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. They offer a complete service to patients from early diagnosis to treatment, to guarantee the best treatment option, in the best surroundings and with the same people”.

Thanks to this progress in treatment plus methods for early diagnosis, she concludes: “we have managed to increase long-term survival rates and are a step closer to winning this battle”.

The GIBRALTAR Property Insight

in Features

Why is Trusted Novus Bank entering the Buy-to-Let market?

We spoke with Kasper Thy Jessen (Head of Corporate Banking) and Morten Jensen (Head of Mortgages) to determine where they see the property market (specifically the Buy-to-Let) heading in the future and what does this mean for Trusted Novus Bank (TNB). 

The property market in Gibraltar has developed positively for a number of years. This is due to a combination of factors including high demand for rental properties, rental yield being 4%-6% on average and the absence of locally applied Capital Gains Tax.

With a high demand for Buy-to-Let properties, TNB recently developed a new product concept to support and facilitate the residential rental market.

Can you explain why TNB decided to explore the Buy-to-Let market? 

This has been an interesting market in Gibraltar during the last few years; a big part of the property market where we have seen several developments geared specifically to the Buy-to-Let target audience (E1, Eurocity, West One, Marina Club etc.). We’ve also experienced that many property investors are interested in partners that can help fund these purchases and we are very interested in helping them with this.

Mike Nicholls, CEO of Chestertons (Gibraltar) mentions “Buy-to-Let landlords in Gibraltar have achieved consistent gross yields of 5% – 6% pa over recent years. These have eased to 4% – 5% pa recently with sale prices moving sharply ahead in 2021. Larger, more expensive properties tend to have lower yields.”

How does this align with the overall strategy? 

TNB’s aim is to be the ‘Homeowners Bank’ and as part of this we also wish to support clients (and prospects) whose goals are to expand their property portfolio or are creating a portfolio in the Buy-to-Let market.

Our main focus is to grow our general lending book; hence we have been more active on marketing our residential mortgage and construction finance products. The Buy-to-Let market is a newer market for us and we’re hoping that by also focusing on this we can contribute even further towards the overall lending growth.

How does the Buy-To-Let product differ from our competitors?

Due to our highly personalised approach, we believe that we can find the right solution for our clients and be able to build strong long-lasting relationships. We want to be more than just a bank; we understand the importance of being partners.

We believe our products are highly competitive and, as we offer a broad range of banking services including investments, we are able to blend long term investments in financial markets with Buy-to-Let loans to offer low lending rates with flexible options for borrowers. This provides maximum rental yields whilst allowing diversification across a wider asset base.

How has Brexit affected our Buy-to-Let business?

Indirectly, and due to the potential new border agreement, Gibraltar has been seen as a popular area for investments.

Gibraltar’s Covid 19 vaccination program had the same effect, and this showcased Gibraltar as a country worth investing in. We received a large number of enquiries regarding Buy-to-Let mortgages earlier this year, this was from both local people and international (mainly UK).

Who is our target market for Buy-to-Let?

Our target market is primarily clients and prospects who have some previous knowledge and experience in the Buy-to-Let market.  

TNB is taking a cautious approach towards clients with no or very limited experience in buy-to-let property activities. History in other jurisdictions shows that where there has been a rapid boom in the buy-to-let market, some clients exposed themselves to high-risk investments whilst not fully understanding the risks involved.

We also expect our clients to have good knowledge of Gibraltar, meaning that they either live in Gibraltar or visit on a regular basis.


Short-lets, beach of covenant?

Words by
Dustin E. Joyce
Patner, Attias & Levy

As we continue to deal with the devastating effects of a global pandemic, the arduous balancing act of resuming social and economic ‘normality’ while maintaining public health remains integral. A useful insight into this context is the recent emphasis on the resumption of the tourism and hospitality sector in particular, which is an industry that Gibraltar heavily relies on economically. Indeed, within the face of encouraging waves of tourism in Gibraltar which has seen accommodation return to full capacity, tourists have resorted to alternative means to accommodate their stays. This, in turn, has created the foundations for an interesting dilemma to consider – the steady development of short-term lettings and AirBnb’s, the impact this is having on residential estates throughout Gibraltar and whether there is a need for stricter legal regulation in an increasingly novel area which is surrounded by underlying legal ambiguity. 

The question arises whether a short-term let would breach a covenant in a lease which prohibits a leaseholder from using their property for any purpose other than as a private residence.

The importance of this questions is obvious. With various listings on Airbnb and other sites, property owners are increasingly using such sites, to seek to make income from their properties. Yet leaseholders who utilise these sites are at a risk of having their leases forfeited if their actions are in breach of covenant. 

We look at the pitfalls of ‘hosts’ not doing their homework on leasehold covenants.

From a legal perspective, it is therefore important to consider the legality of these short-term lettings in light of the legal instrument that governs the relationship between landlords, management companies and leaseholders – the Lease. Issues are raised when considering the wording of residential Leases in particular, where covenants often contain ‘user’ covenants that restrict the way in which leaseholders may use the premises. As set out in leading cases on the basic construction of leasehold clauses such as Arnold v Britton [2015], the general principles of contractual interpretation will also apply to leasehold covenants. The effects of this are that courts will likely adopt a strict interpretation of the language of each independent lease when considering whether short-term lettings will be legally permissible. Indeed, on the basis of this framework it is likely that courts will adopt a strict objective basis when interpreting these clauses when applying the applicable test of construing what “a reasonable person having all the background knowledge which would have been available to the parties would have understood them to be using the language in the contract to mean,” as per Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2009]. 

Despite the logic with this approach to interpretation, the issue is that there is often ambiguity in the wording of these clauses which may create potential inconsistencies in the application of the law to these existing contracts. Clearly, under this interpretation the legality in which a leaseholder under a residential lease may use his property for short-term lettings will turn towards the actual wording of these clauses, rather than an adherence to what the parties’ themselves had actually originally intended. This becomes particularly problematic when interpreted within a current legal climate, where many leasehold contracts would have been drafted in a distinct legal and commercial context.

Recent cases have tended to introduce some clarity in this area. In particular, the case of Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Limited [2016] in what has become known at the ‘Airbnb ruling’ and represents the first decision of a superior court which tackled this question, where guidance was given on the circumstances in which short-term lets might amount to a breach of covenant prohibiting the use of a property for anything other than a private residence. The covenant to be observed by the tenant in the lease read “Not to use the Demised Premises or permit them to be used for any illegal or immoral purpose or for any purpose whatsoever other than as a private residence.” 

Lawyers for the tenant urged in the appeal that the lease was to be considered as a whole.  There were no restrictions on underletting or on granting short term tenancies or licences, no covenant prohibiting business use of the flat and no requirement for the property to be used as the tenant’s main residence.  In dismissing the appeal the court commented that the transient use of the property by the tenant created a set of circumstances where the tenant would not consider the property their private residence and that by granting short term lets of the property for days and weeks at a time this did on the facts of that case breach the covenant under consideration.

In order for a property to be used as the occupier’s private residence, there must be a degree of permanence going beyond stays lasting either a weekend or a few nights in a week. Where one draws the line is, of course, a matter to be explored on a case-by-case basis; nevertheless, it is clear that, the shorter the duration of the lettings to third parties, the more likely it is that the leaseholder will be in breach of covenant.

The more recent case of Triplerose v Beattie and Anor [2020] held that the duration of a series of short-length lettings was material to determining whether there was a breach of user covenants in a lease. Indeed, what this development in the case law shows is that ultimately whether or not a leaseholder is in breach of its lease will be centred on a review made by the independent judge on a case-by-case basis.

The Courts are therefore applying long established principle to new commercial trends and it is the manner in which they do so that creates uncertainty at present, but which will be clarified as more cases in this area get decided. 

Ultimately, it is important to take advise on lease covenants when purchasing property as a buy to let investment or before setting up as a host on a holiday site – failure to observe covenants in a lease could result in the loss of the property. Owners who are borrowers should also consider the terms and conditions of their mortgage before entering into short term lets as they could be in breach of those conditions by sharing occupation even for short periods of time.  


Property Market Update

A year that began nwith news of yet further lockdowns; clearly not something that one would have wished for in their New Year’s wish list, but we hoped and expected that this was the last curve on this winding road for Gibraltar at least. What was certainly not expected was the buoyant mayhem that unfolded during the course of the first half of 2021.

The end of 2020 did bring with it some good news in the shape of the “New Year’s Agreement” with Spain and the UK, delivering a degree of certainty for Gibraltar’s political and economic status, something which, since 2016 we have lacked. This really (in our view) has been a gigantic catalyst to the events in the property market over recent months and which has seen an uplift in property prices averaging (in general terms) to approx. 7%, but up to 15%+ in some circumstances. Frightening to say the least, although we had alluded to this late last year and even prior.

Over the past decade we have regularly provided appraisals on our thoughts and forecasts on the property market. Since 2017 we have highlighted our concerns with the high volume of speculative developments steered by a “studio” segment delivering hundreds of these units to the market. We have also expressed our bullishness in the market on “owner occupier” properties within the mid to high end tiers of the market and the demand for these properties. This demand has in part, been steered by an expectation of a positive outcome with regard to Brexit, as well as real growth in the market driven by applicants seeking larger homes, in their quest to base themselves in a safe, English speaking, regulated, low tax environment. We seem to be cementing this attractive proposition toward the “ultimate residency” further.

As to the impact of forming part of the Schengen group may have on the property sector in Gibraltar, clearly the prospect of free movement with Spain under a safe political arena not seen in over three hundred years is an attractive and positive proposition, not least with a continued and underpinned financial services relationship with the UK; the future seems bright, and we welcome the agreement. We will as always review and comment on the impact of this agreement, it clearly promises to deliver a bright future for Gibraltar with a degree of political security and economic stability not seen before.

There is little one can say to try and sum up the happenings of the past year, let alone that of the past 4 years. Just when we thought that there could be nothing worse than the antics of Brexit, we are given the joys of Covid-19.

Without wanting to make jest out of what has been the biggest health crisis in entire generations – is it ok to say… “for the love of God, someone please make it stop”! Thankfully in Gibraltar we can rest slightly easier than most. 

“where the world is in crisis, the Rock excels”.

A bullish comment spoken by yours truly at a presentation to some international investors who quite frankly are astounded by the success’ we are witnessing; and (if I may) so accurate when it comes to the experience, we have had over the past 4 years and ironically enough over the past 15months since March 2020. There is no question (and regardless of my banter), that we are and have been so incredibly fortunate, but to a larger degree so well placed and structured to have (in the main) done so well – and I am of course primarily referring to the property sector.

Against all the odds, we have seen price increases and sales volumes take a sharp rise throughout 2020 and an even sharper rise throughout the first half of 2021; as mentioned on so many occasions in previous updates, it has been the owner occupier markets, largely two-, three- and four-bedroom properties in mid to high end developments showing some truly spectacular gains with some increases in excess of 15%. The higher end and fourth tier in the market generally with price ranges upwards of £1,500,000 has also re-emerged with strong activity in this sector and sales in areas such as The Sanctuary (circa £6m and offers now reaching upwards of £7m), Buena Vista Park (average of £3.5m), Admirals Place and others. We have been fortunate to have been involved in the large majority of high value individual sales achieved to date. Interestingly we seem to be attracting high value profile clients who value privacy and a safe place to reside in, “safe” in all respects, and the Rock continues to be a beacon in this regard.

Without insight into circumstances surrounding us and an understanding of the dynamics of Gibraltar, the numbers are non-sensical and you may choose to take the view that this estate agent is quite frankly taking you for a ride.

Our view of the why’s and the how’s is best described in the extract below which we wrote some time ago: 

Our views over the years maintain a trend: growth in owner occupier driven markets steered by a continuously growing gaming and finance centre, with stability and security adding further value.

Whereas we have been pleasantly surprised with the growth in a large part of the property sector, we also continue to remain cautious on the studio market sector given volumes under construction and imminent completions.

We took a view to stay out of this segment several years ago due to the high volume of proposed developments exclusively aimed at this product. We struggled with the prices being pitched and the marriage to an identifiable end user. It appears that to date it is the only sector that in general terms has not enjoyed the growth in capital appreciation attained by much of the market.

Please note that these numbers are solely based on BMI Groups performance and do not necessarily account for the market in general – we do however believe that it describes a scene and a trend true to the market in general terms.

The updated graph above now shows only the trend line for the first 6 months of 2021. This essentially is a guide based on completed and uncompleted sales throughout the period – it is nothing short of exceptional.  We update our stats annually but due to the extreme hike in prices that we have witnessed during this period together with the volume of sales, we thought it worthy of note to use the graphic to exemplify the position. 

To be clear, we are not suggesting that the average price in Gibraltar has reached close to £1,000,000, this figure has been reached only because BMI have achieved some out of the ordinary high value sales during this period, which are not representative of the market in General. The truer figure based on deleting these exceptionally high value properties is likely to be in the region of £780,000 which reflects an uplift of approx. 15-20% over the period.

Outweighing all factors and reasons for the uplift is the very evident shortage of owner occupier, larger properties on the market and the demand that exists in this segment. We have been stating this for some time and advising our clients and applicants that it is this sector that remains the driving force and has resulted in extraordinary capital appreciation. Our average top end rate per square metre has now reached approx. £6,600 from an average of £5,700 only a year ago. We have reached rates of up to £9,000/sqm in some instances. 

The market has quite clearly pushed its boundaries once more, with average rates per sqm increased across all tiers, but in particular at the mid to high level tiers; we also believe that the fourth tier (upper high end) is firmly placed and here to stay, underpinned by a growing number of HNWI’s relocating and staying in Gibraltar – we are attracting real high value homeowners, no brass plating.  

The economy remains difficult to forecast and our exposure to the cost of Covid should not be underestimated. However, unlike many other competitor jurisdictions we benefit from a multitude of sectors contributing to the economy, it’s not just financial services or e-gaming; Gibraltar enjoys a vibrant shipping sector, and we are at the forefront in the regulation of DLT / Crypto sectors which have added huge value to our suite of services – this in our view is only set to grow further.

Tourism is also an important pillar of our economy, but it has to be said that there is a great deal more to be done; we have enormous potential, but we have always remained behind the curve in what is a sector that should be developed to its full and in keeping with the times.

Having said all of the above, if one considers the timeline since the Brexit referendum and all the uncertainties surrounding this and Covid, it has to be said that we have done swimmingly and held our own immensely well. 2021 brings its own challenges and so far our position is truly quite special, our ability to overcome stands us in good stead to continue with our ever-growing economy and with it our property sector too.

We hope that with this recent write up we can give a small and educated snapshot of the market where we see the upsides, as well as some of the downsides.

Louis C. Montegriffo,
Managing Director,
BMI Group.


The soft touch

Words by Kathleen North

We all have a pretty clear idea about what furniture is, but what is soft furnishing?
Soft furnishings include items such as curtains, scatter cushions, bean bags, bean cubes and chair coverings that are used to decorate a room. When you talk about soft furnishing these items specifically add that extra colour, softness, and texture to your living room. It also helps to overcome any of the furniture flaws that might be there in the living room and help to give it a feeling of warmth and comfort. The fabric is like a compulsory and most essential part of soft furnishing.

It enhances your relaxing and ups a room’s tranquillity levels. Soft furnishing gives a room a complete makeover in an economical way. It even allows you to try out your DIY skills and show off your artistic/design side. It’s the easiest way to switch up a room’s look in terms of colours and contrasts

How should you select the soft furnishing items for your living room?

Deciding the items to choose while decorating your home is usually a time-consuming task. It varies from person to person depending upon their taste, likes, dislikes, your budget and so on.

When trying to choose the best furnishing item for your home it is essential to keep in mind that the items that you choose must make the surrounding attractive and elegant. You need to ensure that they add to the surrounding of the home as well as the item should be of a good quality.

Although soft furnishing is available in a wide variety, you should be aware of what should be selected and which item should complement his need most. 

There will be a number of options available for you across colour, design, textures, patterns, etc. but you should be wise enough that which of the chosen pattern is going to complement the house most.

Soft furnishing items add liveliness and warmth to the house and make the surroundings feel more welcoming.

Steph Briggs is a TV Celebrity Interior Designer and Co-Founder of Interiors & Gifts Emporium, La Di Da Interiors.

Steph believes ‘Predicting design trends can take a lot of research and observation. The Catwalk fashion trends often influence interior design. Colours, patterns, materials and shapes of the season often influence what we see moving into commercial design and then home interior design via the High Street. World affairs and events also influence trends in design; think how much Covid has changed our interiors, with almost every home in the UK requiring at least one work from home station, if not two or three, depending upon the number of adults and children in the house.

The Biophilic design trend has continued to remain strong, embracing design inspiration by nature, as we crave bright skies, freedom, long carefree summer days. 

There are professional trend forecasting companies out there for the major retailers. However, smaller design houses and retailers know their target market and utilise trend knowledge to create a product range in line with their customer’s needs and desires. 

Not all trends are suitable for every brand (after all, if we were all the same, life would be so dull) so it’s all about knowing what works for you and your client base.

Social media has had a massive impact over the last few years. Instagram, along with the rise of ‘influencers’, has seen the achingly dull grey on grey palette sit alongside the shiny world of Mrs Hinch and influencers who create a reel out of each DIY project. 

Interior trends are predicted up two years in advance – most of us in the trade will order at least 6-9 months in advance of the season. I usually order my Christmas stock in February.

The environment comes into play. For example, it is difficult to predict the weather; a long hot summer equates to increased alfresco living and leading an outdoor lifestyle. However, a cold, wet summer means more storage is required and a greater focus on a multi-functional space for indoor living. 

For anyone designing their home without the benefit of an Interior Designer, neutral interiors are incredibly popular due to the perception that it’s easy to pull a scheme together without getting scared of getting it wrong. 

The dull grey interiors of 2020 transformed into Greige in 2021 and are now more textural. Pale neutral interiors are popular as ever but richer in texture. Layers of chunky wool, heavy linens, porcelain, and dried botanicals feature heavily and add personality and a tactile nature. 

Bolder and more confident, Navy blue is the colour to use in dark interiors at present. Soulful and deep, it works fabulously as a background for metallics for a luxe feel. This classic shade pairs beautifully with natural wood and tan leather for a sophisticated, relaxed look. And the traditional combination of soft white and navy gives a regal touch and works brilliantly with ‘Bright Skies’ Dulux Colour Of The Year for a simple contemporary style. 

As we become more conscious of supply chain and environmental impact, refinishing and upcycling furniture is no longer seen as a “make do and mend” approach but is a beautiful way of achieving a bespoke look. Designer style with eco ethics is the future.’

The emphasis on natural and sustainability continues to grow from interior trends from previous years. It’s no wonder that their aesthetics are becoming even more refined and covetable. Moreover, we’re seeing a subtle merge of retro, natural, and zen elements in 2022 interior design trends. In addition, the importance of setting up home offices and keeping clean spaces play a substantial role in favoured looks.

Single-use spaces seem to be a thing of the past. In the light of architectural strides and design, we expect interior design trends in 2022 to feature nifty ideas on multifunctional rooms. Make the most of every nook and cranny with clean and innovative room-dividing tactics.

One clear reason why the calming neutral colours continue to infiltrate the interior design trends of 2022 is because we continue to strive for balance and harmony in the home. We want and need the home to be a place of recovery, a place where we feel safe and can heal after a troubled time. 

Steph Briggs: La Di Da Interiors.

https://www.ladida-andover.com


Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Words by  by Natasha Pizzarello,
Associate,
Hassans International Law Firm Limited

For many people writing a Will and setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney can be a complex and daunting process.  Although there is a lot of information out there on these important documents, not all of it may be accurate.

As life and responsibilities change, estate planning becomes more relevant and important. The COVID-19 global pandemic has focused some people’s minds on estate planning measures and putting in the necessary arrangements in place to protect their loved ones. 

The biggest misconception surrounding Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are that they are documents for the elderly, and this could not be further from the truth. 

Wills

A Will is a document that allows an individual to put in writing how they wish to distribute their possession when they pass away. For the Will to be valid it needs to be executed in a specific manner.

As long as you are over the age of 18 you are not too young to make a Will. In a Will you can outline your wishes in respect of your possessions (physical and digital ones) as well as your children, other dependants and pets. 

Unfortunately, we cannot predict the future and having a Will in place that outlines your wishes can give you peace of mind whilst protecting and avoiding unnecessary stress for your loved ones during difficult times. 

Even if your family are aware of your wishes the legal position on the distribution of possessions in the absence of a Will is very specific and this may not necessarily be in line with your wishes. It is important that a Will is therefore in place to clearly set your intentions with regards to the distribution of your estate. This ensures that potential future disputes are avoided, which could be unnecessarily costly, burdensome and distasteful for family members.

Wills are not a “one size fits all” and specific advice is usually required to cater for different circumstances and to protect your wishes. 

If you already have a Will in place that is a great first step. It is however very important that you review it regularly or whenever you have any major life changing events to ensure that it always reflects your current circumstances and wishes. 

Lasting Powers of Attorney 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legally binding document that allows an individual to choose a person or people that they trust to make decisions on their behalf (called the attorney) if or when a person no longer has capacity to make decisions for themselves.

If you were to have a serious accident or change in your health that affects your mental capacity your next of kin would not have the automatic right to manage your financial affairs or make health decisions on your behalf.

Putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place is like setting up a life insurance policy, you hope it never needs to be used but if the circumstances arise you have something in place to assist your loved ones.  Having Lasting Powers of Attorney can help avoid the need for court proceedings in the future which can be costly and time consuming. 

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney: 

• Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.

• Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. 

A Lasting Power of Attorney in respect of property and financial affairs gives the attorney the power to make decisions that may include withdrawing money from a bank account, dealing with property or re-investing assets. An individual can choose whether the Lasting Power of Attorney is valid from the moment it is entered into or only when the individual has lost mental capacity as prescribed by a medical practitioner.

A Lasting Power of Attorney in respect of health and welfare gives the attorney the power to make decisions that may include whether to keep the individual on life-sustaining treatment or whether the individual should live in care. The attorney’s authority under this document is only valid when an individual has lost their mental capacity. as prescribed by a medical practitioner.

At Hassans we offer specific advice and tailor-made Wills and Lasting
Powers of Attorney in order to safeguard our clients’ future wishes. For any further information please contact natasha.pizzarello@hassans.gi or abigail.cornelio@hassans.gi of Hassans International Law Firm Limited. 

Armed Forces

in Armed Forces

STANWORTH MEMORIAl

A plaque in memory of a Royal Marine who lost his life in a diving accident was unveiled in Gibraltar at the end of August.

Corporal Johnny Stanworth, from the Royal Marines, lost his life in 1971 at the age of 22 while diving on Europa Reef. An extensive search by RN Clearance Divers, several RN vessels as well as Spanish Naval vessels and helicopters took place, but sadly was unsuccessful.

More than 30 family, friends, veterans and guests gathered at Europa Point for the special memorial ceremony, which was held exactly 50 years ago to the day he died. The project to dedicate the memorial to Johnny has been two years in the making, thanks to the determination of former diving buddies Tony Ward and Pete Wilkins.

Tony has spent the last two years getting permission from Gibraltar Government officials, family members and military bosses, and working through COVID-19 challenges, to get the green light for the memorial.

Tony, 74 from Northampton, said: “In 1968 I was on the same swimmer/canoeist course as Johnny and I had a lot of respect for him. He would have gone far in the Royal Marines. Johnny was awarded the Kings Badge at the age of 18 in his Royal Marines Commando training.

“Back in 2019 his friend Pete Wilkins mentioned that there is no grave or memorial for Johnny on the Rock.

“We agreed that it was about time something was done to rectify that, and, perhaps a memorial plaque in Gibraltar might be appropriate.” 


YOUTH OUTREACH

A group of teenagers got an insight into what life is like as a soldier thanks to an outreach programme at the Ministry of Defence.

During the two-day event, 12 teenage boys and girls got to grips with weapons, bomb disposal robots and visited various military locations around the Rock.

Organised by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and the Gibraltar Youth Service, the Youth Outreach Programme is designed to encourage youngsters to join the local regiment.

On the first day, the youngsters were given a presentation about life as a solider, before being shown weapons, bomb disposal equipment and then enjoying a visit to the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron.

On the second day, they visited the Buffadero Training Camp, where military personnel showed them how an Observation Post works and the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer – an indoor electronic firing range.

An MOD spokesperson said, “The kids really enjoyed themselves and were very excited throughout. They enjoyed the more hands on activities like the observation post and command tasks. However, their favourite part was the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer as they saw it as a computer game.”

Warrant Officer Michael Sanchez, Royal Gibraltar Regiment, added, “The main aim is to show them what we have to offer and what a cracking career the Regiment is, because it is, and then they need to decide for themselves.

“I have literally done 19 years and the way I see it, even during the bad times I have found good times. I’ve found times when I’ve been going through a bad patch on exercise, but I’ve still found the fun side.”.


CADET CHALLENGE

As opposed to setting individual challenges for the cadets to complete, the Squadron’s Officer Commanding, Flt Lt Ivan Caward, decided to use various locations across Gibraltar to provide a unique way of completing the 80 miles.

The challenge commenced with a walk around the Rock, supported by the Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP). This was followed by a tunnel tour through the Great North Road and a FOD Plod (collection of rubbish and debris) the length of the runway, with the latter providing a great help to RAF Gibraltar’s Air Safety Team, who are always keen to find ways to make the Airfield even safer.

On completion of the event, cadets from the Squadron had the following to say:

“It’s the first time I have walked around the Rock; you notice details that you have never seen before. I didn’t realise how steep Dudley Ward Tunnel as I have only driven through in a car! It was also good to get out and walk in a group of friends.” – Corporal Catlin Fitzgerald.

The tunnel tour was amazing, and I would have never guessed that there was so much hidden within the Rock. The history was really brought to life by our guide and Squadron Warrant Officer, Paul Llanelo.” – Cadet Jasmin Jarman

“It was a pity that the fog covered the runway and we missed out on the unique views of the Rock on the day, but we had a great time anyway. Before we started the FOD Plod, the Air Safety Manager and Airfield Ground Support Unit Manager gave us a talk about what FOD is and why it is so important to ensure that the Airfield is kept clear. It was frightening to see what damage a small piece of metal can do, but thankfully I’m happy to report that we didn’t find anything other than feathers and fish bones.” –  Corporal Merrick Kent

For more information on the Air Training Corps or if you are interested in joining, please contact Flt Lt Ivan Caward oc.2os@rafac.mod.gov.uk or +35054005832.

Police Insight

in Features

RGP & GFRS RUGBY COACHING COURSE

Officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) and Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) have been working towards the first stage of their International Rugby Board, level 1 coaching certificate.

The course was delivered by coaches from the Penguin International Rugby Football Trust who promote the training of young people in rugby throughout the world. They were invited to Gibraltar by the Gibraltar Rugby Football Union (GRFU)’s development coach, Dave Barley. 

The coaching staff of Alun Harries and Dave ‘Cobie’ Cockburn made full use of their many years of experience in order to put the eight trainee coaches through their paces, with a programme that included the methodology of coaching, and the assessment of health and safety issues – as well as the gameplay itself.

An RGP spokesman said, “The original idea came from the Commissioner of Police who heard of the GRFU’s ‘Rugby in School Initiative’ and realised that, the involvement of Police officers and other essential services personnel would provide a perfect platform for interacting with youngsters in a non ‘policing’ or ‘non-emergency’ scenario. It was also clear that the all-inclusive nature, discipline and strong moral code of rugby has much to offer to young people.”

Gibraltar Rugby’s Technical Director, Dave Barley commented, “It will be fantastic to have eight new coaches from the RGP and GFRS who will be able to go into schools and deliver rugby coaching to boys and girls. Part of the project is to deliver a rugby programme but, in this way, we are also educating young people on the work the emergency services do in our wider community. It is important that we break down barriers and allow young people to build a strong relationship with our emergency services.” 


RGP Authorised Firearms Officers recently participated in a FiREArms training day on the Rock. 

The RGP officers carry out regular, intensive training to ensure that they are ready to respond to any eventuality.

Business Insight

in Business Insight

DELOITTE STAFF SHUFFLE

Deloitte has announced seven senior promotions in the Gibraltar office.

Vickram Khatwani and Alexander Miller have been promoted to Director and Colin Bensadon becomes an Associate Director. The strengthening of the leadership team follows Reshma Bhambhwani’s recent promotion to Managing Partner of Deloitte in Gibraltar. 

Further promotions include Cassandra Felices and Gerard Fitzgerald to Senior Managers and Karl Pardo and Jonathan Caruana will become Managers, all effective from 1 September. 

Vickram’s role as Director and country tax lead gives him responsibility for leading a team providing compliance, advisory, global employment, and cross-border tax services to a diverse range of clients. Most recently, Vickram supported the launch of Deloitte’s Immigration service line to assist clients with international presence. Vickram also continues to be an active member of the Tax Faculty of the Gibraltar Society of Accountants. 

Alexander is responsible for leading the Gibraltar side of Deloitte’s Islands & Gibraltar Advisory and Assurance Group as well as financial assurance across the jurisdictions. He has a dedicated, growing team who provide local financial assurance, internal audit, regulatory and advisory work. Alexander will also continue leading Deloitte’s insurance proposition in Gibraltar.  

Colin is responsible for delivering external audit engagements to financial services and other local companies. He has led Deloitte Gibraltar’s audit quality programme for some time now, and his new role will include assisting with leading the audit team alongside Gibraltar Managing Partner Reshma Bhambhwani. 

Reshma said, “We are really pleased to celebrate these individuals’ well-deserved promotions. 2021 has already seen our team move into larger premises and our Gibraltar office recently joined forces with the Channel Islands and Isle of Man which, like these promotions, further strengthens our capabilities. 

“At Deloitte, we believe in nurturing our people and supporting them to achieve their best potential. Many congratulations to all.”

Picture: L-R – Director, Alexander Miller; Managing Partner of Deloitte in Gibraltar, Reshma Bhambhwani; Associate Director, Colin Bensadon; Director, Vickram Khatwani


MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT ADVANTAGE INSURANCE

Advantage is an established Gibraltar-based insurer, authorised to underwrite private motor and home insurance in the United Kingdom. With over 3m customers, it’s one of the largest insurers in Gibraltar and part of the overall Hastings Insurance Group.

Having recently announced his retirement, the Advantage MD Steve Hazzard will step down from the Board of Directors at the start of October. Steve’s retirement together with the continued growth and success of Advantage Insurance Company, as one of Gibraltar’s leading Insurers, has meant a number of new senior appointments in the firm.

Steve Mumford has been promoted to Managing Director and the company also welcomes two new Executive Directors to the Board, Craig Wilson & Kevin Borrett. Craig has been with Advantage for 4 years – latterly as Head of Management Reporting & Planning – and Kevin for 5 years heading up the Risk Management & Compliance functions. These changes come into effect from 1st October.

Commenting on the changes, outgoing MD Steve Hazzard said “The new appointments are a good examples of career progression and the calibre of talent we have in our business”.

He went on to say, “since being established in Gibraltar in 2002, Advantage has grown into one of the biggest Financial Services firms on the Rock with an enviable reputation for its professionalism and standards. The company is tremendously proud not just with our links to other businesses, but also our engagement with local charities and other organisations”.


EUROPA STORMERS SPONSOR

Local rugby outfit Europa Stormers has announced a new sponsor to the club, to help further the game on the Rock.

Pressto Gibraltar joins the roster of rugby-supporting businesses both as an official sponsor and official dry cleaning partner.

Pressto will look after the teams’ kits for the upcoming season, and will also see Pressto’s logo appear on match day shorts & training kit.

Julian Cabedo, marketing & business development manager at Pressto said, “Pressto’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning are very happy to be sponsoring Europa Stormers for their 2021 season – it was an excellent fit between our two brands, one of Gibraltar’s top amateur rugby teams with a tremendous following and our top quality express laundry services, keeping their kits clean, which we all know, in rugby, is no mean feat!”

Community Insight

in Community Insight

World heart day

World Heart Day is a global campaign where individuals, families, communities and Governments around the world participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others.

Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day informs people around the world that cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

In order to mark this very important day, the GHA hosted an awareness stand outside St Bernard’s Hospital. The GHA invited the community to visit the awareness stall where Healthcare professionals shared their knowledge and provided Gibraltarians with the tools they need to live longer and healthier lives. The stall contained information leaflets prepared by the GHA’s Cardiac Rehab team and nurses also provided basic life support demonstrations.

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mr Gerry Fortuna, who leads Cardiac Rehabilitation Services said, “World Heart Day is only one day a year to reflect upon heart health. How we think, and the choices we make, the remaining 364 days of the year, is equally as important towards cardiac health and overall wellbeing. Our healthcare specialist team at the Lionel Perez Cardiac Rehab Centre, remain totally committed to offering cardiac clients and their families, effective evidence- based, cardiac prevention and rehabilitation strategies; structured programmes and a platform of patient support. The team’s main objective on this day is to create maximum cardiac awareness, which will assist us to keep cardiac incidence in Gibraltar to a bare minimum”.

The Minister for Health and Care, The Hon Samantha Sacramento, opened the awareness stand this morning and added, “As the world struggles to fight the Pandemic, we’ve never been more aware of the importance of our and our loved one’s health. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death globally and it has many causes; from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Taking care of our hearts right now is more important than ever. The GHA, as the Government’s healthcare provider, remains committed to implement policies and initiatives that will lead to positive changes and encourage individuals to lead a healthier lifestyle. I therefore thank the community who attended our awareness stall”.


Doe recruitment

The Duke Of Edinburgh’s International Award is looking to recruit new participants in Gibraltar.

If you are aged 14 to 24 years then you can take part in your own time, and at your pace.

The Award comprises three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold; with each level having four sections: Voluntary Service, Physical Recreation, Skills and Adventurous Journey. There is an additional section, Gold Residential Project, for those at that level.

If you’re a pupil at Bayside, Westside Schools or Prior Park School keep an ear out for announcements in the coming weeks.

Or, if you belong to the Air Training Corps or Scouts Gibraltar, ask your Leaders about undertaking the Award.

Even iff you are no longer in school, or not a member of the above, but want to find out more, including how to enrol, get in touch – info@thedukes.gi


New life for an old lime kiln

The on-going programme of heritage restoration has completed restoration works on the Old Lime Kiln located at Willis’ Road on the Upper Rock. 

The Lime Kiln was constructed in the late 19th Century or very early 20th Century and is one of two such kilns located on either side of Gibraltar’s western and eastern slopes, which produced quicklime for use in the construction of Gibraltar’s water catchments and underground reservoirs. This a practice that can be traced back to the 14th Century, when quicklime was employed to paint houses and patios.

Minister for Heritage John Cortes commented, “The restoration of another heritage asset continues our policy of investing in small scale but highly valuable projects that enhance and develop what we have on offer. Yet again, we have found a way to beautify a site that had been neglected for decades”. 


​The Rotary Club of Gibraltar youth grant funded by the Duke of Edinburgh Golf Charity fund is now open to applicants.

The Duke of Edinburgh Golf Charity was launched by Deputy Governor Nick Pyle and his wife Ros Day.  A cheque for £10,000 was also presented by the Deputy Governor to Rotary President, Jane Hart Simmons, during a formal handover ceremony at the start of August in the Convent Garden. During the presentation Nick Pyle commented that he was delighted to partner with Rotary in helping those young people in the community in need.

The Rotary club of Gibraltar will be distributing grants totaling £10,000 in the forthcoming year. These grants are available to youth groups and individuals within Gibraltar. The Rotary Club expects a wide ranging selection of projects from short educational and vocational courses, to sports or endurance attainment.

Applicants should be aged between 14 and 19 years old and will need to show that a specific project for which funding is sought will improve their physical and mental well-being. 

The grants awarded range from £200-£500 and applicants can find the application form at rotaryclubgibraltar.org Completed applications should be sent to info@rotaryclubgibraltar.org

Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group (Dyslexia Gibraltar)

in Features

Dyslexia Awareness Week – 4th to 10th October 2021

We know that Dyslexia is still often misunderstood and can go unrecognised for many years.  That’s why, during Dyslexia Awareness Week, Dyslexia Gibraltar will continue to promote a greater understanding of dyslexia.  We are asking you to join and support us to create a dyslexia friendly society where everyone is enabled to succeed.  

Dyslexia Gibraltar hoped and plans for the week will include; 

Monday 4th October – Visiting schools

During the week we hope to visit as many schools as possible and give a short talk about dyslexia to the students and staff present.

Tuesday 5th October – Open Coffee Morning

Our Coffee Morning will be an informal opportunity for the parents to meet with our team and learn more about dyslexia whilst relaxing over a cup and some biscuits. 

Teachers Evening

We are here to not only support parents and children but the teachers too. So we hope to have as many as possible join us for a fun evening where they will find out first-hand what dyslexia is all about.

Wednesday 6th October – SENCO’s Evening

Our support extends to all those working with people with dyslexia and on Wednesday we will invite those who deal with them on a daily basis to an exciting evening on dyslexia.

Thursday 7th October – Parents Evening 

For those who couldn’t make the Coffee Morning or just want to come and find out more, we will hold a Parents Evening with specific specialists giving advice parents so desperately need.

Friday 8th October – DYSLEXIA DAY 

#GoRedForDyslexia is a global community of passionate individuals, companies, schools and organisations. We want schools and businesses to encourage everyone to go red to raise awareness of dyslexia. Whether you’re GoRed in class, at home, or out and about in the world, we want to see. Please tag us on social media at our different handles.

Get your very own Dyslexia t-shirt

To help you support us we have designed a special red and white t-shirt which you can use for Gibraltar National Day on Sept 10th or/and on World Dyslexia Awareness Day on the Friday 8th of October 2021. The t-shirt can be purchased at Cotton Leisure.

Bookmark Competition

Friday the 8th is the closing date for entries, with this year’s theme being; “Teachers are Superheroes”. The Annual Bookmark Competition is organised on behalf of the Ministry of Culture by Gibraltar Cultural Services and Gibraltar Dyslexia. 

Saturday 9th October 

We will join forces with Gibraltar Rugby Mini and Youth at their pitch during the morning/afternoon so that we can promote the inspiring work that we do in the local community.

More details on all our plans for the week will be emailed to our members and posted on our social media platform closer to the date. If you want to be kept informed please become a member and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For further details please contact the Dyslexia Gibraltar on the details M: +350 5400 7924 / E: info@dyslexia.gi  / W: dyslexia.GI

The life of William

in Health & Beauty

Once there was a boy called William, who looked pretty ordinary, except for a cool scar on his forehead. 

William told us about a time when he was practicing a play at school. He was meant to play a solo part the following day for the parents. That afternoon, William went to his grandparents’ house for tea. Well, poor little William did not see what was coming. Do you want to know what happened next? I’ll tell you. 

He left his shoes lying around and he accidently tripped over one and then tripped over the other one. He fell and cracked his head open. There was blood everywhere. William’s grandfather called the ambulance to take him to the hospital. In the ambulance, William passed out and woke up at the entrance to the hospital. The doctors stitched his head up and he now has a permanent scar.

Now that you know what he looks like on the outside, let me tell you about his inside, which is super and will blow your mind. 

One thing to tell you quickly, is that William is dyslexic. This means he finds school hard, but he knows it’s a huge advantage in proper life. There are seven types of dyslexics that he told us about. There are storytellers, makers, entertainers, movers, imaginers, questioners and ‘people’ people. Surprisingly, William is all of these, which makes him very special. Very few people are dyslexic and not many people are all these things in one. 

He loves to invent stories. William can create worlds in his mind in the blink of an eye. His imagination can run wild. He loves to build and he’s very good at creating. He makes people laugh and they enjoy being around him. He is always on the move and he loves making up games. He loves to ask questions like ‘Why not?’ and he is amazing at understanding how other people are feeling. 

William has left you some advice.

“Do not be afraid, dyslexics. I know how you feel and I know how you think. Don’t be scared of the world”

Playgroup – Activities at home!

in PACS

During the Summer months, daily trips to the beach and swimming pool are firm favourites. But those with babies and toddlers will know that without the usual playgroups, baby clubs etc summer can be long! We’re hoping that by the time you read this article, PACS will be close to returning for the new term. However, if you need some days out of the sun before we are back, there is plenty you can do at home to keep your little one entertained.

Fun at home

Sensory boxes  / trays are a firm favourite at Playgroup and quite simple to do. One of our most popular trays has been “down at the farm.” All you need is some farm animals from your toy box, some Weetabix or Shredded Wheat for the hay bales and some chocolate cheerios for mud. Hours of fun can be had and your child can eat too! Another favourite is looking for toys in spaghetti! Buy some food colouring and dye some spaghetti and then hide some toys within it. Messy play but not a messy home.

Games are always fun and burn off energy. At Cooking Club we always play “Helen said”…how about “Mummy said” just like “Simon said!” Always produces lots of giggles. “What’s the Time Mr Wolf” is always fun too and they can practice their number skills!  

Grab a book and role play! We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a brilliant book for this activity. If you are feeling creative, you could make some paper grass, use the cherios from your farm for mud and a fan to create wind! 

Toys always need a clean, we at PACS know that. Grab a bowl of soapy water and some toys and let them scrub away to their hearts content. Water play and the toys get a clean! We’ve found that the children love to wash their babies so it can be like giving them a bath.

Arts & Crafts are often two words that feel a parent with dread. But it can be fun and the warm weather makes it easier to do outside in a shady area so less mess at home! Painting doesn’t always have to include brushes. Try finger painting or sponges to make different shapes. Don’t throw out your recycling, keep it for junk modelling. Toddlers love boxes!

And of course the age old favourite, Cooking! Pizza faces are fun to make. Buy some pre made pizza bases to make it easier. Give the children a selection of toppings such as tomatoes, sweetcorn, peppers etc and let them create a masterpiece for their lunch.

Of course there are some activities outside you can do without too much sun. A picnic in Commonwealth Park, a trip to Alameda Gardens with a visit to the Zoo whilst there and an afternoon at the library are always fun things to do.

Whilst you’ve been busy making fun at home, we’ve been busy planning next term. We can’t wait to see you all! x  

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