Saturday, August 19, 2017
 photo 05873394-14be-4e3f-b9c7-36ad8e5cfcb0_zpsfytesxay.jpg


Amira Abayas are offering a fantastic Easter weekend bumper sale where customers can buy one costume and get the other FREE!

ascaSince opening the store in January last year, Amira Abayas has become the talk of the town and has attracted customers from all over the country. Regardless of faith and background, Abayas have been purchased by women from all cultures. With an eclectic array of Abayas, Joobas (men’s equivalent) fragrances and Burkinis (one-piece swimsuits that cover up almost all of your skin when swimming), Amira has now built a loyal and wide ranging base of customers.

The owner Zubair Khan and the staff at Amira are very grateful to their customers who have supported them since their opening. With this in mind, the owner would like to thank his loyal customers by offering them an exclusive promotion which Mr Khan says “Is both original and fantastic value for our customers.”

Starting from Friday 14 April to [and including] Monday 18 April, Amira will be running the following promotions…

All Amira Abayas will on sale as ‘Buy one and get one FREE.’ This offer includes any Abaya of equal or less value absolutely free. Exclusive… Casual… Farashas… Batwing… Open/Closed.

All perfumes (sprays and oils) are also buy one get one free.

Amira is also on the verge of selling online and judging by the reaction of the store since its opening, Amira will no doubt go global in the very near future.

To take advantage of this fantastic offer, you can visit Amira’s Abayas at: 203 Westgate, Bradford, BD1 3AD. Tel: 01274 985858



Meet the Singh’s, owners of the only Asian operated stone quarry in England.

Sarjit Singh Dulay is one of many success stories in Bradford of south Asian’s migrating to England in the 50’s and 60’s. Through sheer grit and determination, and spending much of his early life living and growing up in the streets of Barkerand and eventually moving to Shipley,

image1Dulay and his family sowed their seeds in Bradford for a future for themselves and their children. After over half a century of arriving in England from India, the Dulay family are today the proud owners of M&M Stone, one of the largest and only Asian operated stone quarries in England. Opened in 1993, the family owned business distribute the finest Yorkshire stone as far as Ireland, Scotland and Wales and have built their business on the quality of Yorkshire stone they produce as well as the speed of delivery to their customers.

image2 - Copy (2)As we meet at his quarry in Allerton, the first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the quarry and they inform me that there are major plans to keep extending the size potentially making it the largest stone quarry in the UK. But if that is to happen, it will be down to Makhan Singh, the 36 year old son of Sarjit Singh Dulay. As the father proudly introduces me to his son, who is covered in mud and wet through due to the stormy weather, one can see the determination etched on the face of the young disciple as he tells me about the company and how his father roped him into the family business in 1995.

hurlingham3Singh, who was born and raised in Bradford is very thankful and humble to be in a position where his father is slowly handing over the reins to the younger generation as many other businesses in Bradford have succeeded in doing so over the last 15 years. Singh understands that it is a different world we live in today compared to the world when his father started the business over twenty years ago and the extremely competitive market he has to deal with.

image2 - Copy“It is a tough job and one has to be mentally and physically durable to carry the amount of stone on a daily basis and at such a frantic pace,” he tells me with great energy.

He continues, “Regardless of what the weather, hot, cold, rain or snow, the 22 employees have a job to do and I now have the responsibility to deliver, and deliver on time.”

M&M Stone is situated on 45 acres and boasts all the latest machinery to cut, shape and chisel stone. The deliver all over the country and have built their business on the finest quality of Yorkshire stone at a very competitive price.



Last month, Urban Echo featured the inspirational story ’50 Years Of Excellence’ celebrating the extraordinary journey of success by one of Bradford’s most iconic eateries, Sweet Centre.

20141212_152745The feature received much response and feedback as Urban Echo was the first publication within the West Yorkshire region to feature the story. As well as going viral on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, ’50 Years of Excellence’ became the talk of the town and inspired many residents locally as well as nationally to pursue their dreams with hard work, dedication and perseverance.

wall 152x435On 12th December, 2014, parts of Lumb Lane in Bradford were lit up like the streets of Las Vegas as birthday celebrations were in full swing celebrating a momentous occasion. Shimmering lights swathing the face of the premises from top to bottom, Sweet Centre was officially 50 years old. Men, women and children from all faiths and backgrounds queued outside the venue in the early hours to treat themselves and their families to the award-winning breakfast, which has made Sweet Centre a household name to many Bradfordians. But not only Bradfordians were celebrating this remarkable occasion as many visitors travelled as far as Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry to join in with the celebrations.

IMG_7569Mr Malik from Birmingham lived in Bradford twenty years ago and regularly travels to Bradford exclusively to visit his favourite food place. As he munches on his favoured Halwa Puri, he tells Urban Echo, “Sweet Centre is simply the best in the UK. I have lived in Birmingham for the last twenty years and I have yet to come across a place that can compete with Sweet Centre. I just pray that the owners will one day come to Birmingham and open Sweet Centre in my city.”

It is clear that the reputation Sweet Centre has for quality food is not only local. It is also testament to the owners who have, throughout the last half century, worked tirelessly to build the reputation that it is deservedly enjoying today.

IMG_120281053026076As the celebrations continued throughout the day with hordes of customers and well-wishers entering and exiting every minute, Liaqat Habib, the son of Haji Abdul Rehman Sahib (Late) was enjoying a more low-key affair with his close family as he took this opportunity to reflect on the last fifty years and the foundation that his father had laid for him and his children.

A simple gesture of cutting a cake with his mother and elder brother Mohammad Gulzar Rehman whilst surrounded by his family was the celebration Mr Habib had in mind.

20141212_104926Sweet Centre’s success is also down to the dedicated staff who have been loyal to the business for many years. Mr Mohammed Habib has been working with Sweet Centre for over 30 years and received a pleasant surprise at the party as Mr Habib presented him with a return flight ticket to Mecca to perform the Umrah (a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year).

Bradford is very fortunate and proud to have Sweet Centre in the heart of its city. With the new branch in Halifax going from strength to strength with a more diverse menu, Sweet Centre can act as a great ambassador for the city across the country. Who knows, one day Mr Malik’s dream may come true when Sweet Centre lands in his city!



By Paul Lancaster – Blacks SolicitorsPaul Lancaster 55189 bw FP

The Cohabitation Rights Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords on 12 December 2014 and has now passed through to the Committee Stage. The news was welcomed by many supporters who have long campaigned for this area of law to be updated in order to reflect the standards of a modern society.

Given that more couples are living together than ever before, the Bill is designed to address the current unfairness in the law in relation to unmarried couples’ rights on separation.

As reported in the case of Collins v Curran, which reached the Court of Appeal in January 2013, L J Toulson explained that the law ought not to be concerned with ‘human sympathies’ despite the possibility that this approach may result in an unfair outcome. This meant that although Miss Curran had cohabited with Mr Collins for 30 years, running a business together from the family home, she was not entitled to the usual rights afforded to a spouse on divorce because the property was only held in the sole name of Mr Collins.

Under the current legislation, couples who cohabit rather than marry face certain difficulties with dividing assets upon separation despite the fact that they may have shared in them equally throughout the duration of their relationship. Rights for cohabitants are limited, no matter the length of the relationship and unlike in divorce there is no automatic right to make a claim against assets held in the sole name of a former partner. Due to this difficult position cohabiting couples are often dependent upon property and trusts law when a relationship breaks down, which is not only a costly and complex pursuit but proceedings can often become lengthy – leading to added stress in an already uncertain and difficult time.

Whilst family law charity Resolution have welcomed the introduction of the Bill, Steve Kirwan who heads the cohabitation rights work at the charity called for greater reform saying the proposed changes do not go far enough. Resolution’s further proposals include eligibility criteria which would give cohabiting couples certain automatic rights upon separation, unless they choose to ‘opt out’.

The Lords involved in the second reading were divided in their opinion as to how far the law should go in terms of legislating a couple’s decision not to marry, but supporters of the Bill are of the view that an update in the law is required in some shape or form.


An enterprising pair from Bradford have launched a new hyper-local app which gives access to exclusive offers from local businesses.

George Filippis and Stavros Violaris created Appareo as a way for small businesses to connect with consumers without massive overheads.

IMG_0012Appareo means “to make something visible” in Latin, which the business partners thought summed up the idea of making small and medium businesses more visible to consumers.

The app, which is available in all mobile formats, has already been downloaded 1,000 times since its launch just a few weeks ago and currently contains offers from around 80 businesses.

Stavros said: “We wanted a way for businesses in Bradford to be able to promote their offers to people nearby and obviously mobile technology is the way to go.

“The app lets you search for offers you’re interested in, either by type or by location, helping you get, for example, a discount on your lunch or advance notice of a sale at your favourite independent retailer. It links with Google Maps, so can even give you directions to the shop you want to visit.”

IMG_0013George added: “With a high street dominated by big brands for so long, independents are making a comeback and its platforms like Appareo which make advertising and reaching consumers affordable for them. We’re a small business helping small businesses.”

Advertising on the app has been popular due to the reasonable rates – starting from just £10 a month.

Junaid Akhbar, owner of Café Zoya, said: “It can be expensive for small businesses to advertise, even online, and I’m always looking for new ways to promote my business. I thought Appareo sounded like a good idea because it was targeted at people in my area and it was well-priced.”

George added: “We knew it was important to keep the rates reasonable so that small and medium businesses would see it as an attractive concept. The low charges plus access to customers who have opted in have proved a real draw and we’re seeing more interest from new businesses every week.”

IMG_0015While the app is only focused on Bradford offers at the moment, the budding entrepreneurs have plans to expand the coverage to areas like Leeds, Huddersfield and Halifax. George (26) and Stavros (23) are also currently recruiting for a developer to join the team as their plans for expansion take place.

George graduated from the University of Bradford this year with a BSc in Business Administration and Management and Appareo is his first business. Stavros completed the same course the year before and both have been working on the app for more than a year.


Two easy ways to advertise with Urban Echo your local newspaper…

phone adCALL
Call: 07807 567377 and let our friendly sales team help you.

Advert Locations

The following advertising locations are currently supported:

• Home page below title
• Posts below title
• After first post paragraph
• Middle of post
• Before last post paragraph
• Posts below content
• Posts below comments
• Pages below title
• After first page paragraph
• Middle of page
• Before last page paragraph
• Pages below content
• Pages below comments
• Below footer
• A widget is also available to display in a sidebar on pages or post of your choice.

Bradford LiveBradford Live have been given the all-clear by Bradford Council to restore the old Odeon building into a state-of-the-art live entertainment venue.

Bradford Live, led by local businessman Lee Craven, have been in regular talks with Bradford Council for many months with regular updates regarding the plans.

Estimated to cost £18 million, the new venue is scheduled to open early 2018 and hopes to attract the elite of world music performers.

With the Westfield project on course to open in December 2015, these are very interesting times for Bradford.



By David Ward, Blacks Solicitors

The long anticipated Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgment in the conjoined cases of Bear Scotland Limited v Fulton, Hertel (UK) Limited v Wood & Others andAmec Group v Law & Others has been delivered recently.

The Judgment

The EAT has now ruled that ‘non-guaranteed’ overtime should be taken into account when calculating a worker’s entitlement to holiday pay because workers are entitled to be paid their ‘normal remuneration’ whilst taking holiday. This means that workers are now entitled to receive average pay (taking into account any overtime they may have worked), instead of basic pay, thus leaving them financially no worse off as a result of taking holiday. Previously they would only have been entitled to receive basic pay.

The judgment also makes clear that certain allowances that are intrinsically linked to the performance of the worker’s role will also be included in the definition of ‘normal remuneration’.

However, this is not as straightforward as it seems. This ruling only applies to the 4 weeks of holiday workers are entitled to under the EU Working Time Directive (WTD), not the additional 1.6 weeks’ holiday UK workers are entitled to under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).

The implications for employers

In practical terms this judgment means that employers are now required to pay workers their ‘normal remuneration’ (taking into account any overtime they have worked) for the 4 weeks of leave under the WTD, but not for the 1.6 weeks of leave under the WTR. This raises the daunting administrative nightmare of employers needing to operate a two-tiered system for administering and paying one employee two different rates of holiday pay entitlement.

Backdated claims for unpaid wages

The biggest fear for employers and the UK Government arising from these appeals was that the EAT’s decision would open the floodgates for substantial unlawful deduction from wages claims. The concern was that Employees would in theory be able to claim underpaid holiday pay back to 1998 (when the WTR came into force) on the basis that each underpayment constituted one of a series of deductions. The ramifications for employers were clear to see as estimates of underpaid holiday pay liabilities were in the hundreds of millions of pounds.

However, it appears that the EAT has thrown employers a lifeline.

The EAT did not think that it was right that if there were large gaps between holidays taken by a worker, their right to bring a claim based on a series of underpayments should still be preserved. The usual time limit to present a claim to the Employment Tribunal is 3 months. The EAT concluded that Parliament must have intended this time limit should apply to any underpayment claim. Therefore, if an employee brings a claim for a series of deductions from wages (within 3 months after the last underpayment) the Tribunal will have no jurisdiction to order payment in respect of any underpayment which is more than 3 months earlier than its successor in the series. A gap of 3 months or more breaks the chain.

This ruling will allow employers to breathe a sigh of relief as it effectively limits how far back an employee can go to recover underpaid holiday pay.

David Ward 146 BW

What next?

Experts are currently poring over the decision to see what it means for both employers and employees alike.

The EAT has already come in for some criticism of that part of its reasoning which limits the ability of employees to claim underpaid wages as part of a series of deductions. Crucially, the EAT did not answer the question how far back claims can go if there is no period of more than 3 months between periods of holiday.

Leave to appeal has been granted, so expect further litigation on this subject before we get a definitive answer.

For now, employers have some clarity as to what their potential liabilities for paying holiday pay are – as well as some comfort that the EAT has limited the scope for historic claims. Employers now need to get their houses in order to ensure that, going forward, they are paying the correct amounts. This makes them compliant with the law, and will also have the effect of limiting the claims for underpaid holiday pay which are certain to follow this judgment.

Employees, on the other hand, have a very limited window in which to take action if they believe they have been underpaid. With the ability to recover underpaid holiday pay limited to the 4 weeks of WTD holiday entitlement, and the judgment coming as late as it does in most holiday calendars, employees will have to move quickly if they are to ensure that their claims are lodged before the expiry of the 3 months limitation period which applies to all Tribunal claims.

The Government’s response

Due to the potentially disastrous effect this judgment could have had on the UK economy the Government took keen interest in this appeal. Within a matter of hours Vince Cable announced that the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills was setting up a taskforce to assess what the impact of the judgment will be on the UK economy and to explore ways of limiting the risk to business.

After decades of decay and decline, Bradford’s City Centre seems to be on its path to recovery. The recent reports in the national media suggest some sympathy and leniency in depicting the district.

Bradford’s image was badly bruised and brutalised after the two riots. The city, invariably, was portrayed as a very dangerous place to live and to invest by some sections of the media. Sadly, since then, all the successive national governments treated Bradford with indifference and obliviousness. The local governments also miserably suffered from feckless leadership and unimaginative, nebulous and unsustainable regeneration and economic policies.

Now after prolonged efforts made by Bradfordians including some of their representatives, the redevelopment of the city centre has commenced. It is showing speedy progress and hopefully will meet the target of completion by the end of next year.

Associated with this expensive project [Westfield], are the plans to build four new leisure sports centres, renewing of the adjacent streets to the new shopping centre and improvement of nearby roads in the area. Also, the revamping of the dilapidated Odeon cinema will be a valuable addition to the city’s cultural life and maybe a new attraction to entice tourists to the city.

However, the catalyst for most of the new initiatives was the development of City Park which started the ball rolling. The point to not forget, though, is we need the process of rejuvenation to continue to uplift this city’s economy. It is also quite apparent this process will take a great deal of time to accomplish. Nevertheless, Bradford seems to be on the right track after a long time.

The fears of any after effects of the Westfield project on the established part of the shopping area must be thoroughly examined now and serious attempts be made to allay these concerns without any unnecessary delay. To overlook these may mar the momentum and enthusiasm that is required to bring this city back to its feet.

Bradford with its syncretic and diverse mix of race, ethnicity and religious practices as well as the young population has to be acknowledged as its strength and not weakness. It is a unique city in many respects. With many of its cultures trying to seek accommodation with each other, this could be explored and encourage its residents to work together as Bradfordians to promote and safeguard the commonly shared interests of their great City. The future economy of the district in many ways will depend upon its strategic ability to consult and involve all communities at its planning stage for any new policies. One of the novel initiatives could be to develop and promote Bradford as an international City of leisure and culture. All the possible ingredients to realise this dream are present locally.

Most importantly the Council in cooperation with Chambers of Trade, Bradford University, and big businesses, has to explore every possible avenue to invite more investment to the city. The National Government must assist the local efforts in reviving the economy of the area. There is a big question mark, however for the success of the new shopping centre. Can it survive without the city achieving economic growth in other areas to argument the income of its citizens? The spending capacity of Bradfordians will be a decisive factor in determining the success or failure of the new shopping centre.

It would be wrong to predict doom and gloom for the future of the city but there should be no room for complacency and no need for despondency.

However, Bradford still has a bumpy road ahead but surely it has the ability and capability to cross all these bumps safely and successfully with prudent political leadership and its people working together for a better future for all.

Mohammed Ajeeb CBE

Former Lord Mayor of Bradford


For many of us British folk residing in the north, who have throughout our lives become accustomed to the grey skies, dark nights and above average seasonal rainfall year in year out, we can only dream of moving to a warmer and sunnier climate, somewhere more exotic and serene in the world. If one had the choice, where would you move if money was not an option? New York, Mumbai, Sydney, or maybe the west coast of the USA? How about Washington D.C, the capital the United States of America? It’s a bustling city and home to world renowned buildings such as the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Supreme Court. Not taking anything away from the city of Bradford, but it does ‘slightly’ struggle to compare with the capital city across the pond. So, one does ask the question. Why would you move from Washington D.C to come and live in Bradford? It has to be for the love of curry one would think or maybe the award-winning city park was too much of a temptation to resist. As much as Jim Winchester does like to indulge in the odd Chicken Tikka Masala here and there as well as paddle in the park, his reasons for moving to Yorkshire from Washington are much more venerable and inspiring.

bLACK bULL IMAGEFrom Washington to Bradford

Born and raised in Washington D.C, Jim (unsurprisingly known as ‘American Jim’), spent his childhood in the States where his father was in the coast guard. Due to the nature of his father’s work, Jim and his family moved regularly to different parts of the country after every three years or so. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Bio-Chemistry as well as Business Studies, Jim started his professional career working within the marketing field. After meeting his partner from the UK, whilst she was visiting on holiday, four years ago Jim took the brave decision to move to England and succour his partner in looking after her ailing mother. It was a bold and altruistic move by Jim who had moved to a foreign country with no friends and family. After joining the Nuffield gym in Cottingley to fill the stagnant and monotonous days, on one occasion last year, he met an ex-rugby player… in the hot tub!

Yin and Yang

Bradford born David Longcake, who once played for Bradford Northern rugby club, is a seasoned pub owner who has vast knowledge and experience running pubs and clubs. As they are introduced to one another by David’s younger brother… whilst still in the hot tub, the two didn’t hit it off straight away. As Jim openly states, “I hated this bugger when I first met him. If I said white to Dave, he would say black.” Dave counters by saying, “We are like Yin and Yang. I am more measured and more careful. I see the glass half empty, whereas Jim sees the glass half full.”

Despite their furrowed first interaction, Jim and David started looking for properties in West Yorkshire to invest in. After initial setbacks, they came across the Black Bull in Howarth and despite its decrepit appearance, the newly-formed business partners instantly knew that the Black Bull was the pub for them. For Jim, this was what fairy tales were made of as he was ecstatic to be a part of the historic Bronte Parsonage, a far cry from the concrete jungle of Washington D.C where he spent his childhood.

Black Bull

Despite its melancholic state, Jim and David didn’t waste any time in grabbing the ‘bull by the horn’ and started re-painting the interior, fitting new toilets and replacing the 28 fused bulbs of the 300 year old building. The eerie history of the Black Bull is also known and once appeared on the television programme, Britain’s Most Haunted two years ago. Despite Jim’s toothbrush mysteriously disappearing, the duo have yet to witness any strange occurrences but have been told by guests that they have seen a mysterious man sitting in the corner smoking a pipe.

After heavily investing in the Black Bull, Jim and David now have a vision of bringing the Black Bull back to its former glory and celebrate the history of the building as well as the region. Slowly being recognised as a live music venue in Howarth, the Black Bull offers regular live band performances spearheaded by the multitalented Jim’s newly formed band, The Electric Lizards, in which he plays the guitar. Other unique offering by the Black Bull include a chef from Lahore, Pakistan, who undoubtedly makes one of the finest curries in Howarth.

What started off as a dream has become a reality for both Jim and David. They are fighters and will always keep going despite the obstacles life regularly throws in their path. Hardworking, dedicated and most importantly, sincere, Jim and David are role models for many of us out there who give up too easy when life gives us a test. As David says, “Never give up on your dreams. Keep going and eventually you will get there.”