General News

OFT: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched its 2011 Scams Awareness Month, as new figures reveal the UK's top scams. New research commissioned by the OFT shows that 39% of people who lost money to a scam in the past 12 months were victim of a money transfer or advance fee scam.  These dupe people into handing over their bank details or paying an up-front fee by leading them to believe they are entitled to an inheritance, donating to charity or even helping release funds from a corrupt country.
This year's Scams Awareness Month is seeking to raise awareness of the scale of the problem with a nationwide 'Scamnesty' run in partnership with 86 local authority Trading Standards Services (TSS).  The campaign calls on consumers to drop scam mailings they have received into designated 'Scamnesty' bins, or boxes at local libraries & public areas across the country.
Press release ~ Scams awareness month - February 2011 ~ Action Fraud ~ Met police seizing scam mail aimed at UK victims ~ Related warning press release from HMRC
STFC: As the UK national partner in CERN, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is delighted that the first year of operations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been so successful that operations will be extended through 2011 to the end of 2012, increasing the likelihood of finding new scientific breakthroughs before the shutdown.
Press release ~ CERN's website ~ STFC
CLG: Final arrangements for a fair & progressive funding settlement for councils that protect front-line services and shield the most vulnerable’ were published last week by Local Government Minister, Bob Neill. Councils will only see an average 4.4% reduction in revenue spending power and the grant has been adjusted so none will now face more than an 8.8% fall’.
A growing number of councils have already indicated that they will be taking up the Government offer to fund a council tax freeze in April through its £650million fund.  Authorities who do not increase their council tax are eligible for a grant worth 2.5% of their council tax.
Press release ~ Final settlement Excel spreadsheet ~ Previous related press release ~ Plain English Guide to the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2011-12
FSA: The Co-operative has withdrawn Co-op British Extra Mature Cheese with a ‘best before’ date of 24 February 2011and Co-op Welsh Extra Mature Cheese with a best before date of 14 March 2011, because the products contain high histamine levels.  The Food Standards Agency has issued a Product Withdrawal Information Notice.
Press release ~ Co-op Group withdraws one date code of Co-op British and Welsh Extra Mature Cheese due to the presence of high histamine levels
FSAAldi has recalled 3 varieties of Gille Swedish Cookies because they contain egg, which is not mentioned on the product labels.  The Food Standards Agency has issued an Allergy Alert.
Press release ~ Aldi Stores recalls three varieties of Gille Swedish Cookies due to incorrect allergen labelling
FSATins of Mas-River branded Fried Dace are being recalled by the UK importer Oriental Merchant (Europe) Ltd, because the product is from an unapproved establishment in Malaysia and high levels of histamine have been found in one batch of tins.  The Food Standards Agency has issued a Food Alert for Action asking all authorities that may have distributors or retailers of this product in their areas to take action.
Press release ~ Mas-River fried dace with salted black beans recalled ~ Oriental Merchant (Europe) Ltd recalls Mas-River Fried Dace with Salted Black Beans due to non approved identification mark ~ Product Photos: Mas-River Fried Dace Salted Black Bean 48x184gr
CO: A quick post code search on a new website allows you to find out what crime or anti-social behaviour has happened near you. The interactive maps can be accessed on computers & mobile phones and will open the door on crime & policing information, allowing people to view crimes including burglary, violence and anti-social behaviour in their areas.
Press release ~ ~
DirectgovWatch out for emails claiming to be from DVLA asking you to verify your driving licence details via an online link – it's a scam.  DVLA has not sent any such email, so if you get one delete it immediately. The email appears to be an attempt to trick drivers into providing personal details.
Press release
MoD: Under the auspices of Programme Future Brize (PFB) the development of RAF Brize Norton continues to move on apace. Under the plan, Brize Norton will be transformed into Defence's future sole Air Point of Embarkation, the main operating base for the RAF's air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft, and the future home for 15% of the RAF's uniformed manpower.
Press release ~ Photos and related links
Newswire – NHSC: The NHS Confederation has expressed its disappointment that Care Quality Commission's pledge to keep registration fees cost neutral has not been honouredThe NHSC has responded to the CQC consultation on proposed registration fees structure for 2011/12.
Press release ~ NHSC response
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