General News

BIS: Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced the next step in cutting the number of Department for Business quangos with the abolition of 4 more partner organisations. The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property policy (SABIP), SITPRO (Simplifying International Trade) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Advisory Body (WAB) will all close in the next year.  The British Shipbuilders Corporation will be abolished next year.
 
The functions of SABIP will pass to the Intellectual Property Office, and the functions carried out by the remaining organisations will be passed to BIS. This announcement brings the total number of BIS quangos to be ‘abolished, merged or receive no further funding from the Department’ to 17.  The next phase of streamlining is expected to be announced in the Autumn.
Press release
 
FSAAsda has withdrawn some of its own-brand Salt & Vinegar, Variety and Boxed Crisps, because the salt & vinegar flavouring used in the crisps contains trace amounts of wheat gluten.  This means the products, which are available in various multi-packs, are a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten.  The Agency has issued an Allergy Alert. If you have an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten you are advised not to eat these products.
Press release ~ Asda withdraws certain batches of own brand Salt and Vinegar, Variety and Boxed Crisps due incorrect allergen information
 
CSPL: The Committee on Standards in Public Life has announced that it would be holding an inquiry into party political finance. The Committee held an exploratory hearing earlier this month to hear views on the current state of party finance and, following an assessment of the evidence provided at that hearing, has decided to undertake a full inquiry into the issue.
Press release ~ The (previous) review of the funding of political parties ~ Public Perspectives: The future of party funding in the UK Interim report - Research Study Conducted for The Electoral Commission/COI 2006 ~ Electoral Commission – Donations & Loans ~ Paying for Politics - the Principles of Funding Political Parties (Jul 2006) ~ July 1999 Report ~ The Government's proposals for legislation in response to the Fifth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (1999)
 
MoD: The period in which personnel injured in service can claim compensation is to rise from 5 to 7 years from point of diagnosis as part of a series of changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. The change, which will come into effect on 3 August 2010, is one of several to be introduced following the recommendations from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Review last year.
 
The majority of these improvements require legislative amendment to the Scheme and will be implemented by February 2011, but some changes can be made more quickly and will take effect from August 2010.
Press release ~ Links and further information
 
MoJ: A young offenders institute in Reading is piloting a scheme that aims to reduce re-offending and anti-social behaviour among young offenders. The Personal Leadership & Personal Effectiveness Programme, which has helped more than 200 young offenders, aims to reduce re-offending by changing behaviour, building confidence and improving communication skills.
Press release ~ Chrysalis Foundation ~ Personal Leadership and Personal Effectiveness Programme
 
FSA: A Food Standards Agency has announced a new research strategy to tackle the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK has been launched. The UK’s main public funders of food safety research have joined together to publish a co-ordinated strategy to investigate the food bug campylobacter.  This is the first time these organisations have agreed to a common set of objectives to tackle the problem.
 
The most recent figures suggest that 65% of raw shop-bought chicken is contaminated with campylobacter.  Although cooking chicken properly will kill the bug, it is responsible for more than 300,000 cases of food poisoning and 15,000 hospitalisations a year in England & Wales.
Press release ~ UK research and innovation strategy for campylobacter in the food chain ~ Global Food Security programme
 
MoD: After nearly 2 months of being operational in Afghanistan, the world's fastest helicopter, the Lynx Mark 9A, has proved to be a vital boost to the UK's battlefield capability

The crews from the Army Air Corps that fly the aircraft say it has massively enhanced capability, as it is light & agile and perfect for the rapid deployment & extraction of small numbers of troops. They have increased fire power, more powerful engines and the ability to operate all year in the harsh 'hot & high' Afghan environment.
Press release ~ Related information and links
 
HO: A new deal to stop an estimated 100,000 stolen mobile phones, worth around £4m, being sold to recycling companies has been announced by Crime Prevention Minister, James Brokenshire. The agreement aims to close a loophole which sees thousands of phones - worth an average of £40 each – sold to recyclers each year.
 
Currently 90% of handsets reported stolen in the UK are blocked across all networks within 48 hours of reporting, making them useless in the UK to criminals trying to sell them on.  However, blocked phones can still be used abroad, which has created a new market for stolen phones.
Press release ~ Code of Practice ~ Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum ~ Telecommunications Fraud Forum (TUFF)
Secure cloud collaboration, view the short video demonstration here