General News

BERR: The annual winners and recipients of The Queen's Awards for Enterprise were announced on 21 April - The Queen's birthday.  They are the UK's most prestigious accolades for business-related achievement and a total of 139 business Awards and 11 individual Awards have been conferred this year.
This is the fourth year of The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion (QAEP), an Award for individuals who have played an outstanding and significant role in promoting the growth of business enterprise and entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in others.  There are ten standard Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award. The deadline for applications for the 2009 Awards is 31 October 2008.  
Press release ~ The Queen's Award for Enterprise
FAFellows’ Associates reports that Northgate Information Solutions claimed recently that ‘meeting the needs of consumers for high-quality property search services requires a level playing field for the public and private sectors’.
In a response to the Ministry of Justice consultation on local authority property search services, Northgate welcomed the proposals to charge for access to ‘unrefined’ data on a cost recovery basis as a means of delivering a fair and competitive market.

However, it voiced concern that fees based solely on cost recovery may disadvantage local authorities that want to offer ‘refined’ searches to the market and called on the government to produce guidance for those wishing to group together to develop these services.
Press release ~ Northgate Public Services ~ Local authority charges for property search services - Ministry of Justice ~ Fellows Associates
MCA: From February 2009, only 406 MHz and not 121.5/243 MHz emergency beacons will be processed within the international satellite-aided search and rescue system called COSPAS-SARSAT.  This affects all maritime beacons (EPIRBS), all aviation emergency locator transponders (ELTs) and all personal locator beacons (PLBs) operating on the 121.5/243 MHz bands.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, along with partner organisations, is therefore encouraging all seafarers to begin taking steps to ensure they have an initial emergency alerting alternative such as a 406MHz beacon system.
Press release ~ COSPAS-SARSAT ~ MCA
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities recently ran a ‘Quids In’ Symposium, which brought together representatives from government and the financial sector to hear about financial inclusion projects which are already changing people's lives in rural areas.
Press release ~ Details and related Links
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