General News

MoD/PCS: The MoD claims that at least £50m of ongoing savings (which can be reinvested in operations) will be released per year by reducing the Head Office staff by 25%.  This means the loss of around 1,000 civilian jobs and 300 military posts, but the scale of reductions in military posts will not require redundancies.
 
The PCS union responded by warning that further cuts to civilian support staff, combined with the disruption of relocating staff, would undermine the ability of the MoD to support the armed forces. The union also criticised the creation of additional senior posts when the job cuts will disproportionately fall on the lowest grades, where starting salaries including London Weighting are approximately £15,500.
 
12,000 jobs have already gone in the MoD across a range of areas including defence logistics, procurement, IT & armed forces training.  PCS general secretary, Mark Serowtka said: "The MoD and the government need to seriously rethink their proposals and address the concerns of staff by negotiating with the union."
MoD press release ~ PCS press release ~ MoD – civilian careers
 
TfL:   Transport for London (TfL) announced that it has lodged a formal bid to take control of Metronet.  Under TfL's plans, the people & the assets of the two Metronet companies, BCV and SSL, will be transferred into two TfL nominee companies, which will be managed on a standalone basis whilst the long-term structure is agreed with the Mayor and Government.
 
Metronet Rail BCV is responsible for the maintenance & renewal of the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo & City lines, while Metronet Rail SSL is responsible for the maintenance & renewal of the Sub-Surface lines – the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and East London lines.
 
TfL’s bid for the two Metronet companies has been constructed on the basis that there should be no net additional cost to the organisation.
Press release ~ Metronet Rail ~ London Underground
 
CLG: Junior Minister for Housing Iain Wright has announced five priority places - the Thames Gateway, the South West region, Corby, Portsmouth Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) and ELEVATE East Lancashire - to work with the Government in creating the places we all want to live and work.
 
These areas have been identified as part of the Living Places Partnership, a joint initiative between Communities and Local Government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, along with five key cultural agencies.
 
This joint work aims to ensure that all communities, in particular those experiencing economic growth, benefit from cultural facilities such as museums, libraries, art and sport as well as making better use of cultural heritage.
Press release ~ Sustainable Communities Summit 2007: The Challenge of National Regeneration ~ Homes for the future ~ Portsmouth Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) ~ ELEVATE East Lancashire ~ Thames Gateway  ~ BURA - the British Urban Renaissance Association
 
DH: Health Secretary Alan Johnson has announced the introduction of a human papilloma virus (HPV) immunisation programme to routinely vaccinate girls aged 12 - 13 years of age against cervical cancer, starting from September 2008.  In England there are about 2200 cases of cervical cancer a year, with about 800 deaths.
 
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that causes 99% of invasive cervical cancer. To ensure maximum benefit and protection from this vaccine, it would be necessary to administer it before the onset of sexual activity. The Health Secretary also confirmed that there would be a 2-year catch up campaign starting in Autumn 2009, for girls up to 18 years.
Press release ~ Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) ~ Cancer Research UK: HPV vaccines and cervical cancer ~ NHS - Immunisation
Your Guide to Public Sector Payments 101