General News

EHEnglish Heritage is embarking on ‘a project to find out how much of the country's industrial heritage is at risk of neglect, decay or even demolition and to raise the debate about what needs saving & how’.  It will reveal the results of its Industrial Heritage at Risk research, including ‘what the public think’, in October 2011 at the launch of the annual EH Heritage at Risk register.
 
It is inviting members of the public to visit its website for more information and to post photographs & comment on favourite industrial buildings on a Flickr group run in association with the Council for British Archaeology and the Association for Industrial Archaeology.
Press release
 
DFID: The Government recently announced an urgent emergency aid package to help tens of thousands of people affected by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Liberia and the Ivory Coast. The UN estimates that more than 660,000 people have fled their homes to escape the violence caused by the ongoing political crisis and are in desperate need of food, clean water, shelter & urgent medical care. There are also concerns that the violence could spread & destabilise West Africa, creating an even worse humanitarian catastrophe.
Press release ~ DFID: Liberia ~ Disasters & emergencies
 
Ofgem: Ofgem has confirmed new rules that mean energy suppliers must give consumers at least 30 days advance notice before putting up their prices.  The changes came into effect on 28 April 2011.  Currently energy suppliers have up 3 months in which to notify consumers - after putting up their prices.
Press release
 
Defra: Gold medal Olympic rower & London 2012 ambassador, Ben Hunt-Davis joined Environment Minister Richard Benyon last week to launch the Check, Clean, Dry campaign to stop the spread of aquatic invasive non-native species.  The campaign aims to counter the threat to Britain’s economy & wildlife posed by the spread of invasive non-native species such as the ‘killer shrimp’.
Press release ~ Canoe England: You, Your Canoe and the environment leaflet
 
CWDC: The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) has announced plans to continue beyond March 2012 despite being told the government will no longer fund their workforce development work from April 2012.
 
CWDC confirmed it will carry out a substantial programme of work with the Department for Education (DfE) during 2011/12, with £113.4m being invested in workforce development.  By March 2012 much of its work will be transferred to either DfE, a new executive agency or be led by employers. But CWDC will retain its sector skills responsibilities and continue to support employers & the children's workforce from April 2012 onwards.
Press release
 
TfLTransport for London (TfL) has issued travel advice for people intending to visit central London on 29 April to take part in celebrations surrounding the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Those coming to the event from outside of London are reminded that the easiest & most convenient way to travel on London's public transport network is to use an Oyster card.
Press release ~ Visitor Oyster card
 
FSA: The Food Standards Agency has been made aware that counterfeit wines labelled as Jacob’s Creek wines are being offered for sale in the Greater London area.  The FSA is sharing intelligence with the brand owner (Pernod Ricard) and local trading standards officers investigating this issue.
 
The counterfeit wines have been sampled & tested and there are no indications that the contents are harmful to health if consumed. However, this counterfeit product is of very low quality & substandard taste. Consumers are advised that the label on the back of each counterfeit bottle includes a spelling mistake – below the text ‘SOUTH EASTERN AUSTRALIA’ appears some smaller text, ‘WINE OF AUSTRLIA’, where the word ‘Australia’ is missing an ‘a’.
Press release
 
RoSPA: More than 400 people died from accidents or natural causes in water across the UK in 2009, according to the first report from a new incident databaseWAID (the WAter Incident Database) was developed by the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) to enable greater detail & volume in the collection of data on fatal & non-fatal drowning, other water-related deaths & injuries and near misses.
 
WAID was developed by NWSF members, including: national partners - British Waterways, British Sub Aqua Club, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, RoSPA and Royal Life Saving Society; sports governing bodies; and regional & local organisations, including Cornwall Council.  It has been developed in partnership with the Department for Transport.
Press release ~  UK water related fatalities 2009 WAID database report ~ WAter Incident Database - WAID
 
DfE: The government have announced proposals for the appointment of a Principal Regulator for the governing bodies of foundation & voluntary schools, academy proprietors and sixth form college corporations as exempt educational charities. Subject to the Parliamentary process, further information will be made available on implementation arrangements & compliance.
Press release
 
ACEArt Council England’s new National portfolio of funded organisations has been announced, with decisions made within the twin context of its strategic framework Achieving great art for everyone and a challenging economic backdrop.
Press release ~ Adam Smith Institute comment
 
FSAPremier Foods is recalling some of its Frey Bentos canned meat pies because the pies might contain small pieces of glass.  The Food Standards Agency has issued a Product Recall Information Notice.
Press release ~ Premier Foods recalls certain batch codes of two Fray Bentos Canned Meat Pie products due to possible glass contamination
 
MoD: The Army is making sure that while soldiers are on operations in Afghanistan they are receiving the education they need to progress & develop, with dedicated education officers taking lessons to the front line.

To some this may seem a strange idea - but the reasoning is clear. Soldiers deployed on an operational tour can be away from barracks for 6 months or more at a time, yet they are still expected to be qualified for promotion or up-to-date with their specific job when they return to the UK. If they don't have the right skills or qualifications then their career progression could grind to a halt.
 
As well as offering promotional courses, unit education officers also offer courses in numeracy & literacy.  These give the soldiers, whether eligible for promotion or not, the chance to improve their core skills. They also help them earn certificates for their achievements which will stand them in good stead both in their future Army careers and, eventually, after they leave the forces and are looking for work in the civilian world.
Press release
 
CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is seeking expressions of interest to run a CQC-licensed excellence award for adult social care providers.  The Commission announced plans for the new award in February 2011 and now wants groups interested in running the scheme to come forward.
 
The CQC-backed award - due to launch in April 2012 - will be open to all social care providers offering regulated services, including care homes, domiciliary care, supported living & Share Lives services,  rehabilitation & residential substance misuse services. Organisations interested in the scheme are invited to submit expressions of interest by 20 April 2011.
Press release
 
IfL: Following the closure of Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) and its subsidiary company Standards Verification UK (SVUK) on 31 March 2011, certain responsibilities previously held by them will be transferred to the Institute for Learning (IfL), to ensure continuity of the work on standards & qualifications for the learning & skills sector.
Press release ~ Institute for Learning (IfL) ~ Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK)
 
HEFCE: Following consultation, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has announced a new method of institutional review.  The new method is described in a handbook & operational description published by QAA last week.
Press release
 
EA: The number of properties signed up to the national flood warning system in England & Wales has broken the 1m mark for the first time, the Environment Agency announced last week.
Press release