General News

UKSA: The new UK Statistics Authority has come into existence with its Publication Hub providing a one-stop shop for statistics which are accessible, clear and free from political commentary.  It is an independent body, with powers & the obligation to promote, improve and safeguard official statistics across the UK.  Its aim is to rebuild public trust in Government statistics by separating statistical analysis from political comment.
 
The Authority will have oversight of all UK official statistics, with statutory powers and the obligation to promote, improve & safeguard official statistics across the UK.
Press release ~ UK Statistics Authority ~ Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 ~ Web Strategy and Future Developments ~ Public Confidence in Official Statistics
 
Monitor: Monitor, the independent regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts has confirmed the following will be authorised from 1 April 2008, bringing the total to 92:
* Medway NHS Foundation Trust
* Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
* The Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust
Press release ~ NHS Foundation Trusts - Monitor
 
MoD: The MOD has launched an internet-based Armed Forces Benefits Calculator (ABC) to make it quick & easy for service personnel to assess the total value of their full employment package.
 
The ABC incorporates basic pay, specialist pay, individual allowances, pension and other MOD provided benefits to give an estimate of the package's financial worth.  The Calculator will also be made available to potential recruits keen to investigate the type of reward package that might be available should they choose to join the Armed Forces.
Press release ~ Armed Forces Benefits Calculator (ABC) ~ Thomsons Online Benefits ~ MoD: Armed Forces Pay Review Body Report 2008 ~ Ministry of Defence - JPAC Enquiry Centre
 
Home Office: The government has announced that changes to checks for those working with children & vulnerable adults will start from October 2009 and that the fees structure for the scheme has also been set. The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will cover 11.3m people wishing to seek work or volunteer with children or vulnerable adults.
 
The ISA scheme will mean a single vetting authority maintains a constantly updated list of people who are not allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults - this will incorporate all existing barring lists. If a person is not barred from employment with vulnerable people they will be ISA registered, although it will remain the employer's decision whether to hire them.  The authority will work alongside the Criminal Records Bureau, which will continue to issue criminal records disclosures to help employers make recruitment decisions.
Press release ~ Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) ~ Criminal Records Bureau ~ Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
 
MoD: Cannons were fired in celebration last week in each of the nation's capitals to mark the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army (TA) and launch TA100 - a major campaign to acknowledge the contribution of Territorial soldiers since 1908.
 
To celebrate the centenary, HM The Queen - patron of TA100 - has sent a birthday card and message of thanks & congratulation to every member of the Territorial Army.  TA100 will highlight the significant changes to the TA's role & purpose over a century of service.  A series of high profile events and commemorations will take place throughout 2008 in communities across the UK.
Press release ~ TA100 ~ TA100 Events ~ SaBRE (Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers) ~ Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations (RFCA) ~ Army Recruiting
 
MCAHer Majesty's Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will feature in a fifth series of the successful BBC documentary Seaside Rescue starting on Sunday, 6 April on BBC One at 6:30 pm.
 
In the first episode, the Coastguard rescue helicopter is called to assist in the evacuation of people from the severe flooding that happened in Gloucestershire on the 21st July 2007. The helicopter crew rescued a total of 15 people and 8 dogs from various locations, including a man & woman and their dog from a narrow boat.  Five young people were also rescued from the roof of a pub, and an elderly lady and her pet dog, from her caravan.
Press release ~ Her Majesty's Coastguard ~ Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
 
TfL: On 7 September, the streets of central London will once again play host to some of the world’s top cyclists, as the Tour of Britain cycle race starts its 8-day UK tour in the capital. Transport for London (TfL) will bring the Tour of Britain to the Capital for the next four years.  It will start in London in 2008, and will finish here in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Press release ~ The Tour of Britain 2008 ~ TfL cycling ~ Visit London
 
PCS: The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced that it has reached a national agreement with the Cabinet Office which provides members in the civil service and related bodies with improved protection from compulsory redundancy. 
Press release ~ What the agreement means for you ~ PCS
 
WYP: West Yorkshire Police has introduced a flagship Capture House programme in burglary hotspots across all force areas after a highly successful introductory run of the initiative in Huddersfield and a successful pilot in Leeds.  In the latest success, three men were arrested & charged after breaking into a Capture House in the Huddersfield area last week.

 They are equipped with the latest detection technology and are stocked with goods which could make them potential targets. Once inside intruders are monitored by concealed CCTV and exposed to a liquid based property marking solution through which they can later be identified.
Press release ~ West Yorkshire Police ~ 999TV (click on Capture House video)
 
MoD: The latest version of the Royal Navy's Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM) has been declared operational - three months earlier than planned. Used to arm submarines, the new Tomahawk Block IV missile is considerably more capable than its predecessors.
 
It has a significantly reduced response time and can fly further, striking land targets from the sea up to one thousand miles away, with even greater precision.  They are able to re-target or safely abort in flight and can relay images en route.
Press release ~ TLAM Block IV missiles
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