General News

MoD: As part of last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR,) the PM announced that our ability to detect & defend against cyber attacks would be crucial to our national security, so important in fact that it was elevated to a 'Tier 1' threat alongside issues such as terrorism & international military crises.
 
Since then, work to embed the culture of operating in cyberspace across the defence community has been taking place in earnest with the Defence Cyber Security Programme being set up to drive the necessary changes.
Press release & links
 
Newswire – WWF: Sir David Attenborough has warned that losing touch with nature would be ‘disastrous’ and praises those who help keep youngsters’ ‘instinctive love of the natural world alive’. Ambassador to leading conservation charity, WWF-UK, Sir David was speaking in the week WWF launched their online nature competition - My True Nature - which aims to capture what the living world means to the UK’s 7-16 year-olds.

Youngsters can submit their entries to the wwf.org.uk/mytruenature website which also features films from WWF, interviews and a specially commissioned theme song written & performed by a young singer songwriter. Youth groups & schools can upload their entries via an exclusive secure online channel hosted by Radiowaves, which allows to take part in safe social networking activities linked to the project.
Press release & links
 
NA: The National Archives are ‘looking for enthusiastic, committed people from all sections of our user community to act as delegates in a new User Advisory Group’.  This group offers a unique opportunity to get involved in the decision-making process at The National Archives, representing the needs & views of users in discussions about NA current services and future plans.
Press release & links
 
Newswire – LGA: Central government departments could ‘save as much as £1.5bn each year by reducing the amount of nannying guidance they issue to councils and pruning back unnecessary statutory duties’, town hall leaders have said in their response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s statutory duties consultation.  
 
It is calling for the elimination of statutory guidance notes, which describe in minute detail exactly how local authorities should go about fulfilling their duties.  It is also seeking the removal of out-of-date duties and elimination of ministerial consent for minor activities.  The LGA has identified around 50 duties that are unnecessary, inappropriate & costly, which could be removed immediately.
Press release & links
 
ACE: An art project based in West Sussex is currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to crew a 30-foot seafaring vessel, which will sail along the south coast to the Thames during the 2012 Olympics

The Boat Project - a South East region-wide Cultural Olympiad initiative led by artists Lone Twin - is currently creating the special sailing ship at Thornham Marina, Emsworth.  The boat is being fashioned from a variety of wooden objects donated by people from communities in the South East.
 
Crew members must be over 16 to take part, but no prior sailing experience is necessarily needed to be part of the adventure.  Lone Twin would like a mix of people for the team ranging from experienced sailors to complete novices. Nominations should be made by 13 June 2011.
Press release & links
 
NE: In some parts of the country the right of access to walk on Open Access land has had to be restricted.  With dry conditions set to continue it is important that visitors to the countryside do all they can to help prevent the spread of wildfires which can pose a serious threat to lives & property, including woodland and cause long-term damage to wildlife.
 
Please respect any local signs or requests by rangers or estate staff to move to another area for your safety, and follow the Countryside Code, which contains useful advice on how fires can be avoided.  Check for fire restrictions before setting out on a walk, respect warning signs and never extinguish cigarette ends on the ground.
Press release & links
 
MoD: The foundation stone for a memorial to commemorate over 55,000 RAF Bomber Command airmen who were killed in World War Two was laid in Green Park, London last week. The memorial, which is due to be completed in 2012 (ahead of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations) has been designed by architect Liam O'Connor and will feature as its centrepiece a 9-foot-high (2.7m) bronze sculpture by Philip Jackson.
 
Bomber Command veterans were joined at the foundation stone-laying ceremony by the Duke of Gloucester and Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham, himself a wartime Lancaster pilot and the President of the Bomber Command Association. Members of the public from the UK & overseas contributed to the appeal to create the memorial and have given both small & large donations to help make it a reality.
Press release and links ~ Bomber Command Association ~ RAF Benevolent Fund
 
IPCC: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced it has directed the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to hold PC Simon Harwood’s gross misconduct hearing in public.  The decision was made prior to the start of the inquest, but was not released earlier at the request of the Coroner.
Press release & links
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