General News

UKOCNational Get online week is set to take place 18 - 24 October 2010 and organisers UK online centres expect it to be bigger & better than ever.  It's the fourth year of the 'Get online' campaign, which has grown from a ‘Get online day’ in October to a full week of activity.  The first GO day got 10,000 people online for the first time and it's expanded to the point where this year the aim is to get 80,000 people into nearly 3,000 GO events across the country. 
Press release ~ www.getonlineweek.com ~ www.myguide.gov.uk ~ Related additional press release
 
FSA: Following information received, via a sampling programme, the Food Standards Agency is informing local authorities that the non-permitted additive morpholine has been found on some apples imported to the UK from Chile.  Food business operators have been advised that the apples should not be on sale in the UK.

Morpholine is used as a carrier for glazing agents applied to fruit and is permitted in various countries outside of the EU, including Chile, the USA and Canada.  The Agency has undertaken an initial risk assessment based on information currently available.  Exposure to morpholine at the levels detected on these apples is likely to be of low risk to consumers. .
Press release ~ Food Standards Agency ~ Latest related press release
 
FSAAda's Smoked Catfish is being withdrawn from sale because it has been labelled with an identification mark of a food manufacturer that is no longer authorised for use.  The Food Standards Agency has issued a Food Alert for Action asking local authorities to make sure this product is withdrawn from sale and destroyed.
Press release ~ Ada's smoked catfish fillet labelled with non approved identification mark ~ Fish and shellfish approval
 
HO: The child sex offender disclosure scheme, which provides members of the public with a way to check whether people who have contact with their children are a possible risk, will be extended to a further 11 police forces in October 2010 taking the total number of areas covered to 24The remaining forces will come onboard by spring 2011.   
 
A new website - Parents Protect! - set up by Stop it Now! UK & Ireland and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation has also been launched to raise awareness of the issue of child sexual abuse.  
Press release ~ More about the scheme and see the full list of forces taking part  ~ Lucy Faithfull Foundation ~ Stop it Now! UK & Ireland
 
BHF: Fat cells in our thighs multiply as we put on weight, where as the fat cells around our waist get bigger, changing the effect they have on our health, according to a new study. Researchers hope the findings may begin to explain why there are more health risks from fat around the waist compared with fat around the thighs.
See Press release for links
 
WAG: A new travel card has been launched which is set to transform public transport in Wales’ capital. The Iff Card - launched by Cardiff Bus – utilises new technology and aims to encourage bus use around the city centre by making travel easier.  
 
The card is linked to the SustainableTravelCity scheme - run by Cardiff Council and the Welsh Assembly Government - and aims to help the Welsh capital to become a Sustainable Travel City by encouraging bus use around the city centre.
Press release ~ Iff Card
 
DirectgovNext Step has launched a new website offering free careers advice to help people make the right choices about learning & work. It will help you to make informed choices about which skills & courses are best suited to you.  With over 400 locations across England, there are 3,000 advisers who can give help & support to adults aged 19 and over.
Press release ~ Next Step: get careers and skills advice
 
Defra: Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, has launched a new website featuring images of some of the unique plants & animals that live in UK Overseas Territories habitats that most people have no idea the UK has responsibility for protecting.
 
The ARKiveOverseasTerritories website, run by Wildscreen, will help raise awareness of wildlife in the 14 UK Overseas Territories. The collection will eventually consist of over 200 audio visual profiles that will be available online and on a free DVD for use by people all over the world.
Press release ~ www.arkive.org/ ~ Big Nature Debate ~ www.wildscreen.org.uk ~ International Year of Biodiversity
 
CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said last week that nearly 1,000 residential care homes do not have a registered manager in place, despite this being a requirement of the new Health and Social Care Act 2008, that came into force from 1 October 2010.
Press release ~ Care Quality Commission (CQC)
 
HO: The UK Border Agency has expanded its partnership working with local government by launching a new checking service for settlement applications, which builds on the success of the existing nationality checking service.  If a migrant is applying for settlement (also known as 'indefinite leave to remain') using application form SET(M), they can now have their application checked by a LA officer before it is sent to the UKBA.
 
Form SET(M) is for migrants who are applying for settlement as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. The first LAs to offer the service are Brent & Barnet, which launched last week. Another 10 LAs will join the pilot over the next 2 months.
Press release ~ Settlement checking service