General News

TUC: Government plans to increase the minimum wage by 1.8% for adult workers and freeze the rate for young workers will result in the lowest paid suffering a real terms pay cut, the TUC said last week. The TUC said that with inflation running at 2.9% (RPI), around 940,000 people, two-thirds of whom are women, would see a further squeeze on their living standards, with young people being hit the hardest.
Press release & links
 
TNADiscovery, The National Archives new catalogue is now the primary way to search their collections.  They have now added more browse functionality to Discovery, which means that users can browse their collection by hierarchy or by reference, as requested by many of their users.  For a more detailed explanation of using Discovery to browse their collection, read their FAQs.
Press release & links
 
MoD; An elite group of men (who ‘paved the way for success on D-Day’) have been honoured with an imposing monument on Hayling Island in Hampshire. The ceremony gave tribute to veterans of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), who carried out top-secret missions in the run-up to the Normandy invasion.
Press release & links
 
TfLFree travel on Transport for London (TfL) services for all Londoners when they reach 60 years old will be restored when the 60+ London Oyster photocard scheme goes live, from 1 November 2012.
 
The new scheme fulfils the Mayor Boris Johnson's pledge to bridge the gap for older Londoners since the age of eligibility for the London Council's Freedom Pass was raised by the Government.
Press release & links
 
FDA: Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude's announcement that permanent secretaries have "blocked agreed government policy" risks opening up a rift between the civil service & politicians, the FDA said last week.
Press release & links
 
IoE: The Institute of Education (IOE) and University College London (UCL) have agreed to enter into a formal strategic partnership to ‘assess the potential for a step-change in the institutions' contributions to education and social science, in London, nationally and globally’.
Press release & links
 
CLG: The Government has stepped in to save one of Britain's most famous vistas - the world heritage site at Ironbridge Gorge - by committing a £12m 'keystone' to conserve & protect it. Described by writer Charles Hulbert in1837 as "the most extraordinary district in the world", Ironbridge Gorge in Telford & Wrekin, regarded as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and a symbol of Great British ingenuity, is under threat from landslides & slippage which could damage and even destroy the historic site & tourist industry it supports.
Press release ~ Ironbridge Gorge
 
Defra: A ban on imports of ash trees to combat the threat of the tree disease Chalara fraxinea could be in place as early as November 2012.
 
The disease causes leaf loss and has already killed trees in England, Scotland and parts of mainland Europe. The infected trees in the UK had come from nurseries in Europe or had been in contact with imported ash trees. A ban would also mean trees from infected areas would not be able to be moved to other locations.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has commissioned HM Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Authorities to conduct an Inquiry into progress made by Highlands and Islands Fire & Rescue Service in addressing recommendations made by the Accounts Commission. The Inquiry, by Steven Torrie, has been ordered by the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Roseanna Cunningham, under Section 44 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
 
A Best Value report, published by the Accounts Commission in March 2012, listed a number of serious concerns and highlighted an urgent need for Highlands and Islands Fire & Rescue Service to establish an effective & sustainable service model which reflects the needs of the area.
Press release & links
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