General News

ACE: Award-winning international film & digital media festival, Oska Bright, is now seeking submissions from learning disabled artists for this year's event, which runs from the 17 - 19 November 2013 at Brighton Dome. Submissions must be received before 30 April 2013.
This will be the 6th edition of Oska Bright, which is a joint venture between Arts Council England National portfolio organisation Carousel (a learning disabled arts charity) and JUNK TV (a youth & community film production company based in Brighton).  The festival is run by, and for, people with a learning disability, with the aim of providing a platform of exposure for their artistic talents.  The international festival has been running since 2003 and happens every 2 years.
Press release & links
DCMS: Minister for Women & Equalities Jo Swinson, met with local businesses in Durham recently as part of a series of regional events about equality in the workplace. The British Chambers of Commerce and the Government Equalities Office are jointly hosting a number of regional ‘Business is Good for Equality’ breakfast roadshows, aimed at promoting a better understanding of what equality legislation requires.
This was the second of the roadshows that the minister has attended – and this event focused on gender equality in the workplace & maternity leave.
Press release & links
TfLTransport for London has announced that the plan to greatly improve the accessibility of bus stops has reached its first milestone - to make 70% of stops fully accessible - two months early.   Making stops accessible means ensuring the kerb is at the correct height, ensuring that the bus can stop parallel to the kerb and removing any street clutter from where the bus doors open. 
Press release
IPCC: The Independent Police Complaints Commission has welcomed the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recognition that it cannot meet public expectations without increased resources & powers and endorses many of the recommendations in the recent report. 
Press release ~ 11th Report: Independent Police Complaints Commission ~ 11th Report: IPCC - Volume II
Ofcom: Ofcom has awarded the licence to run the local TV service in London on digital terrestrial TV (DTT).  The London channel is expected to cover around 4m homes, the largest reach of all the new local TV services. Licences are awarded for a period of up to 12 years.  It is hoped that some channels may be on air before the end of 2013.
Press release & links ~ Ofcom awards Manchester local TV licence
TfLTransport for London's board has agreed a below-inflation taxi fare increase for the coming financial year (2013/14).   The 1.7% average increase is the lowest in the decade that TfL has been licensing taxis.  
Press release & links
ACE: The first projects to be funded as part of the Digital R&D programme have been announced at the Digital R&D Forum event in Manchester. As well as the new projects being announced, findings from the pilot programme have been published to emphasise the need for the industry to ‘share successes & failings as it works together to find sustainable models for arts into the future’.
Press release & links
DH: The Department of Health is seeking to appoint lay & expert members of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM). The closing date for applications is midday on 5 March 2013.
Press release & links
ACEArts Council England and the national tourist board, VisitEngland, have announced a new partnership to boost cultural tourism in England. The partnership statement sets out how ACE and VisitEngland will work together.  A key priority will be to encourage & support destinations that have real potential to grow & improve cultural tourism.
Press release & links
NE: From north Northumberland to south Cornwall and from East Anglia to west Cumbria, farmers in England will be able to apply for grants of up to £10,000 when the Catchment Sensitive Farming capital grant fund opens for applications on Friday 1 March 2013.
Press release & links
TfL: A programme to introduce 5-car trains on all London Overground routes and increase the capacity of the railway by 25%, to meet rapidly increasing demand for the network's services, was announced by Transport for London (TfL) last week. The £320m programme includes the construction of longer platforms and the delivery of an extra 57 carriages by the end of 2015.
Press release & links
Defra: More than 64,000 more homes will be better protected from the devastating effects of flooding after 93 new flood defences were given the green light to start construction in 2013With £294m to be invested in flood risk management in 2013, 165,000 homes are now expected to be better protected by 2015, which is 20,000 more than the current goal.
Press release & links ~ LGA responds to flood defence funding announcement ~ RUSI:  As the summer flooding season starts
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