General News

ACE: Details of a series of Renaissance National programmes offering wide-ranging support to regional museums have been announced. The programmes include:
* Accreditation & Designation schemes
* Subject specialist networks
* National collections purchase programmes
* other initiatives, such as national campaigns to build new audiences & strategic digital support.
Press release & links
 
GPS: Following recent announcements regarding Remploy, the Government Procurement Service has confirmed that current Supported Factories & Businesses framework services are not affected at present.
Press release & links
 
LSIS: Unique bi-lingual interactive Deaf awareness training, created & led entirely by Deaf learners, has been launched by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service. Referred to as the learner voice, it has been developed to be a powerful & authentic way for practitioners to gain an insight into what good teaching & learning is about.

This training led by Deaf learners, and facilitated by interpreters, provides an opportunity for participants to understand the challenges & barriers faced by Deaf learners in the FE & Skills sector. The phrase Deaf (with a capital D) refers to people who identify themselves as culturally deaf, and have a strong deaf identity.
Press release & links
 
Unite: The privatisation of the court & tribunal interpreting service is ‘hampering the justice system for those that don’t have English as their first language’. Delays in court appearances have soared as the majority of registered interpreters are refusing to work for a cost-cutting subsidiary of the controversial outsourcing company, Capita.
 
Unite, the union & 5 other professional interpreting organisations (representing 2,343 registered public service interpreters) have launched a campaign to get the service brought back in-house by the Ministry of Justice.
Press release & links
 
MCA: An angling boat had to be rescued last week after it got lost in fog in Swansea Bay. The 22-foot angling boat was on its way home from a fishing trip when the fog thickened and they became disorientated. They contacted Swansea Coastguard to report that the GPS on board wasn’t working and, as the tide was going out and they couldn’t see where, they were they had decided to drop anchor and wait for the fog to lift.

Swansea Coastguard sent Mumbles RNLI Lifeboat and, after 90 minutes searching, the lifeboat found the angling vessel and brought it safely back to Swansea Marina. The MCA recommends that all inshore boats should be fitted with VHF DSC radio equipment which can send a distress alert and, if it is linked up to a GPS, an accurate position of your vessel to the Coastguard with one touch of a button.  You should also carry flares.
Press release & links
 
Unite: England’s ‘ridiculously low’ number of school nurses may be overwhelmed by millions of school-aged children texting for appointments, Unite, the union, has warned.  The government has announced that it wants the 7m state education children to text school nurses to make appointments.
 
Unite, which embraces the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, was also critical that recommendations about the recruitment of school nurses in England made 8 years ago have still not been met. Unite repeated its call for the employment 2,000 more qualified school nurses over the next 4 years, so that every secondary school in England has a specialist school nurse.
Press release & links
 
NE: A conservation project underway in South West England aimed at securing the future of one of Britain’s rarest butterflies is proving to be a success, thanks to the creation of special ‘butterfly corridors’ and the revival of traditional woodland management.
Press release ~ 2011 ‘State of UK Butterflies’
 
FSA: The Food Standards Agency is warning food businesses to be on their guard following a recent spate of bogus phone calls from someone claiming to be employed by the FSA. The caller says an environmental health officer (EHO) will make a visit in the next fortnight to update the pub’s manager on new food legislation and asks for their mobile phone number.  They then say they will text the manager within 48 hours of the visit to confirm arrangements.
 
Visits to food businesses are arranged by local authorities, not the FSA, and most hygiene inspections are unannounced, with EHOs introducing themselves once they arrive at the business.
Press release & links
 
PCS: The government's first attempt to force some of its staff to form a 'mutual' organisation has received another setback and is now nearly a year behind schedule. The move to impose mutualisation on My Civil Service Pension - the government agency that administers the pensions of 1.5m working & retired civil servants - was first planned for July 2011, and then put back twice before finally being set for the end of this month.
 
Staff, who have already taken strike action against the plans, have now been told it will not happen until the next financial year.  Added to the further legal & financial complications this brings, it will mean massive upheaval as MyCSP attempts to oversee the government's imposed changes to civil service pensions from 1 April 2012 - which the union is also opposing.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: A strategic board to oversee reforms of veterinary surveillance in Scotland has been created, following recommendations from an independent review.  In November 2011, former National Farmer’s Union Scotland president John Kinnaird published his review, with proposals to improve the way vital information on animal disease is gathered, analysed and shared. The creation of a strategic management board – including industry & veterinary representation – was one of his key recommendations.
Press release & links
 
TfL: Residents & businesses along the routes of the London 2012 Games' road cycling, triathlon, marathon & race walking events will, from this week, receive detailed information on how they will be affected and can plan to get ahead of the Games.  Road events in London will take place on 7 of the 16 days of the Olympic Games and on 1 day of the Paralympic Games..
 
Details of how & when the events will impact on the road network in these areas is being provided through a campaign of letter drops, road shows & publicity, delivered by Transport for London (TfL) in partnership with London 2012 and London boroughs on road event routes. 
Press release & links
 
MoD: New technology is helping to advance the recuperation of injured Service personnel at the Tedworth House Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre.
Press release & links
 
RoSPA: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is offering councils the opportunity to extend its Make it Safe campaign across Scotland - highlighting the dangers of looped blind cords to parents & carers of young children.  
 
RoSPA is aware of at least 22 blind cord deaths in the UK since 1999 (with 11 tragedies since the beginning of 2010).   Its research indicates that most cases happen in a bedroom, when the child, typically aged 16-36 months, is expected to be asleep.
Press release & links
 
HSE: The Health and Safety Executive has announced that its cost recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention, is going ahead but will now not start in April 2012. The scheme sets out to recover costs from those who break health & safety laws for the time & effort HSE spends on helping to put matters right - investigating and taking enforcement action. Law-abiding businesses will be free from costs and will not pay a penny.
 
Detailed guidance for employers & organisations will be available on HSE's website ahead of implementation. A practice run of the new processes & procedures underpinning the scheme is already underway in HSE will continue until the scheme is implemented.
Press release & links
 
HO: The public will be able to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee for longer after Parliament approved plans to allow pubs, bars and other licensed venues to stay open until 1am.
Press release & links
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