General News

NA: The National Society for the Promotion of the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church was founded on 16 October 1811 to promote elementary education and fund the building of schools across England & Wales. It supported local initiatives to build church schools and over time became involved in other aspects of education - such as setting up teacher training colleges, publishing school books and providing equipment for schools.
 
You can use records at The National Archives to trace the history of these and other schools - from trust deeds recording a school's foundation, to inspection reports & information on staffing, accommodation & school expansion. 
Press release & links
 
TfL: Londoners never need to run for a bus again with the introduction of a new up-to-the-minute bus information service that can be accessed online, on a smart phone & via text message and new improved Countdown signs at bus stops. The new service provides live bus information for all 19,500 bus stops in the Capital.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Scots & ‘Scots at heart’, both at home & abroad, are gearing up to celebrate all that is great about the nation during this year's Scotland's Winter Festivals. The season of celebrations to mark Scotland's distinct culture, unique heritage & creativity runs from St Andrew's Day on 30 November through Hogmanay to Burns Season at the end of January and will bring together lovers of all things Scottish from across the globe.
Press release & links
 
HO:  An advertising campaign has been launched by the Home Office to encourage young people to talk to FRANK for accurate & impartial information about the harms of drugs. Teenagers will be encouraged to reconsider what they know about drugs and where to find reliable information about the risks.
Press release & links
 
MoD: Britain has a new flagship, with assault ship HMS Bulwark taking over the proud mantle from her sister vessel. For the next 4 years the Devonport-based warship should be at the heart of every major maritime endeavour that the UK carries out.
Press release & links
 
DCMSUnited Nations member states have backed an agreement to use London 2012 to promote peace & reconciliation in areas of conflict around the world. All 193 member states last week agreed to co-sponsor the Olympic Truce Resolution – the most member states to do so in the history of the UN.
Press release & links
 
MoD: 6 medical professionals have won the Barclays Women of the Year Award 2011 for their work with injured members of the Armed Forces.
Press release & links
 
HFEA: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has made a number of decisions on sperm & egg donation in the UK.  This follows an extensive public consultation, 'Donating sperm and eggs: have your say', which ran from January to April 2011.
 
Addressing concerns about treating donors fairly & valuing their contribution, as well as the need to retain donors & keep paperwork to a minimum, the Authority has also agreed to change the compensation that donors can receive. Moving away from the current system of out of pocket expenses and a loss of earnings allowance capped at £250, clinics will in the future be able to offer donors compensation which better reflects their expenses.
Press release & links
 
WWF: WWF has released video footage highlighting their support of a new project to track narwhals, a species of Arctic whale best known for their long 'unicorn-like' tusk.  The project fitted 7 of the little-researched whales with satellite tracking devices.
 
In order to help highlight the programme's findings, WWF has launched a web page to showcase the partnership's fieldwork & research, with maps & information about the latest movements of the narwhals as they move around Baffin Bay in Canada’s Nunavut territory.
 Press release & links
 
DfTAbellio Greater Anglia Limited has been chosen as the new operator for the 'Greater Anglia' franchise which is currently operated by National Express East Anglia and stretches across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk & Cambridgeshire.
Press release & links
 
MoD: Five soldiers from 4 Logistic Support Regiment have been commended for saving a stab victim's life in Canada by ingeniously using credit cards to treat his chest wounds. The 5 soldiers from the Abingdon-based unit were serving in Canada over the summer, taking part in training for Afghanistan.
Press release & links
 
DCMS: Sports clubs & local groups across England have received more than £2m to protect & improve their playing fields. Nearly 50 areas will benefit from the first wave of National Lottery investment through Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund. Communities are now being invited to bid for support when the second round of the scheme opens on 24 October 2011.
Press release & links
 
DfE: Following a competitive bidding process, the Department for Education has approved grant funding for New Schools Network (NSN) to provide pre-application support to parents, teachers & community groups and others hoping to open Free Schools.   NSN is a registered charity.
Press release & news
 
MoD: A groundbreaking partnership has been formed at Colchester Garrison between the military, the NHS and the Combat Stress charity to meet the needs of veterans with mental health problems. Colchester Garrison's Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH), North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Combat Stress have come together to form the North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network, the first of its kind in the country.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: First Minister, Alex Salmond has commented on the statement last week by the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Chris Huhne, that the Longannet Carbon Capture and Storage Project will not go ahead.
Press release & links ~ TUC comment ~ WWF comment
 
HMRC: With the 31 October 2011 deadline for paper tax returns just days away, HM Revenue &Customs (HMRC) is urging anyone who hasn’t yet filed their paper return to act now, to avoid a late-filing penalty. If you send in a paper tax return on or after 1 November 2011, you will now be hit with a £100 penaltyeven if there is no tax to pay or the tax due is paid on time – following the introduction of a new penalty regime this year. The longer you delay, the more you'll have to pay, as there are further late-filing penalties after three, six and twelve months.
 
If you can’t send your paper return by 31 October, you can still avoid a penalty by sending your tax return online instead.  However, if you do send a paper return after the 31 October deadline, you cannot avoid the initial £100 penalty by subsequently filing online.
Press release & links
 
FSASandwell Foods is recalling some date codes of its Halal World lamb and beef sausages & burgers. The products contain gluten, soya, sulphites, celery or mustard, which are not listed on the label. The Food Standards Agency has issued an Allergy Alert.
Press release & links
 
MoD: Behind the scenes on Operation ELLAMY a small team of 'squippers' or, more correctly termed, Survival Equipment Fitters, works around the clock to ensure all the aircraft survival equipment is fit for purpose.
Press release & links
 
DfE: Family organisations, including Relate, Netmums and Gingerbread, will receive Government funding to deliver national online & telephone support services, Children’s Minister Sarah Teather announced last week.  The Government is providing up to £11m to eleven voluntary & community organisations to deliver the support.
 
Families will benefit from a range of support including relationship advice, services tailored specifically for fathers, helping single parents get back to work, advice on education issues such as exclusions and information about benefits.
Press release & links
 
CQC: November 2011 sees a major step in the setting up of HealthWatch England, with the start of the recruitment of its Chair. HealthWatch England will be the national consumer champion that will give a voice to collective views of the people who use NHS & social care services in England.
Press release & links
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