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Education Secretary sets out aims for higher education attach_img
Published 10 September 2020From:Department for Education and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MPDelivered on: 10 September 2020 (Original script, may differ from delivered version) Thank you for the opportunity to speak today at the UUK conference. I want to start by giving my sincere thanks and praise to the Higher Education sector for the way in which it has responded to the challenges of the past few months. I will then go on to talk about the role of the sector in supporting economic growth, nationally but also regionally. We are grappling with unprecedented economic challenges and Higher education has a key role to play in helping us overcome these. I know that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on students, universities and other higher education providers. But the resilience, innovation and dedication from staff and students over the last few months in dealing with the issues the pandemic has created have been truly remarkable. For example, it was wonderful to hear that despite the national lockdown, Natural Science students at Bangor University still managed to go on a virtual fieldtrip around Anglesey, using social media platforms to follow an actual tour undertaken by a senior lecturer prior to the lockdown. And students at Warwick University, like many across the country, have been writing blogs to provide tips and support on subjects such as mental health during the COVID outbreak. Students have also been instrumental for many universities in helping and co-producing re-opening plans and communications. And let’s not forget scientists, researchers and technicians in universities across the UK who are supporting our Vaccines Taskforce by working tirelessly to research a vaccine for coronavirus. It is thanks to their valuable medical and research expertise that vaccine candidate clinical trials are now taking place at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. Universities have also offered vital services such as lab space and accommodation, applying research expertise to develop medicine and equipment needed to combat the virus. Many have also repurposed their facilities to carry out testing on those with coronavirus symptoms and have collaborated with industry partners on producing ventilators, PPE and testing equipment. This is truly remarkable, and what makes our university sector truly world class. With 4 higher education providers in the world’s top 10 and 18 in the top 100, I am so proud that the UK’s higher education sector has such a well-established reputation for high quality and world class research and innovation. Just as importantly, UK universities are renowned for choice and flexibility and I am delighted that thousands of international students choose to study here each year, contributing to the UK both culturally, socially and economically. Working closely with Universities UK, the British Council and others, Minister Donelan has been spearheading communications, reassuring current and prospective international students that the UK higher education is ‘open for business’, remains world-class and is a safe, welcoming and tolerant place to study. As part of this, Government has also committed to an additional £1m in marketing spend delivered through Study UK. I want to say again here today that for those seeking an excellent education and an unforgettable UK student experience, we are ensuring existing rules and processes are as flexible as possible and better than ever. Not only have we confirmed that distance learning will be permitted for the 2020/21 academic year to respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in with COVID. But, in addition, this time last year I spoke to you about the new 2 year post study offer in the form of the Graduate Route, and since then we have improved it further through announcing to offer 3 years for those on PhDs. I hope you agree that we now have a world-class student visa offer befitting our world-class higher education sector – this will only improve once the Student route is launched later this year, and student visa processes are further streamlined. In June I was happy to appoint one of your own, Sir Steve Smith, as the UK’s new International Education Champion, who has already begun assisting with opening up export growth opportunities for the whole UK education sector. And we intend to publish review of the International Education Strategy this Autumn in order to ensure we retain laser-like focus on increasing the number of international students we host to 600k by 2030. For those planning to study in the UK from the Autumn, I know that our higher education providers are consistently doing their utmost to ensure international students are supported and feel welcome on university campuses. For all this good work and world class prestige, I do acknowledge that the pressures providers are facing as a result of COVID-19 are substantial and some may face serious financial difficulties as a result. That is why my department is working closely with the sector, the Office for Students and across Government to monitor and fully understand the financial risks that providers are facing and help them access support where necessary, and have established a restructuring regime to support universities as a last resort, if it proves necessary. I fully recognise that the decision on exam results a few weeks ago has not only impacted students and their families, but also universities and the admissions system. As I said at the time, we took this decision in the best interest of the students. I have been incredibly impressed with the sector’s response and I know that it is striving to be to be fair and flexible in its approach to admissions. Despite the uncertainty over what the coming year will look like on the ground, demand for higher education places has been great this year and universities have taken fantastic steps to reassure incoming students. Government have removed the caps on medicine and dentistry courses this year and we are providing additional Teaching Grant and capital funding to support increased capacity. Beyond this, the sector has excelled in adapting to take on as many students as possible, whilst of course taking responsibility and ensuring COVID-19 measures and precautions are adhered to. I want to take this opportunity to land three key messages with you. The first is to keep going. I’ve acknowledged some of the great work already done by the sector - but this will need to continue as we work through this uncertain period of time together. To support with and solidify this progress already made, we have recently published new guidance for Higher Education providers on reopening campuses and buildings in a COVID-secure way. We have used the evidence and recommendations set out in the HE SAGE report, as the corner stone of this guidance, in addition to input and advice from the sector. We expect this guidance to feed in directly to the plans HE providers are putting in place to reopen their doors safely, and I look forward to working with all stakeholders as the situation evolves across the autumn term. And this brings me on to the second key message which I want to convey, the importance of collaboration. Specifically, providers working with their local authorities to develop plans for local outbreaks. My department has worked with the Joint Biosecurity Centre, other government departments and local communities to establish best practice for providers to implement an integrated approach for tightening measures in areas subject to local restrictions. I encourage universities to refer to this guidance on engaging with their local authority. And finally, the key message of the government to the public is clear - we all must stay alert in order to control the virus and save lives and as part of this, students need to act responsibly on and off campus. This is why working with the sector to develop a communications campaign and strategies has been pivotal to ensuring students have the information they need to make responsible choices, to keep themselves and those around them safe and their environments COVID-secure. We are asking you to also deliver clear messages to students about the measures you have in place, and how important it is that they follow them – to protect their own health, and the wider community. We know that students travel from across the country and indeed across the world to attend our world-class universities. So we are also asking you to support and encourage students to stay at university if restrictions are imposed locally which limit their ability to enjoy face to face teaching – as you did when restrictions were first in place in March – to help manage the risk of students transmitting the virus back home. This pandemic has resulted in a myriad of unprecedented challenges for the Higher Education sector to contend with. However, knowing that the sector can rise to these and with such creativity, gives me faith and conviction that our institutions will continue to hold their place and represent the UK on the world stage. It is this innovation, strength and adaptability which will ensure the sector can play a central role in economic growth. Universities and other higher education providers play a key role in the national economy as well as in regional and local economies, not only by providing students with the skills they need to go into graduate jobs, but also by being at the forefront of applied industrial research and by working closely with hundreds of businesses. They are a crucial part of the post-16 education landscape, that includes further education and apprenticeships, all of which give young people a real opportunity to enhance their career pathways and options after they leave school. So today, I want to talk about the role all higher education providers play in delivering this essential mission. Too often, there can be an implicit narrative that every university needs to measure itself against Oxbridge. That if a university isn’t winning Nobel prizes and taking in triple A students it is somehow second rate. In reality, it is the diversity of our sector which will drive the levelling up agenda that is central to everything this Government does. Take my own university, Bradford, which can trace its foundation back to the town’s Mechanics Institute in 1832. Or the University of Birmingham, founded by Joseph Chamberlain to underpin the growing industrial and economic strength of Britain’s second city. These regional missions are as important today as they were then – and will only increase in importance as the nation recovers from the impact of COVID-19. Jobs, industry and regional growth must be at the heart of our education strategy – and universities must be a key part of that. And there have been some fantastic examples to date. I was speaking to a businessman in my constituency recently, a locksmith who spoke glowingly of the support he had received from the University of Wolverhampton. The University of Wolverhampton is rated as one of the best universities in Europe for product design. And at London South Bank University, approximately 80% of students, as advisors to local businesses, helping their community whilst simultaneously gaining vital employability skills. These are excellent examples of successful integration with local business. However, we must acknowledge that we are not quite there yet in achieving our goals. There are still pockets of low quality. One only has to look at the Guardian subject league tables to see there are too many courses where well under 50% of students proceed to graduate employment. But more fundamentally, in order to create a fairer, more prosperous and more productive country, we need to reverse the generational decline in higher technical education. We have already announced that, over the next few years, we will be establishing a system of higher technical education where learners and employers can have confidence in high-quality courses that provide the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, whether they are taught in a further education college, a university or an independent training provider. Of course, a large proportion of this will be delivered in our great further education colleges, but what I also want to see is for universities to end their preoccupation with three-year bachelors’ degrees and offer far more higher technical qualifications and apprenticeships. These would be more occupation focused and provide a better targeted route for some students, and benefit employers and the economy. Universities and other higher education providers are already an important part of this market, but I want to see their technical offer expand. Only 10% of all adults aged 18-65 hold a higher technical qualification as their highest qualification, compared to around 20% of adults in Germany and as much as 34% in Canada. And, as a nation, we must be honest that have gone backwards here. Well over 100,000 people were doing Higher National Certificates and Diplomas in the year 2000; that has reduced to fewer than 35,000. And within Higher Education Institutes, total participants in foundation degrees have declined from a high of 81,000 (in 2009/10), to approximately 30,000 (28,760 in 2018/19). Yet the economic case for studying these qualifications is inarguable. I want to capitalise on the potential of further and higher education providers to deliver excellent higher technical education and apprenticeships. My vision is for a system which learners and employers have true confidence in for providing the skills they need to succeed. As I set out in my Further Education speech on 9th July 2020, we will not see growth in the economy if universities do not play their part. And of course, they will play their part, as they have always done.I believe the join up with Further Education through increased flexibility so that study fits with the needs of students with busy lives, is key in ensuring these two sectors work cohesively together. While good work has already been done, I am motivated to see us go further to achieving excellence. But, knowing that our providers and institutions are fantastically placed to deliver on these aims, gives me full confidence in our collective ability. And I want to say here today, to each and every institution, you are part of the solution. I hope each of you recognise your value and will work with me to achieve these ambitions. Thank you. Published 10 September 2020 Source link
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New international student immigration routes open early attach_img
Published 10 September 2020From:Home Office and Kevin Foster MP Getty images New routes for international students to apply for visas will open early delivering on the government’s commitment to introduce a new points-based immigration system. As detailed in the immigration rules laid in Parliament today (10 September 2020), the Student route and Child Student route will both open on 5 October 2020 to the best and brightest international students from across the globe. International students play a key part in the government’s agenda to unleash the UK’s potential now that we have left the EU. They make important contributions economically, academically, and financially. We recognise that as a result of coronavirus, some overseas students are choosing to defer their entry onto courses in the UK until the spring semester of 2021. Introducing these new routes now means that students will be able to benefit from the new streamlined process whilst still giving sponsors time to adapt after their autumn intake. The routes treat all students equally, with international students, including those from Europe coming to study after the transition period ends, using the same, simplified route when it opens for applications. It will ensure our world-leading education sector can continue to welcome talented and high potential students to our globally renowned universities, further education and English language colleges, and independent schools. Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and attract talent to drive our economy forward. Launching the Student route early sends a clear message to the world we want the best and brightest to come to the UK to study at our globally renowned education institutions. There will be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK. This will help to increase the total number of international students choosing to study in the UK higher education system each year to 600,000 by 2030, as set out in the International Education Strategy published in March 2019. Chief Executive of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw said: The UK is a global leader in higher education, research and innovation. As we look to the UK’s future place in the world, we want to protect our hard-won status and the opportunities it provides to help with the economic recovery of towns and cities across Britain - as well as finding solutions to the wider challenges that face our society. We welcome these changes to the immigration rules, which will help to ensure the UK remains an internationally attractive place for the best and brightest students to study. We will continue to work with the government to ensure our visa system remains flexible and responsive to developing issues, such as those emerging from the coronavirus pandemic. Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: Given the continuing uncertainties arising from the global pandemic, it’s even more important that the UK is seen as open and welcoming so we can retain our hard-won status as a global leader in higher education, research and innovation. That’s why these changes are welcome. The new arrangements will send a clear message that we have the support of our government to welcome talented students from across the world to come and study with us. The new Student route improves on the previous Tier 4 route by making it more streamlined for sponsoring institutions and their students, creating clearer pathways for students, and ensuring the UK remains competitive in a changing global education market. Students will require a total of 70 points to be granted leave. They will achieve the required points if they can demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK. We also want to ensure we retain the brightest and the best students to continue to contribute to the UK post-study, which is why we are launching the Graduate route in the summer of 2021. This additional new route will allow those who have completed a degree at a UK Higher Education provider with a track record of compliance to stay in the UK for two years (three years for PhD graduates) and work at any skill level, and to switch into work routes if they find a suitable job. The government is on track to deliver its new points-based immigration which will attract talent and take back control by treating people from every part of the world equally and giving us control of our borders. Published 10 September 2020 Source link
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Natural flood management project to begin at Greater Manchester beauty spot attach_img
Published 9 September 2020From:Environment Agency Photo taken overlooking Holcombe Moor Image credit: National Trust [*] A project designed to showcase natural flood management techniques and restore peatland on treasured local moorland is about to start. [*] Works form part of the £40m Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Risk Management Scheme and aim to deliver numerous, small-scale, ‘slow-the flow’ interventions in the River Irwell catchment helping to protect properties downstream. Delivered by the Environment Agency, working through the Moors for the Future Partnership, the ambitious venture forms part of the £40m Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Risk Management Scheme. £476k of additional Defra funding has been allocated, as part of the design process, for use on collaborative projects that will complement the capital scheme and further reduce flooding to communities at risk. The works, which will help slow the flow of flood water in rapidly responding catchments such as Irwell Vale, Strongstry, Chatterton, Ramsbottom as well as the high risk area of Radcliffe and Redvales focus on numerous, small-scale, ‘slow-the flow’ interventions that will help protect properties from the risk of flooding. On Holcombe Moor stone dams will be erected in eroded gullies to restrict the flow of flood water. Initially, this work will be carried out in the Alden Ratchers area by transporting stones by helicopter from a nearby quarry. Sphagnum moss will also be reintroduced to allow the top layers of the peat to retain more water. Peter Costello, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency said: “The commitment of multiple agencies to work together and explore nature based solutions alongside traditional flood defences, is a powerful component of Greater Manchester’s response to the Climate Emergency. There has already been some fantastic work delivered in partnership across the River Irwell catchment over the years to help slow the flow of floodwaters using natural flood risk management techniques. But we need to do more. We hope that our work at Holcombe Moor will be a catalyst for more of these measures to be installed across Greater Manchester catchments.” Matt Scott-Campbell, Programme Manager for Conservation and Land Management at Moors for the Future Partnership, said: “With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, the valuable opportunity and need for healthy peatlands to slow the flow of water into the valleys below becomes more and more important. This project will have biodiversity, carbon capture and natural flood management outcomes, directly linking the benefits of a healthy upland landscape to downstream communities at risk of flooding in Rossendale and Greater Manchester. The restoration of degraded peatlands can make an important contribution to reducing flood risk, whilst also achieving other valuable benefits, for example this project will also improve the capacity of Holcombe Moor to absorb carbon, supporting our efforts to respond to the climate emergency.” The natural flood management project forms part of the Environment Agency’s overall vision to develop flood management schemes that will not only reduce the risks to local communities, but also tackle climate change through carbon capture and new habitats for wildlife. The works on Holcombe Moor are expected to restore the capacity of peatland to absorb carbon and improve blanket bog habitat, which in turn will help the recovery of breeding moorland bird like golden plover and dunlin. Published 9 September 2020 Source link
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Public Health England launches new Every Mind Matters campaign attach_img
Published 9 September 2020From:Public Health England Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them. Research reveals that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in young people. 1 What’s more, over two-fifths (41%) of children and young people said they were more lonely than before lockdown and more than a third said they were more worried (38%), more sad (37%) or more stressed (34%). 2 New PHE survey data found that two-thirds of parents say their children’s behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic (69%) and when asked their top 3 worries around COVID-19, over half (52%) said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.3 As we adapt to a new normal many parents and carers anticipate their children will experience new stresses. This includes facing the challenges of catching up with missed education, starting new schools or colleges and building relationships with friends again. Nearly a quarter of parents surveyed say that not knowing what action to take has prevented them supporting their children’s mental wellbeing (22%), and more than a third (38%) want more advice on how to support their mental wellbeing when returning to school. 3 The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing. To engage parents and carers, a powerful short film has been created featuring a number of celebrity parents including Davina McCall, Marvin Humes, Sean Fletcher, Katie Piper and Edith Bowman, reading extracts from bestselling author Charlie Mackesy’s book, ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’. The emotive extracts all touch upon mental health and aim to encourage parents to visit Every Mind Matters. NHS’s Top 5 Tips for supporting children and young people’s mental wellbeing as they go back out into the world (please view all tips on Every Mind Matters website): [*]Be there to listen Ask the children and young people you look after how they are doing regularly so they get used to speaking about their feelings.[*]Stay involved in their life Show interest in their life and the things that are important to them.[*]Support positive routines Be a positive role model and support positive behaviours including regular bedtime routines, healthy eating and getting active.[*]Encourage their interests Being active, creative, learning things and being a part of a team are all good for mental health. Support children and young people to explore their interests.[*]Take what they say seriously Help the children and young people you look after feel valued in what they say and help them work through difficult emotions. The website also encourages parents to complete a personal ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free interactive tool offering adults tailored mental wellbeing advice. More than 2.4 million ‘Mind Plans’ have been completed since launch in October 2019. Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director of Health Protection at Public Health England, said: Parents’ and carers’ relationships with their children are special and we want to give them the support they need. Being there to listen and encouraging them to explain how they feel can make a real difference to how children and young people cope with life’s challenges. It can also help them develop effective skills to cope with their emotions. Nadine Dorries, Minister for Mental Health, said: The effects of the pandemic on children and young people’s mental health have been challenging and it is vital we continue to do all we can to protect them and prevent long-term effects. Young people should feel encouraged to speak up, look out for each other, and ask for help. This campaign and these resources are a great way to access support and help parents to understand steps they can take to care even more for their children’s mental health and wellbeing. Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan, NHS England Associate National Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Mental Health, said: As young people go back to class, it’s understandable that while many will be excited to get back, some may also have concerns and anxieties about the new academic year, following the uncertainty and upheaval of COVID, which is why this important campaign is offering practical tips to help kids cope. Parents, carers, teachers and students should also be reassured that the NHS has been and will continue to be there for everyone with concerns about their mental health, whether through 24/7 crisis support lines, video and phone consultations, or face to face appointments. Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact of the lives of children and young people across the country and many have struggled with social isolation, anxiety and fears about what the future holds. We know how important it is for young people to get early support for their mental health when problems first start to emerge. This is a welcome and much-needed campaign, and we hope that it will provide young people with the resources to support their mental health and to seek help if they need it. We also hope that it will ensure parents and carers have the tools to support their children’s wellbeing and help them adjust in the coming months. Davina McCall, TV presenter, said: Children have missed out on so much during lockdown and like lots of other parents, I’ve wanted to support mine as much as I possibly can. As we’re starting to go back to normality and there’s still lots of uncertainty for our kids, it’s important we’re there for them through their ups and downs – communication is so important. For anyone that’s concerned or worried, or just want some tips on how to support them, please search Every Mind Matters. The new Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign will be supported through social media, radio and press activity, helping to reach audiences including parents and carers of children and young people (aged 5 to 18) and young people (aged 13 to 18). Search Every Mind Matters for expert tips and advice to support children and young people with their mental wellbeing. Public Health England press office Wellington House 133-155 Waterloo Road London SE1 8UG [email protected] Telephone020 7654 8400 Out of hours020 8200 4400 [*] Levita L, Gibson Miller J, Hartman TK, Murphy J, Shevlin M, McBride O, and others. Report 1: Initial research findings on the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of young people aged 13 to 24 in the UK. Non-representative sample of 2,000 children and young people aged 13 to 24, collected 21 to 29 April 2020. ↩ [*] Barnardo’s. Generation lockdown: a third of children and young people experience increased mental health difficulties. 2020. Sample of 4,283 young people aged 8 to 24, weighted to be representative of all 24-year-olds, GB. Collected 15 May to 2 June 2020. ↩ [*] Survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of PHE. Total sample size was 2,559 parents in England who have children aged 5 to 18. Fieldwork was carried out online from 4 to 11 August 2020. ↩ ↩2 Published 9 September 2020 Source link
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New campaign to prevent spread of coronavirus indoors this winter attach_img
Published 9 September 2020From:Department of Health and Social Care [*]The spread of coronavirus, particularly in enclosed spaces is shown in a new film, produced with experts in the field, which highlights the risk in simple, everyday interactions[*]The campaign will run across TV, radio, print, out of home, social and digital display advertising A new science based public information campaign will be launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of the virus by remembering to wash their hands, cover their face and make space. ‘Hands. Face. Space’ will run across TV, radio, print, out of home, social and digital display advertising, as well as on community media channels and will be supported by a variety of public and private sector partners throughout the coming weeks. As part of this campaign, a new video is being released to show exactly how coronavirus spreads indoors. With people expected to spend more time inside during the winter, the film – produced with the help of scientific experts – encourages the public to follow simple steps to reduce the risk of infection. Through a scientifically based reconstruction of everyday scenarios the film shows how the interactions between people, surfaces and the air spread the virus. The film also reflects how coronavirus spreads through droplets that come out of our nose and mouth. This is a powerful reminder to the public of the importance of remaining aware of their surroundings and following the guidance. Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: As we approach winter and inevitably spend more time indoors, we need the public to keep following this important advice to control the spread of the virus. ‘Hands. Face. Space’ emphasises important elements of the guidance we want everybody to remember: wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household. Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus. The compelling evidence combined with expert recommendations around ‘Hands. Face. Space’ includes: Washing your hands While coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments (see endnote 1). Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus (see endnote 2). Covering your face Coronavirus is carried in the air by tiny respiratory droplets that carry the virus. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch while smaller droplets, called aerosols, can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, and often much longer if there is no ventilation (see endnote 3). Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus you’re less likely to spread it when you exhale (see endnote 4). Making space Transmission of the virus is most likely to happen within 2 metres, with risk increasing exponentially at shorter distances (see endnote 5). While keeping this exact distance isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread. While coronavirus deaths have significantly reduced, the virus is still circulating in communities and impacting people of all ages across the UK. ‘Hands. Face. Space’ are simple but vital behaviours that have the power to protect the public from both the short and potential long-term impact of coronavirus. Professor Catherine Noakes, part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) who specialises in airborne infections said: Coronavirus is emitted in tiny droplets when we breathe, talk, laugh or cough. Other people can be exposed to these when they are close to someone with the virus or they are in a poorly ventilated room for a long time. Wearing a face covering prevents most of these droplets from being released into the air, and can also reduce the number of droplets that you are exposed to. That is why wearing a face covering serves as a vital first line of defence against catching and spreading the virus, along with regular and thorough handwashing with soap and water and maintaining a safe distance wherever possible. Poppy, 27 from London and suffering from long-term COVID-19 symptoms: There is a worrying trend at the moment for people who don’t consider themselves as being at a high-risk group to be dismissive of how the virus may impact them. Before having coronavirus, I was fit and healthy. Now 6 months after supposedly recovering, I’m still dealing with the aftermath of the virus which affects my everyday life. You really don’t know how this will impact you and just because you’re not classed as vulnerable – doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. The public are encouraged to continue to be vigilant of coronavirus symptoms which include a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell. If you or someone you know, displays any symptoms, no matter how mild, please get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk Background information Assets Watch the video Download additional advertising assets Additional information about the Test and Trace approach The new NHS Test and Trace service helps identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. We all have a vital role to play in tackling coronavirus and NHS Test and Trace will help us return life to as close to normal as possible in a way that is safe and avoids a second peak. If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate immediately with other members of your household and book a test on the website: nhs.uk/coronavirus or via 119. Those who have tested positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the service by text, email or phone – and asked to share information about their recent close contacts. Close contacts could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. Endnotes Endnote 1: van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, et al. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. N Engl J Med 2020; 382(16): 1564-7 Endnote 2: Beale S, Johnson A, Zambon M, null n, Hayward A, Fragaszy E. Hand Hygiene Practices and the Risk of Human Coronavirus Infections in a UK Community Cohort . Wellcome Open Research 2020; 5(98). Endnote 3: A. C. Fears et al., “Persistence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Aerosol Suspensions,” Emerg. Infect. Dis., vol. 26, no. 9, Sep. 2020, doi: 10.3201/eid2609.201806. Endnote 4: D. K. Milton, M. P. Fabian, B. J. Cowling, M. L. Grantham, and J. J. McDevitt, “Influenza Virus Aerosols in Human Exhaled Breath: Particle Size, Culturability, and Effect of Surgical Masks,” PLoS Pathog., vol. 9, no. 3, 2013, doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003205. Endnote 5: W. Chen, N. Zhang, J. Wei, H. Yen, and Y. Li, “Short-range airborne route dominates exposure of respiratory infection during close contact,” Build. Environ., pp. 1–33, 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.106859 Published 9 September 2020 Source link
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25 Argentine students return from studying in the UK with Chevening attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:British Embassy Buenos Aires Every year, the Secretariat organises a Farewell event in London for Chevening Scholars. This is the end-of-year event and a chance for scholars to say goodbye to one another, look back on a year of study, achievements and cultural activities in the UK, and also to open up new opportunities as the scholars become part of the global Chevening Alumni network. This year the event was held online on August 20 and 21. The Secretariat worked really hard to ensure that the 2019/20 cohort of scholars received an excellent send-off as they ended their award year, despite the circumstances of the past 5 months. They came up with a truly innovative, modern and celebratory package to match the usual face to face Farewell event! The event took place on an exclusive Chevening island powered by the platform VirBELA. Scholars were able to interact in real time as avatars, while enjoying a programme of specially curated speeches and entertainment. The event featured inspirational keynote speakers, TED-style talks, networking opportunities, regional networking events, a Chevening choir and other fun activities. Complete list of 2019/2020 cohort [*]Milagros Balparda - Building and Urban Design in Development - UCL (University College London)[*]Matias Belacin - Public Policy - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Laura Cécile Eva Buchet - Governance, Development and Public Policy - University of Sussex[*]María Luz Casal - Public Policy - King’s College London, University of London[*]Gabriel Eduardo Cejas - Public Policy - King’s College London, University of London[*]Romina Viviana Colman - Media and Communications (Data and Society) - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Carlos Martin Demaria - Risk, Disaster and Resilience - UCL (University College London)[*]Francisco Fernandez Funes - International Communication - University of Leeds[*]Francisco Jose Grosso - Law - Queen Mary University of London[*]Juan Ignacio Judas - Public Policy and Administration - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Enzo Leone - Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment - UCL (University College London)[*]Juan Cruz Loureiro - Behavioural Science - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Patricio Daniel Mendez Montenegro - Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - University of Essex[*]Ignacio Odriozola - Migration and Mobility Studies - University of Bristol[*]Juliana Outes Velarde - Politics, Big Data and Quantitative Methods - University of Warwick[*]Marina Ponce - Global Governance and Ethics - UCL (University College London)[*]María Portabales - International Social and Public Policy - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Agustin Reboursin - Managing Innovation in Creative Organisations - Loughborough University London[*]Ariel Ignacio Saban - Criminal Law and Criminal Justice - University of Edinburgh[*]Lucila Sarquis - Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Pablo Javier Sgalla - Public Administration - University of Leeds[*]María Eugenia Simhan - Media and Communications - Goldsmiths, University of London[*]Laila Sprejer - Applied Social Data Science - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London[*]Maximo Tettamanzi - Emergent Technologies and Design - Architectural Association School of Architecture[*]Carolina Ludmila Zaccato - International Relations - London School of Economics and Political Science, University of LondonPublished 8 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-8 13:00 341 0 2020-9-8 预览
Crayfish rescued in Kendal ahead of planned gravel removal attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Environment Agency This year, the Environment Agency took the decision to start the gravel removal programme early, ahead of work beginning on the separate £76millon Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme in the autumn. When complete, the scheme will provide extra flood protection to 1,437 homes and 1,151 businesses. Due to the presence of the endangered white-clawed crayfish within the River Kent system, the Environment Agency check work locations for the presence of crayfish before excavators enter the channel to remove gravel. They move any animals found to a safer part of the river away from the works in order to preserve and protect the species. Crayfish are small lobster like creatures that live under stones and tree roots in rivers and streams. This is Britain’s only native crayfish species which is now very rare. Last week works began at Dockray to the North of the town. Gravel removal has previously been conducted at Beezon Fields and will continue throughout September, moving to Sandy Bottoms and finally Romney Gardens. Stewart Mounsey, Cumbria’s Flood Risk Manager for the Environment Agency said “It’s great to see crayfish in our rivers and it’s important we continue to protect the species when conducting works. We would always urge people to ‘Check – Clean – Dry’ their footwear and equipment after spending time in and around watercourses. Anything that has contact with the water and riverbank needs to be cleaned thoroughly after use with warm water and environmentally friendly detergent. Then fully dried for 48 hours to make sure all parasites are killed. Gravel naturally accumulates in the River Kent in Kendal. The removal of this gravel will reduce flood risk by allowing water in the river to drain more quickly during heavy rain. During the works, the Environment Agency will aim to cause minimal disruption to the public however there may be some restriction to access of river banks while machinery is onsite.” All works will be carried out in line with the Government’s most up to date advice and workers will implement social distancing measures. Published 8 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-8 13:00 239 0 2020-9-8 预览
NDA launches leadership partnership to inspire young nuclear professionals attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Dounreay, Low Level Waste Repository Ltd, Magnox Ltd, Radioactive Waste Management, and Sellafield Ltd NDA Chief Executive David Peattie Chief Executive David Peattie announced the NDA’s partnership with the Nuclear Institute’s Young Generation Network (YGN) today at a special webinar for young professionals. It marks the first-ever YGN Industrial Partnership – meaning the NDA and its group of companies will actively work with the YGN to support young professionals through a series of events and in supporting personal and professional development. The NDA will work closely with YGN with the aim of underpinning workforce pipeline development, and overall nuclear professionalism and sector marketing, all aimed at encouraging young people into a career in the nuclear industry. The Industrial Partnership aligns behind the YGN’s mission “to encourage, develop and inspire young nuclear professionals and ensure that their voice is heard in shaping the future of the nuclear sector - and motivate young people to join and remain in the UK nuclear industry, helping develop them to be the best that they can be”. It also links directly in to the NDA’s mission to be a great place to work – and its work in promoting a leadership academy for its ‘One NDA’ philosophy, which is about NDA group collaboration, “being greater than the sum of our parts.” The NDA group of companies will be at the heart of the partnership, with young professionals from all of the NDA’s site licence companies playing a part to drive the relationship forwards, while forging closer links across the group. Chief Executive, David Peattie, said he was honoured to launch the unique partnership. I am really pleased we have developed this important partnership. Our leaders across the NDA group are committed to supporting early career colleagues and in effectively attracting young people to work in the decommissioning sector. This exciting agreement cements an already close relationship, and will allow our young people across the group, with the support from senior figures, to further inspire our young professionals in to becoming the next generation of leaders. Young nuclear professionals from Sellafield Ltd, RWM Ltd, Low Level Waste Repository, Magnox Ltd, INS ltd, Dounreay and Energus in West Cumbria will join NDA staff in organising a series of events including an Annual YGN Festival, seminars and interviews with senior nuclear leaders, and special one-off events including a focus on digitalisation. The partnership will also encourage educational attainment and professional qualification with the nuclear institute. Rob Ward, this year’s YGN chair, said: This Partnership is an opportunity for the YGN to develop a deeper understanding of the needs of our industry, so that we can more effectively support the attraction, development and retention of the workforce of the future. The YGN members entering the workplace now will deliver the UK’s most challenging missions, bringing the passion, diversity of thought and innovation that will make this an attractive industry to work in for the future. The YGN is part of the Nuclear Institute – the nuclear industry’s professional body and learned society. All young Nuclear Institute members automatically become members of the YGN when they join the Institute. The NI runs a number of regional branches around the Country, in Scotland, Cumbria, the North West, North East, Midlands, Central England, South West and London/SE. The YGN is a national branch with around 1500 young members. Published 8 September 2020 Source link
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Reseller GAK fined for illegally agreeing not to discount online attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Competition and Markets Authority Background We recently fined GAK, a reseller, £278,945 for breaking the law by entering into an agreement with manufacturer Yamaha not to discount online prices for Yamaha’s digital pianos, digital keyboards and guitars. This is the first time that the CMA has fined a reseller for RPM. Yamaha was granted total immunity under the CMA’s leniency programme. When online resellers have the freedom to price products independently this leads to healthy competition – rivals strive to offer the best deal for customers and people can shop around for the best price. However, if resellers agree not to reduce prices below a minimum level set by the supplier, rival resellers are blocked from competing on price and customers lose out. This practice is known as Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) and is illegal. What GAK did Between 1 March 2013 and 31 March 2017, GAK agreed to adhere to minimum prices set by Yamaha when selling Yamaha’s digital pianos, digital keyboards and guitars. While the CMA had reason to suspect that other resellers with which Yamaha worked may also have been engaged in RPM, the CMA focussed its investigation on GAK. A key reason for this was that GAK had failed to address the CMA’s concerns regarding possible RPM conduct after receiving an advisory letter from the CMA in 2015. CMA accepted that GAK believed there to be a credible threat that Yamaha would impose sanctions (restrictions on supply or loss of discount) if GAK did not adhere to minimum prices, and found that GAK had actively participated in Yamaha’s pricing policy. GAK used price-monitoring software to help ensure that it and other resellers were complying with minimum prices. It also sometimes let Yamaha know if competing resellers were dropping their price. GAK also used tracking software to ensure that its prices were automatically updated in line with minimum prices signalled by Yamaha through its YML store. Price monitoring software, when used correctly, should benefit competition by encouraging firms to compete with rivals. In this instance, the software was misused as a tool to implement the illegal agreement between GAK and Yamaha and help keep resellers’ prices artificially high. How GAK broke the law RPM is illegal because it cheats people out of a fair deal. It involves a reseller agreeing not to discount a product in return for receiving supplies, and therefore restricting the possibility of discounts – rather than allowing resellers to compete on prices. GAK was aware, or should have been aware, of the likely anti-competitive nature of its conduct. GAK could see that from October 2014 onwards, Yamaha was attempting to minimise written records of its pricing policy which formed the basis of the infringement. As one senior GAK employee noted: Yamaha would regularly make statements in email about not controlling GAK’s pricing, but contrary expectations were relayed via e.g., phone calls… The unusual and contradictory nature of these communications could be expected to have increased GAK’s sense that it was participating in something that was not a legitimate business practice, the legality of which was, at best, questionable. What action we took We fined GAK in excess of a quarter of a million pounds for breaking the law. The fine was increased because senior management was involved, and because the illegal behaviour continued after GAK received an advisory letter from the CMA making it aware that there was evidence it might be engaging in RPM. GAK admitted to breaking the law, and cooperated with the CMA’s investigation, and its fine was reduced to reflect this. What the lessons are There are a number of lessons that businesses can learn from this case, including the following: [*]It is illegal for a supplier to interfere with a reseller’s ability to set its own prices independently and for a reseller to agree with a supplier to adhere to minimum prices set by the supplier.[*]As a reseller you can also be investigated for breaking the law if you are found to have co-operated with a minimum pricing policy. If a supplier tries to make you comply with a minimum pricing policy, you should refuse and point them to our guidance and consider reporting them to us. Resellers may also face enforcement action such as fines.[*]The consequences of breaking competition law can include fines of up to 10% of a business’s global turnover.[*]The CMA has ways of gathering evidence even where companies have tried to hide their actions by deleting communications.[*]If you are ever asked not to put something in writing you should be suspicious as it could relate to something illegal. If so, you should seek legal advice and seriously consider whether to report the matter to the CMA.Directors and senior staff have a special responsibility to be well informed on competition law and make sure their companies are behaving legally.[*]Attending compliance training alone isn’t sufficient to be compliant – you must actively comply with the law.[*]It is important that all businesses that receive warning and advisory letters take these seriously and take appropriate action to address concerns raised.What you can do This case shows that it’s important for suppliers and resellers to review their pricing practices so they don’t risk entering into illegal agreements. Some of the ways to do this are to: [*]Create a culture of compliance – everyone in your business must understand what they need to do to stay on the right side of competition law.[*]Read our guidance on what to do if you receive a warning or advisory letter from the CMA.[*]Read our short summary on RPM and watch our video – both give pointers to help businesses avoid breaking the law.[*]What is resale price maintenance (RPM)?[*]If you have information on other companies in your industry that may have been involved in an anti-competitive arrangement, you should consider reporting it to us here or calling us on 020 3738 6000.[*]If you think your business has been involved in RPM, seek independent legal advice and consider notifying the CMA as soon as possible – you may benefit from lenient treatment by being the first to come forward to the CMA.Published 8 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-8 10:03 323 0 2020-9-8 预览
New action to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Bolton attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MPDelivered on: 8 September 2020 Mr Deputy Speaker, with permission, I’d like to make a statement on coronavirus. As a country we have made huge strides in our fight against this invisible killer. Today’s ONS figures show that the weekly coronavirus deaths have dropped to the lowest number since mid-March. And the latest daily number of recorded deaths is 3. However, Mr Deputy Speaker, we have seen a concerning rise in the number of positive cases, particularly amongst younger people. And these figures serve as a salutary reminder that this virus is still very much with us and remains a threat. So it is critical that we maintain our collective commitment to controlling this disease. And social distancing is the first line of defence. While young people are less likely to die from this disease, be in no doubt that they are still at risk. The long-term effects can be terrible, and of course they can infect others. Six months on, many people are still suffering chronic fatigue, muscle pain and breathing difficulties. Previously fit and healthy people reduced to barely being able to function. A King’s College survey, published today, shows that 300,000 people in the UK have reported symptoms lasting for more than a month and 60,000 people have been ill for more than 3 months. And Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to address the point, which is of course good news, that the number of people sadly dying from coronavirus in this country is currently low. We’ve seen all across the world how a rise in cases, initially among younger people, then spreads – leading to hospitalisations and fatalities. In Spain, where the rise in cases started around 2 months ago, hospitalisations have risen 15 times since mid-July. The number of daily deaths has reached 184. In France, hospitalisations have more than tripled in the same period. So this must be a moment of clarity for us all. This is not over. Just because we’ve come through one peak, it doesn’t mean we can’t see another coming towards our shores. But together, we can tackle it. So long as we remember that in a pandemic, our actions today have consequences tomorrow, for the people we love, for our communities, and for our country. Mr Deputy Speaker, each and every citizen has a responsibility to follow social distancing and help stop a second peak. And after social distancing, the next line of defence is test and trace. Test and trace Over the past 6 months we’ve built the biggest testing system of any major European country, and one of the biggest testing systems in the world. And today, I can tell the House that we have met our target to provide testing kits to all care homes for older people and people with dementia, that have registered to get tests. But I will not rest. We are working flat out to expand our testing capacity even further. Using existing technology, we are expanding our capacity right now. And we are investing in new testing technology too. Last week, I was able to announce £500 million for next-generation tests, like saliva tests and rapid turnaround tests that can deliver results in just 20 minutes. The ability to get rapid, on-the-spot results will significantly increase the weapons in our armoury, in our fight both against coronavirus, and for economic recovery. We are rolling out these tests right now and plan to use them to relieve capacity constraints, to expand asymptomatic testing to find the virus, and to give people the confidence that a negative test result brings. Local action Next, Mr Deputy Speaker, where it’s necessary we will not shy from taking targeted local action. In June, I established the Joint Biosecurity Centre, to provide the best possible data analytics, using information from all possible sources. Our local action is driven by the data. We now publish daily local data on cases so that everyone can see the data on which these decisions are taken. And this shows that our approach is working. For instance, in both Leicester and Luton, the weekly case rate has more than halved during August. I want to thank the people of Leicester, including the Honorable Gentleman opposite and of Luton, and the other areas where we’ve taken local action, who have followed social distancing and helped bring the virus under control. Sometimes local action requires us to act fast and respond to changing circumstances. And unfortunately, after improving for several weeks, we have seen a very significant rise in cases in Bolton. Bolton is now up to 120 cases per 100,000, the highest case rate in the country. I am publishing the data behind the decisions we have taken. I must therefore tell the House that, working with the local council, we are taking further local action. The rise in cases in Bolton is partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s. We know this from contact tracing. And through our contact-tracing system, we have identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly. We are therefore taking the following action in Bolton, starting immediately. We will restrict all hospitality to takeaway only and we will introduce a late night restriction of operating hours, which will mean all venues will be required to close from 10pm to 5am. We introduce urgently further measures that put the current guidance – that people cannot socialise outside their household – into law. I want us to learn the lesson from Spain and America and France – not have to learn the lesson all over again ourselves through more hospitalisations and more deaths – and take this action locally in Bolton. But, crucially, we all have a part to play. Young people don’t just spread the virus to each other. They spread the virus to their parents and their grandparents. They spread it to those they come into contact with. And to others who they love. I know social distancing can be hard and how it will be extra tough for students who will soon be starting university. But please stick with it and play your part in getting this virus under control. Mr Deputy Speaker, we are also putting in place extra measures, including visitor restrictions to restrict the spread of the virus into care homes and hospitals in Bolton and I want to thank the leadership of Bolton Council, who are doing an outstanding job in very difficult circumstances. And I want to thank colleagues who represent Bolton in this House with whom I have discussed these measures. And I want to say this directly to everyone living in Bolton: I know how anxious this can be. And I know the impact that these measures will have. We are asking you to take a step back, at a time when we all just want to get our lives, and what we love, back to normal. But we need to take this crucial step to keep this virus at bay. Because as we have seen elsewhere, if we act early, and control the virus, then we can save lives. Technology and vaccines Mr Deputy Speaker, as well as controlling the virus using the tools we have now, we will do everything in our power to bring to bear the technologies of the future. Over the past few months we have seen the pivotal role that technology has played in our response. Like next-generation rapid testing and machine-learning tools to help the NHS predict where vital resources might be needed, and the discovery here in the UK of the only 2 treatments known to save lives from coronavirus. We want to keep this momentum going. And so today, we are also allocating £50 million from our AI in Health and Care Award. And this fund aims to speed up the testing and evaluation of some of the most promising AI technologies. Because through bringing new technologies to the frontline, we can transform how we deliver critical care and services across the country. Finally, Mr Deputy Speaker, the best way out of this coronavirus pandemic remains a vaccine. We have already announced that we will roll out the most comprehensive flu vaccination programme in history this winter. We now have agreements with 6 separate vaccine developers for early access to 340 million doses of coronavirus vaccines. And we will use every method at our disposal to get as many people protected as possible. Conclusion Mr Deputy Speaker, this is a virus that feeds on complacency. And although time has passed since the peak we saw in the spring, the threat posed by the virus has not gone away. Now, with winter on the horizon, we must all redouble our efforts so we can get this virus on the back foot, and I commend this statement to the House. Published 8 September 2020 Source link
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Priti Patel to create police covenant to protect officers and staff attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Home Office and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP The government will enshrine a new covenant in law to enhance support and protection for the police. This follows the publication of a consultation today (Tuesday 8th September), which found more than 90 per cent of respondents backed government plans for a police covenant. The new covenant will apply to all serving or former police personnel. The Home Secretary announced the publication of the government response to the consultation in a virtual speech to the Police Superintendents’ Association, where she outlined her commitment to stand firmly by the side of the police. Home Secretary Priti Patel said: The police and the families that stand behind them deserve special recognition. Their bravery and sacrifices are what keep us and our loved ones safe. I will put the police covenant in law to ensure they will always have the support of the nation. The consultation, launched earlier this year, was aimed at those serving with the police, those who have previously done so, their families and any groups with an interest in supporting the police in England and Wales. Over 1,000 responses to the consultation were received, with the highest proportion coming from serving police officers, followed by police staff and retired officers. The government has published its findings today and has outlined proposals to implement the Covenant. These include: [*] enshrining a police covenant in law, creating a statutory duty to do more to support the police [*] placing a requirement on the Home Secretary to report annually to Parliament on progress with the covenant [*] ensuring the covenant applies to all those working within or retired from policing roles, whether paid or as a volunteer [*] putting the initial focus of the covenant on physical protection, health and wellbeing, as well as support for families [*] Implementing a new governance structure to drive forward activity on wellbeing and protection to fulfil the covenant. John Apter, National Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), said: PFEW have campaigned relentlessly for a police covenant and we are delighted it will now be enshrined in law and subject to regular Parliamentary scrutiny. This covenant will mean much more than words to serving or former police officers. It recognises the unique position they hold in society and the fact they very often put their lives on the line. The benefits of this police covenant will be welcomed by the entire policing family. We would therefore like to thank the Home Secretary for her enthusiastic support and for turning PFEW’s campaign for a covenant into a reality. President of the Police Superintendents’ Association, Paul Griffiths, said: The police covenant will provide formal recognition and a sign of clear value to the families of officers and staff who have made sacrifices in carrying out their duties. As an association, we have repeatedly called for this recognition of our workforce, and we were delighted to hear news of the police covenant at our conference last year. Today’s update is extremely positive and we will provide the experience and support of our members in further work to develop this. Our people put themselves at risk each day as they work to protect the public, something that is now more acute than ever, when faced with the challenges of coronavirus and increased reports of assaults against our officers. This important step forwards will ensure that our duty to our people begins to mirror that of our duty to the public. The police covenant marks the latest step in the government’s campaign to back the police with more resources, powers and protections. Other steps include: [*] the biggest funding boost for the policing system in a decade, with up to £1.1 billion more going towards the police compared to last year [*] the recruitment of 20,000 additional officers over the next three years – over 4,300 of whom have already joined police forces across England and Wales [*] expanded stop and search powers which have empowered over 8,000 more officers to use them, and increased levels of stop and search which have resulted in more arrests – over 58,000 in the last year alone [*] a consultation on doubling the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers. The full consultation response The final wording for the police covenant, as included in the consultation response, is below: This covenant acknowledges the sacrifices made by those who serve or have served in our Police Forces, either in a paid or voluntary capacity, whether as an officer or as a member of staff. It is intended to ensure that they and their families are not disadvantaged as a result of that commitment and seeks to mitigate the impact on their day to day life or in their access to justice. Police officers are required at all times to uphold the important principles of policing by consent, the foundation of their long-standing relationship with the public. We ask a great deal of our police and we expect the highest standards to be maintained. In return, we have a responsibility to provide protection and support to the police. The covenant recognises that working within policing comes with a high level of personal accountability, duty and responsibility requiring courage and personal risk both on and off duty. This recognition extends to all those who support police forces in upholding the principles and practices of their vocation. Recognising those who have served in policing unites the country and demonstrates the value of their sacrifice. This has no greater expression than in upholding this covenant. Published 8 September 2020 Source link
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Civil news: tender opportunities for telephone legal advice attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Legal Aid Agency Three separate tender processes are opening in the coming weeks for the award of contracts to deliver: [*] Civil Legal Advice (CLA) specialist telephone advice in the discrimination and/or education categories from 1 April 2021 [*] Criminal Defence Direct (CDD) services from 1 June 2021 [*] Immigration Telephone Advice (ITA) services from 1 June 2021 The tender process for CLA education and discrimination contracts is expected to open before the end of September. Tender processes for CDD and ITA contracts will follow in October. All tenders will need to be submitted using the e-Tendering system. Who can apply? Each procurement process will be open to any organisations able to meet our minimum requirements. Once open organisations wishing to apply a contract to deliver any of these services will need to submit a response to the relevant: [*] selection questionnaire and [*] invitation to tender All three tender processes will assess bids on both quality and price Further information Details will be published when each tender process opens. Information will be published on GOV.UK. Published 8 September 2020 Source link
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Called-in decision: land at Highthorn, Widdrington, Northumberland (ref: 3158266 attach_img
Published 8 September 2020From:Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local GovernmentApplies to: EnglandDocumentsCalled-in decision: land at Highthorn, Widdrington, Northumberland (ref: 3158266 – 8 September 2020) PDF, 2.11MB, 236 pages This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.Request an accessible format. Details Decision letter and Inspector’s Report for a called-in decision for a mineral extraction and auger mining scheme at land at Highthorn, Widdrington, Northumberland, NE61 5EE in accordance with application reference 15/03410/CCMEIA dated 12 October 2015. Published 8 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-8 10:01 349 0 2020-9-8 预览
Sellafield scoops prestigious safety awards attach_img
Published 4 September 2020From:Sellafield Ltd RoSPA safety award winners Every year, nearly 2,000 entrants vie to achieve the highest possible accolade in what is the UK’s longest-running health and safety industry awards. In its latest round of safety awards, RoSPA - the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - has recognised safety performance of teams and contractors working at Sellafield. Teams in our legacy ponds have received gold awards – a seventh consecutive year for the Pile Fuel Storage Pond and the fifth consecutive year for the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond. Both programmes received these safety awards for working hard to ensure our teams get home safely to their families at the end of every working day. Legacy ponds environmental health and safety manager, Andrew Kelly, said: This is a wonderful accomplishment and showcases the hard work we all do on a day to day basis to keep everyone safe. This award can only be achieved by us all putting safety as the number one priority in any task we do. This year we have had to adapt and adhere to the new COVID-19 arrangements but this is always hand in hand with nuclear, radiological, conventional and environmental safety, not superseding it. Teams in Remediation received a RoSPA Gold Award, their third successive gold award, for health and safety performance during 2019. Remediation teams are responsible for a wide range of high-profile, and potentially dangerous decommissioning work across the site, including the removal of the Windscale Pile Chimney and the First Generation Reprocessing Plant stack, decommissioning of former finishing lines, as well as the demolition of facilities and buildings we no longer need. At the same time, the department is responsible for alpha and beta gamma waste management and the operation of waste management facilities across the site. David Connolly, remediation operating unit head, said: I’d like to congratulate all teams who entered and picked up awards this year. I thank all our teams and supply chain colleagues for their continuing efforts towards keeping safe and secure. It’s important we all remain focused on all hazards in our workplaces to protect ourselves and others, and our environment. Our contractors have picked up many awards, some on their first time of entry and others have built on many years of success with Order of Distinction and President’s Awards, recognising consecutive gold awards for many years. Jacobs Field Services (JFS) is one of many contractors to pick up prestigious awards for their work at Sellafield. Chris Thompson, health and safety lead for JFS, said: We are delighted to have received a President’s Award. This is our 14th consecutive gold award which is an achievement the company are very proud of. In these unpresented and challenging times, it is fantastic to see so many contractor fraternity members being recognised for their outstanding safety performance at Sellafield. JFS have numerous collaborations/JVs; positively communicating and sharing best practice helps make the site safer and stronger. Cumbria Nuclear Solutions Ltd (CNSL) picked up their first RoSPA award – a gold. Jack Tomlinson, CNSL HSE lead, said: Health and safety goes to the heart of the way our business is run and shows an ambitious approach to reducing accidents and safeguarding health – it’s a strong symbol to remind us all that our primary purpose is to put people to work safely in the nuclear industry. This year RoSPA held a virtual awards ceremony to recognise all award winners. Published 4 September 2020 Source link
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DIO awarded RoSPA Gold for the fourth consecutive year attach_img
Published 4 September 2020From:Defence Infrastructure Organisation 2020 Gold Award. RoSPA Copyright. DIO was recognised for its commitment to accident and ill-health prevention and the award is a tremendous achievement for an organisation as large and complex as DIO. The RoSPA scheme is open to business and organisations of all types from across the UK and overseas. Judges consider entrants’ occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership, performance management and workforce involvement. The award recognises the quality and effectiveness of DIO’s safety management systems, including arrangements for safe systems of work and demonstrates our commitment to the “Safety First” value. As with previous years, DIO will use feedback from the judges to further develop and improve our Safety Management System. This will help to improve health and safety for everyone who lives, works or uses the defence estate. David Brewer, DIO’s Chief Operating Officer said: DIO’s fourth consecutive ROSPA Gold Award is a fantastic result which acknowledges our commitment to continually improving our Safety Management Systems. Safety is at the heart of DIO and we will continue to work closely with our customers and suppliers on keeping our people safe. Lastly special thanks to the health and safety team for putting forward a well evidenced submission during these different and sometimes difficult times. Clare Read, Head of Regional Health and Safety Team said: We are extremely proud of achieving gold for the fourth consecutive year, particularly as the award submission was put together under the challenging Covid-19 lockdown period. We had to maintain Covid-19 technical advice and guidance to the organisation alongside our normal work. The circumstances under which the award was put together with the award criteria to demonstrate improvements over each year makes each successive entry more challenging than the previous one, and more satisfying to achieve. Published 4 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-8 07:07 357 0 2020-9-8 预览
COVID-19: CMA secures refund promise from Bijou Weddings Group attach_img
Published 7 September 2020From:Competition and Markets Authority At the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, no weddings were able to take place at Bijou’s venues between 23 March and 4 July. Bijou offered to re-schedule these weddings at no cost, but couples who did not want to rearrange were only offered a very limited refund and would have been left significantly out of pocket by Bijou’s refund policy. It is the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) view that, in this situation, people should have been offered a fairer refund, with the wedding company retaining only an amount that contributes to the costs it had already incurred and work done before the wedding was prevented from taking place. After engaging constructively with the CMA, Bijou has now agreed to change its policy to offer a fairer level of partial refund to consumers who did not want to reschedule their wedding. If the company had not done this, the CMA could have taken it to court. This agreement means Bijou will: [*]offer affected customers fairer partial refunds that more accurately reflect the services received up until the date of cancellation[*]clearly communicate to every affected customer who has not re-scheduled their wedding the refund process that has been agreed In the first instance Bijou will offer refunds to customers who did not have insurance. Bijou will not have to give refunds to people who have already received, or are going to receive, their money back through their insurance. Alongside this action against Bijou, the CMA has published advice on cancellations and refunds in light of the pandemic’s impact on weddings. It offers the CMA’s view of how the law applies and is designed to help consumers understand their rights and businesses to treat their customers fairly. The CMA is also publishing an open letter to providers, and contacting some directly, to remind them of their responsibilities under consumer protection law. This all follows the CMA’s decision to prioritise weddings as an area for investigation after receiving complaints to its COVID-19 Taskforce. Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the CMA, said: It is good news that Bijou has agreed to offer fairer levels of refunds to its customers, and we encourage other firms in the industry to follow suit. As lockdown lifts, couples around the country are still dealing with the impact of expensive wedding receptions that couldn’t go ahead as planned, and it’s important that they get the refunds they are due. That’s why we’ve also published advice aimed at the wedding industry and consumers, outlining our view of how the law applies to refunds, including what, if any, deductions a wedding business can make, and unfair contract terms. We’re also writing an open letter to all wedding businesses, and directly to some, reminding them of their legal obligations. The news comes as a part of a wider programme of CMA investigations into businesses that have reportedly failed to respect cancellation rights during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the CMA launched probes into 2 major holiday lettings companies - Sykes Cottages and Vacation Rentals - and secured full refunds for all customers whose trips could not go ahead due to the pandemic. All updates on the CMA’s cancellations work can be found on the COVID-19 response page. Notes to editors: [*]The details of any refund will depend on the circumstances of each particular wedding. The CMA will not be publishing details of the amounts provided to individual couples.[*]In some cases, where lockdown laws prevent a business from providing a service or the consumer from receiving it, the business may be able to deduct a contribution to the costs it has already incurred in relation to servicing the specific contract in question (where it cannot recover them elsewhere). Read more in the CMA’s statement on weddings.[*]The CMA has recently provided more detail on its view of the law in relation to refunds. Read that statement.[*]The key pieces of consumer protection legislation relevant to the CMA’s investigation are the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs). The CRA prohibits the use of unfair terms in contracts between businesses and consumers. The CPRs prohibit unfair commercial practices by businesses towards consumers.[*]For more information about the CMA’s work on weddings, visit the inquiry page.[*]The CMA’s COVID-19 Taskforce was launched on 20 March to scrutinise market developments, identify harmful sales and pricing practices as they emerge and take enforcement action if there is evidence firms may have breached competition or consumer protection law. Read more about the CMA’s COVID-19 taskforce on the CMA coronavirus response page.[*]For media enquiries, contact the CMA press office on 020 3738 6460 or [email protected] 7 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-7 13:00 312 0 2020-9-7 预览
Desk takes centre stage attach_img
Published 7 September 2020From:Magnox Ltd and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority The desk in use at Sizewell A Site The ‘reactor in-core inspection desk’, which was used to remotely check conditions deep inside the reactors at Sizewell A Site, was last used in 2005 just before the site stopped generating electricity. The desk was a vital piece of equipment to help the site safely generate low-carbon electricity for 40 years. Considered cutting edge technology at the time, the desk allowed the operators to identify any maintenance or repairs needed inside the reactor core. As work to decommission and clean up Sizewell A progressed, the desk became redundant and needed to be disposed of. Once it was carefully inspected and certified as free from contamination, Magnox’s disposals contract partner, Ramco, took on the job of finding it a new home. Having ‘one careful owner’ for the past half-century, and being a unique design piece, ensured plenty of interested bidders in the recent auction, but the highest bid of £10,200 was placed by a film studio based near Oxford. The company has previously been involved with productions such as World War Z, Iron Man 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Disposing of the desk in this way has recycled equipment that would have otherwise required months of painstaking work to dismantle for scrap. Caron Weaver, Engineering and Asset Management Director, said: “This sale proves that there is still value in Magnox assets if we are willing to look at what we have and find out if there is a market for them. Our mindset is changing to ensure we exploit our assets and not follow the norm and throw them away as waste; this sale alone has saved Magnox in the region of £10,000. Before we throw away any item we must consider reuse and we must achieve best value for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the UK tax payer and, most importantly, the environment through reuse and resale. Sizewell A’s Disposal Manager, Mark Thurston, added: “Each section would have taken two people at least one week to dismantle for scrap, so this has saved valuable time and brought a small profit. I look forward to spotting it in a film at some point in the future!” Published 7 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-7 10:04 267 0 2020-9-7 预览
New voluntary calorie guidelines to help industry tackle obesity attach_img
Published 7 September 2020 Last updated 7 September 2020— see all updatesFrom:Public Health England The government is encouraging the food industry to support the national effort against COVID-19 and obesity, with voluntary calorie reduction guidelines to make it easier for the nation to choose healthier options in everyday meals and foods. Voluntary guidelines for industry are a key commitment of the government’s obesity strategy and have a renewed urgency following evidence that being overweight can increase the health risks from COVID-19. A recent Public Health England (PHE) report found that being severely overweight increases people’s risk of hospitalisation, Intensive Care Unit admission and death from COVID-19. High calories in many products in a broad range of everyday meals and foods are one of the reasons why many of us are consuming more calories than we need. Calories can be particularly high in takeaway and restaurant food, now a regular part of our diets. For example, a pizza for one sold at a restaurant or takeaway can have as many as 2,320 calories compared to 1,368 calories when purchased from shops or supermarkets. Research suggests that when someone eats out or has a takeaway meal they consume on average 200 more calories per day. The food industry’s efforts are crucial to providing healthier food and drink choices for consumers, and calorie reduction forms part of this. It is recommended that the following calorie reductions be made voluntarily: [*]20% calorie reduction for most meal categories in the eating out of home, takeaway and delivery sector, alongside a maximum calorie guideline for all categories[*]for children’s meal bundles, a 10% calorie reduction ambition has been set to reflect progress already made[*]10% calorie reduction ambition for retailers making ready meals, chips and garlic bread, alongside a maximum calorie guideline for all categories[*]for crisps and savoury snacks, a 5% ambition[*]combined guidelines for both sectors have been set for sandwiches (5% ambition) and pizza and pastry products (20% ambition) New voluntary salt reduction goals have also been published today to encourage businesses to further reduce salt levels in the foods that contribute most to salt intakes. Consuming too much salt is a major cause of high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Despite good progress in some categories, more needs to be done to help reduce salt intake from the current average of 8.4g per day towards the recommended 6g – a reduction of around a third of a teaspoon, which would help to prevent heart attacks and strokes. A second progress report on salt reduction, which shows good progress in some categories, such as bread and breakfast cereals, has also been published. Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “We can all do our bit to stay healthy, to help protect us from coronavirus and take pressure off the NHS. “The food industry can play their part, by making it as easy as possible for everyone to eat more healthily. These guidelines will help them take positive action.” Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist for PHE, said: “Eating food and drink that’s higher in calories than people realise is one of the reasons why many of us are either overweight or obese. “This is about broadening choice for consumers, as well as making the healthier choice the easy choice. Progress to date on sugar and salt reduction has shown that this can happen without compromising on taste and quality.” A range of measures were recently announced as part of the government’s new obesity strategy, including calorie labelling at large restaurants, cafes and takeaways, and PHE’s Better Health campaign to encourage people to lose weight, get active and eat better. Industry’s progress against the programme’s ambitions will be monitored with reports on calorie and salt reduction expected in 2022. The government remains committed to further action if results are not seen. Public Health England press office Wellington House 133-155 Waterloo Road London SE1 8UG [email protected] Telephone020 7654 8400 Out of hours020 8200 4400 Background informationRecommend calorie intake for adults An ideal daily intake of calories varies depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity, among other things. Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 calories a day for men. About the calorie reduction programme PHE discussed initial proposals for the calorie reduction programme with relevant non-governmental groups and businesses in 2018. As part of the government’s childhood obesity plan, PHE was asked to encourage businesses to start considering calorie reduction ahead of the programme and guidelines. Since several rounds of significant stakeholder engagement, PHE reviewed stakeholder feedback and conducted further analysis to inform the final programme. The food industry regularly reviews and reformulates product recipes and menus. The changes it is being expected to include are an opportunity to feed into their established product review and innovation programmes. There has been some good progress in salt and sugar reduction where this has been the case and regular, transparent monitoring will underpin where there is future progress. Calorie examples Research shows that a pizza for one sold at shops or supermarkets can have as many as 1,368 calories and this rises to 2,320 calories when purchased from a restaurant or takeaway. For main meals, the calorie content ranges from 205 to 775 in supermarkets, whereas eating out options ranged from 385 calories but, in some cases, were over 2,000 calories. About the salt reduction programme Work on salt reduction began in the UK, in 2004, following advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) that recommended population average salt intakes should be reduced to 6g per day to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and hence cardiovascular disease (CVD). The 2024 targets are the fifth set of voluntary salt reduction targets for individual categories of food – previous targets were published in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2014. The foods covered by the salt targets are the main contributors to dietary salt intakes in adults in the UK. Targets include average and maximum targets per 100g of food or drink set for all sectors, and maximum per serving targets set specifically for the eating out of home sector. Retailers continue to demonstrate good progress, meeting 83% of average and 90% of maximum targets, compared with manufacturers who met 35% and 73% respectively. For the out of home sector, 74% of products met the maximum targets set specifically for the sector. Published 7 September 2020 Last updated 7 September 2020+ show all updates[*]7 September 2020 First published. Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-7 10:04 214 0 2020-9-7 预览
Vocational and technical qualification assessments in 2021 attach_img
Published 7 September 2020From:Ofqual We recognise that some learners taking vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) have experienced lost teaching and training time as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and that appropriate arrangements need to be put in place to mitigate the impact of this disruption and respond to any ongoing or future public health measures. We consulted on proposals to permit awarding organisations to make adjustments to their qualifications and assessments, which took account of the different ways in which the qualifications are used – ranging from those taken alongside, or instead of general qualifications, to those used to signal occupational competency. Responses to the consultation have been carefully considered and given the high level of agreement to the proposals, we have today, 7 September, confirmed our decisions and that the proposed arrangements are being implemented in full. Dame Glenys Stacey, Acting Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said: In many cases, awarding organisations will be able to deliver VTQs as normal, but where this is not possible it is important that any changes continue to deliver qualifications that are a valid and reliable indication of knowledge, understanding, skills or practical competence. We will continue to work with awarding organisations to support their decision-making on when adaptations are necessary and what adaptations are appropriate for different qualifications. The work we are already doing to facilitate the development of common approaches across similar sectors and types of qualifications will also continue. As government’s expectation is that assessments will take place during 2020/21, awarding organisations are being allowed to adapt assessments to enable them to better cater for any future disruptions. We will monitor plans they are putting in place, ensuring that, as far as possible, arrangements are in place to cope with different potential scenarios depending on the progression of the pandemic. It is therefore not necessary to permit awarding organisations to offer calculated results for assessments taken in 2020/21. Our second draft extended extraordinary regulatory framework, on which we have launched a consultation today, sets out the regulatory arrangements and guidance with which awarding organisations must comply when adapting their qualifications. Awarding organisations must consider whether their assessments and qualifications can progress as they normally would, or if there is need to adapt assessments and qualifications. This could include widening assessment windows to provide greater flexibility, streamlining assessments to free up time for teaching and learning, or changing some assessment requirements to deal with the impact of any ongoing social distancing measures, such as group performances. However, if they can progress as normal, qualifications and assessments will not be adapted. It is important that centres receive information about adaptations in a timely and consistent way and we are working with stakeholders to agree deadlines by when awarding organisations will provide qualification specific information to their centres. Our approach seeks to ensure that, as far as possible, learners taking VTQs and other general qualifications, have the opportunity to receive a fair result and are not disadvantaged by the longer term impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Published 7 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-7 10:03 371 0 2020-9-7 预览
2020 badger control licences published attach_img
Published 7 September 2020From:Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Natural England, and The Rt Hon George Eustice MP Natural England has today (Monday 7 September) published licences for areas that will undertake badger control operations in England this autumn, in accordance with statutory guidance given by the Secretary of State. This includes the reauthorisation of licences for 33 existing areas alongside licences for 11 additional areas. Earlier this year, the government published its response to the Godfray Review which sets out the next phase of its 25-year bTB eradication strategy. The response outlines out the government’s intention to phase out intensive badger culling in the next few years, while ensuring that wildlife control remains a tool that can be deployed where the scientific evidence supports it. Bovine TB remains the greatest animal health threat that England faces today, with more than 30,000 cattle slaughtered each year due to infection. This operational publication is a continuation of the long-term strategy to tackle the animal disease Bovine TB which was published in April 2014. Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Bovine TB is one of the most difficult and intractable animal health challenges that the UK faces today, causing considerable trauma for farmers and costing taxpayers over £100 million every year. “No one wants to continue the cull of a protected species indefinitely. That is why we are accelerating other elements of our strategy, including vaccination and improved testing so that we can eradicate this insidious disease and start to phase out badger culling in England.” All applications received were carefully assessed to ensure that each cull company has suitable arrangements and plans in place to carry out an operation that is safe, effective and humane. The government’s response to the Godfray Review outlined the need for a combined approach which includes tighter cattle movement controls, regular testing, as well as badger and cattle vaccination to eradicate the disease in England by 2038. In July, the government announced that world-leading bovine tuberculosis (bTB) TB cattle vaccination trials are set to get underway in England and Wales as a result of a major breakthrough by government scientists. These trials enable work to accelerate towards planned deployment of a cattle vaccine by 2025. One fully developed and approved, a cattle vaccine will provide another major step forward in the government’s strategy to phase out intensive culling. The government recently awarded £500,000 grant funding for projects that develop new tools to diagnose tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. The programme, run by Defra on behalf of England, Scotland and Wales, will fund innovative research projects using cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning aimed at detecting infection in cattle herds faster. Published 7 September 2020 Source link
lastpost: nearmetips@ 2020-9-7 10:03 322 0 2020-9-7 预览


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