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|| Year Delta: London: Monday: September 24: 2018: We Keep On Walking On The Path of Humanics ||
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VII London Poetry Festival 2018: Sunday-Monday: October 14-15: 19:30-22:00
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Green Party Elects a New Set of Co-Leaders and Re-Elects the Existing Deputy Leader for a Third Term

 

 

|| September 04: 2018 || ά. The Green Party members have voted Mr Jonathan Bartley and Ms Sian Berry as its new Co-leaders of the Party after an internal election this summer. Mr Bartley and Ms Berry have launched their leadership by pledging to take the party on the course to become the ‘third political party in Britain’ and get a Green in every council chamber. The new Co-leaders expressed their hope that their party would stand as ‘the opposite of vapid, old school centrist politics’ and promised to put forward ‘bright Green ideas’ to answer the big challenges of today from exiting the European Union to climate breakdown and the housing crisis, to automation and the broken world of work.

Ms Amelia Womack was re-elected as the Deputy Leader of the Party for a third term and will continue work on women’s rights, including, the campaign to make misogyny a hate crime, as well as, work on sustainable communities and the environment. The two Co-leaders, also, promised ‘fiercer Green resistance’ on the frontline of the fight against the destruction of projects from fracking to HS2 and the harm of practices like deportation and indefinite detention. Mr Bartley has led the opposition on Lambeth council since being elected a Streatham Councillor in May this year. Ms Berry was elected Green London Assembly Member in 2016, when she, also, came third in the London Mayoral race. She has been a Camden Councillor since 2014.

New Co-leaders Mr Bartley and Ms Berry won with 6,239 of a total 8,379 votes cast. Contenders Mr Shahrar Ali and Ms Leslie Rowe received 1,466 and 495 votes respectively. New Deputy Leader Ms Womack won with 3,981 of 7,369 total votes cast.

Mr Jonathan Bartley said, “We’re proud to lead a Party with a track record on the right side of history and are ready to mobilise a fiercer Green resistance than ever before. In council chambers across the country Greens are leading a political revolt against the status quo. We are more determined than ever to take the party to the next level. We want to take the Green Party on a course to become the third political party in Britain, building on this year’s local election success to get a Green on every council in England and Wales.

But the Green Party knows politics isn’t confined to council chambers or the halls of Westminster. When faced with the environmental destruction of fracking or the spiralling costs of HS2 or the inhumanity of indefinite detention and forced removals of refugees and migrants, we are not afraid to join protestors putting their bodies on the line for what is right.”

Ms Sian Berry said, “We’re excited to take on leading a buoyant Green Party at this crucial time for our country and party. With Brexit on the horizon and our planet burning, the last thing people need is the stale centrism of the past, which brought us austerity and privatisation and totally failed to tackle climate breakdown or give people real security and quality of life.

The Green Party is the opposite of vapid, old school centrist politics, and we are ready to shout louder than ever before about the bright Green ideas needed to face the huge challenges in the world today. 

We will be championing a People’s Vote on Brexit, tackling climate breakdown, ensuring everyone has the right to a safe warm home, and fulfilling work that translates to more time off with our families, not more unemployment as automation grows. We are the only party who can be trusted to stand up for citizens in our nations of England and Wales, instead of the interests of big business or millionaires.”:::ω.

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Where are Families Communities and Society When One in Four 14-Year-Old Girls Self-Harm: Or Rather What Has Been Happening to These Entities: The Children’s Society Report Presents the Disturbia for Everyone Concerned to Wake Up and Stop Lip Service and Act

 

|| August 29: 2018 || ά. Nearly a quarter of girls aged 14, 22%, said that they had self-harmed in just a year according to a new report by The Children’s Society. One in six, 16%, of more than 11,000 children surveyed reported self-harming at this age, including, nearly one in 10 boys, 09%. 22% girls and 09% boys and 16% of young people: this should send a chill to all policy makers and bodies, agencies, professionals working for and with young people! What is happening to society, in the individuals, in the families and in communities and why things have got to this desperately dangerous state and level: but, often, people are engaged in ‘false-agenda’ creating so that serious and informed debates and discourse are, sadly, missing.

But this can not go on and must not be let to get worse for the so called band wagon of getting the NHS fix the mental health crisis, including, fixing the young people’s mental health crisis, the sad fact of the matter is this that the NHS can not fix it alone for ‘pills’ are not and can not ever be the full answers to the multi-faceted and complex almost endless factors creating the mental health and well being crisis. It must have a strategy of regenerating, rejuvenating and reviving the individuals, the families, the communities and the networks of connections, interactions, participations, engagements, supports, education and guidance, as well as, therapies, only, one of which is ‘pills’ and, that, one is not for everyone. Those, who want to get the NHS fix all the broken bones, veins and capillaries of society’s fractures are utterly mistaken but those in the leadership positions of all the agencies and bodies and professions must now wake up. This is not a crisis but a sociological catastrophe building towards a momentum: wake up. It is wake up United Kingdom time. It is wake up and act time. No time to lose.

The self-harm statistics follow new analysis included in the charity’s annual Good Childhood Report, which examines the state of children’s well-being in the UK.  The report looks at the reasons behind the unhappiness, which increases the risk of children self-harming. Based on these figures, The Children’s Society estimates that nearly 110,000 children aged 14, may, have self-harmed across the UK during the same 12-month period, including, 76,000 girls and 33,000 boys. One young person told the charity: “I felt like self-harming was what I wanted to do and had to do as there was nothing else I could do. I think there is help for young people but not the right kind of help. Feeling not pretty enough or good enough as other girls did contribute towards my self-harming, however, I don’t feel just being a girl is the reason as I think boys feel the same way, too”.

Almost, half of 14-year-olds, who said they had been attracted to people of the same gender or both genders, said that they had self-harmed, 46%, analysis of the Millennium Cohort Survey showed.  Four in ten of these children had shown signs of depression, 38%, and three in ten had low well-being, 30%, both compared with one in ten, 11%, of all children. 

Mr Matthew Reed, Chief Executive at The Children’s Society, said, “It is deeply worrying that so many children are unhappy to the extent that they are self-harming. Worries about how they look are a big issue, especially, for girls but this report shows other factors, such as, how they feel about their sexuality and gender stereotypes, may be, linked to their unhappiness.”

The Children’s Society’s new Good Childhood survey of 10-17-year-old children and their parents across 2,000 households, which is, also, part of the report, found children were least happy with school and their appearance.

It asked children about their experiences of school.  Nearly a quarter, 24%, said that they heard jokes or comments about other people’s bodies or looks all of the time, while more than a fifth, 22% of those in secondary school said that jokes or comments were, often, made about people’s sexual activity. Both made girls feel much worse about their appearance and less happy with their life as a whole, but this pattern did not apply to boys.

The research, also, suggests both boys and girls can be harmed by gender stereotypes and pressure to live up to these expectations. Children felt under pressure from friends to be good looking but those, who felt boys should be tough and girls should have nice clothes were least happy with life.

The report suggests that happiness with family relationships could be the best protection for children because it has the biggest positive influence on their overall well-being. Mr Matthew Reed said, “It’s vital that children’s well-being is taken more seriously and that much more is done to tackle the root causes of their unhappiness and support their mental health.

Schools can play an important part in this and that is why we want the Government to make it a requirement for all secondary schools to offer access to a counsellor, regularly monitor children’s well-being and have their mental health provision assessed as part of Ofsted inspections. Issues like appearance, gender stereotypes and sexuality should be included in the new Relationships and Sex Education curriculum.

However, early support for vulnerable children and families in the community, which can help prevent mental health problems from developing, is, also, vital and ministers, must, urgently address the £02 billion funding shortfall facing council children’s services departments by 2020.”

Responding to the publication by the Children’s Society of their Good Childhood Report 2018, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Mr Javed Khan said, “The Children’s Society’s report supports my view that we are sleepwalking into a mental health crisis with too little being done too late to help vulnerable children and young people across the UK.

It’s truly devastating that so many children are so unhappy with their lives that they are self-harming. This is, often, an expression of a deeper problem, which is why early intervention is vital. Barnardo’s wants to involve children in discussions about mental health before they have an issue. We run wellbeing programmes in schools, so children learn that stress, anger and other uncomfortable feelings are normal, along with techniques to help cope with them.

“However, some children will still need specialist help.  It is unacceptable that 3 in 4 children with a diagnosable mental health condition do not get access to the support they need and the average waiting time for CAMHS services in England is six months for a first appointment and 10 months until the start of treatment."

Read the Report:::ω.

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Exiting the European Union: UK in EU Takes Its Case to the Court Challenging the European Referendum’s Constitutional Validity Following the Findings of the Electoral Commission

 

 

 

|| August 14: 2018 || ά. The organisation representing British living in the European Union, UK in EU, has succeeded in taking its case to the Court, seeking to challenge the Constitutional Validity of the European Referendum. The Agency’s legal team has put up The Case: The Case in brief: ‘Recent revelations show beyond reasonable doubt that the Leave campaign cheated in Brexit referendum. The Electoral Commission found ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Vote Leave, the official campaign, cheated on its spending limit by almost £700,000:06%.

In a General Election, Local Authority election or Local Authority referendum the courts can declare the vote null and void, if, there has been cheating of exactly this type. What has the government proposed to do about this injustice? Nothing. The Prime Minister triggered Article 50 because she believed the Referendum result was the ‘will of the people’. We now know she was wrong. We believe that the British public is entitled to a fair vote on an issue which is so important to our future as a nation.

Our case is that: The Prime Minister’s decision to trigger Article 50 wasn’t in line with the UK’s “constitutional requirements” as fair elections are at the heart of our constitution. The decision is therefore null and void.

In any case, the Prime Minister needs to act on the clear and unambiguous findings that cheating was at the core of the EU Referendum by proposing a second referendum with strictly enforced rules.

This isn’t about ‘leave’ or ‘remain’. It’s about rights, fairness and democracy.

Orders Sought: A declaration that the Prime Minister’s or the government’s, decision to notify the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, ‘Article 50’: a. is vitiated by reason of the matters referred to above; and/or b. that it was not taken in accordance with the United Kingdom’s constitutional requirements.

By reason of the above, an order:

a. quashing the Prime Minister’s or the government’s decision to notify under Article 50; and

b. quashing the notice by which such notification was given, on the basis that it was not given in accordance with the UK’s own constitutional requirements.

Prime Minister’s Response

In the circumstances the Prime Minister will not be taking any of the steps demanded in your letter. In the light of this response we must go to Court as a matter of urgency.

The Legal Team: Croft Solicitors, Mr Rupert Croft, Ms Laura Nelson, Mr Edward Hazzan, Ms Eleanor Burden.

Counsel: Mr Patrick Green QC, Ms Jessica Simor QC, Professor Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Mr Adam Wagner and Ms Reanne MacKenzie.

Croft Solicitors has said in a statement, ‘’Our clients are a group of British citizens who live in other EU countries and are members of the pan-European organisation, “UK in EU Challenge”. The rights of the estimated 1 to 2 million British nationals who live, work or have other interests in other member states are profoundly affected by Brexit.

Recent findings by the Electoral Commission of illegal conduct by the Leave campaigns during the 2016 EU Referendum have called into question whether the Referendum was conducted in accordance with the UK’s constitutional requirements.

Our clients contend the Prime Minister’s decision to trigger Article 50 and start the Brexit process was based on a factual error, namely that the Referendum truly represented the will of the people following a lawful, free and fair vote. They argue that it was not, and the decision to trigger Article 50 to withdraw from the EU was not in accordance with the UK’s constitutional requirements.’’

Grounds for Judicial Review and Statement of Facts

The organisers have asked people to support their legal fight: ‘’We need your support to fund this case. Even a small contribution may have a huge effect on the future of our country.’’:::ω.

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The Absolutely Urgent Matter of The Unflushables: What Is To Be Done: Binned Must It Be

 

|| August 14: 2018 || ά. These can’t be flushed! Yes, that’s right. These things can not be flushed and can not, any longer, be ignored for they have become too big a problem to just leave in the ‘un-dealt-with’. Thames Water removes 30 tonnes of unflushable material every day from one of its sites. It unclogs five house blockages a day from London’s sewers, a 30 per cent increase from last year. Sewage blockages cost Thames Water and, ultimately, the consumers £12 million a year. Waste authorities collect more than 100,000 tonnes of nappy waste a year.  The majority will be sent for incineration, adding to London’s carbon emissions and polluting the air and Nappies, that go to landfill take around 400 years to disintegrate.

Across the UK, over 11 billion wet wipes, nearly 02.5 billion period products, nearly four billion nappies and over a billion incontinence products are purchased every year. These numbers are growing, wipes by over a quarter and incontinence products by nearly half, compared with five years ago. There is no legal requirement for manufacturers to list materials on the packaging of products. Tampons contain five per cent plastic, period pads contain 90 per cent plastic and nappies contain an estimated 50 per cent plastic and similar materials. Wet wipes, tampons and period pads are, often, flushed down the toilet. Londoners are not aware that these items contain plastic and combined with fat and oil create fatbergs and sewage blockages.

The London Assembly Environment Committee Report, ‘Single-Use Plastic: Unflushables’ recommends: i: The Mayor and Thames Water introduce a ‘block buster borough’ initiative, to get councils to pledge that unflushables don’t enter the sewage system and reusables are promoted where possible. ‘Bin it, don’t block it’ signage could be displayed on the backs of public toilets.

Ii: The Mayor’s London Healthy Schools initiative should ask schools to demonstrate that they are period positive, in order to reduce stigma and inform children about binning not flushingand reusable period products as an alternative; iii: The Mayor should write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs requesting a statutory format to display proper disposal information and the presence of plastic in products.

Iv: The Greater London Authority:GLA Group should provide bins in men’s toilets for incontinence and other unflushable single-use products, as currently bins are only in female toilets.

Ms Caroline Russell AM, the Chair of the Environment Committee of the London Assembly, said, “Public awareness around single-use plastics, in terms of disposable water bottles and coffee cups is high but what about other daily products, like wet wipes, nappies and period products? These products end up in our rivers and oceans, sit in landfills or are incinerated, inflicting irreparable damage on our environment.

We urgently need to educate Londoners not to flush these items down the toilet and enlist the help of the Mayor to take some practical steps to help the situation. London has to learn to bin it and not flush it.”

Mr Stephen Pattenden, Waste Network Performance Manager, Thames Water, said, “Many people don’t realise how wipes, that get flushed, can cause blockages and fatbergs in the sewers.

 They contain plastic so don’t break down in the same way as toilet paper does, instead clinging to the insides of the pipes and combining with fat and grease to form the fatbergs, which have become so common across London. It’s great to have the London Assembly’s help to spread our ‘bin it’ message across the capital.”:::ω.

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Using Its Chemical Recycling Recycle Technologies Can Recycle the Unrecyclable Plastics: The Company Supports the Calls for the Government to Reform EPR So That Extra Funding Can Be Raised to Ensure Valuable Plastic Materials are Kept in the Economy and Out of Landfill and Incineration

 

 

|| August 08: 2018 || ά. In response to recent media coverage on the BBC and in particular the Local Government Association’s:LGA comments regarding plastics recycling, Mr Adrian Griffiths, the Chief Executive Officer of Recycling Technologies, which specialises in chemically recycling plastics, said, “Recycling Technologies has developed a chemical recycling machine, that converts plastic waste, which currently can not be recycled, back into an oil from which more virgin plastics can be produced.

Using chemical recycling our machine enables waste operators and local authorities to recycle plastics, that are currently sent to landfill and incineration, such as, films, coloured plastics, laminated plastics, i.e, crisp packets, black bin bags and multi-polymer pots, tubs and trays. This form of chemical recycling will help to clear up the problem with these non-recyclable plastics and at the same time create revenue from plastic waste here in the UK.”

Today 77% of local authorities collect pots, tubs and trays but the wide range of polymers used in these forms of packaging make it less-economical to sort and separate all of this packaging for recycling. Consequently, some of these plastics are rejected and sent to landfill and incineration.

This is where chemical recycling comes in; it can take this plastic waste and turn it back into a valuable oil for use by chemical companies to make new virgin-quality plastics with recycled content.  

Recycle Technologies agrees with the LGA, that Extended Producer Responsibility:EPR has a role to play in helping local authorities become more comprehensive in the range of plastics they can recycle by raising finance to boost recycling infrastructure and innovation in the UK.

Recycling Technologies supports calls for Government to reform EPR so that extra funding can be raised to ensure valuable plastic materials are kept in the economy and out of landfill and incineration.:::ω.

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UK Press Regulation After the Leveson Inquiry

 

 

|| July 29: 2018: || ά. This Parliamentary Briefing Paper looks into the Press Regulation in the UK following the Leveson Inquiry. In November 2012, Lord Justice Leveson, now Sir Brian Leveson, published his Report on the ‘culture, practices and ethics of the press’. The Report covered only Part One of his inquiry. The current system of press regulation is a response to this report. Part Two of the inquiry proposed to look at relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, politicians, prosecuting authorities and relevant regulatory bodies during the ‘phone hacking’ scandal of 2002-2011, as well as, the failures of corporate governance at newspaper groups. It has not started.

Press Regulation: The Current System: A Royal Charter on press regulation was granted on October 30, 2013. This incorporated key recommendations from the Leveson Report, allowing for one or more independent self-regulatory bodies for the press to be established. Any such body would be recognised and overseen by a Press Recognition Panel. Publishers, who joined a recognised regulatory body might expect to receive more favourable treatment, if, action was taken against them in the courts. The Press Recognition Panel:PRP came into being on November 03, 2014.

Two press regulators are now in existence. Most newspapers have signed up to IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, which has no intention of applying for recognition. A small number of publications have joined IMPRESS. This body is ‘Leveson-compliant’ and was recognised by the PRP on October 25, 2016 as an ‘approved’ regulator.

Other publications, for example, the Guardian, have held back from joining any regulator and have appointed their own internal readers’ ombudsmen. Two legislative changes arising from Leveson were designed to provide financial incentives to newspaper publishers to join a regulator recognised by the PRP:

Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 would make it easier for the public to challenge illegality by news publishers, who chose not to subscribe to an approved regulator because it would mean publishers having to pay both sides’ legal costs, whether they won or lost a case. This section has not been brought into force.

Sections 34 to 39 of the 2013 Act offer protection from the risk of ‘exemplary damages’ in certain civil litigation claims to those ‘relevant publishers’, that sign up to the Royal Charter framework and make exemplary damages available in those claims for the courts to award as a punitive measure against ‘relevant publishers, who have not signed up. These sections are in force.

Press regulation is a devolved area. The sections of the 2013 Act discussed in this paper only extend to England and Wales. The Royal Charter has been adopted in Scotland, but differences between the legal systems, may, lead to divergent outcomes.

Leveson Two: Section 40 and the Data Protection Bill: In November 2016, the Government published a consultation on whether to proceed with Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry and whether to commence section 40 of the 2013 Act.

In a statement on March 01, 2018, Mr Matt Hancock, the then Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced that the Government was formally closing the Leveson Inquiry. He, also, said that section 40 would not be commenced and would be repealed at the ‘earliest opportunity’.

Amendments to the Data Protection Bill HL 2017-19 tried, unsuccessfully, to: establish a Leveson Two type inquiry on data protection breaches committed by or on behalf of news publishers; incentivise media operators to sign up to an independent press regulator in respect of data protection claims, to be achieved in a similar way to section 40 and as a result of Government amendments to the Bill, the Data Protection Act 2018 requires:

The Information Commissioner’s Office:ICO to publish a data protection and journalism code:section 124; the ICO to produce guidance about how individuals can seek redress where a media organisation fails to comply with data protection legislation, including, guidance about making complaints and bringing claims before a court:section 177 and the ICO to review the processing of personal data for the purposes of journalism:section 178

Read the Paper

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7576: Author: John Woodhouse: Published on July 27, 2018 ::ω.

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Hard-Pressed Households Need Government Action to Deal with Debts: Uncompromising Local and Central Government Debt Collection Should Be Reformed

 

 

 

|| July 26: 2018: || ά. The Treasury Committee has today published a unanimously-agreed report on household finances. The key findings of the Report include many households are over-indebted and lack a ‘rainy day’ savings buffer, ‘uncompromising’ local and central government debt collection should be reformed, FCA should move forward with regulation to limit cost of high-cost credit, including, overdraft fees, urgently, ISA tax relief does little to incentivise saving for lower-income savers, government must act now to tackle looming crisis from 12 million pension under-savers, self-employed should be brought into pension auto-enrolment, lifetime ISA should be abolished due to its perverse incentives and complexity and pension tax relief does not incentivise saving.

The FCA's cap on payday lenders has proven to be beneficial for consumers. Earlier this year, the FCA published the outcome of it’s high-cost credit review, which includes proposals on overdraft fees, rent-to-own, home-collected credit and catalogue credit and store cards. The FCA should move forward with these proposals urgently. In the debt collection practices of public authorities 'worst in class': People become over-indebted not just through conventional credit but through arrears on bills, including, those owed to central and local government, such as, council tax. Debt collection practices of public authorities have been described as ‘worst in class’; debts are, often, pursued over-zealously, uncompromisingly and with routine recourse to bailiffs. This approach risks driving the most financially vulnerable people into further difficulty. The public sector should raise its standards to the level of industry best practice.

The Government’s principal savings incentive takes the form of tax relief on interest, primarily through ISAs. Yet, there is little evidence that tax relief is an effective way of encouraging potentially vulnerable households to save for a rainy day. There is, however, more evidence that cash bonuses and direct matching schemes, such as, the Help to Save scheme, are better at helping people build a precautionary savings buffer. The Government should update Parliament on the usage of such schemes and its efforts to increase take-up. It should, also, consider widening the eligibility criteria.

Since the introduction of auto-enrolment, the number of pension under-savers was reduced by two million but there are still 12 million people in the UK, who are not saving enough for their retirement, according to the Government’s own research. The Government must act now to tackle the looming crisis from millions of pension under-savers.

There is growing concern about the number of self-employed, including, ‘gig economy’ workers, who are not covered by pension auto-enrolment. There is, therefore, an urgent need to bring the self-employed into the auto-enrolment system but the Government has no clear strategy or timetable for doing so. The Government should consider making use of self-assessment and national insurance contributions to auto-enrol the self-employed.

The Lifetime ISA has been strongly criticised for its complexity and its inconsistency with the other parts of the long-term savings landscape, which has contributed to its limited take-up by customers and providers. The Government should abolish the Lifetime ISA.

The main financial incentive, that the Government provides for long-term saving is tax relief on pension contributions. This is not an effective or well-targeted way of incentivising saving into pensions. The Government, may, want to consider fundamental reform. However, the existing state of affairs could be improved through further, incremental changes. The Government should consider replacing the lifetime allowance with a lower annual allowance, introducing a flat rate of relief and promoting understanding of tax relief as a bonus or additional contribution.

If, the state pension triple lock is maintained in the long term, the state pension will rise relative to earnings indefinitely. This is clearly unsustainable. However, replacing it with earnings-uprating could increase the number of under-savers. The next auto-enrolment review should explore the options for making up with private savings the shortfall, that could result, if, the triple lock were abandoned in the future.

It is the Treasury and not the financial regulators, who bear overall responsibility for ensuring that low rates of saving or high rates of indebtedness do not imperil long-term economic stability or living standards. In the next Budget, the Treasury should report on the state of household finances, identify the key risks to the financial resilience of households and set out its strategy for addressing them.

Commenting on the Report, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said, "Many households are facing challenges, that are putting pressure on the health and sustainability of their finances. Over-indebtedness, lack of rainy day savings and insufficient pension savings are some of the weaknesses in the household balance sheet identified in this inquiry.

The Committee’s report makes a series of recommendations for the Government to consider that would help households ensure that their finances are as resilient as possible. Whilst financial service regulators and guidance bodies have important roles to play, the Government should not pass the buck to them."

Read the Report:::ω.

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WHO Is Advising Whom In This Heatwave: Please Read and Do

 

 

|| July 24: 2018 || ά. The World Health Organisation has offered its advice for people in this heatwave, facing the UK and many other parts of Europe. As the European Region enters the warm season, the public, medical professionals and public health authorities must prepare for eventual heat-waves and hot spells. Every year, heat harms the health of many people, particularly, the elderly. And, please, be extra vigilant to the people in the vulnerable groups for they will be most severely impacted by these heatwaves.

It can trigger exhaustion, heart attacks or confusion and can worsen existing conditions, such as, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Heat-waves are projected to increase because of climate change but their health effects are largely preventable. WHO alert and information materials are available online to support preparedness and response to heatwaves. Look out for anyone, may, need assistance and stay hydrated and avoid hot drinks.

Advice for the general public during a heatwave

Follow your local health authority's recommendations.

Keep your home cool, checking the temperature regularly. Ideally it should be kept below 32 °C during the day and 24 °C at night. Hanging shades across sunny windows, opening windows at night and early morning and hanging wet towels to cool down the room air may help to lower the temperature inside.

Keep out of the heat. Move to the coolest room in your house, especially at night. Avoid going outside during the hottest time of the day. Avoid strenuous physical activity if you can. Stay in the shade. Do not leave children or animals in parked vehicles.

Keep the body cool and hydrated. Take cool showers or baths. Wear light, loose-fitting clothes of natural materials. Wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap and sunglasses. Use light bed linen and sheets, and no cushions, to avoid heat accumulation. Drink regularly but avoid alcohol and too much caffeine and sugar. Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein.

Help others, checking on family, friends and neighbours who spend much of their time alone. Elderly or sick people living alone should be visited at least daily. If a person is taking medication, ask the treating doctor how it can influence thermoregulation and the fluid balance.

Keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator, read the storage instructions on the packaging.

Seek medical advice, if, you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or are taking multiple medications.

If, you or others feel unwell, dizzy, weak, anxious, are intensely thirst or have a headache—seek help. Move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature. Drink water or fruit juice to rehydrate. Rest immediately in a cool place, if, you have painful muscular spasms; drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes; and seek help if the heat cramps last more than an hour. Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist.

If, someone has hot dry skin and delirium, convulsions and:or is unconscious, call a doctor or ambulance immediately.

These materials are part of a wider portfolio of action for prevention, ranging from timely public and medical advice to health system preparedness, co-ordinated with meteorological early warning systems and improvements to housing and urban planning. These actions can be integrated into a heat–health action plan and many European countries have developed such plans, to enable them to plan for heat and take action quickly. :::ω.

 

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The Government Announces Pay Rise for Around a Million Public Sector Workers

 

 

|| July 24: 2018 || ά. The Government has announced that around one million public sector workers are set to benefit from a pay rise. Members of the Armed Forces will receive a well-above inflation increase of 02.9%, 02% consolidated, 0.9% non-consolidated, with today’s award worth £680 in pay to an average soldier and a one-off payment of £300. The teachers’ award means the main pay range will increase by 03.5%, 02% to upper pay range and 01.5% to leadership. Schools will determine how it is set

All prison officers will get at least a 02.75%, 02% consolidated, 0.75% non-consolidated), increase this year, with many getting higher awards. A police award of 02%, all consolidated, will mean average pay for a Constable will now be more than £38,600 per year. A pay increase of, at least, 02% for junior doctors, specialist doctors, GPs and dentists. Consultants will, also, get a pay rise of at least £1,150.

From October 2018: 02% for dentists and junior doctors consolidated, 01.5% consolidated for consultants with an additional 0.5% targeted at performance pay, 03% consolidated pay rise for specialty SAS Doctors:Backdated to April 2018: 02% for GPs consolidated, with an additional 01% potentially available from April 2019 subject to contract reform.

This follows the 06.5% pay rise over three years, that was announced in March for more than a million nurses, midwives and other Agenda for Change staff, in return for modernisation of terms and conditions.

Today’s increases are funded from departmental budgets. Current and future affordability across the whole public sector was considered when agreeing final awards, alongside the advice of the Pay Review Bodies.

This is to ensure that resources are available to invest in public service improvement, and that awards are sustainable without an increasing burden of debt being passed onto future generations. The UK already spends around £50 billion a year on debt interest, more than is spent on the police and armed forces combined.

Public sector workers continue to benefit from better pensions than those offered in the private sector.

Median pay for full time employees in the public sector is £30,630 compared to £27,977 in the private sector.

Pay awards are on top of performance and progression pay, which remains automatic for some workforces. :::ω.

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The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee Finds Trading Standards and the Retailers Complacent

 

 

|| July 22: 2018: || ά. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee publishes its report, Fur Trade in the UK. The inquiry was launched following reports that real fur is being sold as fake fur by major high-street and online retailers. The Committee found that retailers, local authorities and Trading Standards have been poor at enforcing regulations around the sale of real fur and that exiting that European Union provides an opportunity for the UK to improve its system of labelling. Further, the Committee recommends a public consultation to ban the sale of all fur outright.

The report found: All retailers have a responsibility to ensure that they are selling items as described, failing to do is illegal. Retailers named in the report have not done enough to counter the accidental selling of real fur. Recent work to improve the supply chain and communications with online sellers is welcome and must continue and the retail industry must not be complacent. Trading Standards officers have been poor at enforcing the law against such retailers. The Government must ensure that Local Authorities are properly resourced to deliver these services and local authorities must take more responsibility for doing so. Local Authorities should provide training to Trading Standards officers on this issue and to conduct proactive investigations into the mis-sale of real fur as fake fur.

The current EU labelling regime, namely, the ‘animal origin’ label, lacks clarity and is confusing for retailers and consumers alike. The Government has acknowledged that EU labelling is confusing and needs amending. The Government's ability to amend the labelling regime after the UK leaves the EU will depend on the nature of the future EU-UK trading relationship.

A new mandatory labelling regime, that identifies fur and other animal products accurately should be introduced after the UK departure from the EU. The label should show the species of fur, the country of origin and method of production.

We further recommend that the Government holds a public consultation to consider whether to ban fur. In looking at whether to ban the sale and import of fur, the Government will have to balance the needs of animal welfare against consumer choice.

Mr Neil Parish MP, the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said, “Reports of real fur being sold as fake fur shows that retailers are flouting their responsibility to consumers. The mis-selling of real fur should not be discovered by campaign organisations and the media but by Trading Standards officers and retailers. 

Retailers of all sizes are complacent about the issue of fake faux fur. It is illegal to give misleading information and Trading Standards have been poor at identifying and acting against those, who are doing so. The Government must ensure that Local Authorities are properly resourced and local authorities should ensure that Trading Standards are properly trained.

Brexit provides an opportunity to step up our game when it comes to labelling. The labelling of clothes must be consistent, transparent and customer-friendly but current EU requirements are not good enough to allow consumers to understand the origin and contents of their clothing. Finally, the Government should consider launching a consultation to ban the sale of real fur outright.”

Background: Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2000. EU regulations ban trade in fur from domestic cats, dogs or commercial seal hunts. The UK still imports and sells fur from a range of other species such as fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, racoon dog and chinchillas.

There have been recent high-profile cases of fur being sold as fake fur by major high-street and online retailers. Retailers included TK Maxx, BooHoo, Amazon, Not On The High Street, Groupon, Etsy, Tesco, FatFace, Boots, Kurt Geiger, and Romwe. Many of these retailers had no-fur policies. This ‘fake faux fur’ was made from a variety of animal, including, rabbit, fox and chinchilla.

The Committee took evidence from representatives from Amazon, NotOnTheHightStreet, Camden Market, The Humane Society, Trading Standards, Fur Europe, the British Fur Trade Association, International Fur Federation and representatives from Defra.

Read the Report:::ω.

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The National Aerospace Research Consortium: UK’s High-Ranking Universities Join Forces to Strengthen the Global Aerospace Sector

 

 

 

|| July 19: 2018: University of Southampton News || ά. The University of Southampton is joining with a number of other leading aerospace universities in the UK as part of a national consortium to provide the global aerospace community with a centralised point of engagement to the UK’s high-ranking university aerospace research capabilities. The National Aerospace Research Consortium:NARC embraces the full aviation spectrum, airlines, aircraft, airspace and airports.

Joining the Southampton as founding member universities of NARC are University of Bristol; University of Cambridge, Cranfield University, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Mancheste, University of Nottingham, Queens University Belfast, University of Sheffield and the University of Strathclyde. Through the combination of networked national facilities, integrated learning of the highest quality and a central point of access, NARC is aiming to make a significant contribution to the UK’s presence within the aerospace sector.

NARC will align itself with the Aerospace Technology Institute’s established four technology pillars, Aircraft of the Future, Future Propulsion, Smart, Connected and Electric Aircraft of the Future and Aero Structures of the Future with an additional National Airborne Test stream.

The Consortium aims to create a UK-wide infrastructure of accessible, integrated and world-class research facilities to support each pillar. The universities, that currently make up NARC have, already, started work on the Future Propulsion pillar with a collaborative proposal for a network of advanced electric and hybrid-electric propulsion development facilities.

NARC will, also, seek to enhance the flow of highly qualified aerospace engineers of the future through closer integration of graduate and postgraduate learning provision. Southampton is a world-leading aerospace university, recognised internationally for its research, education and collaborative industry support.

With an extensive network of staff across the University conducting aerospace research, Southampton has tremendous breadth. More than 150 international businesses have chosen the University as a key partner for their research and development. Southampton is currently collaborating with over 290 partners in 27 European countries and continually growing its aerospace research portfolio.

Professor Mark Spearing, Southampton's Vice-President for Research and Enterprise, said, “Southampton enthusiastically welcomes the formation of the National Aerospace Research Consortium. In an increasingly internationally competitive sector, it is vital that UK-based industry has access to world-leading research in order to strengthen its competitive advantage.

The universities represented in the consortium, already, work collaboratively on many aerospace research projects and NARC will help formalise this situation, as well as, providing greater external visibility and better access to industrial stakeholders.”

Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, who is acting as the Co-ordinator for NARC, said, “The National Aerospace Research Consortium:NARC, consisting of the UK’s leading aerospace universities, will aim to directly support UK-based industry through the provision of accessible world-class research facilities, future skills development and centralised research co-ordination. We aim to put NARC in the same league as other international entities, such as, NASA, ONERA or NRC and support the UK as a global leader in future aerospace research.”

Dr Simon Weeks, the Chief Technology Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute:ATI, said, “At the ATI, we welcome a strong and co-ordinated university research base, that is able to support the aerospace sector and further develop the UK’s international reputation for high quality research. The NARC initiative, led by a number of the UK’s leading aerospace universities, represents a significant step forward in creating a national entity, that can co-ordinate and promote the excellent work undertaken by our leading academic teams.”:::ω.

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