Press release: Address serious governance failures, RSPCA leaders are warned

first_img Press office The Charity Commission has issued the RSPCA with an Official Warning, after finding that a group of trustees (“officers”) failed to ensure they were sufficiently informed before making a settlement offer to the charity’s former acting chief executive.The Commission also found those trustees failed to act with reasonable care and skill in negotiating with that former executive.In May, it was reported that the RSPCA’s former interim chief executive received a significant pay-out from the charity, prompting the Commission to examine the trustees’ decision making.The Commission’s warning is critical of the trustees for not ensuring that the decision was properly made, particularly given the large sum of money involved.The Warning concludes that these failings amount to mismanagement in the administration of the charity.The Commission says it is vital that the RSPCA, an institution performing important functions, can demonstrate the highest standards of governance. But the regulator has had significant engagement with the RSPCA in recent years regarding the charity’s governance.It says the level of its engagement has been concerning considering the charity’s size and importance. The RSPCA has seen unusually high turnover among its chief executives, and significant periods of time without a substantive chief executive in post.David Holdsworth, Registrar of Charities for England and Wales and Deputy Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, says: Speaking on the wider issue of governance in charities, David Holdsworth added: Good governance in charities is not an optional extra, or a bureaucratic detail. Good governance is what underpins the delivery of a charity’s purposes to the high standards expected by the public. Charities that operate with their purpose at the core of all they do, and underpin this with robust governance and the highest standards of conduct will serve their beneficiaries better. Conversely, where we find weak governance, we are more likely to find a charity that is failing to meet its charitable potential. So good governance should be a priority for all trustees, especially those involved in important national institutions. Press mobile – out of hours only 07785 748787 The power to issue charities with an Official Warning was granted by the Charities Act 2016. It is designed to ensure a charity or its trustees know that a breach, misconduct or mismanagement has taken place and that it needs to be rectified. An official warning is not a statutory direction. The Commission cannot use an official warning to direct trustees to take specific action. However, it must specify any action it considers the trustees or the charity should take to rectify the breach, misconduct or mismanagement. Furthermore, failure to remedy any breach specified in a warning can be used as evidence of misconduct or mismanagement including when considering whether to exercise other specified powers.center_img Email [email protected] The Official Warning sets out actions the Commission recommends the charity takes to address its concerns. Among the steps set out are that there should be formal training for RSPCA Council members to ensure they are fully aware of their responsibilities as charity trustees, and ensuring the RSPCA’s council adheres to the charity’s code of conduct.The Commission also says the trustees should implement the recommendation of an independent report, commissioned by the charity, into the processes followed in recruiting and appointing a new chief executive.The regulator’s published guidance on its power to issue an Official Warning notes that trustees’ failure to rectify breaches specified in a warning would be grounds for it to take more serious regulatory action, for example using its powers to suspend trustees or appoint an interim manager.The Commission notified the RSPCA of its intention to issue the warning in June, and before the charity’s new chief executive took up post on 1 August 2018. The Commission has welcomed the appointment of a permanent chief executive and urged the trustees to work with him to improve the charity’s governance and management.ENDSNotes to editors The RSPCA is a much-loved national institution performing a crucial role in animal protection, with its staff and volunteers undertaking vital work. The public, and the RSPCA’s many members and supporters, need it to succeed and to deliver important benefits for society. They rightly expect that it should be run by its trustees to the highest standards. Unfortunately, that has not been the case and the charity’s governance has fallen short which has led to people asking legitimate questions about the pay-out to the former executive. Issuing an Official Warning signals to the trustees that we expect them to resolve this important issue and take immediate steps to improve the charity’s governance. The recent election of a new Council, the introduction of a new code of conduct and the recruitment of a new chief executive, provide an opportunity for a fresh start for the charity. The trustees must now show leadership, and work with the new chief executive in driving forward the required improvements in governance. The use of our formal legal powers is a significant step, and not one we take lightly. I hope that the trustees use it as an opportunity to work constructively with the RSPCA’s new chief executive and to show to their members, supporters and the wider public that they are committed to good and effective governance. If the trustees are not able to satisfy us that they have responded meaningfully and promptly to our Official Warning, we will not hesitate to take further regulatory action.last_img read more

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News story: Improving local services with data: apply for contracts

first_img ‘boots on the ground’, where residents collect and report data about issues such as potholes and street lighting ‘eyes on the street’, where council vehicles collect and report data as they travel around the streets record and report local information accurately and regularly significantly reduce service inefficiencies integrate with other datasets in the councils provide a robust evidence base for policy, service or budget development work with the general public enable councils to share data appropriately with the public be practical and economically viable The competition has £250,000 to fund a series of short feasibility studies in a first phase. The best ideas could then share £1 million in a second phase to prototype their system.Competition information Funding for the competition is provided by the GovTech Catalyst, a £20 million fund to help the public sector to make use of innovative technologies and improve public services.It is being run under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme. the competition opens on 24 September 2018, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 31 October 2018 any organisation that can demonstrate a route to market for its idea can apply we expect phase 1 contracts to be worth up to £50,000 and to last up to 3 months, and phase 2 contracts to be worth up to £500,000 and last up to 12 months successful projects will attract 100% funded development contracts you can register for briefing events on 8 October 2018 in Durham and on 15 October 2018 in Blaenau Gwent to find out more about the competition and how to make a quality application Durham County Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council are seeking projects that investigate innovative ways of capturing data to improve their services.The councils are looking for projects that investigate 2 techniques: Find out more about SBRI and how it works. Projects must use advanced data techniquesProjects must look at intelligent data capture and advanced data analysis. They must: Find out more about this competition and apply.last_img read more

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Press release: Future of JET secured with new European contract

first_imgContacts:Howard Wheeler, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, [email protected] / 0207 215 2748Nick Holloway, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, [email protected] / 01235 466232 The extension to the contract is excellent news for both EU and UK science. JET has been a shining example of scientific co-operation between EU members, and this news means that these mutually beneficial collaborations will continue, allowing us to do essential experiments on the path to delivering fusion power. A heavy weight has been lifted off our shoulders. This is extraordinarily good news for EUROfusion and the European fusion community as a whole. We can now continue to work on the realisation of fusion energy together with the indispensable experience of our British partner. JET is operated by the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Culham Science Centre, near Oxford. Scientists from 28 European countries use it to conduct research into the potential for carbon-free fusion energy in the future, through work coordinated by the EUROfusion consortium which manages and funds European fusion research activities on behalf of Euratom.The future of the facility has been under discussion since 2017, as its work is covered by the Euratom Treaty, which the UK Government intends to leave as part of the process of leaving the EU.This new contract provides reassurance for over 500 staff at JET, including many from outside the UK. It also means JET can conduct a series of vital fusion tests planned for 2020. These tests will serve as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the new international experimental fusion reactor, ITER, currently being built in southern France.Prof Ian Chapman, CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, said: A contract extension for the world’s largest fusion research facility, Joint European Torus, has been signed by the UK and the European CommissionThe contract extension will secure at least €100m in additional inward investment from the EU over the next two years.The news brings reassurance for the more than 500 staff at site in Culham, near Oxford.Staff at the Joint European Torus (JET) facility in Oxfordshire undertake research in the latest technologies aimed at providing clean, safe, inexhaustible energy. The new contract guarantees its operations until the end of 2020 regardless of the EU Exit situation, and secures at least €100m in additional inward investment from the EU over the next two years.Science Minister Chris Skidmore said:center_img Prof Tony Donné, Programme Manager of EUROfusion, added: Having made my first speech at Culham, I know how hardworking and dedicated UK Atomic Energy Authority staff are, which is why I’m pleased to announce today’s agreement, which is great news for the future of scientific research in Oxfordshire, the UK and Europe. Extending this contract means cutting-edge and world-leading fusion research can continue in this country, which I know will be a welcome reassurance to the hundreds of workers at Culham. Science has no borders and as we leave the EU, this kind of international collaboration remains at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in research and innovation. Notes to EditorsFusion energy researchFusion research aims to copy the process which powers the Sun for a new large-scale source of clean energy here on Earth. When light atomic nuclei fuse together to form heavier ones, a large amount of energy is released. To do this, fuel is heated to extreme temperatures, hotter than the centre of the Sun, forming a plasma in which fusion reactions take place. A commercial power station will use the energy produced by fusion reactions to generate electricity.Nuclear fusion has huge potential as a long-term energy source that is environmentally responsible (with no carbon emissions) and inherently safe, with abundant and widespread fuel resources (the raw materials are found in seawater and the Earth’s crust).Researchers at Culham are developing a type of fusion reactor known as a ‘tokamak’ – a magnetic chamber in which plasma is heated and controlled. The research is focused on preparing for the international tokamak experiment ITER, now being built in southern France. ITER – due to start up in 2025 – is designed to show that fusion can work on the scale of a power plant, and if successful should lead to electricity from fusion being on the grid by around 2050.Joint European Torus (JET)The Joint European Torus, based at Culham Science Centre, UK, is the central research facility of the European fusion programme. It is the largest and most powerful fusion experiment in the world. JET is collectively used under EUROfusion management by more than 40 European laboratories. JET was the first fusion device to perform controlled nuclear fusion (in 1991), holds the world record for fusion power and is the only tokamak that can test the fusion fuel mix (deuterium and tritium – two isotopes of hydrogen) expected to be used in commercial reactors. Today, its primary task is to prepare for the construction and operation of ITER, acting as a test bed for ITER technologies and plasma operating scenarios.UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)The UK Atomic Energy Authority carries out fusion energy research on behalf of the UK Government at Culham Science Centre near Abingdon. It is also developing Culham as a location of hi-tech research and business, with around 40 tenant companies now on site.UKAEA oversees Britain’s fusion programme, headed by the MAST Upgrade (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment. It also hosts the world’s largest fusion research facility, JET (Joint European Torus), which it operates for European scientists under a contract with the European Commission. Website: www.gov.uk/ukaea Twitter: @fusionenergyEUROfusionEUROfusion’s mission is to pave the way for fusion power reactors.Currently, 30 research organisations and universities from 26 European Union member states plus Switzerland and Ukraine are part of the consortium. In addition, well over 150 universities contribute to the programme. The Consortium has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 and 2019-2020 under grant agreement No 633053.Website: www.euro-fusion.org Twitter: @fusionincloseuplast_img read more

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Guidance: NHS Choice Framework

first_imgThe framework brings together information about patients’ rights to choice about their health care, where to get more information to help make a choice, and how they can complain if they have not been offered choice.In some circumstances the patient has legal rights to choice and they must be given these choices by law. In other circumstances they do not have a legal right to choice but should be offered choice about their care, depending on what’s available locally.last_img

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Costs push food inflation to 4%

first_imgFood inflation rose to 4% during October, affected by poor harvests, rising production costs and commodity price increases.In the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen Shop Price Index for last month, the level of food inflation for fresh and ambient produce rose by 0.9% on September, affecting the level of overall shop price inflation which increased to 1.5% in October.Stephen Robertson, director general at the BRC, said: “Overall shop price inflation is still low, but pressure from food has edged it up. After three months of stability, food is being hit by a combination of poor harvests, rising production costs and previous commodity cost rises working through.“In particular, the wet summer and higher feed costs are affecting vegetables and meat and poor supplies on world markets are making the ingredients for some manufactured foods more expensive.”He added that the above costs started to drop during the last quarter of the year, which promised to help ease pressure in the run-up to Christmas, as retailers started to push promotional activity and discounts to attract more shoppers.Mike Watkins, senior manager, retailer services, Nielsen, said: “With weakened demand, there is intense price competition across all retail channels, especially on discretionary items, and this is keeping inflation low. However, it’s difficult to predict the levels of retail sales in the run-up to Christmas and, with cost price increases now being reflected in some food price inflation, this will inevitably make shoppers more cautious.“Even so, with retailers maintaining promotional activity, there are sure to be some excellent deals out there for the savvy shopper.”Non-food prices remained at the same level in October following a 0.2% decline in September.last_img read more

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Ministry of Cake opens pudding site

first_imgIndependent cake and dessert manufacturer Ministry of Cake has opened its second site, Ministry of Pudding, following a £1m investment.The new site in Torquay, Devon will manufacture a mix of products, including some existing and some new. Around 35% to 40% of the range is redeveloped every year, with products currently in development including treacle, toffee and chocolate creations.Chris Ormrod, managing director, told British Baker: “So far, so good. The site opened on time and on budget. With Ministry of Pudding starting to trade, we are in the process of taking customers around to show our new baby off.” The company said it has won “a major new contract” that will launch next year, but cannot be named.“We plan to run Ministry of Pudding as part of the Ministry family – but, as its name suggests, focusing clearly on puddings and maybe some of the smaller-run experimental lines that we wouldn’t be able to make at Ministry of Cake.“Our overall aim is to continue to grow our desserts business. We’re currently up 24% year-on-year on sales, focusing purely on the foodservice market.”To mark the new opening, the team baked a pudding called Puddesley and its birth certificate read: “Chris and the Ministry team are delighted to announce the early arrival of their first pudding Puddesley, baked at 2.51pm on Tuesday 19 August, weighing a healthy 150g. With thanks to all staff for a safe delivery.”The business was sold to convenience food producer Greencore in 2008 and was bought back in May for an upfront cash consideration of £8m and deferred consideration of up to £3m.Ormrod is joined by three directors on the team and the company is backed by private equity provider LDC, part of Lloyds banking.last_img read more

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Moseley returns to FDF

first_imgJim Moseley, the former managing director of General Mills UK, is to return to the role of acting director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) following the resignation of Melanie Leech. Leech joins the British Property Federation in the New Year and the process of recruiting her successor is under way.Richard Evans, president of the FDF, said: “I am delighted to welcome Jim back to FDF. This is an important time for the sector and Jim has a wealth of industry experience and a knowledge of FDF that equips him well to see the Federation through until we have a permanent director general in place.”Moseley added: “I’m delighted to be asked to lead FDF through the transition to a new director general. FDF has enjoyed huge success under Melanie’s leadership and I look forward to continuing that progress with her talented team.”last_img read more

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Student body launches #HireMe Scheme

first_imgThe Alliance for Bakery Students & Trainees has launched a scheme to help bakery students and trainees find jobs.The UK and Ireland-wide scheme is called ‪#‎HireMe‬ and is open to students and trainees who have finished their qualification or are studying. ‬‬It aims to benefit both the students and also bakery employers who are struggling to find people with the qualifications required to work for them.Students who are looking for a job in the baking industry can simply add their details, such as name, email, area of the country they wish to work in and a short personal statement on http://www.abst.org.uk/hire-me.html.This information is then sent out to bakery employers in the UK and Ireland, who can review everyone that is looking for work in their area, and contact them directly to arrange to see a CV or for an interview.The service is free for members.last_img read more

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CSM rolls out American sweet bakery mixes range

first_imgCSM Bakery Solutions has launched a new range of American sweet bakery mixes, including muffins, brownies and doughnuts.Launched under CSM’s Henry & Henry brand, first introduced in 1889, the ‘Original American Sweets’ range is described as “easy to use and versatile” for bakers, cafes and caterers looking to create classic American baked treats.The mixes (see full list below), require the addition of eggs, oil and water and are multi-purpose so can be used to create cupcakes, loaf cakes and tray bakes.The move follows increased demand for USA specialities such as doughnuts and brownies, which have grown hugely in popularity in the UK in recent years, according to CSM.“American treats are hugely popular within the UK and we hope our new range will help cafes, caterers and bakers to create an indulgent range of treats with minimal effort,” said Margarethe Schneeweis, category marketing leader, pastry mixes Europe at CSM.“Our point of sale kits are available for each of the mixes as part of a promotional offer, including recipe booklets, tulip muffin cases, loaf cake and round cake cases and muffins picks so businesses can make the most of the delicious range and drive sales.”The full range comprises:American Muffin and Cake Mixes in plain and darkAmerican Plain Muffin & Cake Mix (15kg)American Dark Muffin & Cake Mix (15kg)American Toffee Cake Mix (10kg)American Brownie (10kg)American Donut 50 (16kg)American Icings – Milk, Dark and White (5kg)Chocolate Chunks – Milk, Dark and White (5kg)last_img read more

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Prince’s Backing Band The Revolution Will Reunite For The First Time In 30 Years

first_imgPrince spent a number of years backed by The Revolution, a five-piece ensemble consisting of Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z., Brown Mark, and Matt Fink. While the group hasn’t performed in a number of years, the members have all recently come together in mourning of their late leader.In a new video posted to Brown Mark’s Facebook account, the band has announced plans to reunite. “We have decided, after spending three or four days together now grieving over the loss of Prince, that we would like to come out and do some shows,” Melvoin says. “We want to let you know that we’ll be there soon.”Watch below:While there’s no word of an official tour, the band does say “See you soon.” We’ll be sure to update when more information becomes available.last_img read more

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