Marks and Spencer (M&S) has reported an increase in its 2011-2012 third quarter profits, thanks to its extended food offering over the Christmas period.M&S said a 3% increase in like-for-like food sales, in addition to a rise in total UK food sales of 4.5%, (both excluding VAT) contributed to the business’ Q3 success. The UK retailer saw a 0.5% increase in like-for-like sales overall (excluding VAT), in the 13 weeks to 31 December 2011, with total UK sales (excluding VAT) up 1.8%.M&S introduced 600 new food lines in the run up to the festive period, including seasonal products, party food and desserts.Marc Bolland, chief executive at M&S, said: “Marks & Spencer performed well in a challenging trading environment. Our Food business performed very strongly as customers enjoyed our new and traditional Christmas products. This unique offer, coupled with our great deals, gave them more choice than ever before for a special Christmas at home.”The business’ general merchandise areas showed a decline during the quarter, with total UK sales dropping 0.8% and like-for-like UK sales down 1.8%, both excluding VAT.
The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, has published his inspection report on Exit Checks.The completed report was sent to the Home Secretary on 30 January 2018.Mr Bolt said: An inspection of exit checks.Home Office’s response to the Chief Inspector’s reports The Home Office’s Exit Check Programme ran from April 2014 until 31 May 2016 when it was formally closed. This inspection examined what the Programme had delivered and how far it had met its stated aims.The re-introduction of exit checks, which had been phased out in the 1990s, was announced in 2010 in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s ‘Programme for government’. The Home Office subsequently committed to delivering “100% exit checks” by March 2015. However, in early 2015 the Home Affairs Committee expressed concerns that this would not be achieved, and highlighted that a number of significant exclusions had crept into the government’s pledge. Nonetheless, in March 2015, the Home Office’s Exit Check Programme ‘Factsheet’ stated that exit check data would improve its ability to identify and tighten immigration routes and visas most vulnerable to abuse, help to target those who had overstayed their visas and were in the UK illegally, and help to track the movements of known or suspected criminals and terrorists. The inspection looked at what data was being collected, the gaps and what was being done to fill them, and at what the Home Office was able to achieve from its analysis of the data it had. Overall, the sense was that the Home Office had over-promised when setting out its plans for exit checks, and then closed the Exit Check Programme prematurely, declaring exit checks to be “business as usual” when a significant amount of work remained to be done to get full value from them. This work needed better coordination within the Home Office, and externally with carriers, with other potential contributors to and users of the data, and with Common Travel Area partners. In the meantime, the Home Office needed to be more careful about presenting exit checks as the answer to managing the illegal migrant population, which for now remained wishful thinking. My report contains one overarching recommendation: that the Home Office re-establishes the Exit Checks Programme, with appropriate Programme oversight, governance and documentation, in order to drive the improvements needed in data quality and completeness and to coordinate and encourage its effective operational use. There was also a need to refresh and restate the ‘vision’ for exit checks, and reset expectations.
Highways England traffic officers joined Road Safety Engineer Irene Stewart at the M5 Junction 19 service area to provide information and practical tips to all motorists with caravans, trailers and horse boxes.Behind the North East, the South West region has experienced the highest number of caravan/trailer incidents statistically, with 850 incidents across the network between January 2017 and May 2018, and 460 of those occurring in the summer months of May to September last year.And as part of an ongoing campaign, Highways England is encouraging drivers to carry out a few simple safety checks before setting off on journeys.Beverley Hannah, South West Regional Safety Co-ordinator for Highways England, said: Three further towing and tyre safety events are planned at Gordano Services – on Friday, 29 June, Monday, 2 July, and Friday, 6 July, between 10am and 3.30pm – and similar events are also planned for other areas of the South West.Media opportunityHighways England interviewees will be available at Gordano Services on Friday, 29 June between 10am and 12 noon. Please contact Neville Smith on 0300 470 4337 or Nicola Wesson on 0300 470 6218 to arrange.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer. Safety is always our priority and we’re delighted that so many people came along to speak to us while we were at the event. We received interest from general motorists, as well as caravan and motorhome owners, and it was a great opportunity for us to meet people that were taking their caravans or trailers away on holiday this summer and offer them pointers on how to stay safe while towing. Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: TyreSafe is a firm supporter of Highways England’s engagement activities with motorists as both organisations seek to reduce the number of incidents on the roads. Tyre checks are essential to reduce risks as they are the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road and, if they’re not roadworthy, steering and braking will be compromised, too. TyreSafe encourages all drivers to check their tyres at least once a month and before long journeys. Those stopping off at the services were able to learn more about Highways England and how it manages the safety of drivers and controls traffic following incidents, and also received key tyre safety tips and guidance from the Tyresafe awareness group.Both Highways England and Avon and Somerset Police, advise anyone towing a caravan, boat, horse box or trailer to take some simple steps to ensure a trouble-free journey, including: Carry out a final maintenance check before setting off, and leave plenty of time for your journey Be aware that driving while towing will inevitably affect the vehicle’s performance, especially braking distances Check that the vehicle and load are secure and the weight is correctly distributed in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications Make sure you are adequately covered for recovery and breakdown Know the correct speed limit for your vehicle and the roads you travel on, and don’t drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road Towing mirrors not only allow you to view to the rear, in most cases they are a legal requirement when towing a wider trailer Driving licences place restrictions on the trailers that you can tow, you may need to take a further test to progress to towing larger trailers If your caravan or trailer starts to snake or swerve, it’s a sign you’re going too fast or the trailer is loaded incorrectly. Ease off the accelerator and reduce your speed gently Don’t brake harshly on a bend, as it makes the trailer unstable. Reduce your speed in plenty of time for any hazard You shouldn’t drive in the right hand lane of a motorway with three or more lanes Supt Andy Williams, Head of Road Safety for Avon and Somerset Police, said: We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination so if you’re towing any sort of trailer please take extra steps to ensure you’re prepared before the start of your journey. Remembering these simple road safety rules while you’re driving can also reduce the risk of having an incident.
News story: Call for evidence: A re-inspection of the Home Office’s application of the good character requirement.
Good Character Reinspection – Call for EvidenceICIBI 5th Floor Globe House 89 Eccleston Square London SW1V 1PN the progress made towards the implementation of both of the accepted recommendations the impact on applicants of any delay to the implementation the extent of Home Office communications regarding the registration process, internally with decision makers and externally with stakeholders and applicants in light of recent events, an inspection to cover the Home Office’s handling of applications from children of nationals from the A8 countries whose GBR passport renewal was refused The evidence gathering process for this inspection has started and the Inspectorate’s established stakeholders will shortly be asked for their input. However, to further inform the re-inspection, the ICIBI is keen to receive written evidence from applicants, guardians, representatives and others with any relevant knowledge, expertise or first-hand experience relating to the 4 areas under consideration.Please note that the ICIBI does not investigate individual cases or complaints, and is not empowered to overturn Home Office decisions. Information about how to make a complaint can be found on the Home Office website.Please submit your evidence by close of business on Thursday 4 October 2018.Please email the Chief Inspector: [email protected] write to The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has begun work on a re-inspection of the Home Office’s application of the good character requirement in the case of young persons who apply for registration as British citizens, the report for which was published in July 2017.The re-inspection will focus on 4 key areas:-
Courts and tribunals vary a lot in the refreshments they provide. Some have a selection of hot and cold food; others offer drinks; and some offer very little. This can depend on where the building is, and how many people use it; but new guidance has been issued that will help courts to be more ambitious and provide better refreshment options.For the first time, the guidance sets a minimum standard – saying that, at the very least, all visitors to our buildings should be able to access a broad selection of good quality hot and cold drinks, even in our smallest buildings.In most places, we are keen to offer more than this. The new guidance and sources of information we’ve introduced will help operational teams to explore and introduce the best approach possible for their buildings and the people who use them. This includes both best practice in getting the right catering provision in place through conventional contracts; and advice on how to source and support sustainable small-scale initiatives with local businesses or charities in buildings where a commercial arrangement with a caterer may not work.There are lots of good examples taking place across the estate that others can learn from. For example, one small court uses local sandwich shop menus to provide a delivery service to jurors; and in other courts local catering firms bring baskets of sandwiches round at busy times, for staff and those waiting for hearings.In one court, we’ve encouraged a charity which supports children coming out of the care system to set up a snack bar which both provides great food, and helps to train young people in kitchen and service skills.By encouraging and supporting a wider range of approaches to providing refreshments on site, we expect to raise the bar on court and tribunal catering.Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive of HMCTS commented: Since joining HMCTS, I’ve heard a lot about court refreshments – and seen a lot too, in the visits I make every week. At the moment, what we do is inconsistent; we have too many sites with no refreshments, and what others provide is very basic. But there are also some great examples of excellent catering – and of people doing things in really innovative ways where a conventional big contract wouldn’t work. The guidance will help us bring the rest to the standard of the best, by giving people advice, help and support to put good arrangements in place. HMCTS refreshment guidance (PDF, 571KB, 9 pages)For further information, email us at: [email protected]
David BoltIndependent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration Publishing the report, David Bolt said: An inspection of the Home Office’s approach to the identification and safeguarding of vulnerable adults The Home Office response to the Chief Inspector’s report How well the Home Office’s Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS) recognises and responds to the needs of vulnerable individuals is a test not just of its competence but also of its capacity for compassion, both of which have been questioned in recent months. Over the past couple of years, a number of my inspections have focused on vulnerable ‘groups’. I have reported on the identification and treatment of Potential Victims of Modern Slavery (PVoMS) at the border, on the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), on the workings of the asylum process including the provision of asylum accommodation, and on the Home Office’s consideration of the ‘best interests’ of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. I have also looked at the Home Office’s handling of family reunion applications. This latest report explores both the overall BICS approach to vulnerability and what is happening on the ground when Border Force, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and Immigration Enforcement (IE) encounter vulnerable adults. From this and the earlier inspections, I am in no doubt that the BICS Board, senior management, and the majority of staff are serious about improving the protection provided to vulnerable individuals. A good deal of effort is already targeted at particular, well-delineated ‘cohorts’, such as children and PVoMS, and other vulnerability-focused work is ongoing across BICS to improve training, raise awareness, and capture information. However, much remains to be done to develop a consistent understanding of what is meant by ‘vulnerability’ in a BICS context, and the appropriate response, and progress is too slow. This report was sent to the Home Secretary on 20 August 2018. Its four recommendations cover: creating a detailed Programme Plan for delivering an effective response to the vulnerability and safeguarding challenges facing BICS; reaching out to other agencies with greater knowledge and expertise in dealing with vulnerable individuals; spelling out to BICS staff their ‘duty of care’ when they encounter vulnerable adults; ensuring that how each of the BICS directorates assesses and manages risk in relation to vulnerable individuals is fully aligned with the departmental goal of “Protecting Vulnerable People and Communities”. I am pleased that the Home Office has accepted all four recommendations and look forward to checking on its progress in the course of inspections and re-inspections of BICS’ handling of various forms of vulnerability planned for 2019-20.
We need to improve road safety – there’s a small minority of drivers whose actions endanger other road users often with tragic consequences. Operation Tramline is an invaluable initiative to help police catch the drivers putting themselves and others at risk. Other footage captured using the cabs in their first year included a van driver who was spotted with no hands on the wheel as he used one hand to change gear and the other to hold his mobile phone. The incident happened as he travelled along the A38 near Derby, even though he pulled into a service station to stop just a few seconds later.Van driver with no hands on wheel on A38The driver of a pick-up truck was also filmed without his hands on the wheel as he travelled along the M60 near Eccles in Greater Manchester. The footage shows the driver with both hands on his phone as he writes a text message.Pick-up truck driver uses both hands for text message on M60Tom Cotton, Road Haulage Association’s head of licencing and infrastructure policy, said: The trucker, who was seen holding his credit card and phone in each hand, was among over 3,000 dangerous drivers filmed by three unmarked HGV ‘supercabs’ in the past year to improve safety on England’s high-speed roads.View the footage below:Trucker uses both hands for credit card payment on M40The cabs, which are funded by Highways England, have travelled thousands of miles since they first took to the road 12 months ago and police offers inside the vehicles have recorded over 3,500 offences.All three cabs are now being used for a week of action on the M1 to improve safety on England’s most used motorway.Highways England’s traffic officers will also be joining forces with the emergency services from today (Monday 13 May) to provide free tyre checks and safety tips to drivers at motorway services by the M1.Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety at Highways England, said: The three Highways England supercabs patrol motorways and major A roads across England, and have been used by 29 police forces over the past year in a safety initiative known as Operation Tramline.They allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles, and drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind.The supercabs have a de-restricted speed limiter which means they can travel at speeds up to the national speed limit, and flashing lights have been installed for use by police forces in an emergency.National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day and the vast majority are sensible behind the wheel but some are putting themselves and others at risk. We introduced the three new HGV supercabs last year to help keep the roads safe and tackle dangerous driving by people who have either got into bad habits or are simply ignoring the law. The cabs have helped to identify over 3,000 unsafe drivers over the past year, and we hope our week of action on the M1 will encourage everyone to think about what more they could do to improve how they drive. Around one in three of the drivers filmed breaking the law by the supercabs had someone in their vehicle not wearing a seatbelt, despite statistics showing that one in four people killed in car crashes in 2017 were not wearing seatbelts.Drivers illegally using a mobile phone while driving was the second most common offence captured by the cabs, with the latest figures showing that mobile phone use is a factor in one death on the roads every 12 days.The most common offences included: Operation Tramline is a successful collaboration between the police and Highways England. We remain committed to tackling those who take unnecessary risks with their own safety and the safety of others on our roads by allowing themselves to be distracted while driving. The consequences of these actions are often devastating. We will continue to work alongside Highways England on Operation Tramline and will prosecute drivers who ignore the risks. not wearing seatbelt – 1,195 using mobile phone – 1,062 not in proper control of vehicle – 262 speeding – 118 Police officers issued 462 penalty charge notices and filed 2,533 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course. There were also 73 prosecutions for more serious offences.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.
The plan sets out the activities that will take place to support SMEs during the department’s procurement processes. The action plan supports the government’s aspiration that 33% of procurement spend will go to SMEs by March 2022.
Dawn Foods, Epos Group, Mariani Packaging, Rank Hovis, Redblack software, Unox, Wrigley. Category Sponsor – Craft Bakers: MacphieCategory Sponsor – Sandwich Retailers: Mission Foods Wednesday 27th February 2013British Baker, the UK’s only fully requested and paid-for baking industry magazine, has published the BB Top 75 since 2007 providing its readers with a league table of companies in the business of retailing baked goods, these could be pure retail, eat in or food to go. This data is unique, regarded as the annual authoritative report and is referenced across the year by both the bakery sector and key media. It is used internally by the top 75 companies and is highly regarded and sought after.Event format• February 27th 2013• 100 to 150 senior directors from the top 75 retailers• Networking lunch at Avenue, St James, London • The event will also include presentations from Rob Hunt, joint managing director of Krispy Kreme UK, and Paul Flatters, a managing partner at the Trajectory Partnership.For sponsorship enquiries, please contact:Helen ChaterTel: +44 (0)1293 846571e mail: [email protected] you are looking to book accommodation for the night of the lunch please visit ourhotel reservations website. Sponsors:
A Backpackers Guide to Easter Easter is a popular time of year for foodies like me who relish in eating mountains of glorious chocolate almost guilt-free. However this year, Easter will pass by unnoticed as I write this whilst backpacking in South East Asia, with the majority of countries being Buddhist and therefore not celebrating Easter. It’s celebrations like this which lead me to think about home and miss the family. Not to mention the food, with that eaten at Easter being some of the most delicious.Marzipan is one of my favourite flavours and features in a number of Easter treats such as Simnel cake, achildhood favourite of my mother’s. Unheard of my much of the younger generation, Simnel cake is fruit cake with a layer of marzipan in the centre and again on top plus 12 balls of marzipan around the edge to represent the 12 disciples. This is best enjoyed with a cup of tea after a traditional roast dinner with the whole family on Easter Sunday.There are also plenty of independent chocolatiers such as Charbonnel et Walker which offer Easter gift selections at exceptionally good quality if a little pricier than your standard Cadbury’s egg. Instead of rushing out to grab those last minute bargain eggs, why not give your loved ones a more thoughtful gift this Easter such as a homemade cake?About Helen NewmanLondon-based Social Media Manager Helen Newman says she has a huge appetite for cake. In her spare time she runs food blog www.livelifelovecake.com with her mother, who shares her passion for food. She loves to travel and is always on the lookout for the latest cake trends, home and aboard. Her motto in life is “try something new!”