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February 2020
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ibml unveils world’s fastest, ultra-high-volume, intelligent scanner: the ibml FUSiON, the most comprehensive intelligent information capture solution

ibml processes high-volume government documents for stringent, mission-critical needs, meeting the highest quality and security standards across many departments in a secure, safe environment

New product offers transformative solutions for outdated information management processes 

Imaging Business Machines, LLC (ibml), the leading global provider of intelligent information capture solutions, unveiled its next generation of ultra-high-volume scanners. The new ibml FUSiONTM Series ignites the fusion of disparate capture processes into one streamlined solution, using in-line intelligence at blazing fast throughput speeds up to 730 A4 pages per minute and 938 checks per minute.

As the world’s fastest, intelligent, scalable document capture platform, ibml FUSiON accelerates customers’ mission-critical applications by extracting information from documents to digital processes, thus enabling digital transformation.


In a survey by the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), 62 percent of organisations said they “are committed to digital transformation.” Paper documents remain a large source of business input for organisations. Ever-increasing data volumes demand exponentially faster processing and ways to eliminate tedious and unnecessary pre-scan and post-scan labor which eats 76 percent of total capture costs and majorly drains operational efficiency[1]. ibml’s FUSiON brings previously uncontrolled information under control.

“For nearly three decades, the world’s largest organisations in the most data-rich environments such as banking, government and BPOs have trusted ibml to overcome their core information management challenges,” said ibml President and CEO, Martin Birch. “Using industry-leading intelligence and accelerated speeds, we extract actionable data, capture insights and expedite critical decision-making for our customers located in over 48 countries. With the ibml FUSiON, shifting to one infrastructure for all capture needs allows organisations to radically reduce real estate, labor and maintenance costs while pushing productivity forward. ibml FUSiON is poised to truly transform those industries with the most demanding document capture needs of today and tomorrow, empowering their digital transformation, while reducing costs.”


ibml FUSiON Series sets new benchmarks for high-volume intelligent capture, which include these key highlights:

Real-time, in-line intelligence that helps understand documents, extracting data early in the process to minimize errors downstream.

  • The fastest throughput in its class; ibml FUSiON is 67 percent faster than its predecessor and allows customers to do mission-critical jobs in tight timelines and handle greater volume, driving better productivity and lowering costs.
  • New patent-pending ibml iQpro image processing technology optimizes image capture for better accuracy of data extraction from images.
  • Feeding enhancements and wider document track minimize exceptions and maximize the variety of document sizes that can be handled.
  • Patent-pending envelope detection reduces stops and increases productivity while allowing for reducing the need for separator sheets.
  • Motorised output sort pockets neatly stack sorted documents, reducing post-scan costs.
  • Document content-based dynamic printing creates smart audit trails for scanned documents, securing the chain of custody of documents.
  • User-centric design makes it easy to use, and user-friendly error alerts quickly identify problems, minimising fatigue and improving productivity.
  • Smart industrial design maximises system uptime with separated airflow systems that keep paper dust out of system electronics.

“ibml FUSiON was developed with our customers, based on a deep understanding of their pain points with different devices they use for high-volume document capture,” said ibml Vice President of Engineering, Pete Rudak. “We then applied the right technology and innovation to solve those problems and the result is ibml FUSiON, a comprehensive solution that combines a sleek modern design with the fastest speed, the highest image quality and the intelligence everyone expects from ibml.”

[1] The Total Cost of Scanning: A Framework for Analysis and Improvement, ECM Connection

For more information, visit or call 01483 549818

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Statement from the SoE following speculation that the media should be held responsible for the tragic death of Caroline Flack

The Society of Editors has issued the following statement after speculation that the media should be held responsible for the tragic death of TV personality Caroline Flack.

The death of Caroline Flack is indeed a tragedy, as is the case when anyone feels they have nowhere to turn and decide to take their own lives.

Caroline was an extremely popular personality with much of the public with her appearances on Strictly Come Dancing and Love Island. She was given coverage in the media for many years prior to recent events, the vast majority of it very positive. We cannot know the reasons why Caroline chose to end her life however, it is wrong to blame the media for her decision without knowing the facts. Indeed, the Samaritans guidance on reporting suicides makes clear that speculation over causes or presumptuous explanations often oversimplify the complex reasons behind an individual’s decision to end their life.

It is also wrong for politicians to use her tragic death as a means to attack the media and call for changes in the way politicians themselves are reported.

The investigations carried out by the police in Caroline’s case were based on serious accusations and the subsequent decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to press ahead with an assault case against her, were matters that were in the public domain and should be covered. To believe that by silencing mainstream media on such matters would prevent speculation on social media where rumour and accusations run unchecked by the regulations the media adheres to, is both naive and dangerous.

A blanket ban on any reporting of accusations or police investigation until a person is charged is also dangerous as it can lead to the deterrence of whistle blowers, give succour to the rich and the powerful, and is not in the public interest.

Latest updates on ministerial appointments

Latest updates as Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes government appointments:

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of:

Lord Callanan as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Gillian Keegan MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Education.

Paul Scully MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Minister for London.

James Duddridge MP as a joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP remains a Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Kelly Tolhurst MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport.

Wendy Morton MP as a joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, and Assistant Government Whip.

Stuart Andrew MP as Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip).

Marcus Jones MP as a Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Government Whip).

Douglas Ross MP remains a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Scotland Office.

Lord True CBE as a Minister of State in the Cabinet Office

Rachel Maclean MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport

Baroness Berridge as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Education and a Baroness in Waiting

Nigel Huddleston MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and an Assistant Government Whip

Simon Clarke MP as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Rt Hon Greg Hands MP as a Minister of State in the Department for International Trade.

Michelle Donelan MP as a Minister of State in the Department for Education.

Caroline Dinenage MP as a Minister of State in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Kemi Badenoch MP as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

Chris Philp MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Home Office.

Chris Heaton Harris MP remains a Minister of State in the Department for Transport

Edward Argar MP remains a Minister of State in the Department of Health and Social Care.

Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park as a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Nigel Adams MP as a joint Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

Baroness Sugg CBE as a joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

Kit Malthouse MP remains a Minister of State in the Home Office.

Rt Hon Conor Burns MP remains a Minister of State in the Department for International Trade.

Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP as a Minister of State in the Home Office.

Jeremy Quin MP as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence.

Helen Whately MP as a Minister of State in the Department of Health and Social Care.

Chloe Smith MP as a Minister of State in the Cabinet Office.

Robin Walker MP as a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office.

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP as Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office.

Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Rt Hon Andrew Stephenson MP as a Minister of State in the Department for Transport.

Rt Hon James Cleverly MP as joint Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP remains Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip), attending Cabinet.

Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP remains Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons, attending Cabinet

Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP remains Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and First Secretary of State

Rt Hon Simon Hart MP remains Secretary of State for Wales

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP remains Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Minister for the Cabinet Office

Rt Hon Priti Patel MP remains Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer

Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP remains Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He will also be Minister for COP26

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP remains Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP as Secretary of State for International Development

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP remains Secretary of State for International Trade, President of the Board of Trade, and Minister for Women and Equalities

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Rt Hon Baroness Evans of Bowes Park remains Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords

Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP remains Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Suella Braverman MP as Attorney General. She will attend Cabinet

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP remains Secretary of State for Education

Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP remains Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of George Eustice MP as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP remains Secretary of State for Transport

Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP remains Secretary of State for Defence


Latest comments: 

Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary

Responding to news that Ben Wallace will remain Defence Secretary, said:

“The alarming rate of churn at the MOD has actively impeded the stable policy-making we need to maintain our national security and support our defence industry, so we welcome a period of stability that will allow Ministers to get to grips with the long-terms challenges facing the country.

“Defence workers badly need a government that is on their side and enables them to play their full role in our national security by placing orders for defence equipment in the UK.

“The Defence Secretary has kept his job, and he can help hundreds of defence workers keep theirs by announcing that the new Fleet Solid Support Ships will be built in British shipyards, securing hundreds of jobs and maintaining a glorious tradition of British shipbuilding.”

RTPI congratulates Jenrick on retaining ministerial role

The chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has welcomed the announcement that Robert Jenrick will remain in his role as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Victoria Hills said she looked forward to continuing to work with Mr Jenrick to ensure town planners and the planning system were able to deliver sustainable, well-designed, successful urban and rural places into the future.

She said: “I congratulate Mr Jenrick on retaining his role and welcome the much-needed stability. I look forward to supporting the Secretary of State with the consultation on the planning white paper, which we hope will empower planners to deliver improved places that reflect the needs of local communities and meet net zero carbon and environmental targets.

“The RTPI has long campaigned for government and local authorities to assign more resources to planning teams, and we will continue to lobby for planning to be put back at the top table of corporate decision-making.”

In a letter addressed to Mr Jenrick, Ms Hills said:

“We believe that to support the government to deliver its infrastructure, climate change and built environment agendas it needs to:

  • resource local planning authorities to deliver the government’s targets on carbon net zero, housing and infrastructure,
  • remove barriers to the creation of city-regional spatial strategies and allow city regions to use their devolved planning powers.
  • empower the planning profession to ensure that the UK leads on delivering climate and environmental action locally
  • uphold the right of communities to have a say in local development including codes and plans

She added that she hoped Mr Jenrick would also agree to deliver the keynote address at the RTPI’s annual conference in June.

Storms Ciara & Dennis: Multi-million pound cut to local services responding

Fire and rescue services battling Storm Ciara have had their annual funding cut by £141.5 million over the last four years, according to Fire Brigades Union (FBU) analysis of England’s local government finance settlement coming before Parliament today (Wednesday 12 February).

The worst storm-hit areas in England – Cumbria, West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester – have had their annual fire and rescue service funding cut by a total of £16 million since 2016.

  • Cumbria has had funding cut by £1.5 million, or 15%
  • West Yorkshire has seen a £4.8 million funding cut, equivalent to 11%
  • Lancashire has endured a £3.8 million funding cut, or 12%
  • Greater Manchester’s funding has been cut £5.9 million, more than 10%[1]

After years of cuts, Westminster funding for services has increased by just 1.6% in cash terms this year, almost entirely negated by inflation[2]. This amounts to a 14% cut over the period of the local government finance settlement 2016/17-2020/21.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

“Firefighters are facing a battering from the weather, but years of relentless cuts have undermined our ability to handle major weather events like Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.

“We keep getting told that these are ‘once in a generation’ or ‘once in a century’ events – well, we were told that just three months ago when floods hit in November. Climate change is only going to make things worse, but funding for those on the frontline has been slashed.

“The paltry cash-terms increase this year doesn’t even begin to reverse the years of decay and decline in our service. Give us the tools and we’ll do the job – but we need investment and proper pay, terms and conditions.”

Firefighters have been called out to flooding, water rescues, fallen debris, damaged property, and countless other incidents resulting from Storm Ciara, while emergency fire control rooms have been swamped with calls. Services are braced for another assault from Storm Dennis.

Despite their role as the primary responders to floods, firefighters in England still do not have a statutory duty to respond to flooding. This deprives them of the funding, training, resources, and pay needed to respond effectively to events like Storm Ciara. Firefighters have this statutory duty in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Mayor of Greater Manchester reacts to HS2 announcement

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, has responded to the government’s confirmation that the HS2 high-speed rail link will be built, the first phase between London and Birmingham with a second phase going onto Manchester and Leeds.

Mr Burnham said: “The Prime Minister has today listened and gone a considerable distance towards the case I made at the weekend for a new, integrated East  – West – North – South railway for the North of England. That is why I welcome what he has announced today.

“However, there are a number of issues on which we are seeking further clarification.

“First – Manchester Piccadilly. While we support HS2 in principle, it was designed as a North – South railway and consequently has never offered right solution for new, modern East – West links at Manchester Piccadilly. There is now an opportunity to get that right and we ask the government to work with us on a redesign of Manchester Piccadilly station, based on analysis commissioned by Sir Richard Leese and Manchester City Council.

“Second – timetable. The Prime Minister gave a firm timetable for HS2 from London to Birmingham, however there was no such commitment for the North. We want to see the construction of Northern Powerhouse Rail fast-tracked, in line with the commitment the Prime Minister made in Manchester shortly after entering office. We cannot be left waiting years for this investment and the resulting jobs.

“Third – line of route for Northern Powerhouse Rail. While we were pleased to hear mention of high-speed rail to Liverpool we notice that Prime Minister did not mention Bradford. This is important because the Bradford route means that Northern Powerhouse Rail will be a brand new line serving Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly, Bradford and Leeds – which is the clear preference of Northern Leaders.

“Finally, big promises on future infrastructure must not distract from the need to urgently upgrade our creaking Victorian railway, which is ruining journeys on a daily basis. The creation of two new platforms at Piccadilly is a shovel ready project that will benefit the whole North. The government needs to stop dragging its feet on this and get these platforms built.”

The Smart City Protocol Continues to Spread in Many Countries

Simon Dunkley, Secretary General TALQ Consortium, showing the TALQ symbol

The TALQ Consortium is continuing to certify further products as TALQ-compliant and, by doing so, will guarantee interoperability among systems from different vendors. At the beginning of 2020 the number of certified Central Management Software (CMS) and Outdoor Device Networks (ODN / gateways) totals 17 solutions from vendors based in nine different countries. As evidence emerges that some manufacturers are starting to claim TALQ-compatibility without undergoing the strict testing procedures, the only reliable source for double-checking officially certified products remains the TALQ website.

In order to simplify investment decisions for cities, the TALQ Consortium has developed a global interface standard to connect and manage heterogeneous outdoor lighting and other smart city applications from different hardware and software vendors. Integrating the Smart City Protocol into their solutions allows smart lighting and smart city application providers to achieve interoperability and offer open systems to cities, globally.

Reasons for TALQ members for integration

“Citégestion is specialized in monitoring platforms for cities. We quickly noticed, that linking our solution with a rather large number of street lighting suppliers was a challenge. It became even more true when it embraces smart cities’ concerns, with an even larger number of device providers.”, reports Gautier Perraut, Technical Director at Citégestion. “Therefore, from the very beginning, we always thought that standardizing the communication protocol between the node providers and the software editors was key to strengthening the adoption of smart solutions by cities.”

John Fox, Managing Director at Lucy Zodion adds “As a member of the TALQ Consortium, with TALQ version 2 Gateway Certification, we are helping cities unlock vendor tie-in with a proven industry open protocol standard. Our Ki. solution has been tested against the Certification Tool, making it compatible with other smart city platforms – providing city leaders with the ability to build a future-proof, scalable and multi-vendor smart city.”

The benefits of membership are summarized by Antonio Royo, General Manager UVAX Concepts, as: “Implementing a protocol with feedback from many experts from different companies gives a competitive advantage in the market. Having a solution with an integrated standard helps members’ solutions to be considered in various public tenders and assures our solution complies with the latest state-of-the-art definitions.”

Brian McGuigan, Itron’s Smart City Lead said, “We believe that robust and interoperable standards are key to giving cities the confidence needed to adopt Smart City solutions at scale, without fear of vendor lock in, and have been strong advocates of the TALQ Consortium since its formation. Since certifying in 2017 we have been using the TALQ v1.0 standard to manage over 3 million lighting points deployed globally, and are excited about the extended functionality and improved interoperability offered by the TALQ v2.0 standard.”

The Consortium continues to evaluate interoperability with its rigorous two-stage certification procedure. The Test Tool Software is regularly updated and extended with new feature requests. During the certification assessment, the tool is used to generate protocol reports, which are reviewed by the expert Certification Work Group. All products which successfully pass this procedure are listed as being ‘certified products’ on the TALQ website, which remains the only official channel for approved TALQ-compatibility.

For more information visit

allpay Renews Place on Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) EPS Framework

allpay, a leading UK payment specialist, has renewed its place on the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) Electronic Payment Services framework following a detailed tender process.

Rob McCloy, Head of Sales (North), allpay explains: “Frameworks are now an everyday tool for social housing procurement.  The NHC offers a range of services to its members of Housing Associations and Councils through a fully OJEU compliant framework, removing the need for to go out to tender for contracts. This saves time, resources and money and provides access to a pre-agreed pricing matrix.  We currently have 130 clients utilising the framework and allpay has had a relationship with the NHC since 2010, having successfully renewed on their framework in 2015.”

Thirteen, is a landlord and housing developer, providing homes for rent and sale, managing 34,000 properties from North Tyneside to York.  Rob Thompson, senior finance manager (Income Services) for Thirteen confirms:  “At Thirteen, allpay has provided us with payment solutions for almost 20 years. Since 2010, these services have been provided through the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) procurement framework. During this time, it has been my responsibility to deliver innovative payment solutions that evolve to meet the changing needs of both our customers and our business.

“It is important that our customers are presented with real choice to use their preferred payment method.  allpay has enabled us to offer a wide range of payment solutions that include: any day Direct Debits, recurring debit card payments, online and telephone payments. In addition to this Swipe Cards can be used at pay points and the Post Office and offer an inclusive option for those who don’t have access to phone or internet or may not have a bank account.

“The customer service and support we receive from allpay continues to be delivered to a high standard.  The standard of service is consistent in both the implementation of new products and services, as well as on going operational support.”

Joseph Gardiner, commercial director, NHC said: “The NHC has provided public sector bodies with a compliant and trusted procurement route for more than 20 years. We offer a range of fully compliant frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems covering Construction, Compliance, Asset Management, Independent Living and Financial Inclusion. Our team supports members through the procurement process and as we are not-for-profit, our surplus is reinvested into our main focus – to represent our members’ interests and ensure they are heard at a regional and national government level.

“Following a rigorous and detailed tender, we now welcome allpay Ltd back to the NHC Electronic Payment Services Framework for six lots and look forward to carrying on our strong working relationship with the team to supply comprehensive payment solutions to the public sector.”

allpay, is now the sole supplier for:  Lot 1 (Fully Managed Service), Lot 2 (Customer Payment Cards), Lot 3 (Barcode Payments), Lot 4 (Credit & Debit Card Payments), Lot 5 (Direct Debits) and Lot 7 (Management Information Platform).

For further information please visit:

Competition for emergency service cadets encourages young film-makers to shout out for safer roads

Brake, the road safety charity, has launched an exciting new competition to inspire young people to raise awareness and campaign for safer roads.

Brake’s Project24 competition, in partnership with Coop Insurance, asks 11-18 year-olds to create their own 24-second short film that raises awareness about a road safety subject of their choice.

The title ‘Project24’ was chosen as figures from the World Health Organization show 1.35 million people are killed on the roads each year – the equivalent of one person every 24 seconds [1].

Road crashes are now the eighth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death for people aged 5-29.

The contest is open to emergency service cadets. By registering, community leaders receive free resources including presentation slides, filming tips and fact sheets.

Young people across the UK are encouraged to enter Project24 by creating their own 24-second videos raising awareness of a road safety topic of their choice and the solutions available to make roads safer, or to inspire people to campaign for safe and healthy journeys.

Entries could include interviews, animations, poetry, artwork, music or anything else the young people feel like making – as long as it lasts no more than 24 seconds.

Brake project24 students making film

The best entries will be showcased by Brake through its website and social media channels across the globe. And winners will receive prizes for themselves and for their schools, including attendance at a special awards reception.

The final date for entries is 4pm on Friday 3 April 2020. Winners will be announced in May.

For more information visit or email

FCHO is investing 80k to help alleviate food poverty in Oldham

Community Impact Managers Bev Bertenshaw and Dave Brereton unloading the van

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

A housing association has invested over £80,000 to combat poverty among its customers on low incomes and bring a discounted food service to their local communities.

First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has partnered with Manchester-based food surplus redistribution charity, The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) to provide good quality food for a fraction of its usual price to their customers. The aim is to increase the amount of disposable income in their pockets, so they don’t have to choose between buying food, paying bills or buying other basics.

The affordable food service takes place every week at community centres in some of the most deprived areas in the borough. For just £7, customers’ shopping bags are filled with a minimum of £35 worth of items made up of quality fresh food and store cupboard staples from supermarkets. Those with larger families have the option to pay £14 for a double order and our Community Impact Team will also hand deliver shopping to customers whose health needs may make it difficult to attend.

The TBBT scheme launched at NEON Hub in the Greenacres area of the borough at the end of November 2019, quickly followed by a second hub at Sholver and Moorside Community Centre in January 2020. To date, people who have used the service have saved more than £10,000 between them. Over the next 12 months, they plan to expand the offer to at least three more locations in Oldham. Once it’s fully established, every week TBBT will be serving approximately 450 customers, saving them a collective total of almost £10,000 per week – that’s over half a million pounds a year.

Customer Charlene Brennan

As well as distributing much needed food, the scheme creates a useful point of contact for their customers to get help and advice. Charlene Brennan has been using the service at NEON since it launched last year when she was encouraged to attend by her Community Impact Advisor.


Charlene told GPSJ: “I turn up to The Bread and Butter Thing every week and it’s saving my household a big chunk of our income. The food is brilliant, the staff are nice and my son is eating more veg. The extra money is now helping me pay off some debts and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our family is a lot happier, we’re a lot more secure and I don’t feel like I’m going to lose everything anymore.”

Vinny Roche, FCH Chief Executive told GPSJ: “Our customers do their very best to get by but food poverty is on the rise in Oldham. At First Choice Homes, we’ve decided we can’t just sit back and let that happen. That’s why we’ve teamed up with TBBT to make a positive difference to our customers in greatest need. We’ve funded the partnership, aimed at getting the food service running five days a week, 52 weeks a year to a minimum of 450 of our customers every week. The results to date are fantastic and I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the future. The more of us joining the fight against poverty the better and if further partners would like to get on board to help us reach even more people in need, I encourage them to get in touch.”

Mark Game, TBBT Chief Executive added: “The financial savings for people using the service are significant, people eat better quality and a bigger variety of food, and we save tonnes of surplus edible food from going to waste. It’s a win/win solution for everyone and we’re looking forward to seeing our partnership develop in Oldham and improve the lives of more and more people.”

Exclusion of media critics from Downing Street briefings sets dangerous precedent, warns Chartered Institute of Journalists

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has condemned the government’s crass and immature bullying of journalists and warns that it needs to ‘grow up’ and show respect for media freedom.

Institute President, Janice Shillum, says: “Only authoritarian governments snarl at the media and retaliate against criticism with threats and petty restrictions. So it is of immense concern that Boris Johnson’s government is behaving this way towards its critics in the media. It is especially alarming when the Prime Minister is himself a journalist by profession and should know better.”

She adds: “These clumsy attempts at media manipulation and control are undignified and unbecoming in a country that likes to pride itself on setting high standards of democratic accountability. It is high time that the Prime Minister’s Chief Political Advisor, Dominic Cummings, and those responsible for the Government’s communications strategy, started showing more professionalism and better judgement in their dealings with the media.”

The Institute is the longest established professional association of journalists and has been tracking a growing pattern of harassment that varies from insults and boycotts to thinly veiled threats to curtail the security of BBC funding.

Recently Mr Cummings told an ITV news reporter that his questions in a live door-stepping encounter were inane.  It would seem that the accusation of ‘inanity’ is becoming the government’s watchword in its treatment of professional media.”

The CIoJ points out the need for a healthy and respectful relationship between government and the media to underline the vital role that a free media plays as an essential pillar of democracy.

Triple appointment to Institute of Economic Development Board

Wakefield Council regeneration and economic growth expert appointed to IED Board

Tom Stannard, Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth at Wakefield Council, has joined the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Board of Directors.

In a career spanning over 20 years Tom has worked in a variety of economic development, regeneration and policy roles in

Continue reading Triple appointment to Institute of Economic Development Board

‘Go Ultra Low’ status achieved as 2025 all-electric car target set by Nottingham-based McCann

Nottingham-based civil and electrical engineering firm McCann has committed to making its entire fleet of company cars all-electric by the year 2025 – after the business recently achieved ‘Go Ultra Low’ status.

McCann has already invested heavily in the future of its fleet of company cars over the previous 12 months – making 53% of

Continue reading ‘Go Ultra Low’ status achieved as 2025 all-electric car target set by Nottingham-based McCann

Tackling bullying and harassment in Westminster

Sylvia Sage

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

Over the past 18 months, House of Commons authorities have come under repeated fire for their lack of action to address bullying and harassment.

Dame Laura Cox, who authored a report in 2018 which laid bare the scale of the problem, criticised the slow pace of progress a year

Continue reading Tackling bullying and harassment in Westminster

The Future Relationship between the UK and the EU

The Government wishes to see a future relationship based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals for the benefit of all our peoples. There is complete certainty that at the end of 2020 the process of transition to that relationship will be complete and that the UK will have recovered in full its economic and political

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