Category Archives: Press Releases

UK Company Paying A Global Workforce With Bitcoin

Victvs Ltd

Victvs Ltd

In response to increased worldwide awareness of the rising value and potential applications of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, one Leeds based company is leading the way in offering Bitcoin payments to members of their global workforce.

Victvs Ltd based in Leeds, is a global company providing business support services in over 100 countries.  With a global network of over 1000 people, managing international payments to so many countries can be very difficult.   Victvs see Bitcoin as a welcome additional option through which to pay their global network and from 1st

December 2017, began offering its members the option of receiving payment in the cryptocurrency.

Victvs CEO and founder Ben Clayson, believes that Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies hold exciting potential for his global workforce, “As the connected global workplace evolves, new tools and technologies like Bitcoin are being created to provide people with greater individual control over resources including finance.  We believe that cryptocurrency payments will have real benefits for the members of our global network and we expect to see developments in Blockchain technology having a profound effect on our industry in the near future.”

From the point of view of international beneficiaries, receiving payments in Bitcoin comes with far lower processing fees and much quicker receipt of payment than traditional banking methods.  Whilst the legislation surrounding cryptocurrencies is still unclear in many countries, Bitcoin and others including Ethereum and Monero are gaining in popularity all over the world.

Contrary to popular belief, payments made in Bitcoin are not anonymous and the funds can be exchanged for material goods, with everything from sushi to properties now being offered with a Bitcoin price.  Despite not being expected to replace traditional currencies, there is no escaping the phenomenal growth of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.

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Notes to the Editor

  • Victvs Ltd was founded in Sep 2013 by Benjamin Clayson and Andrew Gregory
  • Provides global business support services – helping clients do better international business
  • Services provided by Victvs include: micro logistics, inspections and audits, professional examination management and international crisis support
  • Victvs Ltd is based in Castleton Mills, Leeds.  We employ 29 people in the UK and we work with over 1000 people in over 100 countries

Contact: For press enquiries, please contact Dawn Lightwood (Marketing & PR) on 0113 887 0185 or email dawn.lightwood@victvsglobal.com

Ministers Take Action To Bolster PIP Services

The government has accepted the recommendations of Paul Gray's second independent review of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Department for Works & Pensions

Department for Works & Pensions

As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen its services for disabled people, the government has accepted the recommendations of the second independent review of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The review, commissioned by the government and led by Paul Gray, was published in March 2017. Action will be taken on the recommendations including simplifying communications for people claiming PIP, and exploring how to ensure evidence is collected and reviewed as effectively as possible to support people’s claims.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, said:

We’re determined to make the PIP application process as simple as possible both for the independent assessors and the people applying for it. That’s why we commissioned the second review on top of the strong steps we’ve already taken, so we can fully understand what works best, and what we need to improve on.

Working closely with disabled people and their representatives, we’ll continue to explore how to help meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

PIP was introduced to replace the outdated Disability Living Allowance (DLA) system. At the core of PIP’s design is the principle that awards should be made according to someone’s overall level of need – taking into account both physical and non-physical conditions. Under PIP 29% of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support, compared to 15% under DLA.

The first independent review was published in December 2014. Since then, significant improvements have been made to the PIP assessment process including:

  • restructuring decision letters to make them easier to understand
  • working with the Money Advice Service (MAS) to ensure PIP claimants can get bespoke budgeting advice if they need it
  • introducing SMS messaging to keep a claimant informed throughout the journey of their claim
  • introducing the Video Relay Service for claimants who use British Sign Language (BSL) so they are able to communicate with the department more easily
  • introducing the Next Generation Text (NGT) for deaf or hard of hearing claimants unable to use BSL or those unable to speak
  • amending the PIP (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2013 by removing the requirement for DLA claimants to wait a minimum of 28 days when they transfer to PIP if they became terminally ill

Assessment providers have also introduced Mental Health Champions, who are experienced professionals with direct and relevant work experience of helping people with mental health problems.

About PIP and the independent review

PIP is designed to help with the extra costs associated with a disability or health condition. It is not means tested and not linked to someone’s ability to work.

Read the government’s response to the second independent review.

Read Paul Gray’s second independent review.

Highways England Is ‘Gearing Up’ To Remove Miles Of Roadworks In Time For Christmas

Highways England is preparing to lift and complete hundreds of miles of roadworks this week in time for the Christmas getaway

Christmas Getaway

Christmas Getaway

Almost 400 miles of roadworks across England will be lifted and completed in December, leaving almost 99 per cent of motorways and strategic A roads roadworks-free in time for Christmas.

All roadworks will be lifted or completed by 6am on 22 December until 12.01am on 2 January to help people get away this Christmas with as little disruption as possible.

With the festive countdown well and truly underway, the UK’s largest coach operator National Express, has praised Highways England for its role in helping people get to their destination on time.

Chris Hardy, National Express Coach Managing Director, said:

We’ll be moving hundreds of thousands of passengers around the UK during the festive period, including on Christmas and Boxing Day when there are no rail services; and New Year’s Day.

We work with Highways England round the year to support them in maintaining and improving the road network so that we can offer our customers a reliable and convenient service.

It’s great that they’ve lifted road works during a busy time for travel, helping us to make sure we can get passengers where they want to be for Christmas.

And with thoughts turning to the all-important getaway, Highways England is also calling on motorists to do their bit before getting behind the wheel.

Highways England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said:

We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Christmas and that’s why we’re keeping 99 per cent of the road network we manage, free from roadworks.

Safety is our top imperative and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns are avoidable and these can easily be avoided with simple checks. Christmas is always a busy period on the road network and we’d urge all motorists to make sure they do their bit to check their vehicle is roadworthy before setting off over the festive period.

Highways England has also launched a special festive animation which shows Santa carrying out vital checks to his sleigh before embarking on the most important journey of the year – and he’s got a little help from his festive friends including Rudolph!

Some of Santa’s pre-flight checks include:

  • checking that there is plenty of grip on his sledge – motorists should check their tyre tread to make sure it is within the legal limit
  • making sure Rudolph’s nose is shining bright – always make sure lights on the vehicle are working correctly before setting off
  • making sure the reindeer are full of fuel before travelling – make sure that you always keep your tank at least one quarter full to avoid running out of fuel on your journey

The animation can be found online at the Highways England YouTube channel. Latest statistics from Highways England show almost half of all breakdowns are caused by basic mechanical problems which could be avoided with simple checks.

Furthermore, nearly a quarter are caused by tyre problems; with more than 7,000 cases nationwide of vehicle breakdowns on the strategic road network due to lack of fuel over the course of a year.

Motorists can head online to the Think website where they can watch bespoke videos showing how to carry out basic vehicle checks.

Those wishing to find out more about driving on smart motorways can go to our webpage for further information.

Drivers planning to use the Dartford Crossing are reminded to pay Dart Charge in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.

More information can be found on our website or by calling our information line (0300 123 5000) they can keep up to date with conditions on the roads.

For more detailed information on how to carry out your vehicle checks, search Think!

New Floating Moorings On River Great Ouse To Last 50-Plus Years

Boaters on the River Great Ouse can now stop off at three new and improved landing stages installed by the Environment Agency

Floating Moorings

Floating Moorings

The floating moorings replace ones on the relief channels at Stowbridge, Wiggenhall St Mary and the Denver Complex, all in Norfolk.

Expected to last at least 50 years, the new platforms feature non-slip mesh decking and galvanised steel frames.

Andy Bennison, Anglian Waterways engineer, who has managed the project said:

The existing landing stages have been taken away to be refurbished and re-used elsewhere on the River Great Ouse. The new frames and decking will improve safety, as well as look better and reduce maintenance costs.

It’s all part of our ongoing efforts to protect and improve our cherished waterways.

The work to replace the landing stages is part of the Environment Agency’s £1.4m Capital Investment Programme. Announced in November, the programme sets out the investments being made into Anglian Waterways’353-mile network.

Projects in the pipeline include improvements to eight locks, and take place from November to March – avoiding the peak boating season to minimise disruption for those on the river.

The Environment Agency cares for more than 353 miles of navigable waterways in the Anglian region, as well as a vast network of associated facilities such as bridges, locks, moorings and toilets.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee Appointed Three New Independent Members

The JNCC has appointed three new independent members for three years

Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The Government has appointed Professor Melanie Austen, Charles Banner and Professor Marian Scott as Independent Members of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The appointments took effect from 15 December 2017 for three years.

All appointments to the JNCC are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. The appointment complies with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. There is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if significant) to be declared. The appointees have not declared any significant political activity during the past five years.

The JNCC was established in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006) as a non-departmental public body. The JNCC advises the UK Government and Devolved Administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on UK-wide and international nature conservation.

Remuneration is £9,836 per annum based on a time commitment of 2½ days per month.

Professor Melanie Austen

Melanie is a marine ecologist and interdisciplinary marine researcher who is Head of Science for the ‘Sea and Society’ science area at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. She has recently completed a 3 year term as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK’s Marine Management Organisation. For the last fifteen years she has been developing and leading UK and EU funded collaborative marine research. Through her interdisciplinary research she has examined and quantified the societal consequences and policy relevance of changes to the marine environment and its ecosystems. She has been an Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter medical school since 2014. Melanie is currently a member of UK JNCC’s South Atlantic Natural Capital Assessment Technical Advisory Group. She has previously been a member of other Expert Advisory Groups and has chaired an EU Marine Board ecosystem valuation working group.

Charles Banner

Charles is a barrister at Landmark Chambers. He was called to the Bar in England and Wales in 2004, then to Northern Ireland in 2010. He practices across both jurisdictions and internationally specialising in environment and planning law and government and regulation. In 2015 Charles became Co-founder of Landmark International establishing a bespoke platform for barristers offering their services to the international legal market. In 2016 Charles became a trustee and council member of the UK Environmental Law Association which aims to make the law work for a better environment and to improve the understanding and awareness of environmental law. He has recently been announced as ‘Environment & Planning Junior of the Year’ at the Chambers Bar Awards 2017.

Professor Marian Scott

Marian is Professor of Environmental Statistics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Glasgow; an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and a chartered statistician of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Marian’s research interests include model uncertainty and sensitivity analysis; modelling the dispersal of pollutants in the environment, radiocarbon dating and assessment of animal welfare. She was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to social science.

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