Tag Archives: UK

Coal Authority Public Board Meeting – 23 March 2018

The next Coal Authority Board meeting will take place on Friday 23 March 2018

Coal Authority

Coal Authority

Our next public board meeting will take place at the Coal Authority offices at 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 4RG, starting at 09.45 on Friday 23 March 2018.

The board continues to conduct its business in public, as part of its ongoing commitment to giving stakeholders greater access to information on the activities undertaken by the Coal Authority.

View the board meeting agenda for 23 March 2018

Exceptional items of a commercially confidential nature will continue to be dealt with by the board in closed session.

Muhiba Ahmed Wins The British High Commission’s GREAT Debate Competition

The British High Commission’s third annual GREAT Debate competition final was held in Islamabad

British High Commissioner Thomas Drew

British High Commissioner Thomas Drew

The event was attended by members of the media and civil society, Chevening alumni and senior officials from the British High Commission and British Council. The audience witnessed a high intensity competition between fourteen of the top debaters from across universities in Pakistan who spoke for and against topics on peace, prosperity, democracy and technology.

The judging panel consisted of British Council Pakistan Country Director Rosemary Hilhorst, British High Commission’s Director of Corporate Services Giles Whitaker, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan H.E Jean-Francois Cautain and Consultant for the UNDP Ermeena Malik. The Chief Guest at the event was the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew.

After a competitive round of fixtures Muhiba Ahmed from Lahore and Umer Waqas Ahmed from Gujrat were judged to be the winner and runner-up of the GREAT Debate competition.

The British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said:

This year the UK is celebrating the next generation of Pakistani leaders, influencers and opinion makers. The forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the UK in April also has a strong youth focus in its priorities.

I am delighted that with the annual GREAT Debate we are able to give this next generation a platform to showcase their debating skills, hone their talent and get the opportunity to meet debaters from different universities and cities.

This marks the third edition of the GREAT Debate and I am pleased that we have been able to include over 150 debaters. The art of debating is in good health and will continue to grow further in universities and colleges across Pakistan.

I congratulate all the finalists. I am sure you will all play a vital part in the future success of Pakistan.

The GREAT Debate competition held in 2017-18 was the third annual edition of the competition that gives students from across Pakistan a platform to participate in debates, interact with other students from different universities and hone their skills in research, analytical thinking and public speaking.

The fourteen final participants of the GREAT Debate will be given one year British Council digital library memberships. The winner and runner-up of the overall competition will receive a scholarship reward to contribute towards their tuition fees.

More Information

The GREAT Debate is a debating competition for university students. There were seven semi-finals – in seven different cities (Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Gujarat, Faisalabad and Mirpur) involving students from over 50 leading universities across Pakistan – and the winner and runner-up of each semi-final competed in the final in Islamabad.

Humane Trapping Standards: Consultation Starts

A consultation on implementation of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards in the UK has started and views are now being sought

Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The Government has today (19 March) launched a public consultation on the introduction of new and improved international humane trapping standards.

Views are being sought on the implementation proposals for the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and to gather information on the supply, use and marking of traps to better inform impact assessment.

These measures will ensure gamekeepers, country estates and pest control companies are trapping certain species of animals in a humane fashion. Depending on the responses to the consultation, Government wants to implement the new standards on 1 January 2019.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

We are committed to supporting a strong rural economy and upholding countryside traditions and we want to do this in a way that respects wildlife and the environment.

I would therefore encourage people with an interest in this area to contribute their views.

Today’s consultation is asking for views from the gamekeeping sector, trap retailers, manufacturers and importers, pest control companies, country estates/farms, and importers of products derived from trapped animals.

People can respond using the Citizen Space survey.

The Government will respond to the consultation shortly after the six-week consultation ends.

Coastguard Winchman Battered By 6ft Waves During Dramatic Rescue

Dramatic footage showing the incredible moment a coastguard winchman was battered by 6ft waves as he rescued two young men off Hartland Point Sunday afternoon



The HM coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan was alerted to the incident just after 3pm today after a 999 call was made to HM coastguard reporting two young men clinging to rocks off Hartland Point. With 6ft waves crashing over the men they were at immediate risk of being washed out to sea. Racing to the scene, the HM coastguard helicopter was kept fully briefed by the Hartland Point coastguard rescue team who were unable to reach the pair due to the rough seas but were watching closely from the shore in case the worst should happen.

The rough seas also made it impossible for a lifeboat to reach the scene so their only hope was the coastguard helicopter. Once on scene it took the precision and skill of the helicopter crew which saw the two men rescued in under two minutes.

HM Coastguard helicopter chief pilot Olly Padbury said: “This was a challenging rescue where we only had seconds to spare. As we manoeuvred our winchman towards the two casualties on the rock, he was hit a by a large unsighted wave. Recovering quickly he was able to place the strop over the first casualty and he was winched onboard. Once he was safely inside we dropped the winch down again and we were able to pull the winchman and the second casualty up in seconds. This dramatic footage clearly shows what can happen when people are cut off by the tide but also the sterling job our winchman did in a few minutes. This rescue is about teamwork and we would like to say a big thank you to Hartland Point coastguard rescue team for their spot on briefing – which saw these two young men rescued successfully.”

Both men were airlifted to safety and despite their ordeal required no medical attention.

Speaking after the incident Duncan Ley, duty controller for HM coastguard said: “This incident could so easily have turned into a really tragic one. If you see someone in difficulty at sea or along the coast please immediately call 999 and ask for the coastguard. If you are going out for a walk along the shore make sure that you check the tide times – you will often see this information at the entry to beaches or check it online – and ensure that you are back in plenty of time. Thankfully, this was a rescue that ended really well thanks to the coastguard helicopter crew and Hartland Point Coastguard rescue team.”

Passenger Train Striking Rail Left Obstructing The Line At Cradlehall

Passenger train striking rail left obstructing the line at Cradlehall, Inverness, 25 February 2018

CCTV image showing the rail on the track shortly before the train struck it (image courtesy Virgin Trains East Coast)

CCTV image showing the rail on the track shortly before the train struck it (image courtesy Virgin Trains East Coast)

At about 09:47 hrs on 25 February 2018, a passenger train travelling at about 53 mph (85 km/h) struck the end of a 129 metre length of rail that was lying partially over the line. The rail was knocked clear and no significant damage was caused to the train. The rail had been left in this position following earlier engineering work.

We have undertaken a preliminary examination into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Having assessed the evidence which has been gathered to date, we have decided to publish a safety digest.

The safety digest will be made available on our website in the next few weeks.

Following this accident, we have also issued urgent safety advice on the safety of lines after engineering work.

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