Countrywide issues ‘key worker’ letter to help gain place for branch manager’s child

first_imgCountrywide’s head office HR function has issued a letter ‘to whom it may concern’ confirming that a branch manager is a ‘key worker’, a letter that was intended to secure a place for the employee’s child at a school during the Covid lockdown.The letter was sent this week and confirms the branch manager’s dates of employment, going on to say that “according to the Government published Coronavirus key workers [sic] list we can conform this role has been identified and that this individual is essential in the running of branches and providing essential customer services”.It then invites the intended recipient of the letter to contact Countrywide’s head office (pictured) via email if they had any further queries, signing off as ‘HR Department, Countrywide PLC’.The Negotiator has been shown the letter, which is printed on the company’s headed paper and, we have been assured, is genuine.Not key workersIn April housing minister Christopher Pincher confirmed in Parliament that estate agents were not to be considered key workers.But despite this the letter appears to getting around the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4th January that only children of critical workers and vulnerable children and young people should attend school or college, and that all other pupils and students ‘will receive remote education’.Our source says the letter is a ‘clear abuse of the critical keyworker list’ and that if agents can claim to be keyworkers, any industry’s employees could claim the status.A company spokesperson says: “Countrywide can confirm the issuance of an open letter written to support all colleagues working and travelling through lockdown. This is to be presented to the authorities should they be stopped and questioned.  This confirms the purpose of their journey and that the housing market remains open. We will be investigating the use of a second letter as a matter of urgency and will respond in due course.”are estate agents key workers key workers list christopher pincher Countrywide January 8, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » COVID-19 news » Countrywide issues ‘key worker’ letter to help gain place for branch manager’s child previous nextCOVID-19 newsCountrywide issues ‘key worker’ letter to help gain place for branch manager’s childLetter from agency claims inaccurately that employee’s role has been confirmed to be on Government’s ‘key workers list’.Nigel Lewis8th January 202103,644 Viewslast_img read more

USA: F-35 Lightning II Completes First Airborne Weapons Separation

first_img View post tag: Navy USA: F-35 Lightning II Completes First Airborne Weapons Separation View post tag: completes The F-35 Lightning II accomplished a significant test milestone Aug. 8 when the aircraft successfully released a weapon in flight.BF-3, a short take-off and vertical landing F-35 variant, executed an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) separation weapon over water in an Atlantic test range while traveling at 400 knots at an altitude of 4,200 feet.“While this weapons separation test is just one event in a series of hundreds of flights and thousands of test points that we are executing this year, it does represent a significant entry into a new phase of testing for the F-35 program,” said Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test for F-35 naval variants. “Today’s release of a JDAM was the result of extraordinary effort by our team of maintainers, engineers, pilots and others who consistently work long hours to deliver F-35 warfighting capability to the U.S. services and our international partners.”The release was the first time for any version of the F-35 to conduct an airborne weapon separation, as well as the first from an internal weapons bay for a fighter aircraft designated for the U.S. Marine Corps, the United Kingdom and Italy.The milestone marks the start of validating the F-35’s capability to employ precision weapons and allow pilots to engage the enemy on the ground and in the air.“[Using an internal weapons bay] speaks to how much capability the JSF is going to bring to the troops,” said Dan Levin, Lockheed Martin test pilot for the mission. “Stealth, fifth-generation avionics and precision weapons … coupled with the flexible mission capability of the short take-off and vertical landing F-35B is going to be huge for our warfighters.”An aerial weapons separation test checks for proper release of the weapon from its carriage system and trajectory away from the aircraft. It is the culmination of a significant number of prerequisite tests, including ground fit checks, ground pit drops and aerial captive carriage and environment flights to ensure the system is working properly before expanding the test envelope in the air.Aircraft and land-based test monitoring systems collected data from the successful separation, which is in review at the F-35 integrated test force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, August 10, 2012; Image: US Navy August 10, 2012 View post tag: Separation Training & Education View post tag: Airborne View post tag: Lightning View post tag: II Share this article View post tag: Naval View post tag: Weapons View post tag: News by topic View post tag: first Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: F-35 Lightning II Completes First Airborne Weapons Separation View post tag: F-35last_img read more

Anger over community centre takeover

first_imgProtests have followed Oxford City Council’s decision to take over the East Oxford Community Centre from its current managers, the East Oxford Community Association (EOCA). The decision was taken after the Council said there was “serious concern” over the management of the Centre.Although Oxford Council owns all the community centres in the city, prior to this decision they have all been managed by trustees of community associations elected by local residents. The East Oxford Centre currently provides several amenities used by students, among them the printing facility GreenPrint used by student publications, including the LGBTQ zine NoHeterOx.Concerns have been raised that the council may use this opportunity to reduce community control over the centre. An online petition to stop the takeover has already reached over 500 signatures.Students were also among those concerned by the takeover. The Oxford Activist Network has raised the issue on its Facebook page and helped organize a demonstration against the closure.A student member of the Oxford Tenants’ Union told Cherwell that “the centre provides a key link between local residents and Oxonians. Fledgling organisations have found a home there, such as the Oxford Tenants’ Union.”She added that, “it would be a great shame for Oxford to lose this, given the many accusations we face as Oxbridge students of being confined to our ‘ivory towers’.”The Council has stated that “existing tenants will remain in the community centre. We look forward to working with them to improve and develop the programme that is offered to the local community.” It added that “we have no other option in the circumstances where a public asset is being mismanaged other than to terminate the licence.”The EOCA has said that it is seeking independent advice on the takeover.last_img read more


first_imgWe hope that today’s “Readers Forum” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: DO you feel that Evansville City Council did the right thing in amending the “Noise Ordinance”?Please take time and read our articles entitled “STATEHOUSE Files, CHANNEL 44 NEWS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS”.  You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected] LinkEmailSharelast_img

Council Agenda: Downtown and Boardwalk Budgets

first_imgA stiltwalker chats with Earlier Than the Bird shoppers in November in Ocean City. The promotion is made possible with Special Improvement District funds.City Council will hold a public hearing Thursday on the Special Improvement District budgets for the Ocean City Boardwalk, downtown Asbury Avenue and Ninth Street Gateway.Council on Dec. 17 approved a $513,448 first reading of the budget for the SIDs. The budget – which is funded by assessments on businesses within the SIDs – goes to the advertising and promotion of various events each year, including fall and spring block parties, fall fireworks, Mummers nights and more.The second reading typically includes presentations providing further detail on plans for using the budgeted money.City Council has a full agenda for its meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, and here are some other agenda items:Bicycle Vendors: City Council will consider the second reading of an ordinance that would reduce by half the number of bicycle-cart licenses that will be issued in 2016. The recommendation is based on historic demand. Other changes recommended include allowing one vendor to bid on all 10 licenses, and specifying that bicycle-cart sales cease at 6 p.m. instead of sunset.Zoning Board Appointments: City Council will open the meeting by voting to go into executive session to discuss Zoning Board appointments. They will vote on new members in public session.Flood Mitigation Grant for 26th Street to 32nd Street: Council will vote to authorize an application for a state Flood Hazard Risk Reduction and Resiliency Grant that could help pay for improvements in one of the island’s most flood-prone neighborhoods.For complete documentation on all agenda items, see agenda packet below.Download (PDF, 5.4MB)last_img read more

Microbiologist Rita Colwell to receive honorary degree

first_imgNotre Dame will confer seven honorary degrees at this year’s commencement ceremony, the University announced in a press release Thursday. Rita Colwell, a molecular microbiologist, will receive a doctor of science honorary degree. Colwell, whose work focuses on global infectious diseases, water and health will join six previously announced honorary degree recipients.Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the release stated.“A highly sought-after counselor on science policy and education matters, she has held advisory positions within government, nonprofit science policy organizations, private foundations and the international scientific research community,” the release stated. “The author or co-author of 17 books and more than 800 scientific publications, she has been awarded 61 honorary degrees.”Tags: Honorary degree, Rita Colwelllast_img read more

Ephraim Sykes & Shahadi Wright Joseph Join Hairspray Live!

first_imgEphraim Sykes(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) Ephraim Sykes, who can currently be seen on Broadway in the ensemble of Hamilton, has joined the cast of Hairspray Live!. He takes on the role of Seaweed J. Stubbs in the NBC telecast, which is set to air on December 7. Joining him in the roster is pint-sized Broadway rocker Shahadi Wright Joseph as Little Inez.The two join a cast that includes newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy, Harvey Fierstein as Edna, Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Kristin Chenoweth as Velma, Garrett Clayton as Link, Dove Cameron as Amber, Derek Hough as Corny Collins, Andrea Martin as Prudy Pingleton and Martin Short as Wilbur. The company will also feature Rosie O’Donnell and Sean Hayes.Prior to Hamilton, Sykes appeared on Broadway in Motown, Newsies, Memphis and The Little Mermaid. His screen credits include Smash, Leave It on the Floor and Vinyl. Joseph can currently be seen as Madison in School of Rock. She made her Broadway debut in 2014 as Young Nala in The Lion King. View Commentslast_img read more

‘I Love Long Island’ Campaign Tackles Harmful Lawn Fertilizers

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A local environmental group is taking the fight against water pollution straight to Long Islanders’ lawns through a new “I Love Long Island” campaign meant to curb the use of potentially harmful high-nitrogen fertilizers.The ambitious project, spearheaded by the nonprofit Grassroots Environmental Education, coincides with Earth Day, which is on April 22. To raise awareness about pesticides and high-nitrogen fertilizer, Doug Wood, associate director of Grassroots Environmental Education, founded The site provides educational material about certain lawn products and encourages people to sign a pledge to refrain from using fertilizers containing 10 percent nitrogen or more on their property. A coalition of more than 30 environmental groups has already signed the pledge. “This is like heroin for your lawn,” Wood said, explaining that grass and plants eventually become too dependent on such products to survive. Part of the problem is people are constantly seeking “that perfect lawn…but they don’t realize there’s a payment for this,” he said, adding that stormwater runoff can lead to contaminated drinking water, algae blooms and fish kills. Wood sees an opportunity in changing people’s habits toward how they treat their lawns. “This is a problem that people can do something about,” he said. Along with launching the new website, GEE is creating 500 “I Love Long Island” lawn signs that will be ready for distribution on Earth Day, and he commissioned a short video explaining the potential dangers associated with high-nitrogen products. The animated video, “I Love Long Island—The Movie,” depicts a Long Islander convincing his neighbor who enjoys fishing to make the switch to more environmentally friendly products. One of the biggest threats to Long Island’s water supply is nitrogen, which can seep into the Island’s many waterways and vulnerable underground aquifers, which are the main source of the region’s drinking water. While nitrogen produced by wastewater has been blamed for threatening protective marshlands, experts also point to other pollutants and fertilizer as possible factors of environmental degradation. Wood acknowledges that many homeowners are simply unaware about the effects of high-nitrogen products, and he’s sympathetic to landscapers who understand potential consequences but are “kind of forced by the market to use these chemicals.” He also understands that the higher price tag associated with organic fertilizers can be a deterrent. “I’m not trying to take business away from anybody…I’d like to see everyone do well,” he said. In the past, Wood’s organization has trained more than 1,000 landscapers in the science of lawn care, and was hired by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to train school facility directors on the topic. New York, he noted, is the only state in the country that prohibits pesticides on school grounds. Now Wood and a coalition of groups that signed on to the “I Love Long Island” pledge are hoping to educate residents who want to do their part in protecting the region’s natural resources.last_img read more

Video: Damen Completes Refit of Teekay’s Petrojarl 1

first_imgVideo Courtesy: DamenDamen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR) has delivered the FPSO Petrojarl 1 to Teekay Offshore following a complete redeployment project during the past two and a half years. The 31,500 dwt Petrojarl 1 has been operated by Teekay for 28 years in the North Sea and is now destined for the Atlanta Field in Brazil.After extensive engineering, more than 50% of the process equipment was removed and replaced by new and additional equipment, required to treat heavy oil at the new location in accordance with the most stringent specifications and Brazilian compliance requirements, Damen explained.The available deck space presented major challenges during engineering and execution of the work on board, Damen added.“The Petrojarl 1 project fits within the strategy of Damen to expand further into the repair and conversion of complex offshore vessels and operating units. The recent acquisition of the Damen Verolme Rotterdam yard (DVR), located in the Botlek area of the Port of Rotterdam and holding an extensive track record of successfully refurbished offshore vessels, further complements us in this ambition,” Mark Witjens, Director at Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, commented.The self-propelled FPSO spent 14 months in one of the company’s docks undergoing refurbishment of its marine systems, underwater hull, seawater system, crane booms, heating coils in the cargo tanks and specialised steel works in the upper and lower turret areas, which needed to be completely revised and adapted to suit the 1,500-meter-deep mooring location.Simultaneously, new designed prefabricated equipment skids containing heating, cooling, separation, compression, boilers, centrifuges as well as a new E-house with electrical equipment were placed on board. Interconnecting piping and cabling was installed to complete the topsides and connect it to the remaining facilities.last_img read more

Men’s marijuana use increases miscarriage risk for women, new research finds

first_imgABC News 14 October 2019Family First Comment: More reasons to avoid drugs…“When men smoke marijuana once a week or more, their partners are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage when pregnant, according to Boston University researchers who examined over 1,400 couples before they got pregnant… Smoking marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and the change in sperm quality may drive the increased occurrence of miscarriage.”New research is highlighting the role men play in infertility and miscarriage.When men smoke marijuana once a week or more, their partners are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage when pregnant, according to Boston University researchers who examined over 1,400 couples before they got pregnant.The researches asked the couples about marijuana usage over the past two months and then followed them as they got pregnant and, in some cases, miscarried.The majority of men in the study did not smoke marijuana, with only 8% smoking once a week or more. Nearly 18% of the couples in the study reported a miscarriage.Smoking, but less frequently than once a week, did not have an association with miscarriage rate, according to the research.One reason for the increased risk of miscarriage with male marijuana use, according to researchers, is that smoking marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and the change in sperm quality may drive the increased occurrence of miscarriage.READ MORE: read more