Press release: Government sees dramatic reduction in the size of its estate

first_img Government secures £750 million from the disposal of over four hundred sites Further details of the government’s environmental work across its estate will be published in the Greening Government Commitments annual report next year. Other successes noted in the State of the Estate report include the fact that the amount of space used by each government employee has been consistently reduced over the past five years, falling from 11.3 m² to 9.4 m². CO2 emissions have been cut by 1,184,243 tonnes general waste has been reduced by 134,183 tonnes paper use has been cut by 4,498,023 sheets water use has been reduced by 3.7 billion litres Size of government estate reduced by equivalent of 13 Trafalgar Squares in past year Emissions from government buildings across the country cut by 39%, with paper & water consumption also reduced The full State of the Estate in 2017 – 2018 report has been published today. Work to reduce the government estate has seen its size fall by 156,000 square metres over the past year – the equivalent of 13 Trafalgar Squares.This makes the estate a third smaller than it was in 2010 – creating a saving in real terms of £760 million in running costs.Today’s State of the Estate report also shows that a further £750 million in capital receipts has been generated this year from the sale of over 400 sites, delivering a total of £2.4bn in capital receipts over the past three years.At the same time, vacant space across the government estate is just 1.4%, which is significantly lower than in the private sector.Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Dowden, said:center_img This work has seen the disposal of a large number of properties that were no longer needed by the government. And in many areas, these have been replaced by new offices across the country, enabling smarter working practices and are accessible to the communities they serve. The report fulfils the requirement of the Climate Change Act 2008 to report on annual progress towards increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the civil estate. The report also shows that since 2010, the environmental performance of government buildings across the country has seen emissions cut by almost 40 per cent, as well as paper consumption and general waste reduced by 55 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.Further break down of figures show that across the government estate since 2009/10: The policies that make up the report are part of the government’s broader SmarterGov campaign to drive innovation, savings and public service improvement across government and the wider public-sector. Examples of work carried out to improve the environmental performance of government buildings, include solar heating systems being installed at Ministry of Defence sites while wind turbines, biomass boilers and ground source air pumps have been fitted at buildings used by the Ministry of Justice.The Ministry of Justice has also carried out work to improve biodiversity at some of its larger sites – including prison estates.Working with the Barn Owl Conservation Network, the ministry has put up more than 2,000 owl nest boxes on prison land over the past 18 months. As well as providing homes for the birds, this work has created rehabilitation opportunities for prisoners in areas such as carpentry and rural land management.Background Transforming the government estate to make it operate more efficiently and save taxpayers money is clearly something to be very proud of.last_img read more

Take action now to stop cervical cancer

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion If you have insurance, talk to your doctor about cervical cancer screening. It’s a covered service under most health plans, including Medicaid plans and plans participating in the New York State of Health.Another way to prevent cervical cancer is by being vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV). Research has shown that most cervical cancers are caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14, and young adults through age 26. Ask your health care provider for more details.Wouldn’t you want to try to prevent cancer if you could? Contact the Cancer Services Program in your county at  518-770-6814 for more information.Suzanne HagadornAmsterdamThe writer is Health Education and Promotion coordinator for CSP Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Fulton, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties wants to raise awareness that there are two ways to prevent cervical cancer.One way is through regular screening. Cervical cancer screening tests can find the cells that lead to cancer before it starts. These cells can then be removed. Screening also helps to find cancer early when it is most easily treated.The Cancer Services Program can help you get screened for cervical cancer, even if you don’t have insurance. We offer free cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured women age 40 or older. Our program also provides free breast- and colon-cancer screening to eligible state residents. Call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) today to find out if you qualify for free cancer screenings.last_img read more

Shell taps Subsea 7 for Arran field work worth over $100 million

first_imgShell has hired offshore installation and construction company Subsea 7 for work on the Arran gas condensate field development in the UK North Sea.Aerial photography of Shell’s Shearwater Platform in the Central North Sea. Copyright: Shell International Ltd / Photographer: Ross JohnstonSubsea 7 will be responsible for the project management, engineering, procurement, construction and installation of 60 kilometers of mechanically lined pipe-in-pipe production flowline, together with subsea structures and tie-ins at the Arran and Columbus gas condensate fields and the Shearwater platform.The Arran field sits around 240 kilometers east of Aberdeen and approximately 3 kilometers from the United Kingdom (UK)/Norway median line.The contractor said on Friday that project management and detailed engineering had already started at Subsea 7’s office in Aberdeen. Offshore activities are expected to begin in 2020. This contract award is between $100 million and $200 million.Jonathan Tame, Vice President UK & Canada, said: “This latest contract builds on our strong and established relationship with Shell, which has seen us deliver our design, engineering and technology expertise on a range of their projects for over 35 years.”Shell took over operatorship of the Arran field in the UK North Sea and made the final investment decision (FID) to develop the field in October 2018.At peak production, Arran is expected to produce around 100 million standard cubic feet a day of gas and 4,000 barrels per day of condensate, which combined equates to 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (gross).The natural gas and liquids will be transported via a subsea pipeline to the Shell-operated Shearwater platform.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options.last_img read more

Steelers a mixed bag in preseason opener

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers running back Dri Archer (13) runs the ball against New York Giants free safety Quintin Demps (35) and linebacker Terrell Manning (63) in the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Dri Archer’s first touch in the NFL showed why the Pittsburgh Steelers took the quick running back in the third round of this year’s draft.It also proved symbolic of how far Archer – and his team – have to go with a month until the regular season.Archer’s 46-yard catch-and-run provided the lone offensive highlight during the first string’s brief night of work in a 20-16 exhibition loss to the New York Giants on Saturday. The 5-foot-8 Archer lined up as one of five wide receivers on Pittsburgh’s first possession, took a screen pass from Ben Roethlisberger and darted deep inside Giants territory.“It was an open space,” Archer said. “My teammates knew and blocked well and it was a great play.”The only thing Archer didn’t do was make it to the end zone. The player who posted the fastest time at the scouting combine was tracked down at the New York 14. Consider it Archer’s “Welcome to the NFL” moment.“Yeah I know I should (score), but everything happens for a reason,” Archer said. “The (Giants) played their defense well and they had a great angle and made a great stop.”The Steelers failed to turn the big play into a touchdown, instead settling for the first of Shaun Suisham’s three field goals. While Roethlisberger quickly headed to the sideline to trade his helmet for a baseball cap, some of the other starters saw extended play.Second-year wide receiver Markus Wheaton – trying to hold off a crowded field for the right to start alongside Pro Bowler Antonio Brown – hauled in a 28-yard pass from backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. The drive ended with a missed field goal, though Gradkowski was encouraged by the way the youngsters threw themselves into the fray.“We need them to continue to step up and make plays and understand that we don’t wait on you; you’ve got to come up and play with the big boys now,” Gradkowski said.There were some issues on both sides of the ball. The offense converted just 2 of 14 third downs while the first-string defense allowed New York running back Rashad Jennings to bolt 73 yards for a touchdown. Not a dazzling start for a unit that gave up 11 plays of 50 yards or more last season.“I didn’t get it done, just put it that way,” defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and I messed up first team. I have to learn from this and it won’t happen again.”Coach Mike Tomlin kept the defensive starters on the field for another two series, with promising results. Second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones sacked Eli Manning on New York’s next possession, matching the former first-round pick’s entire sack total from his rookie season.Jones wasn’t the only linebacker to make an impact. Undrafted rookie free agent Howard Jones scored Pittsburgh’s lone touchdown when he scooped up a New York fumble and zipped 28 yards to give the Steelers the lead in the fourth quarter.While Jones isn’t in the mix to crack a starting group that includes Jarvis Jones and Lawrence Timmons, his heady play is the one that will certainly do him favors as he tries to land a spot on the 53-man roster.Still, Tomlin wasn’t exactly thrilled after his team lost its fifth straight preseason game. Pittsburgh went 0-4 in exhibition play last summer, and then promptly dropped its first four regular-season games. Tomlin is convinced that wasn’t a coincidence.“We can learn and we can grow, but I’m not worried about style points,” he said. “It’s more about winning and we have to do a better job there. We’ll take this as part of the process.”The Steelers host Buffalo next week in its preseason home opener. The teams will practice together on Wednesday and Thursday, a move expected to provide a jolt to the final days of training camp.“I think we were all eager to see what this offense can do,” running back Le’Veon Bell said. “We went through a tough stage tonight. Now we have to get ready for the next one.”___AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

Sandton to get Park Inn by 2010

first_img28 January 2008Belgium-based Rezidor Hotel Group has announced plans to build a Park Inn hotel in Johannesburg’s financial centre of Sandton by 2010 to complement the group’s existing Radisson Hotel Sandton, which is due to open later this year.The Park Inn Sandton will feature 192 rooms and is expected to welcome its first guests in April 2010 – in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.“South Africa is an upcoming destination for business and leisure travellers,” Rezidor Hotel Group CEO Kurt Ritter said in a statement last week. “The government has prioritised tourism as a key economic sector, and international arrivals increase continuously – we are expecting new heights in 2010 when the country hosts the Fifa World Cup.”Consisting of leading brands like Radisson SAS, Country Inn, Hotel Missoni, Park Inn and Regent, the Rezidor Hotel Group features almost 300 hotels in operation and under development in 47 countries worldwide.The Park Inn Sandton will be situated directly across the road from the Gautrain station, and will have the benefit of being the closest hotel to the underground station that will link commuters on South Africa’s first underground railway system directly to the OR Tambo International Airport, Rosebank and Pretoria.The new hotel will also be in close proximity to the JSE, headquarters of many multinational corporations, and the Sandton Convention Centre, and only a few hundred metres away from Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square – two of the country’s finest shopping meccas.According to Rezidor, Park Inn is their fastest growing brand, with more than 100 hotels in operation and under development in Europe, Africa and the Middle East since the brand was launched in early 2003.The Park Inn brand is said to represent a young, dynamic and colourful mid-market brand, promising “the best sleep in town”.“With the existing Radisson and Park Inn hotels in Cape Town, as well as the recently signed Radisson hotels in Port Elizabeth and Sandton, this marks another milestone of the development and commitment of The Rezidor Hotel Group in South Africa,” the group said.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA cracks down on social grant fraud

first_img Source: BuaNews 21 September 2010 Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called on people involved in social grant fraud to surrender to the police or face being tracked down, following the arrest of seven people believed to be part of a syndicate that defrauded the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provincial governments of R174 000 in social grants. “Those scoundrels who may still be involved in such illegal practices and corruption, they better surrender to police immediately, or we will hunt and find them,” Mthethwa said in Pretoria on Tuesday. According to the Police Ministry, more than a thousand people, who also face arrest, benefited from the scam, which involved the sale of fraudulent child birth charts and people claiming social grants for children that did not exist. On Friday, the police tracked down and arrested the syndicate that had been operating in the Bushbuckridge and surrounding areas. The ministry identified the two kingpins of the syndicate as a 41-year-old and 46-year-old man who allegedly defrauded the provinces’ South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) through illegal possession of and trading in child birth charts. Investigating Officer Colonel Fanie Molapo said doctors, nurses and SASSA officials were working in cahoots with the syndicate. Molapo added that one of the men had confessed to selling 130 child birth charts. “In essence this would, in some cases, translate to people buying more than one chart, thereby claiming social grants for children who are non-existent,” the ministry added. The other man, who works at Bushbuckridge Hospital’s pharmacy section, confessed to buying the charts for R10 each and selling them for R120 each. During his arrest, police confiscated 15 blank child birth charts, dated with the Bushbuckridge hospital’s official stamp. Four other suspects who were in possession of the fraudulent charts, and a nurse at clinic in the area, were later arrested. Mthethwa applauded the police’s Crime Intelligence Team for the arrests, adding that the police viewed these “despicable practices” in a serious light. “We are particularly incensed in that such criminal acts are compromising the integrity of a legitimate programme aimed at poverty alleviation by government. We shall not allow that,” he said.last_img read more

South African horse goes for glory in Hong Kong

first_imgRay Maota JJ being taken through the paces duringtraining before race day.(Image:Singapore Turf Club) Cathay Pacific Airlines is the sponsor ofThe Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint.(Image:Cathay Pacific)MEDIA CONTACTS• Cathay Pacific South Africa+27 11 394 0905RELATED ARTICLES• The adventure starts here• Zip Zap circus school teaches life skills• SA explorer to circle world via poles• Hiking across South Africa to find ubuntu South African champion racehorse JJ the Jet Plane recently won the prestigious Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint, smashing over a decade of domination by Australian-bred steeds.The 1 200m race, which took place on 12 December 2010 at the Sha Tin Racecourse, has been won by Australian-bred horses for the past 11 years, since the sprint’s inception.This year’s event saw a supreme battle between what experts rate the three fastest horses in the world: JJ, Singapore champion Rocket Man and Hong Kong’s Sacred Kingdom. Rocket Man came in second with Sacred Kingdom close behind.The race was a closely contested affair with only an inch between JJ and Rocket Man. Sacred Kingdom settled for a comfortable third place after having won the last two Hong Kong sprints.With a winning time of 1:08.84, JJ secured his owners US$1.8-million (R12.2-million) in prize money.Pierre Strydom, JJ’s jockey said: “We had a great run, always travelling well. When we eased out on the straight, I was happy to go after Rocket Man early as I didn’t want him to get away.“My bloke gave me everything and we got there on the line. It’s brilliant to win and I really want to thank the owners for being loyal to me, as there are plenty of good jockeys here they could have chosen,” he added.Sacred Kingdom’s jockey Brett Prebble said: “Fantastic effort again, but it’s hard to stay on top forever. He probably can’t quite push himself through the pain barrier like he once could, but he ran super and there’s plenty … left in him.”Top-notch event on racing calendarThe Hong Kong Sprint was added to the former British colony’s international race roster in 1999 and became a listed race. However, in 2000 the race was awarded grade three status and then grade two status in 2001. It finally acquired grade one status in 2002. A listed race is slightly less superior than graded races, but still has a good reputation due to the standard of horses involved.In a grade one championship race, the weight carried by each horse is determined by its age and sex, with no penalties for previous wins. These are generally the top races and attract the best horses and biggest prizes.Grade two races are the same as grade ones, but have penalties for previous wins and limited handicaps for certain weight ranges.In grade three events, the weight carried is determined by a horse’s handicap rating.Other previous winners of the sprint include Fairy King Prawn; Falvelon; All Thrills Too; Silent Witness; Natural Blitz; Absolute Champion and Inspiration.Sprint sponsorsThe event is sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airlines, which was founded in Hong Kong on 24 September 1946 by Roy C Farrell, an American, and Australian Sydney H de Kantzow.It originally operated passenger flights to Manila, Bangkok, Singapore and Shanghai.In 1948 one of Hong Kong’s leading companies Butterfield & Swire, which today is known as the Swire Group, acquired a 45% stake in Cathay Pacific and later became wholly responsible for the management of the airline.The airline celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006, with recent major shareholders being Swire Pacific and Air China.Horse racing in South AfricaThis sport boasts a long and interesting history in South Africa, going back as far as 1797. The first recorded race club meeting took place in 1802.The National Horse Racing Authority was founded in 1882, but it initially operated under the name of The Jockey Club of South Africa.Today racing in South Africa is controlled by two bodies: Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited, and Gold Circle. Phumelela controls racing in the Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng; while Gold Circle holds the reins in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.There are three major races that stand out above the rest in South Africa – and, quite fittingly, they are hosted in the country’s three biggest cities. Turffontein in Johannesburg hosts The Summer Cup, while Cape Town’s star attraction is the J&B Met. Durban’s primary event is the Vodacom July, which was first run in 1897 at its present home, Greyville.last_img read more

Jobs, education top youth challenges

first_img7 June 2012 Young South Africans are most concerned about unemployment and education, a national survey released on Monday has found. Consumer insights company Pondering Panda said the survey was done to test reaction to development problems identified by the National Planning Commission (NPC) earlier this year. “The survey was to gauge the reaction of South Africa’s youth between the ages of 15 and 34 years old to the questions facing South Africa,” said Shirley Wakefield from Pondering Panda. She said 5 814 respondents were interviewed using mobile phones and that the results were representative of the national population in the relevant age groups. Unemployment and education were identified as being of significantly higher importance than any other problems, irrespective of age, gender or race. About two-thirds of respondents chose them as the country’s most pressing problems. The survey also showed that education was more important to younger respondents, while unemployment became more important as the respondents’ ages increased. Health and medical care were of major importance to 36% of respondents. Transport was the least important issue, with only eight percent of respondents identifying it as a problem. “These results should be noted by our national government, as they provide a very clear picture of where South Africa’s youth feel the government should prioritise their strategic efforts,” said Wakefield. It was important to note that the concern of the youth about the future was felt across all demographic groups, she said. The aim was to reach and engage with a youth audience which do not have easy access to traditional computers and the internet. The NPC created a portal on Mxit in April and the survey was conducted from 11 to 14 May. Over 50,000 people had since interacted with the NPC service on Mxit. Sapalast_img read more