Other UK News In Brief

Met Office To Change Weather Warnings

The Met Office has launched improvements to the National Severe Weather Warning Service that will bring clearer, more targeted warnings based on the likely impacts that severe weather can bring. The new Alerts and Warnings, issued by the Met Office National Severe Weather Warning Service will: Be easier to understand - using clear language, making the information less technical; Be impact based - warnings will be based on the impacts of expected weather conditions in the area likely to be affected; Use consistent language - The use of Alerts and Warnings is consistent with that used by other organisations such as in SEPA and EA flood warnings; Improve the display of information - using clear, concise and distinct graphics on the Met Office website. Patricia Boyle, Public Weather Service Manager at the Met Office said: "Severe weather can have differing impacts depending on time and location. For example heavy rain in one part of the country may have a greater impact than in another or severe gales may have a greater impact in autumn than in winter. Taking this information into account should lead to fewer weather warnings being issued whilst making them more relevant to the public and emergency services." These latest improvements follow an extensive 18 month consultation with local councils, police and fire services as well as the public. It is hoped they will lead to a greater awareness of severe weather and its potential impacts, helping the public to be prepared and take action if necessary.

Willetts Encourages 'A More Sustainable System'

Commenting on university participation statistics published today, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: "To remain internationally competitive and drive social mobility we need young people with the best skills. These figures reflect the high aspirations of our young people. That is why we have provided an additional 10,000 places for 2010 and 2011, which will enable more people than ever before to study at university. Our student finance reforms will ensure a more sustainable higher education system. We will also extend other opportunities to young people by providing more adult apprenticeship places."

5-A-Day Fruit And Veg Scheme Rolled Out Nationwide

The Change4Life scheme designed to help people eat their 5-A-Day in deprived areas has been rolled out nationally following the launch of the final wave in London by Public Health Minister Anne Milton. All the shops involved in the scheme sell a wider range of fresh fruit and veg and prominently display the produce for customers, using Change4Life branding. An earlier pilot of the scheme showed that fruit and veg consumption rose by 40 per cent. The launch comes, as further details were unveiled of the Association of Convenience Stores’ pledge to fund another 1,000 stores across the country by 2012. Speaking at the London launch in a NISA Local store in Wood Lane, the Minister outlined the success of the Change4Life Convenience Stores Campaign to date. An evaluation of a pilot of the Change4Life scheme showed that: sales of fruit and vegetables increased by around 40 per cent; overall store takings increased on average by over 10 per cent; and customers saying that the stores were a good place to shop rose from 43 to 54 per cent. To date, the Department of Health has provided funding to buy fruit and vegetable chillers, stands and marketing materials and all retailers involved have match funded the Government’s contributions. It has also funded a project co-ordinator to work with the stores offering advice on maximising profits, minimising waste, as well as displaying and promoting the new fresh produce to the local community.


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