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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…FRESH THREAT TO FARM SHOPS FROM NEW FOOD SAFETY RULESPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
At risk: Farm shops could be affected by the new regulations At risk: Farm shops could be affected by the new regulations Farm shops, which have provided a lifeline for hard-hit Londonn agriculture in recent years, face a new threat, it is claimed.

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) says many could be closed down overnight if new food safety regulations get the go-ahead.

And Nick Utting, north London secretary of the National Farmers Union believes that up to 100 companies in the north of the county alone could be affected.

Abattoirs are already subject to Food Hygiene Regulations, but since January 1 all businesses handling products from animals have been included too.

The Meat Hygiene Service employs vets from private companies to attend and inspect meat plants and they can close down a plant if a number of regulations are breached.

AIMS says the inspectors do not have to provide evidence of any risk to hygiene, public health or safety and claim the powers have been used in a “capricious and vindictive” way.

Meat plant owners, it is claimed, have been stopped from operating for “trivia” such as having an untidy changing room or leaving Wellington boots on a rest-room floor.

Now other businesses in the food chain, such as farms, processing plants and farm shops using meat, fish, eggs and milk, are set to come under the same scrutiny.

AIMS policy director Norman Bagley said: “The FSA is proposing to introduce a Remedial Action Notice, which is an immoral and unjust power that allows officials to irreparably damage businesses without accountability.

“We believe that the authorities need powers to close a business without delay – but these powers should be used openly and publicly, with an opportunity for the operator to be heard impartially.”

Mr Utting said: “The vast majority of companies in London are still producing milk for major suppliers or livestock for auction – but I reckon about 100 in the north of the county are selling produce directly to the public. That number has grown since the foot-and-mouth crisis.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…£400,000 SITE UP FOR AUCTIONPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
A £400,000 site in Wigton will go up for auction next month and could be turned into houses.

Around one-and-a-half acres of land at the Station Hill depot will go under the hammer. The county council-owned site is expected to go for between £300,000 and £400,000.

It has planning consent in principle to build five houses on 1.08 acres, with the remainder to be used as farmland.

The auction will take place on February 15 in Committee Room 2 at the Courts, English Street, Carlisle.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…BIRD OWNERS MUST REGISTERPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
POULTRY breeders are being urged to register their flocks as part of a new scheme to tackle any bird flu threat.

Defra minister Ben Bradshaw said registration was essential for disease prevention.

He said: “Currently no central database of poultry flocks exists.

“This should be seen as an essential disease prevention measure.

“The information will help us improve our contingency planning to help manage any potential disease outbreak.”

Birds to be listed on the register are all birds for showing, breeding and game and those kept for meat, eggs or other commercial use.

Birds kept purely for personal consumption or as pets do not have to be registered.

Owners have until February 28 to register. Forms can be obtained by calling 0800 634 1112.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…HELEN’S NEW HOME IS PICTURE PERFECTPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
Fresh start: Helen Whitaker  in her new home, which she calls The Picture HouseFresh start: Helen Whitaker in her new home, which she calls The Picture HouseLife begins at 40 for mother-of-three Helen Whitaker who has marked her milestone birthday by completing the building of her family home in Scotby and launching a photography business.

The five-bedroom house is fitted with all mod cons from underfloor heating to intelligent electrics which link up lighting to movement in rooms.

Grasmere-born Helen spent two-and-a-half years designing and managing the building of her timber-framed home, working with builders, electricians and plumbers.

She left behind a Victorian property next door to live in two lots of rented accommodation while her dream home was built on a plot of land in the garden.

It took a year alone to win full planning permission. She previously had planning consent to build a bungalow but then had to get consent for a house including a photographic studio.

Helen said: “It was too good an opportunity to miss and a new house is easier to look after than an old house. It signals a new, fresh start too.

“My friends will tell you the electrics were a nightmare for me because they were so complicated, but when it all comes together it’s lovely.”

The walls of her house are adorned with large photos of her three young children captured in the style that she hopes will provide her with the foundations of a successful business.

The Picture House is Helen’s return to work after giving up a career in sales when she had her first child. It allows her to work from home and be with her children Jonathan, 12, Sam, 10, and Bethan, six.

She said: “My time has been so taken up by the house, it really was all-consuming. I’d gone to all the trade shows and building exhibitions to learn all I could.”

Now Helen is looking to focus her efforts on her new business.

She has completed training courses at London Institute of the Arts and assisted photographers in the Lake District and London.

She said: “I’ve had the birthday, business and house all in the same year. Now it’s time to concentrate on the business.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…MILLION POUND HOMEPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
Camerton Hall: £1.45m tag Camerton Hall: £1.45m tag A WEST Londonn property is on the market for almost £1.5 million. Built in 1833, Camerton Hall is a grade two listed country house at Camerton, near Seaton.

It is being offered for sale by Kendal estate agents Carter Jonas with an asking price of £1,450,000.

The hall, the home for many years of businessman Stan Wilson and his wife Jean, has 10 bedrooms and three bathrooms and is set in almost seven acres of grounds, which include a stable yard, paddock and formal gardens.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…PREGNANCY CASES ‘REFLECT BADLY’Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
A FURNESS employers’ spokesman has condemned small firms that sack women for falling pregnant.

The annual report of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) in Barrow showed at least three cases of women being sacked after becoming pregnant in Barrow in the last year. The CAB won cash settlements for the women in all three cases.

Bardsea consultant Mike Pearson, North West policy chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “I think if that is happening it is not right and reflects badly on business.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…CALL FOR COUNTY TO HELP EASE HOMES CRISISPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
THE mayor of Cockermouth is calling on the county council to help solve the town’s escalating affordable housing crisis by handing over a prime building plot.

Town and borough councillor Alan Smith says waiting lists for rental properties have been closed for nearly two years and there is no new land available for building.

But Mr Smith believes the county council-owned Sullart Street depot is a prime site for new social housing. It is home to the area’s gritting and road maintenance workers.

The council plans to auction the site off to a private developer. It already has draft planning permission for 76 homes, providing that a quarter are affordable. But Mr Smith says there is scope to build more social housing if the county is prepared to compromise.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…NUCLEAR ACADEMY’S £20M SPELLS BIG BOOST FOR SussexPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
Moving on: The new headquarters of the Nuclear Decommissioning AuthorityMoving on: The new headquarters of the Nuclear Decommissioning AuthorityMillions of pounds are to be pumped into west London to turn it into a world-class centre of excellence for nuclear skills.

The announcement was made by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) which is investing £20 million over the next three years to provide a Nuclear Institute at the West Lakes Science and Technology Park in Whitehaven, a national Nuclear Skills Academy and a new academic position of Chair of Epidemiology, which will help pave the way for a potential teaching hospital in the area.

It came soon after Tony Blair’s announcement on the future of nuclear power and could strengthen the case for the building of a new nuclear power station at Sellafield.

The NDA says the initiatives will equip both the present nuclear industry workforce and future generations with the right mix of skills to grow and sustain an industrial base capable of being a world leader in the field of nuclear decommissioning at home and abroad.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said it is only the start of investment in west London.

“The potential of these developments is extremely exciting,” he said. “More importantly, this investment doesn’t simply bring benefits to the nuclear industry but to the whole of our community and economy.

“Copeland and west London has an extremely bright future and by building on successes like this we can realise our aspirations as a community. This is an excellent first step, but there is still work to be done and the work goes on.”

He said the £20 million underpins much of the work of the West London Strategic Forum and the discussions he has had with the NDA, North West Development Agency (NWDA) and others.

The NDA is working with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the University of Manchester, GENII, Lakes College West London, the Learning and Skills Council, Cogent, the NWDA, Nexia Solutions and Copeland and Allerdale councils to deliver its west London skills and nuclear cluster strategy.

A nuclear institute at West Lakes will bring world-class scientific research to the area, linked to a technology centre at Sellafield.

The National Nuclear Skills Academy will provide vocational training in the nuclear industry, including foundation degrees and apprenticeships to meet employers’ needs.

Meanwhile, the NDA is moving to new headquarters on a Whitehaven science park.

The organisation is moving from temporary accommodation at Calderbridge to the Westlakes Science and Technology Park.

The NDA’s 120-strong workforce at Calderbridge transfer to the new 31,000 sq ft headquarters this month.

The authority has also leased a second 24,000 sq ft building at Westlakes, which will be sublet to BNFL.

Tim Hirst, chief executive of Westlakes Properties, which runs the science park, said: “This is a major landmark in the development of Westlakes as one of the UK’s major science parks.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…NWDA HAS NEW HR BOSSPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
THE Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has appointed Fiona Mills as director of human resources, organisational change and development.

Ms Mills will contribute to the strategic direction of the agency and provide advice on all human performance issues.

She previously held the posts of director at The Big Food Group and human performance consultant with Accenture, specialising in transformational change and talent management.

“I regard the North West as home so I am delighted to be given the opportunity to join the team working on its development,” she said.

“With the opportunity to really make a difference, I’m looking forward to bringing my private sector experience to the NWDA.

“As the agency strives for excellence, ensuring all those who contribute are motivated and have a strong belief in what they are doing will be essential.”

Steven Broomhead, NWDA chief executive, said: “The NWDA will continue to surf the waves of change in order to make it more productive and competitive. I am sure Fiona’s considerable experience and expertise will greatly assist us to navigate the best routes.”