RTI broadcaster Eric Wiltsher spoke at the House Of Parliament in London, highlighting the plight of Slovak families struggling to come to terms with the UK’s Social Services system. In addition Mr Wiltsher, who was accompanied by CEO or RTI and AquaCity Dr Jan Telensky, raised issues of trading between the UK and Slovakia as well as EU Citiizens’ rights in both countries.
Dr. Jan Telensky, Eric Wiltsher (RTI) Michael Robert in Parliament
Dr Jan Telensky said, “It is a real honour for any British Citizen to be invited to speak in Parliament and an even higher accolade that Eric was able to highlight issues for both UK and Slovak citizens.
“RTI is continually fighting for the rights of citizens in Slovakia as well as sharing the beauty of the Tatras, Poprad and the entire Presov region to its global audience in English.
“With RTI Slovakia has a massive mouthpiece to encourage tourism and demonstrate the Republic has and is a modern European partner”.
Eric Wiltsher added, “I was very encouraged that members of the Conservative Party, Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats all spoke to me at great length after the formal meeting. Lord Dykes showed particular interest in the issues raised and especially the cultures of Slovakia that need to be respected by the UK’s Social Services.
“Speaking in Parliament is a great honour for any British Citizen. However, to do this whilst raising issues for both my mother and adopted country, Slovakia, made the experience a night too remember for ever.
“I am also particularly proud that RTI is seen to be worthy of such attention when some would have preferred the station to have closed years ago. To the loyal listeners, we will remain a force for you in the future”.
RTI started broadcasting in the UK and Slovakia. After almost three years on air, following Supreme Court action and an appeal, the Slovak regulator gained its desired outcome and RTI closed on FM in the Republic for broadcasting in English.
RTI was then offered a life line by a number of respected broadcasters and service broadcast suppliers.
RTI can now be heard in 27 countries with its biggest audience in America. However, within the European services, directly from www.rti.fm, the overall largest listenership is in Slovakia. All programmes are now broadcast from the UK and regulated by the UKs regulator OFCOM.
The expansion programme also includes the regeneration of Swansea University’s Singleton Park Campus which will see further 6,000 indirect jobs supported in the wider economy.
Developer St Modwen will work closely in collaboration with its construction partner, Vinci, for building work to start in early 2013. The new campus and new student residences will be completed by autumn 2015.
Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Simon Brooks, said: “This scheme will not only benefit future generations of students, but develop specialist skills, drive innovation and enhance economic growth in Wales.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to funding leading research and educational excellence across Europe and is pleased to support this landmark investment.”
Swansea University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Davies said the University was grateful to the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government for the investment which will create new jobs and boost the economy.
Professor Davies said: “The new Science and Innovation Campus is a transformational project for Wales and for the University.
“It promises to become a global exemplar for how a research intensive university can work effectively with industry, helping to drive economic regeneration and creating exciting employment opportunities for its graduates.”
Government to offer bigger benefits to the wind farm industry
Communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said today.
The community benefits consultation will seek new information on how wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities.
It is aimed at encouraging participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects as well as providing new employment opportunities for the renewable industry.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “This new call for evidence will look at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.
“We must also ensure that our policies are based on the best available evidence, so that consumers are not over-subsidising any one technology. That’s why we are seeking new evidence on the cost of onshore wind.”
Energy Minister John Hayes said that the new consultation is evidence that both parties in the Coalition are alive to the need for fresh thinking about the green economy.
Mr Hayes said: “Appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, but if we’re to make this work in a way that garners popular support, we’ve got to see a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.”
Government approval for Edinburgh Royal Hospital to boost the trades
Plans to build a £150 million replacement for Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children have been approved by the Scottish Government, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.
Negotiations over the site for the new building have delayed the project, but now tenders will be invited to build the hospital next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France.
The project is scheduled for completion in 2017 and is part of a national initiative supported by the Scottish Futures Trust, which will see £750 million of investment in health facilities across Scotland.
The new site’s owners agreed to give the health board the land, currently a car park, in exchange for another site.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “There have been delays with the new Sick Kids Hospital in the past, due to land and commercial issues with an inherited PFI contract on the proposed site.
“I am pleased to say that there is now a framework in place to resolve the legal and commercial issues that arose in the original contract.”
Mr Neil said that the Scottish Government has already invested £1 billion into the building of new hospitals across the country. He committed to invest another £1 billion over the next two years.
Commenting on the announcement, chairman of NHS Lothian Charles Winstanley said: “The benefits of having children’s, maternity and adult services on the same site are well documented.
“This new building will add to the existing facilities at Little France to create a centre of excellence, bringing paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and A&E together.”
Boris gives the go ahead to £320m regeneration scheme
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Erick Pickles have given final approval to a £320 million regeneration scheme in Harrow.
The project will turn the 40-acre strip of land, previously used by the camera company Kodak, and build 985 new homes, a primary school, medical centre as well as shops and offices.
Portfolio holder for regeneration at Hallow Council, Keith Ferry, said he was ‘delighted’ that the project, which was granted panning permission in June, had finally been approved by the Government, paving the way for building work to start in early 2014.
Mr Ferry said: “As a council we are determined to deliver on our promise to regenerate and build the most sustainable community in Harrow and to establish a thriving residential and commercial centre.”
Developer Land Securities estimates the project, which also includes a community centre, student accommodation, and a retirement home, will create up to 1,500 jobs in the construction industry.
Harrow Council said that this development is the biggest in the area and it forms part of the wider Heart of Harrow project, which seeks to create 3,000 new jobs and build 2,500 new homes.
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Government Approves £650m Chatham Docks Scheme
The Government has approved plans to transform a 26-acre site at Chatham Docks into a £650 million development set to create 3,500 new jobs.
Construction work on the Peel Group’s project is scheduled to start next year, paving the way for jobs in the building sector and giving ‘a real economic boost’ to the region.
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chambers, said: “This is a major step forward for the regeneration of Medway and is a clear indication of how the area is growing and continuing to attract significant investment from developers and businesses.
“Not only will it create thousands of jobs for residents in the near future, but it will provide opportunities for future growth and unrivalled facilities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy and benefit from.”
The major development will build hundreds of new homes, a hotel, a supermarket, office and retail space, as well as education and community facilities.
James Whittaker, Development Director at Peel said he was delighted the Government has approved outline plans for Chatham Waters.
Mr Whittaker said: “The plan will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost.
“We will now continue preparing detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site next year.”
Get Britain Building for Jobs and Growth
A group of British builders and influential trade associations have launched a new campaign to encourage economic growth and create new jobs in the construction industry.
The “Jobs for Growth” programme, which was officially launched today, is now the UK’s biggest coalition of companies making the case for investment in the building of new homes to quickly stimulate growth and generate jobs.
The organisation is targeting specific areas in the UK construction sector, reaffirming that there are significant benefits for investing in housebuilding and infrastructure projects.
For example, every £1 spent in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, whilst 92% of the investment is retained in the UK, supporting manufacturing and the skills which the country needs.
Jobs for Growth founder Mike Leonard said: “The UK needs jobs and growth, and building our way out of recession is now the only solution left to Government.
“After a golden summer of sporting achievement, we need to capture some of that Olympic spirit, positivity and determination and go for gold in Jobs and Growth.”
Mr Leonard said: “Over the coming months we will work closely with all our local and national politicians, banks and other decision influencers to build the case for Jobs and Growth.
“We have the demand, the will, the land, the materials and the skills to make this happen. With the same level of focus, commitment and pride demonstrated by our athletes this summer, the building industry can lead Britain out of recession.”
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Essex Uni gets £26m student centre
Plans for a £26 million student centre at the University of Essex were given planning permission today, paving the way for building construction work.
The project, which is part of the University’s £200 million-plus capital investment programme, will improve facilities and create new jobs in the building engineering industry.
The University of Essex is now going to look for a contractor to complete the project by the end of 2014.
The state-of-the-art centre will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for a range of student services, putting accommodation, finance, registry and student support functions under one roof to enhance the student experience.
The centre will also be home to an integrated learning centre, new IT facilities, a state-of-the-art media centre and will offer a 24-hour reading room.
Richard Halsall, Deputy Director of the Capital Development Team, said: “We are looking forward to getting work underway on this project as it will improve facilities for our students and staff, and bring student services together more cohesively.”
The Government’s fund is set to build around 16,000 new homes and provide financial support for housebuilders on stalled sites across the country, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades.
The HCA has estimated that the shortlisted schemes could unlock the building of 7,000 homes and create thousands of new jobs in the building construction sector.
HCA chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “The Get Britain Building programme is offering housebuilders the financial support to get stalled developments back on track, and I’m pleased that more than 100 projects can move forward to the due diligence phase.
“We listened to feedback from the sector and reduced the minimum scheme size to 15, and I’m therefore especially pleased that 20 smaller projects have come forward and the majority of bids have come from SMEs.
“These projects must now prove that they can be delivered quickly, provide value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities. As well as building much-needed new homes, the work will create or protect jobs, and boost local economies.”
Around £300 million of recoverable investment has been allocated to more than 130 projects through the first round of the scheme expected to be completed by December 2014. Round two of the scheme, which was announced last week, will continue until March 2015.