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Latest edition of Floodnews published

The Environment Agency has published the latest edition of their Floodnews publication, including articles on Shoreline Management Plans and coastal erosion. It can be downloaded from the EA website.

HMRC warn of tax rebate e-mail scam

HMRC has issued a warning of an e-mail scam purporting to inform people of tax rebates. HMRC has confirmed that it would not use e-mail to contact a taxpayer about a rebate. The full warning is available on the HMRC website.

Wales announces £13.3 million for new flood defence measures

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has announced a five year programme that will see £13.3 million of funding made available in Flintshire, Wrexham, Powys, Monmouthshire, Newport, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan for new flood defence measures. Further information is available on the WAG website.

Scotland is granted TB free status

Scotland has been granted TB free status following a vote by all European Members States yesterday that saw comprehensive support for the move. There are concerns about the effects that this decision may have upon cross border trade and movements but final details are still under discussion. Further information is available on the Scottish Government website.

Orange and T-Mobile announce merger

Mobile communications businesses Orange and T-Mobile have announced that they are to merge in November. The move is expected to be followed by a rationalisation programme which is likely to see the number of mast sites reduced and some high street shops closed.

Infrastructure Planning Commission announces appointments

The Infrastructure Planning Commission has announced the appointment of three commissioners. The IPC will begin to publish new National Policy Statements from this autumn, covering matters including water, gas and electricity infrastructure and renewable energy.

Inquiry warns of dangers of underground LPG pipes

Those managing farms and estates which have bulk LPG tanks should ensure that any underground pipes are checked for safety. An inquiry into an explosion in a Glasgow factory in 2004 which killed 9 people has concluded that corroded underground pipes from LPG tanks were to blame. The Gill Inquiry has called for changes to the health and safety regime to improve guidance and regulation of such underground pipes. The report of the Inquiry can be found on The ICL Inquiry website....

DEFRA announces review of RPA

DEFRA is to carry out a review of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to ensure that it is ready to implement any changes that may come about as part of the CAP changes in 2013 as well as assess what improvements could be made. Further information is available on the DEFRA website.

NFU and Ramblers advise on safety for walkers near cattle

The NFU and The Ramblers have joined forces to issue advice to walkers on safety near cattle, following three deaths due to trampling in recent months. New warning signs are available to NFU members and a list of Do's and Don'ts for walkers is being promoted. For more details, go to the NFU website.

HMRC to phase out paper VAT returns

HMRC has announced that it plans to phase out paper VAT returns in favour of online returns. Businesses with a turnover exceeding £100,000 will be required to make online VAT returns after 1st April 2010. Other businesses are likely to have until 2012. Further details are available on the HMRC website....

Vacancies on National Park Authorities

Applications are invited for part-time, unsalaried posts on the National Park Authorities for the South Downs (10 posts), Exmoor, Lake District, North York Moors and Peak District (1 post each). There is also a place available on the Broads Authority and the Chilterns AONB Conservation Board. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 6th October and further information is now available from the DEFRA website....

Minister says Glastir speculation premature

In response to criticism, Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has said that any speculation with regard to Glastir in advance of the availability of operational detail is premature. Further information is available on the WAG website.

RPA issues reminder of deadline for application for new entitlements allocation

The RPA has issued a reminder that all applications (SP20 form) for an allocation of new entitlements for SPS with regard to land used for permanent fruit, vegetables, nursery crops and vines must be received by midnight on Thursday 13th August 2009 to avoid penalties being applied. Please see the news release on the RPA website. Further information about this allocation of new entitlements is also available on the RPA website....

DEFRA launches Food Strategy debate

DEFRA has published its UK Food Security Assessment as part of its work to develop a Food Strategy for the next 20 years. For more information, see the full press release on the DEFRA website.

CAAV Centenary Celebrations Commence

Hundreds of CAAV members and guests joined celebrations to mark the launch of the CAAV Centenary year with events at the Royal Welsh Show and CLA Game Fair in July. Members can read a full report on the events in the Members Documents section of the website.

2009 Agricultural Wages Board Order

DEFRA has confirmed the 2009 Agricultural Wages Board Order which will come into effect from 1st October 2009. Details can be found on the DEFRA website and in their latest press release.

Supreme Court to take over from House of Lords

The House of Lords' role as the final and highest court of appeal will come to an end at the end of July. From October 2009 the new Supreme Court will take over those functions. For further details, see the press release on the Parliament website.