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Wessex Business Bytesize – Issue 185 – Neil Robb & Friends

Saturday 12 March, 2.30pm, Winchester Club, SO23 7AB Public meeting about Wessex Area Rail Services

The Wessex Branch of Railfuture has arranged a public meeting to be addressed by Chris Loder, South West Trains Head of Pricing and Strategy. The meeting will provide an opportunity for an update about the South Western Rail franchise which is due to be replaced in 2017. Railfuture has provided a substantial response to the Department of Transport consultation for the South Western rail franchise, a copy of which may be obtained from Railfuture Wessex Branch Secretary by

FSB members are invited to a networking event to be held at the Apollo Hotel in Basingstoke on Wednesday 16 March starting at 5.00pm and continuing until around 7.00pm. There is a good turnout expected with 4N, Basingstoke Business and Chamber members attending along with FSB members. FSB members can attend at the reduced rate of 15 incl. VAT (please select the member button when booking). Light refreshments will be served. Follow this link to book.
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Thursday 17 March, 3.00 5.00pm Enterprise Hub, Bournemouth, BH5 2AY Ask the Expert: Crowdfunding

Run by Get Set for Growth and taking place in Bournemouth this is a session on crowdfunding and how can I use it to secure funding for my business? Follow the link for more information.

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Thursday 17 March, 7.30 9.00am, Superior Seals Ltd, Trade Pk Wimborne BH21 7SH Everything you ever wanted to know about Apprenticeships but were afraid to ask

An event specifically for engineering and manufacturing businesses that are not currently involved with Apprenticeships or would like to make the most of a current apprenticeship programme.

It will provide the opportunity to find out how Apprenticeships can really benefit your business and also explore some of the common misconceptions about Apprenticeships. Refreshments included. The event is free but booking is essential. Follow the link[5] to confirm your attendance.

Thursday 17 March, 12.15 2.30pm, Rushmore Borough Council Offices, Farnborough Enterprise M3 (North Hampshire) Travel Plan Network

A newly established forum aimed at encouraging more sustainable and active travel, particularly for those working in the region. Follow the link[6] for more information and to book.

Shape the future of the Island s health and care services

My Life A Full Life will soon launch an Island-wide conversation into how the Isle of Wight s health and care services can be shaped around people s needs. There are two forthcoming public events and an open invitation to attend to discuss how the Island s health and care services can be reshaped, and to also tell them what you want from health and care services.

Monday 21 March at 5.00pm Landguard Manor, Shanklin
Tuesday 22 March at 5.00pm Quay Arts, Newport

Refreshments from 5.00pm for a 5.30pm start for both events. To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please

An opportunity to engage, network and hear about exciting plans for the College, and with lunch provided. Follow the link[11] to confirm your interest in attending.

Southern Entrepreneur networking events taking place at various locations

Follow the link for details and booking.

Grants for rural projects
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Do you have a project idea that will create jobs and boost the local economy? Farmers, foresters, growers, small businesses and rural communities can now bid for a share of a 1.6million fund across East Hampshire, as well as Havant, Eastleigh and Winchester.

Follow the link for more information. The grants are available as part of Defra s Rural Development Programme for England and LEADER is the method of delivering funding to projects through Local Action Groups, ensuring that individuals with local knowledge are involved in key decisions about how funds are spent. Further details about Fieldfare LEADER can be found at www.Fieldfareleader.org.uk.

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Update on business crime in Hampshire and IoW

Follow the link[15] to read an update from Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner, highlighting activity to tackle business crime within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/latest-news/2016/03/09/wessex-business-bytesize—issue-185

Courtesy of Federation of Small Business UK[16]

References

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GECOM to probe procurement of local govt ballot papers …

GECOM To Probe Procurement Of Local Govt Ballot Papers ...

PPPC-nominated members of the Guyana Elections Commission (left to right) Sase Gunraj, Robeson Benn and Bibi Shadick. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has decided to probe the procurement of US$500,000 worth of ballot papers and other sensitive material for the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) but the Chairman of that elections management authority, Dr. Steve Surujbally said it is too early to speak about a forensic audit. People s Progressive Party Civic (PPP)-nominated GECOM Commissioner, Bibi Shadick told a news conference that the seven-member Commission has agreed to conduct a probe after the March 18, 2016 Local Government Elections. We have taken a decision, all six commissioners without exception The six commissioners have agreed that this particular procurement of ballot papers and materials for this year and the whole process of when it started to when it arrived , she told a news conference.

Dr. Surujbally shied away from saying investigation but he disclosed that steps would be taken to inquire what transpired from those concerned. Investigation is a strong word, the first thing one would want to do and that is what we have agreed on is that all the parties that are involved in this thing, let s interview them, let s call them and let s see what is this all about so that s the first step before you go into some audit, he said. He said at this point in time there has been no decision to conduct a forensic audit but it might evolve into that, who knows. Among those to be questioned are the two GECOM Commissioners and Information Technology expert who travelled to Canada to oversee the process for the ballot papers and other items

Shadick said observations of the arrival of the ballot papers, statements of poll and tally sheets at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 from Canada and pictures taken there would be included in the report that would be sent to the forensic auditors. Shadick explained that a full investigation would be conducted by taking statements from all the parties involved in the procurement process, questions from the Commissioners and the finalizing of a forensic audit of the entire process would be undertaken. She said the cost and manner of the procurement of the ballot papers and other sensitive material was a matter of concern to all the commissioners.

The PPPC-nominated commissioners said GECOM has no proper procurement process including the advertising for products and services, resulting in huge sums of monies being spent without any formal agreement or documentation. There seems to be no rules being followed the instrument that would cause an accountant to pay money has to be a contract not an invoice that turns up and services have to be procured in a proper way, she said. With GECOM now being a budget agency that is allowed to draw down funds directly from the Consolidated Fund, she said there would now be greater scrutiny of accountability procedures. Shadick noted that the Chief Elections Officer authorized to spend up to GYD$250,000 at any one time after which he should seek approval from the Commission. However, she said GECOM paid a Canadian company US$500,000 for the ballot papers and other sensitive material and more than GYD$6 million to a lawyer without the Commission s approval. The PPPC Commissioners said in the end GECOM forked out 25 percent more than the estimated cost and that other freight had accompanied the ballot papers in the grossly oversized aircraft that the Commission paid for.

The PPPC- nominated Commissioners said that even after Commissioners had identified arrangements for printing and logistics to be treated separately, they were presented with full invoicing from a party which seemingly inserted itself into the process- the very party about whim grave reservations were held with respect to past and procurements at the very start of the process. It appears as if disparate communications were undertaken seemingly with the express intent of undermining and thwarting the Commissioners goal of achieving the timely, transparent, cost effective sourcing and delivery of print materials for the LGE, the PPPC Commissioners said.

Rotary members help with Immunisation campaign in India

Guy Parkinson, a member of the Frome Selwood Rotary Club, with his wife Gill travelled to India to be there for National Immunisation Day on Sunday 21st February.

This is the day when all 172 million children under the age of five years in India are vaccinated against Polio a crippling viral disease. In fact, vaccination by oral drops is carried out over three days, on day one the children are expected to be taken to one of the 709,000 vaccination booths set up over the country and then on days two and three health workers visit all the dwellings with children in them and vaccinate any that were missed on the first day. Rotary International is one of the main organisations involved in ensuring this programme is successful. This has resulted in India being polio free for five years. However, because of continuing problems in neighbouring countries India has to maintain a rigorous vaccination policy.

The logistics of this programme are incredible vaccine has to be transported cold [four degrees C] to 709,000 booths by truck, car, bike, camel, elephant or whatever else is available where it will be administered by one of the 1.2 million volunteers involved in the programme. Guy and Gill were two of those volunteers. They travelled to India with a group of 105 Rotarians from the UK to assist in the immunisation programme. On arrival in Delhi they were briefed on the polio situation in India and took part in a rally and march through the streets of Delhi with 2000 school children and other Rotarians from Belgium, Luxembourg, Japan, America and Canada to publicise the immunisation day.

On 21st February Guy and Gill were assigned to the Delhi Ridge Rotary club which was supervising 99 vaccination booths in one of the poorer areas of Delhi, and they visited four of these booths where they assisted with the vaccination of children. The first booth attended was in a local community house where over 50 children were lined up by the time they arrived. Guy reports that they had to travel through some unbelievable conditions including a road flooded by blocked drains to reach the community centre. After this they were asked to walk to three other booths as this would attract attention and bring children to the booths. The following day Guy and Gill went with a local health worker to one of the slums around Delhi where they went door to door checking whether there were any children present and whether they had been vaccinated in the day before. They were vaccinated by the health worker if they did not have a purple little finger due to the indelible ink applied at the time of vaccination that indicated they had been vaccinated the day before.

This meant walking along very narrow pathways which were also open sewers between rough single roomed buildings which could be several stories high, each level being accessed by bamboo ladders. They also visited a hospital where the deformities caused by polio infection are corrected so that the patient can lead a reasonable life.

Guy reported, This was an incredible experience which it is impossible to describe adequately because of the unbelievable conditions encountered. and that the teams carrying out the vaccinations have to put up with, and yet it was very pleasing, rewarding and enlightening to be part of the process.

We were told on arrival that the presence of westerners at booths attracts more children and so we were sent to areas where vaccine uptake was poor in the past and this appeared to be the case with us as the kids came out to see these strange people in their alleyways. It was good to see the Rotary motto Service above Self in action.

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