Sunday, 17 September 2017

Just for Pets Goes Into Administration

Wynnstay, the agricultural and retail group, provides the following update on Just for Pets Ltd.

As previously reported, the trading environment for JfP, which comprises 25 stores, has shown a marked deterioration over the last year. Changes in consumer buying behaviour, coupled with additional sources of competition and greater cost pressures, have placed an increasing strain on the business and the subsidiary has become loss-making. 

It became increasingly clear that restructuring measures were required and, as announced in the Company's half year results on 21 June 2017, a review of the options for the business was commenced and the Company recognised a goodwill impairment charge of £3.89m in relation to JfP. Following a careful and extensive consideration of alternative solutions, including a sale of the business, the difficult decision has been taken to give Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators to the Just for Pets business. 

The Company intends to work alongside advisers in order to preserve as much value as possible for all stakeholders of JfP, including its employees, customers, suppliers and Wynnstay shareholders. For the six months to 30 April 2017, JfP generated £7.0m of revenues, approximately 3% of Wynnstay's total revenues for the period, and an operating loss of £0.25m. 

The Company's total adjusted operating profit for the same period was £4.24m. Current segmental net assets relating to JfP totalled approximately £2.2m. Management expects to recognise exceptional charges relating to the write-off of net assets and associated costs. 

Read the full press release here - http://www.wynnstay.co.uk/media/1391/update-regarding-just-for-pets.pdf 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pay boost for public sector prison staff

  • All public sector prison staff to receive a pay uplift after Justice Secretary, David Lidington, implements in full Public Sector Pay Review Body’s recommendations
  • Pay uplift follows £100 million government investment to recruit 2,500 new prison officers by 2018.
All prison staff in England and Wales will receive a pay boost as Justice Secretary, David Lidington implements in full the independent Public Service Pay Review Body’s recommendations.
All prison staff, including operational support grades and governors, will receive an increase to their salary averaging 1.7% across the service.
Justice Secretary David Lidington said:
Our hardworking prison staff do an outstanding job, often in the most challenging of circumstances. It is therefore right that this work is recognised and that they are awarded a well-deserved increase in pay.
During my visits to prisons around the country I have been hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication they show to make prisons safer and improving the lives of the offenders they manage.
Prison officers provide a vital public service. Their work is often out of sight but is crucial to keeping the public safe.




The government has already boosted the pay of thousands of frontline staff in London and the South East thanks to a £12 million package announced in February. Prison officers at 31 establishments have received a boost of up to £5,000 and new starters are now receiving a total pay of up to £29,500 — an increase of £5,000.
The £29 million of funding for the annual pay increase announced today will be drawn from existing budgets. It comes just weeks after the Justice Secretary announced a net increase of 868 new prison officers between January and June 2017. An additional 738 job offers have been made to potential recruits who are expected to start after June 2018.
This means more support for colleagues, and more support for prisoners, implementing the new key-worker scheme that will train each officer to work more closely with 6 offenders, building stronger relationships to bring about positive change.
By having more staff on the ground, staff will be better supported to do the job they came into the prison service to do, and spend more time reforming offenders.

Works to strengthen road safety measures in Sneyd Green

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is carrying out the improvements at the junction of Milton Road and Repington Road. Work will see an existing mini roundabout replaced with a small raised standard roundabout. A sequence of road humps will also be installed in Milton Road to reduce traffic speed between the roundabout and bridge.
The work is expected to take between four and six weeks to complete, and will start on September 18.
Ward councillor Joanne Powell-Beckett had campaigned for the improvement works in the wake of an accident which resulted in the death of a seven-year-old boy in Repington Road last year.
Councillor Powell-Beckett said: “We know that the death was caused by careless driving and not as a result of the condition of the road. But it really rocked the whole community and I have been working with families and the local school since then to examine in detail the road layout and traffic flow.




“These measures are designed to strengthen road safety and reduce traffic speed further. The works are taking place to support the community and have been arranged in conjunction with them.”
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, added: “This scheme will reduce the speed of vehicles and improve road safety on Milton Road, at the junction with Berwick Road and Repington Road.
“It will mean some disruption to motorists while the work takes place, and we ask drivers and other road users for their patience until the work is completed.”

Met Office - Storm Aileen First Named Storm Of Autumn 2017

Storm Aileen is the first storm to be named since this season names were released last week and it will bring strong winds to central parts of the UK.

A deepening area of low pressure will bring very strong winds across much of England and Wales during Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. An Amber National Severe Weather Warning is in place, warning of gusts of 55-65 mph in particular across parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.  Gusts up to around 75mph gusts could also be possible in exposed locations such as the coast and hills in these areas.

A Yellow weather warning for rain is also in place for parts of Northern Ireland, Northern England and Southern Scotland which warns of 30-40mm of rain falling within 6-9 hours which could cause some disruption.

Chief forecaster Frank Saunders said: “Storm Aileen is expected to bring strong winds of up to 75mph to a central segment of the UK and an Amber weather warning has been issued. As well as the strong winds, there will be some heavy rain pushing eastwards overnight which could see accumulations of 30-40mm. The low pressure system that is bringing these strong winds will move fairly swiftly from west to east over the UK and although there will still be some disruption through Wednesday morning, the winds will ease by the afternoon leaving a day of blustery showers.”




There has been some speculation that this weather is being driven by the severe weather in the Caribbean and US, there is no such connection. Met Office Deputy Meteorologist Chris Tubbs said: “There are no links between the very strong winds we expect to see here in the UK and the hurricanes affecting the United States and the Caribbean at present. This system originated well north in the Atlantic Ocean, independent of the current Caribbean hurricanes”.

As Storm Aileen clears out eastwards into the North Sea, the UK will be left with cool showery conditions through the end of the week and into the weekend. The showers will still be blustery on Thursday with the winds easing as we get closer to the weekend. Within the showers there will be some periods of brightness although it will still feel cool across the whole of the UK with top temperatures only reaching 18-19°C

You can find out the current forecast in your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store

Sunday, 10 September 2017

UK Matches Public Donations To Hurricane Irma British Red Cross Appeal

For every £1 given towards the relief effort in the Caribbean, another £1 will be added through DFID's Aid Match scheme, up to £3 million.


The UK government today (Saturday) pledges to double any public donations to the British Red Cross appeal for victims of Hurricane Irma.
For every £1 given towards the relief effort in the Caribbean, another £1 will be added through the Department for International Development’s Aid Match scheme, up to £3 million.
Donations will support people through the region, including in the badly hit British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos.
Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel says:
Today we are announcing we will double any public donations which are made to the British Red Cross appeal through DFID’s Aid Match scheme.
The overwhelming generosity of the UK public in times of crisis is one of the things that makes Britain truly great.
This will help get water, food, shelter and power to those left devastated by Hurricane Irma.
This donation is on top of the £32million already pledged by the UK government.‎




Mike Adamson, chief executive, British Red Cross says:
We would like to thank DFID for supporting our Hurricane Irma appeal, raising urgent funds for those affected by this devastating disaster. The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic has left major destruction in its wake. Red Cross teams are on the ground now supporting people in shelters, providing first aid and doing whatever they can to help.
Ms Patel’s pledge came after she visited her department’s disaster response centre in Kemble, Gloucestershire on Friday.
While there, she saw vital aid begin its journey to the disaster zone, including 10,000 UK aid buckets and 5,000 UK solar lanterns. This aid is will reach those in need in the next few days by the quickest and most effective route possible.
Ms Patel also pledged on Friday to double the number of humanitarian experts in the region from four to eight, who are now working in the field across several islands to assess need. Further advisors are expected to arrive in the coming days.
‎In addition to delivering emergency humanitarian relief, DFID is working with agencies across the Caribbean to plan how to rebuild and reconstruct areas damaged by the hurricane.
To donate to the British Red Cross Hurricane Irma appeal visit: www.redcross.org.uk/HurricaneIrma or call 0300 456 4999.

56 Million Pound Broadband Boost for Wales

Rural homes and businesses across Wales set to benefit from better broadband.


  • Up to £56m to become available to help take superfast speeds further across Wales
  • Over 650,000 homes and businesses in Wales who would otherwise have been left behind have now been reached
  • 95 percent of the UK will have access to superfast speeds by the end of the year
Up to £56 million is to be made available to help take superfast broadband to the most rural and hard to reach places in Wales, the UK Government has announced today (9 September).
The funding is part of a UK fund up to £645m announced today by Minister for Digital Matt Hancock.
Together with other planned delivery, it is estimated that this could see more than 900,000 extra UK homes and businesses gain access to superfast speeds after the end of this year, taking superfast coverage to 98 per cent of the nation over the next few years.

Minister for the UK Government in Wales Guto Bebb said:

Providing access to reliable, high speed broadband is probably the single most important thing we can do to ensure the sustainability of our rural communities and businesses. We know there is more to be done, but today’s announcement of funding to take superfast feeds further than ever before, marks another significant leap forward in the UK Government’s efforts to ensure Wales has a broadband network fit for the digital age.
Improved connectivity for homes and businesses is a cornerstone of this Government’s efforts to create a stronger economy in Wales. Thanks to the investment made into Wales’ digital infrastructure by the UK Government, we are well on our way to achieving a truly remarkable transformation in broadband provision across the nation. We are fully aware that this needs to be for all communities in Wales, regardless of how rural they are.




Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said:

We have now brought superfast broadband to almost 94 per cent of UK homes and businesses, and we are reaching thousands more every week. We are on track to reach 95 per cent by the end of the year, but we know there’s still more to do. The money that is now being returned to the programme for reinvestment will help us reach that final 5 per cent, and is all part of our commitment to make sure that 100 per cent of the UK can get affordable, fast and reliable broadband by 2020.
The Government subsidised rollout has now reached more than 4.5 million premises around the UK, and new figures show more than 2 million homes and businesses have now signed up for superfast connections in areas where the Government has invested in broadband.
A clause in the Government’s contracts requires suppliers to recycle funding when people take up superfast connections installed as part of the programme. Research published today shows this take up has been higher than expected and as a result, the major supplier, BT, has set aside £465 million to extend coverage over the full lifetime of the contracts – up from £292m in December last year – in nations and regions around the UK.
Combined with project efficiencies of £180m resulting from successful management and delivery of the programme, there will be up to £645 million available for local authorities to re-invest and take superfast speeds to those homes and businesses not already covered by existing plans. Of this, over £200m has already been committed to projects to extend superfast broadband.
Superfast connections of 24Mbps and above allow families to watch TV on multiple devices at the same time, or let children do homework while parents do online banking and shopping. The technology is ideal for many small businesses too, allowing bosses to run websites and buy and sell online.
This latest announcement comes hot on the heels of recent Government action to improve broadband speeds in the most remote places in the UK. In July the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committed to introduce a Universal Service Obligation or agree a legally binding voluntary proposal by BT to help make sure that everyone in the UK has the connectivity they need for the digital age.


The Great UK Broadband Boost

Up to £645m to become available to help take superfast speeds to hardest to reach places in the UK.


The success of the Government’s superfast broadband rollout programme means that a total of up to £645m is to be made available over the coming years to help take superfast broadband to the most remote and hard to reach places in the UK, it was announced today by Minister for Digital Matt Hancock.
Together with other planned delivery, it is estimated that this could see more than 900,000 extra UK homes and businesses gain access to superfast speeds after the end of this year, taking superfast coverage to 98 per cent of the nation over the next few years.
Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said:
We have now brought superfast broadband to almost 94 per cent of UK homes and businesses, and we are reaching thousands more every week. We are on track to reach 95 per cent by the end of the year, but we know there’s still more to do.
The money that is now being returned to the programme for reinvestment will help us reach that final 5 per cent, and is all part of our commitment to make sure that 100 per cent of the UK can get affordable, fast and reliable broadband by 2020.




The Government subsidised rollout has now reached more than 4.5 million premises around the UK, and new figures show more than 2 million homes and businesses have now signed up for superfast connections in areas where the Government has invested in broadband.
A clause in the Government’s contracts requires suppliers to recycle funding when people take up superfast connections installed as part of the programme. Research published today shows this take up has been higher than expected and as a result, the major supplier, BT, has set aside £465 million to extend coverage over the full lifetime of the contracts – up from £292m in December last year – in nations and regions around the UK.
Combined with project efficiencies of £180m resulting from successful management and delivery of the programme, there will be up to £645 million available for local authorities to re-invest and take superfast speeds to those homes and businesses not already covered by existing plans. Of this, over £200m has already been committed to projects to extend superfast broadband.
Superfast connections of 24Mbps and above allow families to watch TV on multiple devices at the same time, or let children do homework while parents do online banking and shopping. The technology is ideal for many small businesses too, allowing bosses to run websites and buy and sell online.
This latest announcement comes hot on the heels of recent Government action to improve broadband speeds in the most remote places in the UK. In July the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committed to introduce a Universal Service Obligation or agree a legally binding voluntary proposal by BT to help make sure that everyone in the UK has the connectivity they need for the digital age.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Incorrect Home Insurance Could Be Costing Britons £125m Every Year

Analysis of government statistics has shown that there could be over three million unoccupied homes in the UK, with just under 1.3m properties not having the right home insurance.
As of 1 April 2016, there are 23,928 properties recorded as vacant and owned by local authorities in England. This number has declined significantly since the turn of the millennium, where local authorities in England had recorded owning 87,200 vacant dwellings.
Of the 24,000 empty buildings currently owned by councils in England, 3,152 are properties within London Boroughs, which have been vacant for over six months and are not currently available for letting.
Figures published in August 2017 by the Resolution Foundation have shown that between the years 2000 and 2014, the number of people with privately-owned, multiple properties in the UK, has risen from 1.6m to 5.2m. The analysis suggested that the majority of these owners were not landlords, with perhaps as many as 3.4m people having an empty property that was not being used to let. Government statistics show that 589,766 properties were recorded as vacant on 03 October 2016, with 200,000 of these empty for at least six months.
Although these empty properties will not solve the current UK housing shortage problem, there is a need for local councils to ensure that owners are encouraged, and where appropriate, required to release wasted resources.
During the first six months of 2017, the team at specialist home insurance company http://www.coverbuilder.co.uk, have noticed a large increase in the number of home insurance policies taken out for properties with no occupants. Rob Rushton, head of CoverBuilder said, ''we have seen a significant rise in the number of home insurance policies, where people need insurance for an unoccupied property. This could be due to inheritance, people working abroad, properties purchased for holiday homes, or purely used as an investment''.
Insurance providers will define a vacant property as a building that is unoccupied for over 30 days. Unoccupied properties are at much higher risk of damage, particularly as a result of vandals and thieves. Most standard home insurance policies state that your property must not be unoccupied for more than 30 days, meaning it’s likely that the policy will be invalidated and any insurance claim will be rejected.
CoverBuilder surveyed 574 owners of unoccupied properties and were alarmed to find out that only 219 (38%) were protected with insurance that covered unoccupancy.
Damian Downey of CoverBuilder said, ''the number of properties incorrectly insured is very concerning. With the statistics that we’ve been analysing, there could be 1.3m empty houses with insufficient home insurance across the United Kingdom. If 12% of UK houses are unoccupied for over 30 days, then in line with domestic house insurance claim statistics, £125m is potentially being dismissed due to insufficient insurance each year.
''As 1 in 10 of the UK population is a multi-home owner, I would urge anyone with an unoccupied property to check their policy documents and make sure that they have the correct home insurance cover for their property''.
For more information on unoccupied house insurance, visit http://www.coverbuilder.co.uk/unoccupied-property-insurance

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Police officers set off on 500 mile Wales cycling challenge

A team of 15 gallant police officers from Staffordshire Police, set off from Keele at 8:00am on Wednesday 6th September, 2017, on a 500 mile cycle ride around Wales, which will raise thousands of pounds for disabled children in Staffordshire.
The ‘Bobbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ team, led by Sergeant Steve Marsh, have swapped their uniforms for Lycra to support Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
The ‘Battle the Dragon’ challenge will see the Bobbies passing through Snowdon National Park and the Brecon Beacons, in a five day ride that will see them climbing 39,000ft of ascent along the way.  
As Sergeant Marsh explained the group is highly motivated to complete the challenge: “We’ve trained for months in preparation for the event with the intention of raising the £20,000 needed to send two children, with life limiting conditions, from Staffordshire, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World, in Florida.”
Caudwell Children created its annual Destination Dreams holiday to Disney World in 2007. The holiday gives 25 children and their families, from across the UK, the opportunity to experience a dream holiday.
This is the fourth cycling challenge that the ‘Bobbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ team has undertaken for the charity, and to date they have raised over £85,000.
 “We’ve done John O’Groats to Lands’ End, Blackpool Tower to the Eiffel Tower, Cologne to Stoke and now this,” said Sergeant Marsh. “Day one will see us ride from Keele to Anglesey, day two we head for Aberystwyth, day three we go east to Newport, day four we travel north to Montgomery, just over a mile from the English border, before heading home to Stoke on day five.”
The team has left nothing to chance and their support team includes Mike Armstrong, from MStrong Sport Rehabilitation, and as Sergeant Marsh explained his contribution will be vital in getting the team over the finish line. He said: “Whilst there’s no chance that any of the team will suffer from altitude sickness during our many hill climbs, there’s sure to be plenty of muscle strains and assorted injuries throughout the ride.
“Mike’s miraculous hands, and expert physiotherapy, will ensure that each member of the team   has the best chance of getting back in the saddle each day.”
The team will complete their challenge, accompanied by a Police escort, between 5:30pm-6:30pm on Sunday 10th September, 2017, at the Best Western Moat House Hotel, Festival Way, ST1 5BQ.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Cisco Unified Communications Manager SQL Injection Vulnerability

Threat Type: Vulnerability Threat Severity: Medium

Affected Platforms

Known affected releases:
1.0(1.10000.10)
11.5(1.10000.6)

Description

Security researchers have found that Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM / CallManager) is vulnerable to an SQL-injection. The attack would compromise the application, allowing data to be accessed and modified as well as exploiting hidden vulnerabilities in the underlying database.
Researchers have reported that only authenticated attackers can exploit the vulnerability in Cisco Unified CM. If exploited, an authenticated, remote attacker could execute arbitrary SQL queries.
A successful SQL injection exploit can lead to the unauthorised exposure of sensitive data from the database, the execution of unauthorised administrative operations on the database and even modification or deletion of the database. Therefore, an attack would impact on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the system.
The reported vulnerability occurs due to a lack of input validation on HTTP requests which encompass user-provided input. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending constructed HTTP requests that contain malicious SQL statements. The vulnerability can also allow a remote attacker to check if certain data exists in the application.
CVE identifier:
Affected Products:
Known affected releases:
  • 1.0(1.10000.10)
  • 11.5(1.10000.6)
Known Fixed Releases:
  • 12.0(0.98000.619)
  • 12.0(0.98000.485)
  • 12.0(0.98000.212)
  • 11.5(1.13035.1)
  • 11.0(1.23900.5)
  • 11.0(1.23900.2)
  • 11.0(1.23067.1)
  • 10.5(2.15900.2)

Remediation

  • Ensure any identified vulnerable Cisco Unified CM/ CallManager product versions are included in patch deployment schedules.
  • Users are encouraged to patch all relevant programs as quickly as possible.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Fake SEO Plugin (WP-Base-SEO) Used To Compromise Wordpress Installations

Affected Platforms

WordPress - all versions

Description

A fake SEO plugin is being used by attackers to compromise WordPress installations. The plugin is called WP-Base-SEO, and is a forgery of a legitimate search engine optimization plugin called WordPress SEO Tools. The plugin’s wp-seo-main.php file hooks WordPress’ native add_action() functionality to run a malicious base64 encoded PHP eval request. The result is the creation of a backdoor which a malicious actor could use to gain access.

Remediation

  • Manually Check Installations for suspicious files
  • Implement Strong Alpha Numeric Passwords to secure installations
  • Update WordPress core, themes and plugins to the latest secure versions

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Adobe Releases Security Updates

Affected Platforms

Adobe Campaign, Flash Player, Acrobat and Reader, Photoshop CC, and Creative Cloud.

Description

Adobe has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Adobe Campaign, Flash Player, Acrobat and Reader, Photoshop CC, and Creative Cloud. Exploitation of some of these vulnerabilities may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system (Intelligence provided by US-Cert).

Remediation

Users and administrators are encouraged to review Adobe Security Bulletins APSB17-09, APSB17-10, APSB17-11, APSB17-12, and APSB17-13 and apply the necessary updates

Friday, 14 April 2017

Apache Software Foundation Releases Security Updates

Apache Software Foundation Releases Security Updates

Affected Platforms

Apache Tomcat

Description

The Apache Foundation has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Apache Tomcat. Exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities may cause a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information.
Users and administrators are encouraged to review Apache.org CVE-2017-5648, CVE-2017-5650, and CVE-2017-5651 for more information and apply the necessary updates.

Remediation

Ensure Apache Tomcat is patched with all latest updates

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Cisco Wireless Security Updates

Affected Platforms

Aironet 1830 Series and 1850 Series Access Points
Wireless LAN Controller 802.11 WME 
Wireless LAN Controller IPv6 
Wireless LAN Controller Management GUI

Description

Cisco has released several updates to address vulnerabilities affecting multiple products. A remote attacker could exploit one of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

Remediation

Cisco encourages users and administrators to review the following Cisco Security Advisories and apply the necessary updates:
Aironet 1830 Series and 1850 Series Access Points Mobility Express Default Credential Vulnerability cisco-sa-20170405-ame 
Wireless LAN Controller 802.11 WME Denial-of-Service Vulnerability cisco-sa-20170405-wlc 
Wireless LAN Controller IPv6 UDP Denial-of-Service Vulnerability cisco-sa-20170405-wlc2 
Wireless LAN Controller Management GUI Denial-of-Service Vulnerability cisco-sa-20170405-wlc3

Changes To Microsoft Patch Tuesday

Affected Platforms

Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps
Visual Studio for Mac
NET Framework
Silverlight
Adobe Flash Player

Description

Microsoft has released April's Patch Tuesday in the new Security Update Guide format. There are 61 security updates for products such as its operating systems, browsers, the Office suite, and others.
This month's Patch Tuesday see's the retirement of the security bulletins format (MS17-XXX) in favor of a new searchable database that lists individual updates (KBxxxxxxx) one by one.
This update also patches a notable zero-day disclosed over the weekend, tracked as CVE-2017-0199.
The last security updates for Vista are also included, because as of today, Microsoft has stopped all support (free and paid) for the Operating System.

Translate