Caroline Spelman heads for North East as mop up begins
Published: 30th Jun 2012 02:33:56
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman is to visit the North East of England as the region begins the clear up after a second day of torrential rain.
Almost 2,500 homes in the region are still without electricity.
And rail operators are warning of continued disruption on both the West and East Coast Mainline services as engineers work to repair damage.
BBC Weather forecasters say there may be more showers but "nothing like on the scale of earlier in the week".
In a statement, Northern Powergrid said the areas worst affected by the loss of power to homes were Consett, Stanhope and Alnwick.
It said it had "cancelled all planned engineering work and staff have been redeployed to ensure that supplies to customers still without power will be restored as soon as possible".
Meanwhile, hundreds of engineers will be working through the weekend to repair areas of the track beds which were torn away by floods at Haltwhistle on the Newcastle to Carlisle route and Scremerston on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) between Newcastle and Berwick.
A near-normal service is expected to operate between London and Leeds, and London and Newcastle.
The West Coast mainline between Scotland and England, which was closed for a time in both directions on Friday because of damage to overhead power lines between Lockerbie and Carstairs, is moving again - but delays are still expected and engineers say further repairs will have to be carried out during the night.
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First TransPennine Express and Virgin Trains are running their scheduled West Coast services, but long queues have been reported at Glasgow Central Station.
A BBC Weather forecaster said Saturday would be a "breezy day with sunny intervals and showery spells, with a risk of thunder in places".
She said Tyneside might have more showers but "nothing like they had two days ago".
She said the South East of England would be mostly dry.
A number of schools in the North East closed due to flooding on Friday, including Langley First School near Whitley Bay where the water inside the school building was at one point two feet deep.
One of the teachers, James Mitchinson, said the local community helped in saving books and other resources.
He said: "We kind of sent out texts and left messages on social networking sites.
"Within about half an hour our distress call was heard, and about 15 volunteers were there, you know - some with their children, some just by themselves, some people just walked off the street, which was really humbling, you know, and it's kind of times like this that you see the good in people, and without their help undoubtedly a lot of the resources and books wouldn't have been saved."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Caroline Spelman heads for North East as mop up begins [Online] (Updated 30th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1437826/Caroline-Spelman-heads-for-North-East-as-mop-up-begins [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com