Operators are hurriedly re-arranging their 2014/15 brochures after the shock announcement that DFDS Seaways is to stop its Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark, route on 29 September, with the loss of 130 jobs. .It is the last UK passenger ferry to Scandinavia, and means that coach tour operators will either have to fly passengers to the region, or drive from Amsterdam.It will mark the end of an era for the historic ferry route that opened in 1875 with the inauguration of the port of Esbjerg.DFDS says that the route has been struggling for a long time with high costs, loss of passengers and freight being switched to road transport. It is therefore unable to bear the extra 2m a year that a new environmental law will entail, that requires low-sulphur fuel oil to be used.The loss of tax-free sales and increasing competition from low-cost airlines mean that passenger numbers have fallen from 300,000 to around 80,000. Transport of industrial cargo between the UK and Denmark has also declined.DFDS says it has worked hard to cut costs on the route, changing it into a combined freight and passenger service, reducing the number of crew on board, slow steaming to save fuel, decreasing the number of departures and trying to increase passenger numbers with aggressive marketing from centralised sales.DFDS Seaways continues to operate up to 44 daily sailings on the short crossing to and from Dover, has two Western Channel routes (Newhaven-Dieppe and Portsmouth-Le Havre) and daily sailings in each direction linking Newcastle and Amsterdam.Sirena Seaways, the vessel on the route since 2003, will be moved to other duties.
Motherwell-based Coach Tech Assist has won the People’s Choice Award for Scottish Family Business of the Year, in the annual Family Business United Awards.The Awards took place in London’s Mayfair Hotel. Coach Tech Assist is a mobile coach repair service, founded in 2010 by Brian Wardrope, pictured (centre) with his wife Caroline.Mr Wardrope says: “We attended with high hopes, after having won the Icon accolade in October, and having raised the bar with professionalism in all that we do.”The finalists in the category included the likes of Walkers Shortbread and the Scottish Leather Group.
Businesses with more than 249 employees are now required to report annually on specified gender pay gap information.New information has been published by XpertHR, explaining what the gender pay gap is; why your organisation is likely to have one and how to calculate your organisation’s gap and report it in line with the new obligation.The guidance includes details of XpertHR’s gender pay gap reporting service, which takes the worry out of calculating your gender pay gap metrics.Find out more: Download at goo.gl/Yg9f4o
Graham Hopcraft leavesGraham Hopcraft, Group Sales Manager of Condor Ferries, has left the company.His departure means he has also stepped down from the Board of the Coach Tourism Association.Condor Ferries was unable to comment at the time of going to press.
The British Coach Tourism Awards (BCTAs) is set to return on 20 March 2019, with the deadline for entries fast approaching on 21 December.Recognising excellence in the coach tourism industry, the Awards recognise the hard work of some of the most talented coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions, hotels, and suppliers in the sector.New for the 2019 was the opportunity to nominate those who you believe go above and beyond the call of duty, providing an opportunity to find the undiscovered stars of the coaching world.All those nominated have now been contacted and entries are flooding in.Operators are encouraged to submit their entries before the fast-approaching deadline.Operators can enter into the following categories:Coach Tour Operator – Small Fleet (1-5 coaches) Coach Tour Operator – Medium Fleet (6-15 coaches)Coach Tour Operator – Large Fleet (more than 15 coaches).Christina Glenister, Group Marketing Manager for the Awards says “Entering the Awards is a really valuable exercise. It provides an opportunity to consider the progress that has been made over the last year and helps to form ideas and plans for the year ahead.“Everyone shortlisted benefits from the kudos of being associated with the only national awards scheme dedicated to coach tourism, while for the winners, there are an abundance of marketing and PR opportunities.“A British Coach Tourism Award sets you apart from your competition, and reassures your customers that you provide the highest quality of service”Details of how to enter can be found on the British Coach Tourism Awards website, where there is also a ‘handy hints’ guide of what to include in your entry.www.britishcoachawards.co.uk
WhatsApp Twitter By Associated Press – August 29, 2019 1 202 Facebook (“I Vote” by Kelley Minars, CC BY -SA 2.0) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has sided with critics of an Indiana law who argue it would allow officials to illegally remove voters from the state’s election rolls.The Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Tuesday a federal judge’s ruling last year blocking the Indiana law from taking effect. That law would’ve allowed local election authorities to immediately purge voter registrations if the program called Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck found a duplicate registration in another state for that person.Common Cause Indiana maintained the Crosscheck system started by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was unreliable.The ruling says Indiana law wrongly allowed registration purges without voter notification. The court also faulted the law for equating voting in two states with being registered to vote in multiple states. Google+ Previous articleEPA proposes $585,000 settlement for Benton Harbor cleanup siteNext articlePolice: Ohio man literally caught “red-handed” after huffing and driving Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications. Pinterest Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Google+ IndianaNews Court keeps Indiana voter registration purge law on hold
In a letter sent last month to ‘all British staff working in the European institutions’, the UK premier was positively gushing in his praise for the UK’s Eurocrat contingent.“I want to let you all know the respect and admiration which I have for the work which British citizens, along with their colleagues from other member states, carry out within our European institutions,” said the letter.This naked emotion – which would not seem out of place on US daytime television – continued with a glowing testament to officials’ ‘professionalism and commitment’. “I know that during the British presidency, the work which you and your colleagues do in the service of all Europe’s citizens will contribute greatly towards achieving the goals we have set ourselves of a Europe working for the people,” he added. Does anyone have a bucket?
Its report shows that EU countries produced 669 films in 1996, compared to the 421 made in the US over the same period. France led the way with 134 films, of which over half were national productions rather than international co-productions.The UK came a close second with 128 films (including 53 national productions), followed by Italy and Spain with 99 and 91 films (including 77 and 66 national productions) respectively.While Union producers were busy making movies, cinema attendances also showed clear signs of a recovery, with overall EU box office receipts rising to 3.29 billion ecu in 1996 from 2.39 billion ecu in 1990. This was still only half of the US attendance figure. The Irish were the most avid movie-goers, averaging 3.2 cinema visits per person in 1996 compared with the EU average of 1.9. Total Union ticket sales reached 702 million in 1996, on a par with those in 1985, but well down on the 1.04 million tickets sold in 1980.
INFLATION rose from 2.3% in March to 2.6% in April, according to the EU’s statistical office. Among member states the highest annual inflation rates were in the Netherlands (5.3%), Portugal (4.6%) and Ireland (4.3%), Eurostat reported. The lowest were in the UK (1.1%), France (2%) and Austria (2.5%).EU RESEARCH Commissioner Philippe Busquin has signed an agreement with the US on cooperation in research on non-nuclear energy. The deal, unveiled with US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on Monday (14 May), is aimed at addressing mutual concerns over the security of energy supply.LUXEMBOURG’S Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has joined calls for a new EU-wide tax to make citizens more aware of Union affairs. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt floated the idea in a January interview with European Voice.EXTERNAL Relations Commissioner Chris Patten and Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh urged the Macedonian government to address legitimate ethnic grievances on a visit to Skopje this week. CROATIA took a step closer to joining the EU when it became the second former Yugoslav state to sign a Stability and Association Agreement.THE EU is hoping to establish full diplomatic relations with North Korea after member states agreed to set up ties with Pyongyang. The move follows the recent visit of a Union delegation to North Korea led by Swedish premier Göran Persson.INDUSTRY ministers backed Commission plans to take South Korea to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over alleged unfair shipbuilding subsidies. But the ministers, meeting on Monday, stopped short of approving proposals for emergency subsidies to support European yards.
Our view is that if Parma has copyright on its name and Cognac has the sole rights to sell cognac called Cognac, then vodka-producing nations need to get busy and canonise the name of their drink and its origin.Vodka is traditionally made of grain or potatoes. The Commission proposal would make no difference about raw materials as long as bottles bear a legend along the lines of “This VODKA is distilled from GRAPES”.The vodka warriors claim that their pride is wounded by double discrimination. Labels which only have to indicate the raw material? It is the ultimate insult to northern drinking people, who even after a long session would not dream of marketing Armagnac distilled from potatoes.Absolut, Finlandia and Wyborowa producers all resent the idea of their goods being on display on the same shelves as illegitimate brews made of, say, sugar cane.The usual suspect, France, is to blame this time, too. The Commission proposal is tailor-made for the French distiller Ciroc, which makes vodka from grapes. Vodka is increasingly popular among young people because you can mix it with almost anything. The market in the EU is worth €2 billion, over half of it made in Poland, and a third in Scandinavian and Baltic countries.But so far a six-pack of northern commissioners, Margot Wallström, Olli Rehn, Siim Kallas, Andris Piebalgs, Vladimir Spidla and Dalia Grybauskaite, have failed to convince their colleagues that defeat will be seen as the most terrible insult and humiliation by the vodka-drinking classes (everyone) back home. After all, what’s the point of having Nordic commissioners if they can’t stop such flagrant French monkeying around with all that we and our distillers hold sacred? Moody people who need their shot of vodka every now and then, to deal with their similarly moody countrymen and the endless gloom of conifers, Swedes and the Finns are on the same side when it comes to defending the reputation of this noble and necessary distillation. Which is why they have joined forces with Poland, the biggest vodka producer in the EU, to resist the cunning French invasion of the vodka market. France has no business in meddling with our vodka.After all, Nordics don’t have too many culinary specialities to brag about. True, there is IKEA’s Swedish meat balls, but gourmets tend to hold Parma ham in higher esteem. Finns have reindeer meat and the Baltics their herring; but the foodies still prefer foie gras and lobster.