“Windsor Power” is in action around the world

After Kate and William’s wonderfully traditional and glamorous Royal Wedding, “Windsor Power” is in action around the world.

Prince William to Catherine Middleton’s spectacular Royal event delivered hundreds of millions of pounds in extra revenue for memorabilia manufacturers, and a major tourism boost for the British capital. Across the world, millions still come to understand Britain through the medium of monarchy.

The literature, culture, history, commerce and politics of the U.K. receive a remarkable global airing thanks to the unquenchable human interest in monarchy. For families, of whatever creed or color, are naturally drawn to the stories of other families.
Traditionally British history has stories of princes locked in the tower; wives beheaded; sisters imprisoned and great kingship built on the effective display of martial valour.
But today, it’s all different, the modern monarchy represents is “soft power”.

Part of the Windsor Family’s function now is the selling of Britain abroad. Alongside the BBC, the Commonwealth, the English language, our diplomatic corps, the modern monarchy is as much about trying to maximize the U.K.’s global leverage as any constitutional process.

Less than £10 spend per child on ICT in many UK schools

Across in England and Wales 1,804 primary schools spend less than £10 per pupil on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) equipment. Many pupils are therefore going without up-to-date learning tools, reveals research by Syscap, a leading independent IT finance provider to the education sector.

Worse still between the period of April 1 2009 to March 31 2010 377 of the 14,495 primary schools in England and Wales spent nothing at all.

Philip White, Chief Executive of Syscap, comments: “To hear that 12% of primary schools are spending £10 per primary school pupil is especially worrying as this data covers a period before the real tightening of education budgets began.”

Says Philip White: “ICT resources have a very short shelf life especially in a school environment. Low levels of ICT investment means that schools will soon be running old, slow and very unreliable equipment which will impair the effectiveness of learning through ICT use.”

“When you consider the pace of change in ICT equipment and the increasing importance of ICT to the competitiveness of the UK economy such a small per pupil expenditure seems anachronistic.”

“Arguably you can choose to put off investing in other parts of the school’s infrastructure for a while such, as buildings, but deferring investing in technology can have a very quick and detrimental impact on the effectiveness and relevance of their ICT assets.”

“Even the national average spend annual spend on ICT of £50 per primary school pupil is seen by many commentators as too low.”

“Ofsted’s surveys of the use of ICT in schools find that technology can be extremely effective in helping pupils to acquire literacy skills. For example, using the internet for research is a great way to engage boys who are felt to be reluctant readers and writers, and computer software can be used to help children with English as a second language with their grammar and pronunciation.”

“But obsolete equipment will mean that schools can’t use the latest educational software, and pupils will inevitably lose their enthusiasm for a project if the computer keeps crashing”

Philip White added: “Most of us take access to the internet and using a computer for granted, and it is easy to forget that for many children, school is the only place where they can use technology.”

“Of course new investment is difficult in this economic climate, but it is vital that pupils are not left behind in a world where more and more information is being delivered through technology.”

Philip White says schools can bypass the short-shelf life of IT resources easing ICT equipment at a fixed cost per year.

Claim Back Bank Charges And Mis-Sold PPI To Pay For Misused Mobile Phone Bills

New research has revealed that many Brits are misusing their mobile phone deals and in fact are losing out hundreds of pounds a year.

Findings by Billmonitor, a price comparison calculator site, show that the majority of British people are wasting their prized money by being on the wrong mobile phone deal or underusing their mobile plans.

By claiming back bank charges and mis-sold payment protection insurance with the help of Claims Management Specialists, this can help pay towards the costly monthly mobile phone bills. Win back thousands of pounds like many individuals across the UK are doing; which will definitely cover the expensive expenditure.

The average person spends £439 in 12 months on their mobile phone; and further findings reveal that three in four people are blowing away on average £200 every year simply by being on the wrong mobile phone deal.

The survey, which analysed more than 28,000 phone bills, showed that more than £5 billion is being wasted per year. So help relieve the finances and pay for your expensive mobile phone by claiming back money from mis-sold ppi and bank charges.

The study showed that the biggest issue was people paying for contracts that offered them more free minutes than they used so in effect they were wasting money. Also, a substantial number of Brits were underestimating their phone usage and therefore going over their limits and being billed hefty charges.

However, these people are not switching plans due to confusion about companies and availability and it is no surprise seeing as there are currently more than eight million various payment plans and mobile phone deals on offer.

March shows unexpected fall in inflation

Inflation figures for March showed an unexpected drop for the first month since last July, easing some of the building pressure on the Bank of England to increase interest rates.
The consumer price inflation figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a drop from a 4.4 per cent inflation spike in February, to 4.0 per cent in March.  The drop surprised many analysts who had been expecting either no change, or a more modest reduction.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, which is responsible for setting the bank’s base interest rates, has come under increasing pressure in recent months to raise rates to help control spiralling inflation.  March’s drop in inflation will help reduce this pressure – however despite this apparent sign of improvement, inflation remains twice the Bank’s stated target level of 2 per cent.
Investec economist Philip Shaw said:  “It should help to stave off a rate rise in May.  But while this is welcome, this is just one battle in what will be a long tussle.  It’s still possible inflation will rise to 5 per cent over the course of the year.”
The Bank of England’s most recent decision to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent contrasted with a decision the same day by the European Central Bank to increase its rates in direct response to inflationary pressures.
March’s fall in consumer price inflation appears to have been primarily driven by a drop in the costs of food and non-alcoholic drinks.  The ONS said this reflected “supermarket led sales”.  It also remarked on downward pressure on inflation from the cost of recreation goods (including games, toys and hobbies) and air transport, which had seen fares rise by less than a year ago.

 

Source : calculator.co.uk

 

Local economies increase UK business growth

Stephen Agar at Royal Mail said: “It is encouraging to see how certain areas are experiencing focused and localised growth. We expect this trend to become even more evident over the coming months as businesses new to an area start to use the services of local suppliers.”

LOCAL ENTERPRISE HOTSPOTS DRIVING BUSINESS GROWTH
Royal Mail’s latest Business Barometer highlights the emergence of existing enterprise hotspots that are delivering business growth on a local level.

This study reveals that Lincoln tops the league for business growth with a 2.08 per cent increase in the number of companies trading in the city.

Over the last six months, 109 new businesses have started up in Lincoln. 57 existing companies have chosen to move to the city. This takes the total number of active businesses in Lincoln to 8,000.

Swansea follows Lincoln in the business growth league with a 1.84 per cent rise in active businesses. Sunderland and Durham are a close third with 1.83 per cent growth. Ashford is fifth in the table with a rise in active businesses of 1.82 per cent.

NORTH EAST CONTINUES TO ATTRACT BUSINESSES
Business growth is most prevalent in the North East. Of the top ten cities attracting business, four are based in the region: Sunderland (3rd), Durham (4th), Middlesbrough (7th), and Newcastle upon Tyne (8th). Collectively they saw 500 new businesses launch and 113 move into the cities. This supports wider economic analysis[i] in recent months suggesting that as public sector employment shifts into the private sector in this region, it will become a real hotspot for start-ups.

ROMFORD LEADS THE WAY FOR START-UPS
Romford is the fastest growing town for start-up businesses. In the past six months, 103 new sites were established. This represents 1.96 per cent of all businesses in the town.

Second in the start-up league is Durham, where the number of new companies represents 1.87 per cent of all the businesses in the area. It is followed by Swansea and Middlesbrough where 1.81 per cent of all businesses were established in the past six months. Sunderland is fifth in the start-up table where the figure is 1.7 per cent.

The Royal Mail Business Barometer is published every six months and looks at the number of businesses that have moved location, have recently started up or have opened a new site, as an indicator of economic activity across the UK. It is collated using the Royal Mail Business Movers File and Royal Mail Business Changes File.

INVESTMENT DRIVES LINCOLN GROWTH
Investment has fuelled the growth in Lincoln’s business population, making it the UK’s number one UK hotspot for firms moving into and starting up in an area.

Simon Beardsley, chief executive of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Business growth in Lincoln over the past six months has been driven by significant investment.

“The city has secured a £25 million investment in the city’s Waterside Shopping Centre, Lincolnshire County Council has won £450,000 of European money to build new offices, and transport links have improved with direct train links into London and the building of a £20m east-west link road through the city.”

He added: “Lincoln is a beautiful city to live and work in and this investment makes it all the more attractive.”

One such start-up that chose to use Lincoln as its business base is Cecy Ctyles, a tailor-made ladieswear designer. Originally from Tanzania, Cecilia Nyamizi Mwenda (21) started designing clothes while at the University of Lincoln and registered her business in 2008 at her parents’ home address in Leicester. On graduating Enterprise@Lincoln gave her a bursary, set her up with an office in the Sparkhouse Studios, business training, and importantly helped her to engage with the local business network.

Cecilia said: “I love living and working in Lincoln. It’s a great city and I have met some really interesting people. In my building alone, there are graphic designers, a theatre production company and language services.

“Through Enterprise@Lincoln, I have been able to engage with local fabric suppliers, photographers and models and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

Zapproved announces closing of USD1.45m Series B investment

Software provider Zapproved Inc announced on Monday that it has closed a USD1.45m Series B investment led by a group of technology executives and established investors

Software provider Zapproved Inc announced on Monday that it has closed a USD1.45m Series B investment led by a group of technology executives and established investors

The company said the investment round will enable it to meet the growing demand for its Legal Hold Pro product, which manages legal hold notification and compliance.

Zapproved added that it will also be able to expand the product lines on its compliance platform.

Participants in the investment round included: Steven Singh, CEO of Concur Technologies Inc, an on-demand service provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions; Mark Stevens, former General Partner at Sequoia Capital; Skip Walter, founding CEO and CTO of Attenex Inc; Allen Alley, former CEO and Chair of Pixelworks; Kanth Gopalpur, General Manager and President of Monsoon Commerce; and Raj Kulkarni, founder of GemStone Systems, recently acquired by the leasing virtualization vendor VMware, according to Zapproved.