Of course most of the doom and gloom mainstream media may not be interested in featuring any positive British news stories, but we certainly are.
Keep checking in with the Conservative Post to see good news every day – the resurgence of British manufacturing, how our military is flying the flag across the world, positive policy making, global trade deals, our wonderful royals and many other things to be proud of.
Here are our 20 best read and most shared positive news stories from just this week (31st July – 6th August 2023):
Millions are being made available to unlock innovation and develop solutions in the farming sector in two new research and feasibility competitions under the Farming Innovation Programme, Defra has announced this week. It is part of the government’s delivery of its commitment to invest £600 million in innovation and productivity in the sector over three years, and adds further support to the development and take-up of innovative practices on farms to boost productivity and sustainability whilst meeting net zero targets. Previous rounds have led to investment in automations to improve soft fruit yield; a ‘herd’ of lightweight, battery-operated, asparagus-harvesting robots… click here
19. New prison to be built on former Rainsbrook site in latest of a string of measures to boost jail capacity
The former Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre is set to reopen as a Category C men’s prison, in the latest of a string of measures to boost jail capacity, Prisons Minister Damian Hinds has announced this week. The refurbishment of the Rainsbrook site will create up to 131 new prison places – helping to put serious offenders behind bars and provide a boost to the local economy with 100 new jobs. This is the latest step in the government’s commitment to boost prison capacity, which includes creating 20,000 modern prison places – with 5,400 of these places already delivered… click here
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said that over £38 million of UK humanitarian assistance has saved the lives of vulnerable, conflict-affected people in North-East Nigeria – including women and girls. The Foreign Secretary made these remarks whilst visiting the United Nations’ Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Abuja, meeting UNHAS staff. The UN estimates that over 8 million people in North-East Nigeria urgently require life-saving humanitarian assistance due to protracted conflict and crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region. Earlier this year, the UN launched a special humanitarian appeal… click here
The government has launched a £40 million fund to spark local digital revolutions and unlock 5G benefits across the UK. Local areas across the UK will be helped to boost their digital connectivity and develop advanced wireless technologies, thanks to a new £40 million fund that could power everything from innovative healthcare solutions to futuristic farming and smart systems to improve transport and cut congestion. From this week, local and regional authorities can apply for a share of the multi-million-pound fund, designed to accelerate innovation in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, transport, agriculture and public services, helping to create better connected places across the UK… click here
Thousands of trees are set to be planted to mark the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III with a new government fund launching this week, celebrating His Majesty’s passion for the environment. The new £2.5 million fund will enable local authorities to create green spaces and connect communities with nature as a permanent reminder of the Coronation, while helping meet the government’s targets to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and ensure that 16.5% of land area is under tree cover by 2050. The projects could include initiatives such as the creation of community orchards and tree nurseries, new ‘Miyawaki’ miniature woodlands in urban areas… click here
15. 13 new community diagnostic centres to deliver over 740,000 additional scans, tests and checks a year
Thirteen new community diagnostic centres (CDCs) – including 8 independently run CDCs – are being launched across the country as part of government plans to use the independent sector to cut NHS waiting lists, Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay announced this week. Five of these independent sector-led CDCs will operate in the South West of England, with permanent sites fully opening in 2024 in Redruth, Bristol, Torbay, Yeovil and Weston-super-Mare. Additional diagnostic testing capacity is already being rolled out in the region via the use of mobile diagnostic facilities… click here
New youth centres will be built and old ones refurbished as part of government plans to give young people better access to positive out-of-school activities as the next phase of the Youth Investment Fund is confirmed. This follows Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer setting out her vision for the youth sector, that every young person should have “someone to talk to, something to do, somewhere to go.” The plans will see 44 youth centres share a slice of £70 million Government funding through its Youth Investment Fund. The funding will help as many as 12,000 extra 11 to 18-year-olds across the country having access to… click here
More than 7 billion harmful plastic bags have been prevented from blighting our streets and countryside thanks to the single-use carrier bag charge, new figures announced by Environment Minister Rebecca Pow show. A 5p charge was first introduced in supermarkets in 2015. Since then, usage at the main retailers – Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose – has dropped by more than 98%. The average person in England now buys just two single-use carrier bags a year from these businesses, compared with around 140 in 2014 before the charge was introduced… click here
A partnership between social media companies and government will accelerate action to tackle people smuggling content online, such as criminals sharing information about illegal Channel crossings, the Prime Minister has announced today [Sunday 6th August]. It comes as new figures show the government continues to make progress on the Prime Minister’s plan to stop the boats: crossings remain down on last year, the legacy asylum backlog has been reduced by a third since December 2022, and enforced returns of people with no right to be in the UK are at their highest level since 2019… click here
Victims of rape and sexual violence will be better supported following a £26 million investment in specialist services across England and Wales announced this week. The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund (RASASF), initially launched in 2011, is part of the government’s commitment to quadruple funding for victim support services by 2025 compared to 2010. The news comes as new figures show the government has achieved its third and final ambition in its landmark End-to-End Rape Review 18 months ahead of target – restoring Crown Prosecution Service charges to 2016 levels… click here
Hundreds of thousands of heat network customers could benefit from fairer energy prices under new plans unveiled by government this week. Under the proposals, homes and businesses supplied by heat networks would receive greater consumer protections currently only afforded to those on traditional gas and electricity contracts. This would ensure fairer prices through their inclusion in a potential future price cap on energy bills, consistent standards for quality of service and supply of heat, backed up with regular and clear bills. From 2025, Ofgem will be able to step in where homes and businesses have problems with disproportionate pricing… click here
Hundreds of thousands of patients could benefit from a quicker diagnosis for a range of respiratory and heart conditions, through ambitious new NHS plans for fast-tracked tests and checks. As part of measures announced by the NHS this week to speed up detection of major health problems, GP practices will be able to directly order diagnostic checks to identify a wide range of conditions, including COPD, asthma, cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Up to one million patients could benefit from the accelerated access, reducing the need for a specialist consultation and speeding up potentially life-saving treatment and medication… click here
Airports and supermarket deliveries could become greener and more efficient thanks to a £8 million government competition to support hydrogen-powered transport in the North East, grow the economy and create jobs. The Transport Secretary has this week announced two winning projects of the second phase of the competition, encouraging more businesses and innovators to develop new technology that uses hydrogen fuel to accelerate transport decarbonisation. One project led by ULEMCo, receiving a share of the £8 million funding, will develop hydrogen-powered airport ground-based support vehicles, such as tow trucks for aeroplanes and sweepers to clean runways… click here
Leaders of the UK’s energy industry met in Downing Street this week to discuss their plans to collectively invest over £100 billion and create jobs around the country, working with Government to boost energy security. Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps met a wide range of energy companies who collectively have multi-billion pound plans to invest in low and zero-carbon projects. Each of these will support thousands of jobs across the country, which could help reduce household energy bills while delivering cleaner, more secure sources of energy, to deliver on the ambition to have the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe by 2035… click here
UK personnel have joined troops from 13 other nations for Exercise Talisman Sabre, which took place across Australia and in adjacent waters, to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. Talisman Sabre, which began on 22 July and ends this week, is the largest military exercise between Australian, UK and US Armed Forces and is designed to strengthen partnerships and interoperability among key allies. It tests joint capabilities across land, sea, air, space and digital domains. More than 34,000 troops took part in this 10th iteration of Talisman Sabre, which involved forces from Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan… click here
5. Shell completes restart of operations at the Pierce Field in the UK North Sea to enable gas production
Shell U.K. has completed the restart of operations at the Pierce field in the UK Central North Sea, following a significant upgrade to allow gas to be produced after years of the field producing only oil. The Pierce field lies around 165 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, in water depths of around 262 feet. It was discovered in 1975, with oil being produced since 1999. The redevelopment of the Pierce field is part of Shell UK’s broader intent to invest £20-25 billion in the UK energy system in the next decade, subject to Board approval and a stable investment climate, 75% of which will be focused on the development of low and zero-carbon products and services… click here
Over 38,000 UK pubs and bars have seen a tax cut on the pints they pull from this week as the government’s historic alcohol duty changes take effect. The duty paid on drinks on tap in pubs will be up to 11p lower than at the supermarket. The changes are designed to help pubs compete on a level playing field with supermarkets, so they can continue to thrive at the heart of communities across the UK. The Brexit Pubs Guarantee announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget secures the pledge that pubs will always pay less alcohol duty than supermarkets going forwards… click here
A new Nuclear Skills Taskforce will ensure the UK’s defence and civil nuclear sectors have the right people with the right skills to seize growth opportunities. The nuclear industry underpins hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK, both directly and through the extended supply chain, and is growing rapidly. Nuclear has a wide variety of roles ranging from technical scientific and engineering roles through to logistics, project management, commercial and finance – with a range of apprentice and graduate opportunities. The UK’s nuclear capability plays a significant role in the security, prosperity and resilience of our nation… click here
“The UK no longer has to pay its share of a fast rising budget, nor accept liability for any share of EU debt now being accumulated.” In our later years in the EU it was becoming a problem that the UK was in the EU but not in the Euro. There were meetings the UK had to leave early when they wished to go onto tackle Euro issues. There were programmes they needed to complete their political and monetary union that the UK did not want to join. There was a burgeoning set of debts and transfers that sharing a currency necessitated… click here
1. POWERING UP Britain from Britain: Hundreds of new North Sea oil and gas licences to boost energy independence
Hundreds of new oil and gas licences will be granted in the UK, the Prime Minister has confirmed this week, as the UK Government continues to back the North Sea oil and gas industry as part of drive to make Britain more energy independent. The Government and the North Sea Transition Authority have announced a joint commitment to undertake future licensing rounds, which will continue to be subject to a climate compatibility test. By adopting a more flexible application process, licences could also be offered near to currently licensed areas – unlocking vital reserves which can be brought online faster due to existing infrastructure and previous relevant assessments… click here
For last week’s Top 20 Great British news stories (24th – 30th July 2023) click here.
By Claire Bullivant
Conservative Post, Founder and Editor
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