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Issue Date:- 23 December 2008

London 2012 Children’s Promise scheme – final call for registrations

ON the eve of their fourth birthday, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has issued a last call for children born on 20 December 2004 to be registered on the Children’s Promise scheme.

The scheme, launched during the bid to host the 2012 Games in 2004 on the 20th day of the 12th month (20/12 day), will see the registered children taking part in an event or ceremony surrounding the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Over 700 children, who will be aged seven in the summer of 2012, have been registered on the scheme to date with 72 living in the North West.

To assist with the planning of LOCOG’s Culture, Ceremonies and Education Team, families with children born in the UK on 20th December 2004 who would like to take part but have yet to register, have until 1st April 2009 to do so at:-

Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said:- “The children and their families are on the journey with us as we work towards the summer of 2012. In the year the children turn four years of age, London’s four-year build up to the Games began with spectacular sporting performances from our Olympians and Paralympians and the handover from Beijing.”

Each child will play a special role in welcoming the world at Games time and could take part in one of the Ceremonies such as the Opening or Closing Ceremonies, Team Welcome Ceremonies, or in the programme of other events that will light up the UK.

To mark their fourth birthday, all the registered children were sent a birthday card and special adidas Children’s Promise t-shirt from the London 2012 team. Families were invited to upload a photograph of their child playing sport in the t-shirt and special Children’s Promise photo maps have been created at:-

The Children’s Promise scheme is one of the many opportunities for people across the UK to be part of the London 2012

Andy Worthington, Chair of the Northwest Steering Group for the 2012 Games said:- “London 2012 has the power to inspire and benefit young people across the Northwest so it’s wonderful to see we already have children from the region who will actually be part of the Games.  Children from the Northwest will make history alongside our athletes at the biggest sporting event in the world in four years time. I hope even more children will seize this exciting opportunity before the deadline.”

Tough Toy Safety Standards voted by Euro MPs

ARLENE McCarthy MEP, Labour Chair of the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, has welcomed the final vote in the European Parliament on the tough new Europe-wide toy safety law. The new law was adopted by 481 to 73 votes.  The law, which Arlene led negotiations on with the Governments of Europe's Member States, will set tough new rules and standards to protect children from toxic and dangerous toys.  Arlene said:- “Our current toy safety law is 20 years old and does not deal with the new risks and threats. In particular it does not tackle the risks with imported toys given that 95% of UK toys and 80% of toys EU-wide are imported from overseas countries such as China. After last year's toy safety scares and recalls I demanded a review of the law to target toxic toy imports. We have achieved a radical review of toy safety law. We have banned chemicals in toys which could cause cancer, mutate cells or be toxic to reproduction; we have banned all use of toxic elements such as lead, mercury and chromium in toy production; and we have banned the use of most allergenic fragrances in toys. Importers will now have the responsibility to ensure toys they bring into the EU are safe and they cannot simply leave this to overseas manufacturers. We have also raised the safety standards in the legislation and we have introduced clearer, more effective warning labels for toys. We want to give parents confidence in the toys on sale in the EU. Recalls like we saw last year get dangerous products off the shelf fast when dangers emerge but recalls must only ever be a last resort. Our new law is designed to ensure dangerous toys never make it on to the shop shelves."

Elves want to recycle your car this Christmas

WITH the global economic downturn creating uncertainty in the value of scrap metal, the proper disposal of scrap vehicles is once again becoming a real concern - particularly in remote rural areas of the UK.

So the Department for Business is reminding owners that they can dispose of their old cars and vans freely and responsibly by taking them along to one of the nationwide manufacturer-appointed Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs). Local authorities can also benefit from the same arrangements.

The vast majority of the population lives within 10 miles of a manufacturer ATF, but any owner who is further than 30 miles from their nearest facility is entitled to a free collection service for their vehicle.

A few years ago, local authorities had to deal with large numbers of abandoned vehicles, but the problem faded as scrap metal prices reached an all-time high and the End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Producer Responsibility Regulations were introduced.

Economic and Business Minister, Ian Pearson said:- "We know the scrap metal market is experiencing difficulties at the moment and it's precisely for these sorts of circumstances that the ELV Regulations were designed. It doesn't matter what the value of a scrap car currently is - under the requirements of the Regulations, automotive manufacturers haveestablished networks of convenient facilities where vehicles can be returned at no cost to the last owner. They will then ensure the car or van is properly treated and at least 85% of it is recycled and put to new uses.

Although the ELV Regulations have been in force for a couple of years, this is the first time that the 'free take-back' system has been seriously called into action. It's now more important than ever that people are aware of this service so we can minimise the potentially damaging impact of fluctuating metal prices on local authorities, who have a duty to collect abandoned vehicles."

Owners wanting to scrap their vehicle should take it to their nearest manufacturer-ATF, which will handle the rest of the process. A Certificate of Destruction will be provided to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that the vehicle has been destroyed; ending the registered owner's licensing responsibility for the vehicle.

Did you know?

► There are two conditions attached to the free take-back service:-

1. The vehicle must be largely complete, i.e. it has not been stripped of major components

2. The vehicle must not have been filled with any other waste.

► The vehicle manufacturers have organised the ATF networks through two service providers: Autogreen, (tel: 0800 5422002) and Cartakeback, (tel: 0845 2573233).

► Autogreen represents brands including BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Toyota and Vauxhall. Cartakeback acts for Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen, among others. A complete list of the represented brands can be found on the Autogreen and Cartakeback

► Across the country there are hundreds of other non-affiliated ATFs, which are not legally bound to accept vehicles. Owners can continue to take their vehicles to these facilities but there is no guarantee of free take-back and the cost of disposal and recycling is likely toreflect prevailing market conditions.

► Depending on scrap metal prices, last owners may be offered payment on delivery of their vehicle. However, this is not an entitlement under the regulations and is subject to individual negotiation with the accepting treatment facility

► The End of Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations were introduced in 2005. They introduced higher environmental standards for the treatment and dismantling of vehicles when they are scrapped.

► For more information visit this link.

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