Rona Fairhead Set to be BBC Trust Chairwoman!

Rona Fairhead, ex-head of the Financial Times Group, is poised to become the new chairwoman of the BBC Trust.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said Mrs Fairhead was the preferred candidate to replace Lord Patten, who quit in May.

Mrs Fairhead, 53, would be the first woman to chair the trust, which is the body in charge of overseeing the BBC.

She said she was “under no illusions about the significance and the enormity of the job” but was “excited” to have the chance to lead the BBC.

“The BBC is a great British institution packed with talented people, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to be the chairman of the BBC Trust,” she said.

Mrs Fairhead was chairwoman and chief executive of the Financial Times Group between 2006 and 2013 as part of a 12-year career with its owner, Pearson.

In 2012, Mrs Fairhead – a non-executive director at HSBC and PepsiCo – became a CBE, receiving the award for services to UK industry.

Earlier this year she was appointed a British business ambassador by the prime minister.

Lord Patten, who was appointed in 2011, left the job of chairman on health grounds following major heart surgery.

A BBC spokeswoman said there was an appointment process that still needed to be completed.

“But we welcome the announcement of Rona Fairhead as the preferred candidate for chair of the BBC Trust,” she said.

“We will comment further once the process is complete.”

One of the Hurdles Mrs Fairhead still has to negotiate before being confirmed in the job will be facing questions from MPs on the Media Select Committee on 9 September.

The appointment was ultimately decided by The Queen on a recommendation from Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid described Mrs Fairhead as an “exceptional” individual with a “highly impressive career”.

“Her experience of working with huge multinational corporations will undoubtedly be a real asset at the BBC Trust,” he said.

“I have no doubt she will provide the strong leadership the position demands and will prove to be a worthy champion of licence fee payers.

“I am sure that under Rona’s leadership the BBC will continue to play a central role in informing, educating and entertaining the nation.”

Being in charge of the BBC Trust is a “big job”, said BBC media and arts correspondent David Sillito.

“You are overseeing the BBC, but you are also in many ways responsible for being the cheerleader, defending it when politicians have got something to say about the BBC,” he added.

Negotiations are about to begin over the BBC’s royal charter, which sets out the corporation’s purposes and the way it is run. It is reviewed every 10 years, and the current charter runs until the end of 2016.

Meanwhile, Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan posted her best wishes to Mrs Fairhead on Twitter.

“Many congratulations to Rona Fairhead who has been appointed as the new BBC Chairman. I know she will be excellent,” she said.

BBC Trust vice-chair Diana Coyle, who has been acting chair since the departure of Lord Patten, also tweeted in support of her new colleague.

“Look forward to meeting Rona Fairhead – congrats to her on being named as preferred candidate for chair of @bbctrust,” she wrote.

Sri Lanka Launches Rs150mn Floating Market in Colombo!

Shopkeepers in a newly built 150 million rupee floating market are hoping for better times after leaving behind wayside boutiques in a section of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo which is being modernized.

Ajantha Dhaundarasekara, 55, was among scores of small businessmen who ran one of about 100 shops in Bastian Road in Colombo’s Pettah area,which were demolished as part of a city beautifying exercise.
“We are very happy to be here,” he said soon after the floating market opened this week.

“Indeed it is good to do business like this within a clean environment. I was doing business in the Bastian road for 27 years and it was a noisy and very unclean environment,”

“But now the environment has completely changed.”

“There are about 4 to 5 sellers in a boat. We pay 10,000 rupees as a rent which we split and bare.”

The boats are in section of Colombo’s Beira Lake which runs near their former places of business.

The complex has 92 trade stalls restaurants and public convenience facilities.

Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority which says others will also get stalls.

“I pay about 4000 rupees for this stall and I don’t mind paying it, because we have a good environment to do business now,” says VijithaThennakoon, who sells fruits and vegetables.

“I was doing business for 20 years in the road, but I couldn’t bring my wife or kids to the shop, because of the bad environment. But now I can.”

“I was paying 5000 rupees as a rent for the shop which I was doing business earlier,” adds K D Padmini, a fruit seller who comes from the Kollonnawa area.
“I have no problem paying 2500 rupees for a clean environment like this. We have been given water, electricity and sanitary facilities and I’m happy,” said tearful Padmini.

Authorities say costs have been kept down with military labour power of Sri Lanka Army and Navy personnel becoming involved.

The UDA is expecting local and foreign visitors to patronize the floating market.

The profile of her customers has already changed, Padmini said.

“I noticed a different crowd who comes to these shops for the last two days,” she said.

“I am surprised to see that. Because I have never seen a this type of customers in my 25 years of Bastian road.”

Happy Birthday Barry Gibb!

ABOUT
He and his brothers Robin and Maurice formed the disco and psychedelic rock band the Bee Gees, the group that sang “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep is Your Love.”

BEFORE FAME
He assembled the Bee Gees in Australia.

TRIVIA
He holds the record for consecutive Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones with six writing credits.

FAMILY LIFE
He married Maureen Bates on August 22, 1966; after their divorce in July 1970, he remarried Linda Ann Gray on September 1, 1970.

ASSOCIATED WITH
He is the brother and Bee Gees bandmate of Maurice Gibb

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