Wales Assembly Govt.: Framework for Children in Wales - First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Children’s Minister Jane Hutt have launched the National Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services in Wales, which sets out the quality of services that children, young people and their families have a right to expect & receive.
It includes - My Orange Book – which has been designed specifically for children with complex health needs who have regular contact with health professionals and is a record of the child’s needs & preferences so that they do not have to be repeated time after time to different health staff.
Press release ~ National Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services in Wales ~ My Orange Book ~ Are you listening? - What disabled children and young people in Wales think about the services they use (VL File 2.3Mb) ~ "What do children in special circumstances think of services" (VL File 2.4Mb)
Home Office: Freedom from Terror - Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, explains his shifting position on proposed new powers to tackle terrorism and extremism, including a consultation paper on dealing with places of worship which are being used by extremists to foment terror.
Mr Clarke seems to have retracted his previous possible agreement to a one month rather than three month detention period saying:
"I remain convinced that the maximum time limit for detention should be increased to three months, and the material I am publishing today makes that case clear. The police use their existing detention powers cautiously and in moderation, and I am confident that they would use an amended power in the same careful fashion”.
The consultation paper (closes 11th November 2005) asks for views on whether there is a need for the creation of a power to serve notices on those responsible for a place of worship requiring them to ensure that extremist activity at that place of worship ceases. Failure to comply with such a notice would be a criminal offence.
Press release ~ Previous proposals ~ Home Office Security website ~ Anti-Terror legislation ~ Consultation paper - Preventing Extremism Together: Places of Worship
DfES: Turning the Tables - The independent School Meals Review Panel has published its report "Turning the Tables: Transforming School Food". And there will now be a consultation (closes 31 December).
The Government has also launched a national audit of school food provision in order to assess the progress that is already being made by local authorities and schools. The survey will be carried out between 10 October and 24 October (this week), with a view to publishing the results in early November.
The Government says that it has asked the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to consider how to put a greater emphasis on teaching pupils practical cooking skills in secondary schools for 11 to 14 year olds, because: ‘Preparing and cooking food is a key skill that will benefit them as they move into adulthood and independence’.
The Government says that it supports the recommendations on setting minimum food-based standards as mandatory for school lunches by September 2006, followed by the introduction of even more stringent nutrient-based standards required for school meals in primary schools by no later than 2008 and secondary schools by no later than 2009.
The School Food Trust is expected to launch in November and a dedicated ’toolkit’ will enable parents to work with schools and the School Food Trust to improve the quality of their child’s school meal.
Press release ~ Consultation: - Turning the Tables: Transforming School Food - Recommendations for the Development and Implementation of Revised School Lunch Standards ~ Guidance for caterers to school lunch standards ~ Qualifications and Curriculum Authority ~ Building Schools for the Future programme ~ Caroline Walker Trust guidelines ~ FSA - School meals research project ~ Feed me better ~ Scottish Executive – School meals ~ Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes ~ Nutritional strategy for Wales ‘Food and Well Being’ ~ Health and Well Being for Children and Young People: Action in response to the issues raised by the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 1986-2000 ~ ’Food in schools - a short guide for parents and carers’ ~ Food in Schools website ~ DH Food in schools website
Defra: The newly opened Decontamination Service is intended to provide expert advice & guidance and streamline ability to decontaminate buildings and the environment after a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident.
Press release ~ Defra CBRN guidance ~ Home Office CBRN Resilience Programme ~ UK Resilience ~ ODPM – Building Decontamination ~ The Fire and Rescue National Framework ~ Royal Society Report On ’Making The Uk Safer: Detecting And Decontaminating Chemical And Biological Agents’ (Scroll down for links to documents) ~ Defra - Response to Radiological Emergencies ~ Department of Health - Deliberate Release Guidance ~ Health Protection Agency - Deliberate Release ~ UK Resilience - CBRN Guidance for LAs
Defra: Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw, has welcomed the launch of the Marine Fisheries (executive) Agency, which will carry out fisheries inspection & enforcement work previously done by the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate.
Press release ~ Marine Fisheries Agency website ~ Review of Marine Fisheries and Environmental Enforcement. ~ Defra Fisheries website
DH: ’If you knew about flu you’d get the jab’ is the message of this year’s flu campaign aimed at the over 65s and parents of children aged over six months with asthma, diabetes or weakened immunity due to disease or treatment.
If you have a serious allergy to hens’ eggs or if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine, you shouldn’t get the flu jab vaccination.
Press release ~ DH Flu website ~ Health Protection Agency: Influenza ~ Influenza at the World Health Organisation ~ Pension Service: Winter Fuel payments ~ Royal College of General Practitioners: Flu charts ~ Outbreak plans
CRE: Trevor Phillips, CRE chair, spoke recently at the Conservative Party Conference Muslim Forum in Blackpool about the need for people to get along in a society which is increasingly multi-ethnic, saying:
"Globalisation means that the rules of multi-ethnic Britain are under constant challenge as we encounter new cultures and our own culture changes. We need a modern highway code, our unwritten handbook for getting on with each other, if we are to live together successfully.
Press release ~ Read the full text of Trevor Phillips’s speech ~ Times Online article ~ ‘Sleepwalking’ speech
Ofwat: The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) (which has replaced WaterVoice) has started work for water consumers in England and Wales. It is the statutory water consumer body and is supported by nine regional committees in England and one for Wales. The national office is based in Birmingham.
It will publish (for consultation) its draft forward work programme (2005-06 to 2007-08) on 29 November 2005.
Press release ~ CCWater website
Wales Assembly Govt.: South Wales’ only interactive safety centre has been officially opened. The Rhondda Cynon Taf Safety Zone in Treforest is a mock village allowing children and others in the community to learn about potentially dangerous situations in a controlled environment that mimics real life scenarios.
Press release ~ Rhondda Cynon Taf Safety Zone ~ Child Accident Prevention Trust ~ HSE – Child Safety in Agriculture ~ HSE Stay Safe Railway Safety ~ HSE Stay Safe Building Site Safety ~ RoSPA website
DCMS: In a speech to the recent Creative Economy conference in London, Ms Jowell announced the publication of the Government response to recommendations from the Creative Industries Forum on Intellectual Property.
Press release ~ Creative Economy Conference ~ Government response to the Creative Industries Forum on Intellectual Property’s recommendations ~ Creative Industries website
National Archives: The National Archives is to distribute £200,000 worth of grants to tackle cataloguing backlogs in local archives. Typically about 25% of archived items are unlisted and, in the North West alone, the recent Logjam report estimated that 300 years of cataloguing work would need to be undertaken to eliminate the backlog, which amounts to 29% of the holdings of the region’s repositories.
Press release ~ National Advisory Services ~ Logjam: an audit of uncatalogued archival collections in the North West ~ Esmée Fairbairn Trust ~ The Pilgrim Trust ~ Listening to the Past, Speaking to the Future (VL File 3Mb)
English Nature: English Nature claims that wildlife crime will be dealt with quickly & simply following a Joint Statement of Intent between English Nature and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and the Association of Chief Police Officers.Press release ~ English Nature ~ Countryside Council for Wales ~ Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland ~ Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime ~ Operation Bat ~ Operation Artemis ~ Defra Wildlife Crime and Wildlife Inspectorate website ~ Metropolitan Police wildlife crime unit ~ NCIS wildlife crime website ~ WWF website
DCA: People plagued with personal debt problems will receive help from a new national scheme that encourages early contact between debtors and creditors. The introduction of Pre-Action Notices (PAN) is intended to help many people resolve debt difficulties without the stress and added cost of going to court.
Press release ~ Tackling Over-Indebtedness Annual Report 2005 ~ DTI over-indebtedness website ~ DCA position paper (March 2005) ~ Proportionate Dispute Resolution (PDR) ~ A Choice of Paths: better options to manage over-indebtedness and multiple debt ~ National Debtline
Home Office: Immigration Minister Andy Burnham has launched six new schemes aimed at helping refugees fully integrate into UK society. The Time Together Project, run by the national charity TimeBank, will pair volunteer mentors with refugees, for five hours a month, to help them achieve their goals in education & employment and to integrate with the communities in which they live.
Press release ~ Time Together Project ~ and HERE ~ Sunrise (Strategic Upgrade of National Refugee Integration Services) pilots ~ Controlling our borders: making migration work for Britain ~ TimeBank ~ Integration Matters strategy (VL File 2.4Mb)
DfES: The Department for Education and Skills has announced that the Tribal Group plc will run the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) with Government funding of £15 million over the next three years. The National Centre, the launch of which is due to take place in summer 2006, is intended help to ‘enthuse learners and enable them to achieve greater progress in mathematics by improving skills and teaching knowledge’.
Press release ~ Professor Adrian Smiths report Making Mathematics Count (180 pages) ~ DfES response to MMC ~ Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) ~ Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching at the University of Plymouth ~ Training and Development Agency ~ Teachernet Maths website ~ Teaching Maths to visually impaired students
DfES: Schools Minister Andrew Adonis has announced a scheme – the Black Pupils Achievement Programme - to boost achievement amongst Black pupils. The aim is to increase success among Black pupils through a tailored leadership and management strategy.
The roll out goes ahead despite the fact that the final evaluation of data has not taken place, but that is perhaps to be expected as the government made a similar decision on timing with regards to City Academies.
Press release ~ Statistical First Release "National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and equivalent attainment and Post-16 attainment by pupil characteristics, in England, 2004" ~ Black Pupils Achievement Programme ~ African-Caribbean Achievement Project ~ Report on Secondary Education Fifth Report of Session 2004-05
Defra: The government hopes that households across England will be tempted to recycle more of their rubbish and cut down their waste with many local authorities offering prize draws, cash rewards & community gifts from this month (October). Around 50 schemes across the country will pilot, test and assess various approaches to incentivise people to recycle and reduce waste.
Press release ~ Statutory recycling targets &BVPI ~ Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme ~ Defra Recycling Reward website ~ 16 pain-free ways to help save the planet,
Defra: Defra is seeking views (closes Friday 23 December 2005) on proposed changes to fees & charges for local air pollution & control and local authority integrated pollution prevention & control. On top of increases, as part of the annual review of the fees & charges, Defra is also proposing that companies pay according to the environmental impact of each installation and operator performance.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Defra Pollution prevention and control website ~ Atkins report Action Plan ~ Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 ~ Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive ~ Environment Agency Responsibilities in Relation to Air Quality Management Areas ~ Health Protection agency ~ Risk based methodology ~ Local Air Pollution Control - Risk-Based Regulation
Defra: Now that several projects are up & running, Defra is consulting (closes Friday 6 January 2006) on proposed changes to the criteria used to assess proposed waste PFI projects, in time for the start of the next financial year in April 2006.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Guidance on MWMS ~ Planning Policy Statement 10 (PPS10)
Defra: The Affordable Rural Housing Commission (ARHC) is calling for evidence to gather the views of those with knowledge & experience on the issue of affordable rural housing. The ‘call’ ends 14 November and intends to focus on those involved in the issue of affordable housing in rural areas, including local authorities, housing associations, environmental groups, and the private sector.
Evidence from individuals, rural communities and local businesses about their experiences arising from a lack of affordable housing in rural areas is the subject of a separate complementary inquiry by the Commission for Rural Communities.
Press release ~ Evidence gathering questionnaire ~ CRC Thematic Inquiry into Affordable Housing ~ Rural Housing Trust ~ Affordable Rural Housing: An opportunity for business ~ Shelter’s Housing Action with Rural Communities (SHARC) ~ Local Housing Assessment Guide ~ Affordable housing toolkit ~ ODPM - ’Supporting the Delivery of New Housing’ and ’Planning for Sustainable Communities in Rural Areas’ can be found HERE.
DTI: Speaking at the launch of the consultation (12 January 2006) document ’Advancing Equality for Men and Women’ Meg Munn, Deputy Minister for Women & Equality said that the public sector needs to ensure that it leads the way in rights & attitudes when it comes to gender equality.
Press release ~ ’Advancing Equality for Men and Women’ ~ Women & Equality Unit website ~ Equality Bill website with easy read guide ~ EQUAL Programme
Home Office: - Freedom from Terror - See ‘In the news’
DfES: Turning the Tables – See ‘In the news’
HMRC: Following the unprecedented number of telephone donations to charity during and since the tsunami appeal, the Government has declared its intention to ‘make it easier’ for charities to claim Gift Aid on those donations. From 1 November 2005 HM Revenue and Customs will remove the requirement on charities to write to each individual donor to confirm that Gift Aid can be claimed following their telephone donation.
Press release ~ HMRC Charities website ~ Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund
See below in Business Briefs:
HMRC: VAT Business Brief 19/05 – VAT: High Court decision - Church of England Childrens Society
DTI: With changes to the Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) being introduced later this year, businesses are being urged to examine the new eligibility criteria of the scheme, following government acceptance of the recommendations set out in the Graham Review of the SFLG.
Press release ~ Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) ~ Graham Review of the SFLG and government response ~ Small Business Service (SBS)
DWP / Pensions Regulator: New scheme funding requirements will come into force on 30 December 2005 and the regulations will apply to most private sector defined benefit occupational pension schemes and will replace the current minimum funding requirement.
In light of the DWP’s announcement of the revised timetable for scheme funding regulations, the Pensions Regulator has announced he will publish the Funding defined benefits code of practice when the regulations are published, together with specimen funding documents designed to assist trustees and their advisers.
The Pensions Regulator intends to publish its consultation document describing how it will operate in relation to the new requirements and how it will use its powers at the end of October 2005.
DWP press release ~ PR press release ~ Pensions Regulator
HMRC: VAT Business Brief 19/05
Press release ~ Business Briefs 2005 (it sometimes takes time to appear here)
For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE
Date: 2 November 2005
Organiser: National School of Government - Hitting the right note
Enhancing individual, team and organisational performance is the theme of a one-day National School of Government training and development conference. Designed for public sector senior managers, HR and training professionals and anyone looking to introduce new approaches, ‘Hitting the Right Note’ features a presentation on passionate & memorable oral communication from Russell Wardop, followed by a workshop on developing the high-performance team led by the City of London Sinfonia.
Date: 18 November 2005
Venue: Radisson SAS Portman Hotel, London
Organiser: Economist Conferences - Third Annual Public Sector Conference
Building on results for next-generation public services - Government today is engaged in complex business transformation programmes. A wave of efficiency drives in recent years has seen public sector organisations make real efforts to streamline operations and cut costs. Can leaders fulfil the public’s increased expectation of effective service provision? Is there a handle on developing an effective service delivery culture? Help shape the answers at this strategic one-day conference.
Date: March - July 2006
Venue: Pinewood Studios
Organiser: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - £10,000 Up for grabs underwater
In the first competition of its kind in the UK, teams of students from Universities will have the chance to win £10,000 in prize money for building the ultimate unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The challenge, which is sponsored by the MoD’s Research Acquisition Organisation (RAO) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is to design & build an autonomous UUV that is capable of carrying out a specified in-water ‘mission’.
Five Universities have already signed up for the challenge, including Southampton, Heriot Watt & Cranfield and two European entries from Girona (Spain) and Trondheim (Norway). There are five places left and those universities who think they are up to the challenge are encouraged to grab these last few places. Applications with entry fee must be received by end of March 2006. For more competition information & mission details click HERE :
For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE
WGPlus would like to make it clear that the commentary & links provided, in respect of any particular item, are published in its capacity as an independent non-government funded organisation and reflect the editorial team’s need to both précis & re‑format the content of news releases.
Any views expressed are therefore entirely those of the WGPlus editorial team and independent of any sponsor, government organisation or political party.
For the official view of a source organisation, readers should click on the ‘press release’ that is the first link attached to each item.
While every care is taken to ensure that all links work in the newsletter (including checking just before publication), WGPlus cannot guarantee that websites will not make changes that will nullify individual links, especially over a period of time.