DWP:  Principles of Welfare reform - David Blunkett has launched his vision for the future of the welfare state - Principles of Welfare Reform – which sets out the guiding values that will shape the direction of the Welfare State.   The government claims that one of the key principles will be to: ‘liberate people to make the most of their lives’. 


The next stage of Welfare Reform is supposedly designed to not only help people find work, but to also progress once they are working.   The concept behind it is that by building the necessary skills & assets for future personal security people will be able achieve success for themselves and their families.

Press release ~ Principles of Welfare reform ~ Social Exclusion Unit (SEU)  ~ Breaking the Cycle ~ Opportunity for All



DCA:  Elections Bill - The Electoral Administration Bill puts a new duty on election administrators to make sure as many people as possible are registered to vote in Parliamentary constituencies across the country.


The Bill also outlines new ways to tackle fraud, allows better access to the election process and reduces the age people can stand for election from 21 to 18.


The Electoral Administration Bill aims to set up a Co-ordinated Online Record of Electors (CORE) in the hope that it will improve the accuracy and integrity of electoral registers.


The Electoral Commission has welcomed the Bill, believes that the current system of household registration is outdated and open to abuse & error.  It is disappointed and concerned that the Bill does not provide for the introduction of individual registration which is needed to tackle the urgent problem of security for postal voting. 

Press release ~ DCA Elections Bill website ~ Electoral Commission ~ Absent voting in Great Britain: report and recommendations ~ Delivering Democracy? The future of postal voting - Summary ~ Do Politics ~ Youth Voting Network  



Home Office:  £30 ID CardThe Home Secretary Charles Clarke has announced that a 10-year stand-alone ID card, costing £30, is to be introduced, which will be available to those who choose not to hold a passport.  It, however, be valid as a travel document within the EU.


The government claims that it would not be compulsory to carry an ID card and there would be no new powers for police to demand to see a card. However, this would be a universal scheme for everyone legally resident in the UK and it would be compulsory to register on the scheme.


The government’s current best estimate for the average unit cost of the combined passport and ID card package is £93.   However, Independent estimates from the LSE put it closer to £300.


The Home Office has also published the research report ’Identity Cards: an assessment of awareness and demand for the Identity Cards Scheme’, which it claims demonstrates strong public support for the scheme.

Press release ~ ’Identity Cards: an assessment of awareness and demand for the Identity Cards Scheme’

 ~ Home Office identity card website ~ LSE view on costs ~ Information Commissioner’s View ~ Home Office Identity fraud website



Wales Assembly Govt.:  Wales Plans for Avian Flu - Minister for Environment Planning & Countryside, Carwyn Jones, has announced that a contingency plan to cover any future outbreak of Avian Influenza or Newcastle disease in Wales is in the final stages of preparation.


Other measures to protect against animal and bird disease, and Avian Influenza in particular, are in place, including surveillance & monitoring of birds such as the annual survey of poultry in premises across Great Britain to be carried out by the State Veterinary Service later this year looking for Avian Influenza.


Import controls are in place to prevent the import of poultry and poultry products from countries affected by disease, most recently in respect of Russia and Kazakhstan for Avian Influenza and Bulgaria for Newcastle Disease.

Press release ~ Exotic Animal Disease Generic Contingency Plan ~ UK Influenza Pandemic Contingency plan ~ Health Protection Agency – Avian Flu ~ DH Bird Flu website ~ State Veterinary Service  ~ Veterinary Instructions, Procedures and Emergency Routines (VIPER) ~ "Exercise Hornbeam" - SAC review ~ Section 18 of the Animal Health Act (AHA) 2002 (and scroll down)



NHS:  Compensation culture or a better service? - Under the NHS Redress Bill  patients with claims up to £20,000 will no longer have to go to court to get compensation, care, apologies & investigations if something goes wrong with their NHS hospital treatment or care.


The NHS Redress Bill, which is expected to come into force in 2007/8, will place a duty on providers & commissioners of hospital services to ensure patients receive a more consistent, speedy & appropriate response to clinical negligence.

Press release ~ NHS Redress Bill (and scroll down) ~ NHS Litigation Authority ~ NHS Confederation ~ Chief Medical Officer’s report, "Making Amends" ~ NHS Complaints Procedure

General News

Food Standards Agency:  The FSA has launched the next stage of a campaign to encourage consumers to reduce their salt intake by checking food labels and eating no more than 6g of salt a day.  While latest research shows an extra 6 million people in Britain are now trying to cut down, two out of three people still don’t know that they should be eating no more than 6g of salt a day and only a third of adults are looking at labels for the salt content.


In August 2005 the Agency launched a consultation regarding setting targets for reducing salt in key food categories (closes 24 October 2005).

Press release ~  FSA consultation on proposed salt targets for food ~ FSA salt campaign ~ Pizza survey  ~ Baked Beans and Canned Pasta survey  ~ SACN report Salt and Health


FCO: Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) has launched its own website, with the intention of ‘enhancing the public’s knowledge of SIS’s role & responsibilities and promoting the Service’s current staff recruitment drive’.

Press release ~ SIS website


FCO:  The British and Cambodian governments are working in partnership with Microsoft to tackle child exploitation through the internet.  A joint training programme in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh aims to increase the capability & awareness of the local law-enforcement & judicial agencies when dealing with crimes against children.

Press release ~ UK’s National Crime Squad  ~ National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) ~ Paedophile on-line Investigation team (POLIT) ~ Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) ~ Unicef – End child exploitation campaign ~ Outreach international


DfT:  The Government has decided not to accept the Civil Aviation Authority’s recommendation for a £1 levy on all air passengers departing the UK. The levy was intended to finance the homeward journeys of passengers whose airline went bankrupt while they were abroad, and refunds of the money they had lost.

Press release ~ Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) scheme ~ Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ~ CAA Advice to Government, September 2005 ~ Transport Committee report  ~ FCO travel advice ~ Package Travel Directive


Wales Assembly Govt.:  The Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, Jane Davidson, has officially launched the National Pupil Database for Wales at Burry Port Junior School, Carmarthenshire.

Press release ~ National Pupil Database ~ Previous Consultation ~ Estyn ~ Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC)

Policy Statements and Initiatives

DTI:  Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks believes that the UK’s school children can act as a positive force for renewable energy.  As well as supporting community renewable projects for schools the DTI is embarking on a classroom based education initiative that will teach young people more about renewable energy and its role in helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Press release ~ DTI Renewable Energy - It’s only natural website - Beaumont Primary School, Hadleigh, Suffolk, community project case study ~ Microgeneration strategy and Low Carbons building programme ~ Ashburton Learning Village


Defra:  Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw has published an action plan for managing the fishing industry and developing fisheries policy in England.  The plan is intended to highlight the key areas Defra is focussing on between now and 2007, provide the framework for guiding fisheries management & policy making in the UK and set out a range of measures to secure a sustainable future for the fishing industry.

Press release ~ Charting a New Course ~ Securing the Benefits and Net Benefits can be found HERE ~ WWF report - Are Fishermen an endangered species?


DWP:  The DWP has published its new strategy for tackling benefit fraud - Reducing fraud in the benefit system – which is yet another attempt to crackdown on benefit fraudsters, this time ‘using 21st century techniques to beat the criminals’, including voice stress analysis in telephone claims, to identify suspect cases at the outset.

Press release ~ Strategy paper - Reducing fraud in the benefit system ~ CA Benefits website ~ NAO – Tackling Benefit Fraud ~ Public Accounts Committee report ~ Benefit Fraud Inspection website ~ Review of the DWP Benefit Fraud Sanctions Regime - Social Research Report No 149


DCMS:  The government is looking at how to break down the financial barriers faced by the small & medium sized businesses that make up 90% of the UK’s music industry.  A new study of Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Music Industry will look at the financial problems they face when starting up or developing. (Survey closes 4 November 2005)

Press release ~ DCMS Creative Industries website ~ Online Survey ~ Banking on a Hit: The Funding Dilemma for Britain’s Music Businesses ~ Burns Owens Partnership Ltd (BOP). ~ Association of Independent Music (AIM)


Defra:  Defra is consulting (closes Monday 2 January, 2006) on the regulations & guidance for the measures to be implemented under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act which received Royal Assent in April 2005 and is due to commence in April 2006.  Those measures under consultation include further powers to deal with litter and fly-tipping, as well as new powers on dogs, nuisance lighting and neighbourhood noise


Defra is also consulting on a revised Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse.

Press release ~ Consultation on (1) Guidance and Regulations for the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 and (2) Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse ~ Defra - Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act website ~ Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 ~ Local Environmental Quality website


HM Treasury:  The Terms of Reference for Sir Nicholas Stern’s review of the ‘economics of climate change’ have now been announced and a call for evidence has been issued (closes 9 December 2005).

Press release ~ Review website (scroll down for terms of reference) ~ Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development ~ Dialogue plan of action ~  UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ~ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ~ Climate Change Programme Review

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

Defra:  The Zoos Forum, the Government’s independent advisory body on zoos, has produced new guidance on animal welfare and its assessment in zoos.

Press release ~ Zoos Forum ~ Zoos Forum Handbook


Defra:  New guidance and best practice on tackling drug related litter - such as discarded needles and syringes - has been published by Defra.  The guidance highlights how local authorities, drug action teams, crime & disorder reduction partnerships and other key organisations around the country can work together to reduce & better manage drug related litter.

Press release ~ Tackling drug related litter: guidance and good practice (1MB) ~ Engaging the community with drug litter campaigns (1.3Mb) ~ Drug related litter - identifying, monitoring and solving the problems (1.4Mb) ~ ENCAMS - Keep Britain Tidy ~ National Treatment Agency ~ Chartered Institution of Wastes Management ~ Cleaner Safer, Greener Communities programme ~ National Conference on Injecting Drug Use ~ Drug use prevention among young people: a review of reviews.


Acas:  The Acas Model Workplace, a ’key points’ plan which identifies the features of an effective workplace and provides guidance to help businesses achieve the key points.  

Press release  ~ Acas model workplace webpage ~ Booklet

Annual Reports

DCA:  The Council on Tribunals’ annual report has been published.  In his preface the chairman, Lord Newton of Braintree, says it has been a busy year for the Council after the publication of the Department for Constitutional Affairs’ White Paper Transforming Public Services: Complaints, Redress and Tribunals in July 2004.

Press release ~ Annual Report for 2004-2005 ~ White Paper Transforming Public Services: Complaints, Redress and Tribunals ~ Council’s electronic magazine – Adjust

General Reports and other publications

DWP: Research report 286: Research into Multiple Disadvantaged Groups in European Social Fund Objective 3 in England looks at the extent, type & effectiveness of support provided by ESFO3 in England to multiple disadvantaged groups

Press release ~ Report ~ Summary Version ~ European Social Fund Objective 3 ~ 2000-06 ESF Objective 3 programme in England


DWP: The DWP has published the findings of a small-scale qualitative study looking at attitudes towards retirement saving amongst micro-employers (employers with fewer than five members of staff).

Press release ~ Research report 266: Micro-employers’ attitudes towards pensions for themselves and their employees ~ Summary version


NAO:  The National Audit Office has reported that the DWP provides an effective range of support that helps thousands of disabled people find employment each year.   However more needs to be done to increase the number of people assisted into work and help many of those disabled people already in the workplace retain their jobs.

Press release ~ Gaining and retaining a job: the Department for Work and Pensions’ support for disabled people - Full report (VLM 1.6Mb) ~ Summary ~ Work Preparation ~ Workstep ~ Remploy ~ Remploy Interwork ~ New Deal for Disabled People ~ Access to Work ~ The Job Introduction Scheme ~ Disability Symbol ~ Mencap: Making it work (VLF 2.3Mb) ~ Mencap: Making it work for employers (VLF 2Mb) ~ Mencap: Making it work for parents and carers (1.3Mb)


NAO:  A report from the National Audit Office says that joint targets and the joint working needed to achieve them, can help to improve the delivery of government objectives.  The report identifies characteristics of effective joint working with relevance to the achievement of joint targets more generally.  20% of the government’s targets for 2005-08 are shared between more than one Department.

Press release ~ NAO report – Joint Targets: - Full report (1Mb) ~ Executive Summary

Legislation / Legal

Home Office:  Fifteen additional international terror organisations have been banned, the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, has announced. 

Press release ~ Part II of the Terrorism Act 2000 ~  List of existing banned organisations ~ A briefing document on the governments antiterrorism proposals - A joint analysis from UK’s leading civil society organisations


Home Office:  Home Secretary, Charles Clarke has published his proposed new laws to combat terrorism.  The measures in the Terrorism Bill are supposed to help tackle the terrorist threat facing the UK, including disrupting terrorist activities at all points in the chain.


The Home Secretary also announced that he would bring forward further measures in the Immigration and Nationality Bill.

Press release ~ Terrorism Bill (then click on ‘T’) ~ The Home Secretary’s letter to opposition colleagues dated 6 October ~ Lord Carlile’s report - Proposals by Her Majesty’s Government for Changes to the Laws Against Terrorism ~ FCO report on counter terrorism legislation and practice in selection of other countries


HMRC:  A new National Insurance Contributions Bill has been published with the intention of ensuring that all employers & employees pay their fair share of tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) on rewards of employment.  It is in direct response to various tax and NICs avoidance schemes.

Press release ~ Draft Bill (Click on ‘N’) ~ HMRC ~ Commons Committee evidence


DCA:  The new Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, has welcomed the challenges facing him and the judiciary as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, saying:

“The transfer to me of judicial functions from the Lord Chancellor takes effect next April.  My priorities are to ensure the judiciary are ready to manage the significant constitutional reforms and to provide leadership to full & part-time judicial office holders in England and Wales - judges, tribunal members and the magistracy - in total some 40,000 people."


From 3 April 2006 the new Judicial Office, as an Associated Office of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, will provide direct support to the Lord Chief Justice and the judiciary.

Press release ~ Constitutional Reform Act 2005 ~ FAQs


CRE:  The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on 11 October and the CRE has made available its briefing document.  In addition it has set up a page on its website that answers some commonly-asked questions about the Bill and its provisions.

Press release ~ briefing document ~ page on its website ~ Home Office Race, equalities, faith & cohesion website ~ Racial and Religious Hatred Bill


Defra:  National Park Authorities in England and Wales will be able to protect their most vulnerable rights of way and unsealed highways under laws currently before Parliament, which will give National Park Authorities the ability to make Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to regulate & restrict traffic on recreational routes within their boundaries.


During the reading, the Government also announced that it would be commencing the new provisions in relation to the extinguishment of rights for mechanically propelled vehicles as soon as possible.

Press release ~ Defra - Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Bill ~ Defra - Use of mechanically propelled vehicles on rights of way ~ Ramblers Association ~ News item


Defra:  The new Animal Welfare Bill, which applies to England and Wales, is aimed principally at the keeping of non-farmed animals, as the government thinks that farmed animals already have a high standard of protection.


The Bill applies to vertebrates only - principally to those vertebrates in the care of man.  The Bill does not affect animals used in scientific procedures, which are covered by other legislation.

Press release ~ Defra Animal welfare Bill website ~ House of Commons Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report ~ Government response to Select Committee ~ Analysis of the replies to the public consultation (VLF 1.8Mb)


ODPM:  The Council Tax (New Valuation Lists For England) Bill has been published by the ODPM.  The Bill removes the current requirements in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for there to be a revaluation of domestic properties, in England, for council tax purposes on 1 April 2007 and at 10 yearly intervals thereafter.

Press release ~ Council Tax (New Valuation Lists For England) Bill (Click on ‘C’) ~ Lyons Inquiry website

EU legislation, initiatives, etc.

HSE:  Amendments that clarify & simplify working with contained Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have recently come into force.

Press release ~ Guidance on how these changes effect stakeholders ~ EC and the Biological Clearing House ~ Environmental Information Regulations 2004 ~ HSE GMO website

Charity and Voluntary Sector

British Red Cross:  A team of six British Red Cross logistics & assessment experts have been sent to Pakistan to aid tens of thousands of people who have been affected by the severe earthquake that devastated areas of Pakistan and India on 8 October.


The British Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal for money to support the immediate relief efforts.

To donate to the Asia Earthquake Appeal, go to www.redcross.org.uk/asianearthquake,

Or phone 08450 535 353

Or send a cheque to:

British Red Cross Asian Earthquake Appeal, Freepost, LON18968, Sheffield, S98 1ZA.


Families worried about missing relatives following the earthquake can visit www.familylinks.icrc.org.

Press release ~ Logistics Emergency Response Unit ~ Field Assessment Co-ordination Team (FACT)


Charity Commission:  Last week saw the beginning of a new era of public information when the Charity Commission received its first summary information return (SIR) online.  Annual returns, which include the SIR, can now be completed by charities electronically, 24 hours a day.

Press release ~ Charity Commission Online Services homepage ~ Individual Care Services

Business and other briefings

None this week

Reminders for events being held next month

For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE


Date: 2 November 2005

Venue: Edinburgh

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: 9 - 11 November 2005

Venue: Sunningdale Park

Organiser: National School of GovernmentDeveloping Tomorrow’s Manager 1

On completion you should understand the basis of effective management including:

the role of the manager

·         leadership

·         motivation

·         strengths & preferences

·         teamwork

·         problem-solving & decision-making

·         effective communication

·         arguing your case.


This course includes a management case study against which you pitch your skills.


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


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