DCSF: Keeping them safe while vulnerable - Local Authorities must gather information about young people who run away from home or care to ensure that the right services are in place to help, Minister for Young People, Kevin Brennan, said at the launch of the Government's Young Runaways Action Plan.

The government has clear expectations regarding the level of service & support that local agencies should be providing for young runaways. In particular they should identify those at risk of running away as part of their targeted youth support arrangements and have arrangements in place to help young people who have run away, keeping them safe & off the streets

The Action Plan explores some of the underlying causes of running away, as well as setting out the important role that key partners such as the police, local government, voluntary sector and children's services play in helping to deliver long term improvements for young runaways.

The Missing from Care and Home guidance is being reviewed to ensure a joined up approach with other guidance on missing from education, trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Press release ~ Young Runaways Action Plan ~ Children's Plan - Safe and Sound ~ Staying Safe Action Plan ~ Free runaway helpline ~ Missing from Care and Home guidance ~ Children and Young Persons Bill ~ Homelessness and running away ~ Report of the Working Group on Young Runaways and Children Abused through Prostitution ~ Connexions Direct ~ BBC – Hard Christmas ~ SPRU: Runaways and children on the edge of care research projects ~ SCIE Social Care Online: runaways ~ Young Runaways

MoJ: Poor Taxpayer to get even poorer? - A White Paper - Party finance and expenditure in the United Kingdom - sets out the Government's broad support for long term reform of party finance & expenditure based on the framework put forward by Sir Hayden Phillips' independent review in 2007, which included limits on donations to political parties in return for increased state funding.

Noting the need to build public confidence and to move forward only on the basis of consensus between all political parties, Mr Straw is calling on all political parties to ‘come together to consider these issues and to debate them with the public’.

Mr Straw said: On Sir Hayden's recommendation for donation caps in return for enhanced state funding we would need not only have to have all the main parties with us, but also the public, the taxpayer. That is not the case at present.

We are ready to have that debate: indeed, to discuss donation caps at a lower level than Sir Hayden recommended, but that will require all parties to come together to have that debate, most crucially with the public."
Press release ~ White Paper - Party finance and expenditure in the United Kingdom ~ Electoral Commission ~ Party Funding Review website ~ Cttee. on Standards in Public Life - Annual report for 2007 -2008 ~ Proposals for the Funding of Political Parties: Draft agreement put to political parties - August 2007 ~ Strengthening Democracy: Fair and Sustainable Funding of Political Parties - March 2007 ~ Public Perspectives: The future of party funding in the UK Interim report - Research Study Conducted for The Electoral Commission/COI 2006 ~ Electoral Commission - Donors ~ Hansard – Paying for Politics ~ EC paper from 2004

BERR: Out of their hands - The Government has published Sir John Baker's Report on MPs' Pay and Pensions which he submitted to the Government on 30 May 2008. In January 2008 the Prime Minister asked Sir John to examine options and make recommendations for a mechanism for independently determining the pay & pensions of MPs which does not involve MPs voting on their own pay.

Sir John has made three key recommendations:
* an Independent Body to review MPs' pay, pensions and allowances once a Parliament to keep them in line with the market;
* a fair mechanism for uprating MPs' pay each year, without a vote, between reviews
* and a ‘modest’, staged increase to MPs' salaries to bring them closer in line with those of other public sector workers doing similarly important jobs

Sir John said: “The evidence shows that MPs are paid about 10% less than the average for similarly weighted public sector jobs."

Sir John also highlighted the fact that many public sector workers annual pay rise often included an annual increment and he suggested the option of an MP receiving an additional pay increase each time he or she is re-elected at a General Election.
Press release ~ Review of MPs’ pay and pensions by Sir John Baker CBE ~ Review of Parliamentary Pay and Pensions by Sir John Baker CBE (May 2008) ~ REPORT No. 64: Review of parliamentary pay, pensions and allowances (2007) ~ Public Sector Average Earnings Index ~ Senior Salaries Review Body

Cabinet Office: Will punishments finally fit the crime? - A major review examining how to better engage communities in the fight against crime and raise public confidence in the Criminal Justice System has been published. 'Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime' is the result of an eight-month study headed by Louise Casey, former head of the Government's Respect Task Force and contains more than 30 ‘common-sense’ proposals to reduce crime, create safer communities and increase public confidence.

The starting point for the review is that without public action, support and confidence, the police and other criminal justice agencies cannot make communities safer. Its conclusion is that radical change is needed to get the public more engaged in tackling crime and to halt the erosion of community spirit.
Press release ~ Home Office press release ~ 'Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime' ~ Home office – Crime and Victims ~ Respect ~ Victims Advisory Panel ~ Our vision for cutting crime 2008-11 and key public service agreements ~ Cutting crime: A new partnership 2008-11 ~ Police Reform final report & related documents ~ Evaluation report on National Reassurance Policing Pilots ~ Literature review of community engagement in policing - Community Engagement in Policing ~ Reassurance Policing ~ Neighbourhood Policing Programme website ~ HMIC report - Closing The Gap (Public Copy) A Review Of The ‘Fitness For Purpose’ Of The Current Structure Of Policing In England & Wales (1.4Mb) ~ Guide to community engagement in policing ~ Neighbourhood Policing - your police, your community; our commitment ~ The Home Office policy paper Building Communities, Beating Crime: A Better Police Service for the 21st Century

SE: Are you a GIRL4GOLD? - UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) are searching for highly competitive sportswomen with the potential to become Olympic champions in cycling and other targeted Olympic sports (bob skeleton, canoeing, modern pentathlon, rowing and sailing) in time for London 2012.

If you are…
* Female, aged between 17 and 25 years old
* Competing in any sport at county/regional level
* Fit, powerful and strong
* Mentally tough and competitive
* Up for a once in a lifetime opportunity to become part of Britain’s sporting elite
...then they want to hear from you!

The ultimate aim of GIRLS4GOLD is to unearth exceptional female talent capable of achieving medal success in London in 2012. There are numerous British female World and Olympic medallists who have specialised in a new Olympic sport at a relatively late age, going on to achieve medal success in short timeframes.

UK Sport and EIS are looking for raw sporting talent with the capacity to develop under the guidance of elite level coaches in world class training and competition environments. No prior experience in cycling or any of the other targeted sports is required.
Press release ~ GIRLS4GOLD? ~ Online sign up system ~ UK Sport ~ English Institute of Sport (EIS) ~ Sport England

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