CRCSpotlight on Rural Travel - The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) has published 5 studies putting the spotlight on transport challenges facing rural areas, ranging from accessibility to key services, the effects of technological change and implications of road pricing.

Rural people travel around 10,000 miles each year compared with around 7,000 nationally and use of cars is significantly higher in rural areas.  Graham Russell, Director of Practice at the CRC said: “Transport is a key concern for rural communities. With a continuing decline in local services, rural residents need to travel greater distances, and because of significant gaps in public transport much more of their travel is by car.

What’s more, rising fuel prices are hitting rural areas hardest, especially less well-off households where a higher proportion of income goes on essentials including transport costs………………...  More efficient and environmentally beneficial ways for rural people to move around in our rural areas now need to be found.  Community collaboration must play a crucial part, and there are already excellent examples of initiatives taking place around the country some of which are highlighted in the studies".

A special seminar (for details email: Malcolm.graig@ruralcommunities.gov.uk) is being held in London on Friday 26 September bringing together experts from transport, environmental and rural affairs backgrounds.
Press release ~ CRC ~ King Review of Low Carbon Cars ~ ‘The contribution of transport to sustainable rural communities’ and 4 other studies ~ Transport Research Laboratory ~ Integrated Transport Planning ~ MVA Consultancy ~ University of West of England ~ University of Plymouth ~ Bwcabus briefing Paper ~ BBC – Rural transport in Wales ~ DfT – Rural Bus Services ~ State of the countryside 2008 ~ Rural financial poverty: Priorities for action ~ Other Rural Issues ~ 'Our NHS, Our Future: a rural response' ~ 'Rural challenges, local solutions' ~ IDEA - Rural proofing ~ Rural Health Good Practice Toolkit ~ Other IRH health related publications ~ Mind: Rural proofing the National Service Framework for Mental Health ~ Defra: Rural proofing checklist ~ Rural Social Justice Coalition ~ ‘Disadvantage Study’ ~ England's rural areas: steps to release their economic potential.  Advice from the Rural Advocate to the Prime Minster ~ CRC – Rural Service Support ~ JRF Commission on Rural Housing in Wales

BERRA reminder that we also have national energy as well as financial problems - John Hutton has pledged his support for new nuclear power stations in the UK, at the first meeting of the Government's new Nuclear Development Forum, claiming that energy from new nuclear generators is absolutely indispensable for keeping the UK's lights on, reducing our dependency on foreign oil and gas and cutting carbon emissions.

The Forum supports & advises the new Office for Nuclear Development in creating the right conditions for new nuclear power stations to be built in the UK as soon as possible. 

He also claimed that the 100,000 jobs that could be created, saying that, with strong competition from such countries as China - which has plans for 24 nuclear plants and outline proposals for another 76 - a strong British supply chain will be ideally positioned to benefit and provide the valuable equipment & skills necessary.

The Government has also published its response to the consultation on the Funded Decommissioning Programme guidance.  The new guidance, to be finalised following the Royal Assent of the Energy Bill, reiterates the Government's policy that nuclear operators - not taxpayers - will have to meet the full cost of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs.
Press release ~ Nuclear Development Forum ~ Office for Nuclear Development ~ Government response to the consultation on Funded Decommissioning Programme guidance ~ Digest of energy statistics 2008 ~ Consultation on the Strategic Siting Process and related documents ~ Infrastructure Planning Commission ~ Nuclear White Paper Meeting the Energy Challenge: A White Paper on Nuclear Power ~ Generic Design Assessment (GDA) ~ Environment Agency - GDA Preliminary reports ~ HSE: UK Nuclear Regulators New Reactor Assessment ~ Health and safety in the nuclear industry ~ Nuclear Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive ~ Office of Civil Nuclear Security ~ Dedicated public information website on nuclear waste ~ United Kingdom Radioactive Waste Inventory (UKRWI) ~ Nuclear Power - BERR ~ Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)

DHIt’s now statistically safer to go into hospital - The latest quarterly figures on MRSA bloodstream infections, published by the Health Protection Agency, show that the number of MRSA infections has fallen by 57% compared to the base level in 2003/4 when the target was set. 

Run by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, the Showcase Hospitals programme consists of 7 hospitals that will trial new & innovative products to further reduce & prevent healthcare associated infections.

The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency are also launching the Design Bugs Out project.  Top designers have been challenged to design new furniture, equipment and services for hospital wards that will enhance cleanliness and help to reduce healthcare associated infections.

The Government will now work with the NHS to sustain this reduction in MRSA infections, as well as hopefully delivering a 30% reduction in C. difficile in the next three years.
Press release ~ Health Protection Agency - HAI ~ Showcase Hospitals Programme ~ NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency ~ Design Bugs Out project and video ~ DBO competition ~ clean-safe-care.nhs ~ Smart solutions for HCAI ~ HC - hygiene code ~ The Health Act 2006: Code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections ~ 'Clean, safe care' ~ DH - Healthcare associated infection ~ Clean-safe-care.nhs ~ NHS Infection Control Training Programme ~ DH cleaner hospitals website ~ Hospital Infection Society ~ BBC Panorama programme – How safe is your hospital ~ Fudging the figures?

WAGCan one just ‘click’ to solve the problem of child poverty? - An new website to help councils lift children out of poverty has been launched Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons. 

The ‘Child Poverty Solutions Wales’ website offers support & advice services to councils and their partners ranging from a self assessment toolkit for monitoring success in tackling child poverty to guidance in developing statutory children and young people plans.

Training modules for elected members will also help them understand the causes & effects of child poverty and how local authorities can work with other organisations to tackle the issues.  The bilingual site is the first of its kind in Wales and has been developed by Save the Children in Wales and the Welsh Local Government Association and funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Press release ~ ‘Child Poverty Solutions Wales’ website ~ Toolkits ~ Save the Children in Wales ~ Welsh Local Government Association ~ WAG – Child Poverty ~ End Child Poverty Network Cymru - CIW ~ JRF: Combating child poverty in Wales: are effective education strategies in place? ~ Child Poverty Solutions Wales- Briefing (3)

Forthcoming EventHow to register and maintain your teaching professionalism - If you are a trainer, tutor or teacher working in LSC-funded FE & skills provision, you are required to register as a member of the Institute for Learning (IfL), to demonstrate that you maintain your teaching professionalism.  You are also required to undertake at least 30 hours' continuing professional development (CPD) each year (prorated for part-time teachers) and abide by IfL's Code of Professional Practice.

Teachers in FE or specialist independent colleges should have registered by 31 March 2008, while trainers, tutors and teachers delivering other LSC-funded further education provision – including those in adult and community, work-based learning, offender and voluntary sector settings – need to register with IfL by 30 September 2008.

Teachers new to the sector from September 2007 need to register within six months of starting to teach and will have to become licensed practitioners.  The government has agreed to meet the full cost of standard registration with IfL for teachers in LSC-funded institutions who register online, even if you are an FE college teacher and missed the original 31 March 2008 deadline.

The IfL are hosting another series of FREE registration briefings during September designed to to ensure that HR and senior managers understand the reforms and how they apply to teaching professionals delivering LSC-funded FE provision.
Press release ~ To learn about briefings / dates and to register ~ IfL's Code of Professional Practice

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