HO: The trouble with statistics is that they rarely tell the whole story - A new interactive national map giving the public access to local statistics & details on neighbourhood policing in their area was launched last week by the Home Office and National Policing Improvement Agency.
The online map will allow residents to view figures for all crime as well as burglary, robbery, violence, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour in their area ‘at the touch of a button’.
People can now compare one police area with another, compare figures over a 3-month period against the same period for the previous year and see annual crime rates. The public will also be able to see details of their neighbourhood police team, local policing priorities and information about forthcoming local events such as crime prevention meetings and local surgeries.
ScotGov: The issue is that Westminster must consider the interests of all the UK, while ScotGov only need consider Scotland’s - Independence would enable Scotland to maximise its full renewable energy potential and have its voice properly heard in Europe on crucial issues such as agriculture, fisheries & food. The latest National Conversation policy paper, which looks at rural affairs, the environment & climate change, illustrates thinking on how the current constitutional arrangements are holding Scotland back in these crucial areas.
Issues highlighted in the report include:
EU representation - Scotland currently has to feed into the UK negotiating line, even in policy areas such as fishing where it has 70% of the UK industry and agriculture where the UK Government's vision for the future of the Common Agricultural Policy is quite distinct from the Scottish Government's
Climate change - Energy policy & regulation are reserved to Westminster, as are vehicle excise & fuel duty
Zero waste - At present Scotland can increase landfill bans but has no powers to control landfill tax
Food - the UK Government consistently rejects Scotland's opposition to GM crops & foods when EU votes are taken on the issue; independence would also allow Scotland to create a Supermarket Ombudsman
IPC: For the greater good of all rather than local wishes - The Infrastructure Planning Commission has announced the first major infrastructure projects that it expects to receive as applications. 5 major wind farms and two new nuclear power stations are included on the list, as well as a biomass power plant and 2 national grid connection projects.
The IPC (currently in advice-giving mode) will start taking applications from 1 March 2010. Where the relevant National Policy Statement is in place, the IPC will decide applications. Where it is not, the IPC will make recommendations to the Secretary of State.
DFID: 8 Million Trees a day lost - The International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, has pledged up to £100m to a global fund to tackle deforestation. He is backing pilot schemes ranging from supporting trained forest rangers to large scale forest governance reforms. Countries will be assisted in applying for money from the fund through an expert group. Participating countries will be selected by March 2010.
The projects will form part of the £220m Forest Investment Programme (FIP), a fund designed & managed by a group of developed & developing countries that will set out how best to reduce the number of trees cut down each day, which currently stands at 8m.
Deforestation will be a key agenda item at December’s Copenhagen climate negotiations, with an agreement on the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) programme likely to be central to future forestry reform.
Newswire – AC: Just 8 hours to become a more effective manager - The Audit Commission has worked with the National School of Government to produce a unique web-based learning scheme on the core skills in financial management for local government. It is flexible, friendly and free to use.
Financial management & financial reporting are an essential part of good corporate governance. They underpin service quality & improvement, plus they reinforce accountability to stakeholders for effective stewardship and use of resources. Top managers (both executives & non-executives) need to be financially literate and able to understand fully the fiscal environment their organisation operates in.
This free programme gives managers, who are not finance experts, a ‘grounding’ in the core financial management skills. It takes around 8 hours of flexible learning time to complete all 10 modules in the user-friendly e-learning scheme. You will need to register to use the tool, but this means you can dip in & out when it suits you and you can go back for a refresher whenever you want.
FSA: Never Again - The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a discussion paper (DP) (comments by 1 February 2010) focusing on policy measures to address the problem of systemically important ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks. The paper also examines the trade-offs involved in increasing capital & liquidity requirements and stresses the need to assess the cumulative impact of multiple reforms.
The paper identifies the dangers posed by those firms that are seen as too-big or too-interconnected-to-fail, or too-big-to-rescue. It describes the full range of policy options - including the creation of ‘narrow banks’ – in order to provide the basis for an informed debate, but also outlines the position which the FSA is currently proposing in international fora.
The issues discussed in the DP will set the agenda for the 2nd Turner Review conference which is being held on 2 November 2009.
Press release ~ Discussion Paper ~ Second Turner Review conference ~ Turner Review feedback statement ~ Turner Review ~ Discussion paper that accompanied the Turner Review
Industry News: The PM may think he has only 50 Days left (to save the world again), but what do organisations think in the real world - Reducing carbon emissions is now a highly important task for all public sector organisations, and there are a variety of factors which are driving the procedure.
As well as the clear, widespread environmental & financial benefits, carbon reduction is now being enforced through a variety of government schemes, in order to meet ambitious reduction targets for both the UK and throughout Europe.
A survey conducted during May 2009 by the Low Carbon Innovation Network looked to examine attitudes, knowledge, current & future practices and factors affecting carbon reduction within UK organisations.
Click HERE to receive your free copy of the survey along with a case study from Birmingham City Council and the latest white paper on reducing power consumption from Kyocera and Alto Digital.
For information on forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar