WAGWAG bags a green policy - A 7p charge on carrier bags looks set to come into force in Wales from spring 2011.  The mandatory charge is being introduced to dramatically reduce the number of single use carrier bags used in Wales.  Over 400m single use carrier bags are currently given out to Welsh shoppers each year.

Most of these bags then end up littering our country or in landfill where they release harmful greenhouse gasses into the environment and take between 500 & 1,000 years to degrade.  The Welsh Environment Minister, Jane Davidson, was at the Hay Festival last week to launch a second consultation (closes on 2 August 2010) on the carrier bag charge.
Press release ~ Current carrier bag consultation ~ CFW: Transparency vital in plastic bag charge debate ~ Help Wales reduce its Carbon footprint – Carrier bags ~ WAG: Single-use carrier bags ~ Previous consultation on proposals to introduce a charge on single use carrier bags in Wales ~ British Retail Consortium – Carrier Bags ~ Keep Wales Tidy ~ The Sustainability Committees report into the Banning of Plastic Bags ~ Green to the core? ~ Behind the scenes at retailers ~ ScotGov - carrier bag campaignWaste Aware Scotland ~ Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – Scotland ~ WRAP – material matters ~ Ten Steps to a Greener Scotland

NELeading the nation to better health - The 1 June 2010 marked the start of National Volunteers Week, an annual event which celebrates the contribution made by the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society.  To coincide with this important national event Natural England hosted Walking for Health’s Volunteer Activity Week, which took place from 1-7 June 2010.

Natural England’s Walking for Health programme (WfH) encourages people to enjoy their local natural spaces and benefit their health by taking part in health walks led by trained volunteer walk leaders.  Volunteer Walk Leaders are vital to the success of WfH, with over 30,000 regular walkers around the country reaping the health benefits.

This year, NE wanted to encourage & inspire even more people to volunteer for WfH and other activities in the natural environment.  As part of their Volunteer Activity Week, walking groups took part in a range of volunteering activities so they could experience the full range benefits of environmental volunteering.
Press release ~ Walking for Health Volunteer Walk Leader ~ Volunteers’ week ~ Volunteering for Natural England ~ Natural Health Service ~ WHI Walk Finder ~ NE’s Access to Natural Green Space Standard (ANGST) ~ One Million Children Outdoors ~ Access to Nature grant scheme ~ Summary of recent research on green space and health ~ Natural England's Health Campaign ~ DH: Be active, be healthy: a plan for getting the nation moving ~ DH - Choosing activity: a physical activity action plan ~ Walk London routes ~ The Access Company ~ TfL - Walking ~ BHF’s Walks ~ BBC: Find Breathing Places near you ~ Countryside Access Code ~ Health and safety for walkers - Practical walking advice ~ National Trails website ~ Walking & Cycling Strategy for Wales ~ Let's Walk Cymru ~ Paths for all ~ NHS Choices: Walk your way to health

Newswire – CivitasCan governments boost social mobility? - A new report from the independent think tank Civitas argues that many politicians are badly informed about the facts of social mobility in modern Britain.  And because they don't know the facts, they support policies which are at best unnecessary and, at worst, deeply damaging.

In Social Mobility Myths, Peter Saunders, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Sussex, sets out to convince the political class that much of what they believe (or say they believe) about social mobility in Britain is either false or more complicated than they think.

Examining the evidence on social mobility in Britain, Saunders exposes 4 'social mobility myths' which distort debate & policy:
1. The myth that Britain is 'a closed shop society' in which life chances are heavily shaped by the class you are born into
2. The myth that social mobility is getting worse, or has even 'ground to a halt'
3. The myth that differences of ability between individuals are irrelevant in explaining the differential rates of success they achieve
4. The myth that governments can increase mobility by top-down engineering of the education system and forcing more income redistribution
Press release ~ To buy Social Mobility Myths by Peter Saunders ~ Unleashing Aspiration, the final report from the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions ~ Government’s (previous) response ~ The Graduate Talent Pool ~ Gateways to the Professions ~ Quality, Choice and Aspiration: A strategy for young people’s information, advice and guidance ~ Getting on, Getting ahead ~ Aspirations and Attainment in Deprived Communities ~ Foresight Project: Mental Capital and Wellbeing ~ Social Mobility Foundation ~ DWP - Factors influencing social mobility ~ ESRC Society Today - Social Interactions and Intergenerational Social Mobility ~ Low social mobility in UK has not improved in 30 years - finds LSE research

ScotGovPreparing for the trials of old age - Commitments to improve support after diagnosis & hospital care for people with dementia have been made as part of Scotland's first national dementia strategy.  The strategy lays out 8 specific actions to support improvements in the care & treatment of people with dementia, focusing particularly on improving the support given in the wake of a dementia diagnosis and improving hospital care. 

It also commits the Scottish Government to continuing its support for dementia research. In another Scottish first, new national standards of care for people with dementia are to be developed & implemented.
Press release ~ Scotland's National Dementia Strategy ~ Scottish Dementia Working Group ~ Alzheimer Scotland ~ Worried about your memory? ~ Dementia factsheet - some facts and figures ~ Standards for Integrated Care Pathways for dementia ~ ScotGov - Dementia ~ NHS Choices: Dementia ~ Dementia Information Portal ~ Alzheimer’s Society ~ Public awareness of dementia: What every commissioner needs to know (scroll down) ~ ‘Living Well with Dementia’: a five year National Dementia Strategy (NDS) ~ NAO: Improving dementia services in England - an interim report ~ Improving services and support for people with dementia (2007) ~ Dignity in Care Campaign ~ The use of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia: Time for action. A report for the Minister of State for Care Services by Professor Sube Banerjee ~ Government response ~ NICE- Dementia: Supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care ~ Consultation on the National Dementia Action Plan for Wales ~ Prepared to care: challenging the dementia skills gap ~  Protein in eyes of people with Down’s syndrome linked to dementia ~ Impact of Blood pressure Treatments on dementia ~ DH – Older people ~ Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing ~ National Health Specialist Library

WAGDomestic violence cannot be justified - A Wales-wide campaign that challenges the attitude of men towards women got underway last week in Wales.  The Violence Against Women campaign aims to stamp out unacceptable attitudes & behaviour towards women before it leads to more violent forms of abuse. It shows how seemingly innocent actions may be a step too far and lead to women feeling unsafe.

The advertising campaign is part of Welsh Assembly Government’s ‘Right to be Safe’ strategy, which aims to tackle violence against women. The campaign has been welcomed by women’s support organisations and the police.
Press release ~ WAG: Domestic abuse ~ WAG: The Right to be Safe ~ Women’s National Commission ~ CAB – Domestic Violence ~ Fact or Fiction ~ Domestic Abuse Guidance: Supporting People & Multi-Agency Working ~ Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline ~ Welsh Women’s Aid ~ Home Office – Violence against women ~ Towards healthier, fairer and safer communities - connecting people to prevent violence: a Framework for Violence and Abuse Prevention ~ Responding to domestic abuse: A handbook for health professionals ~ Tackling the health and mental health effects of domestic and sexual violence and abuse ~ Interventions to reduce violence and promote the physical and psychosocial well-being of women who experience partner violence: A systematic review of controlled evaluations ~ Dealing with cases of forced marriage: practice guidance for health professionals ~ ScotGov - Violence against Women ~ Scottish Women's Aid ~ Safer Lives: Changed Lives - A Shared Approach to Tackling Violence Against Women In Scotland ~ Castlemilk Domestic Violence Project/D.A.R.A. ~ Rape Crisis Scotland ~ Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence

FSAChanges to way FSA warns & informs - The Food Standards Agency is changing the way it issues information to consumers about food product withdrawals & recalls.  The new system takes effect from June 2010.

Under the new system, a 'Product Withdrawal Information Notice' or a 'Product Recall Information Notice' will be issued to let consumers & local authorities know about problems associated with food.  These replace what was known under the previous system as the ‘Food Alert for Information’.

The ‘Food Alert for Action’ category of alert will continue to be issued and will remain unchanged. This alert is issued to provide local authorities with details of specific action to be taken on behalf of consumers.
Press release ~ Food Alerts
Recent white paperThe Use of Labelling and Protective Marking Technologies as a Legal Defence to Data Protection Law Breaches - In April 2010, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office's (ICO) was given new powers in relation to the Data Protection Act 1998, which include the power to issue a £500,000 fine and to enact spot checks on government departments.
Boldon James has commissioned the noted Internet and Technology Law Expert, Dr. Brian Bandey, to answer some essential questions about these powers. In this Whitepaper, Dr. Bandey:
  •  Explains the Law in understandable terms  
  • Identifies the anatomy of e-mail centric breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 from real-life examples.
  • Maps the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 in the context of Labelling and Protective Marking Technologies.
  • Reveals that an appropriate implementation of Labelling and Protective Marking Technology can provide a real and effective Legal Defence to the ICO's ability to fine.

So what is the actual answer to the £500,000 question? How do you avoid the Information Commissioner's Office's new powers to fine organisations up to £500,000 for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998? To find out, register here for your free copy today.

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