EHRC: Getting around is hard enough without being harassed as well - The Equality and Human Rights Commission is investigating whether public bodies & public transport providers are fulfilling their legal obligations to prevent disabled people from being harassed. Councils, police forces, schools and other public bodies (as well as bus, train companies and other public transport providers) found to be failing in their duties could face enforcement action.
Every working day at least one person on average appears in court charged with a crime against a disabled person - nearly half of which involve violence. Evidence already gathered by the EHRC suggests that many more incidents of targeted violence or hostility go unreported or are not dealt with properly by social housing bodies, social services teams, crime prevention units, public transport and other public bodies in Britain.
Members of the public are being asked if they sought help from any public body or transport provider and what support they got, either as a result of being harassed because of their disability or because of their connection to someone who is disabled. The Commission is working with organisations of and for disabled people or crime victims to help gather evidence. Public bodies & transport providers are being asked to disclose what steps – if any – they are taking to meet their legal duties.
The first wave of evidence will be collected until Friday 10 September 2010. It can be given directly to the Commission via its website. Evidence can be taken in disabled people's preferred formats where required. 13 evidence gathering events have already been organised and more are in the pipeline. These will be held around Britain in the next 3 months and will be publicised locally. Disabled people, organisations of & for disabled people, or crime victims, will be invited to attend.
OFT: Debt is often an ever present reality for the less well off - The OFT has published the final report of its review of the £7.5bn high-cost credit sector. The sector comprises the pawnbroking, payday loan, home credit & rent-to-buy credit markets. Products supplied in these markets are typically used by people on low incomes who cannot access mainstream credit and who borrow small sums for short periods.
The report found that, in a number of respects, these markets work reasonably well in that they serve borrowers not catered for by mainstream suppliers, complaint levels are low, and there is evidence that for some products, lenders do not levy charges on customers who miss payments or make payments late.
The report also makes some recommendations for improvements to the functioning of aspects of these markets that work less well. However, more radical approaches which are beyond the OFT's remit would be required if the Government or others wanted to tackle the wider social, economic and financial context in which high-cost credit markets exist.
The OFT has also considered the case for price controls for pawnbroking, payday loans, home credit and rent-to-buy credit and concluded that they will not address the problems identified in the high-cost credit sector, which stem from both limited supply options and consumers' lack of ability to drive competition. The report makes a number of recommendations for improvements to the way in which these markets operate, while recognising that these will have only a limited impact in the current context.
CRC: Beautiful landscapes are often the result of decades of hard farming - The main findings of the inquiry into the future of upland communities, by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC), are that the English uplands are landscapes that provide a wealth of natural & cultural assets. They also have the potential to generate many valuable public goods & market products, supporting a low carbon future and green economy. Vibrant, secure upland communities hold the key to realising this potential.
Unlocking that potential requires government to work with and support local communities and land managers. In particular this means empowering communities, increasing the supply of affordable housing, particularly for young people, and improving access to next generation broadband and mobile communications.
Current support for hill farming is inadequate to sustain these assets. New funding mechanisms are required as part of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy from 2013. These would reward farmers for managing national assets in harmony with developing businesses.
A new approach is needed which would balance the needs of the environment with maximising the economic potential of the uplands. But supporting farmers is not sufficient on its own: the communities in which they are embedded must also be enabled to thrive if these assets are to be sustained.
The inquiry also calls for a new integrated approach to maximising the potential of these unique & diverse natural assets. At present, the inquiry found a lack of joined-up thinking, with too many of the well-intentioned initiatives having unintended negative consequences for communities, farmers and land owners alike.
Newswire – NR: They could start by reducing the excessive soft drinks profit margins in pubs - In the first major review of drink & drug driving law since 1976, Sir Peter North recommends that the drink drive limit is reduced from 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml and that there should be a step-by-step assault on drug-driving.
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) high-end estimates suggest that as many as 168 lives - approximately 7% of current road deaths in Great Britain - could be saved in the first year of a reduced limit, rising to as many as 303 lives saved by the 6th year following any change in the law. Sir Peter also recommends maintaining the current 12-month mandatory driving ban at the lower limit.
Tasked to independently review both drink & drug driving law, Sir Peter makes 51 recommendations to the Secretary of State for Transport in a bid to reduce drink & drug driving casualties. The most recent statistics showed 430 drink drive deaths and 60 reported drug drive deaths in 2008, but the report stresses that many others are dying as a result of crashes involving drivers impaired by alcohol, but below the current limit.
Directgov: Learn just how much it will ‘hurt’ - On Tuesday 22 June 2010 (at 12:30pm), the Chancellor George Osborne will deliver the Budget and explain how the coalition government intends to reduce the deficit. In advance of the announcement, you can sign-up free of charge to a Directgov widget, which you can embed on your site, allowing your users to read the key lines from the report as they are announced by the Chancellor. These tweets will be easy-to-understand summaries of the main points.
In addition, on the day, Directgov will provide clear & impartial information to explain exactly what the Budget means to households across the nation at www.direct.gov.uk/budget2010.
Press release ~ HMT: Official Budget report, speech and supporting documentsIndustry News: MXI Security's Stealth Zone - The Secure Portable Desktop Solution that Fits in Your Pocket Free Whitepaper: Stealth ZONE™ is the innovative platform from MXI Security that allows you to securely boot Windows® Embedded Standard directly from USB. With Stealth ZONE™, MXI Security’s secure AES 256-bit hardware encrypted USB drives can now instantly transform shared systems, home computers, or other untrusted computers into fully secure, IT-managed work environments.
Using MXI Security’s encrypted USB or encrypted biometric USB drives, a Stealth ZONE™ drive is inserted in to the host computer which is then rebooted, allowing the user to work securely, conveniently, and cost effectively.
Stealth ZONE™ Use Cases;
- Teleworking - Users can work securely at home, even on untrusted systems
- Secure Transactions and Online Banking - Combine a portable web browser with a full-featured PKI token for anywhere, anytime certificate-based authentication
- Secure Remote Access - Lightweight environment for VPN authentication without installation. Ideal for deployed military.
Click here to request your free copy of the Whitepaper on Secure Portable Operating Environments on USB for the Public Sector.
For information on forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar