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10 DS:  Could do better, but trying to attain ‘standards’ required? - The Government has issued its Mid-Term Review, taking stock of progress made in implementing the Coalition agreement signed in May 2010.  The review reflects on the Government’s progress in ‘building a stronger, more balanced economy and a fair society in which everyone can rise as high as their aspirations and talents take them’.
The Review also highlights a new set of reforms to ‘secure our country’s future and help people realise their ambitions’.  Meanwhile, reforms to provide dignity in old age have been outlined, including an improved state pension that rewards saving and more help with the costs of long-term care.
Press release ~ Mid-Term Review ~ NHS Confederation comments on coalition government's mid-term review ~ CBI responds to Coalition Mid-Term Review ~ LGA - Coalition's Mid-Term Review ~ DFID: Aid commitments - Britain sets out pledges for UK aid ~ PCS: Coalition's review threatens further increase in pension age ~ WWF-UK Commenting on the Government’s Mid-Term Review ~ BBC: Key points - Coalition mid-term review
DHA moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips! - A new campaign exposing the ‘hidden nasties’ in everyday foods and helping people to be ‘food smart’ has been launched.  Graphic new advertising from Change4Life reveals a shocking 17 sugar cubes in a bottle of cola and over a wine glass of fat in a large pizza.
There will also be hundreds of offers on healthier products at more than 1,000 ASDA, ALDI & the Co-Operative Food stores across the country to give a helping hand with the cost of kitchen cupboard basics.  Everyone that signs up to the campaign will get a FREE ‘Food Smart Meal Mixer’ with lots of quick, easy, healthier recipes, with enough combinations to eat a different daily menu every day for 6 years.
Press release & links ~ BHF - New ‘food smart’ campaign must not be a flash in the pan ~ WAG: Be food smart and make a healthy swap this January ~ Diabetes UK:  New campaign encourages us all to be Food Smart ~ ESRC: Supporting health & activity in schools ~ Cutting children's exposure to unhealthy food advertisements ~ NICE: Tackle obesity through a 'community-wide' approach ~ NICE: Walking and cycling should become the norm for short journeys ~ BHF - New figures show rising levels of obesity in children ~ ESRC: Obese kids as bright as thinner peers ~ Fat taxes and other interventions won’t cure obesity ~ DUK: Study suggests link between maternal obesity and diabetes & child developmental disorders ~ DH: Calories to be capped & cut ~ WAG: Supermeals helping people in Wales eat better on a budget ~ BHF - Voluntary guidelines useful in fight against childhood obesity ~ NCMA: New Food Guidelines ~ Government plans to tackle obesity unveiled ~ UK physical activity guidelines ~ WAG:  Welsh Youngsters MEND their ways (2nd item)
MoJTime to try something else - The reforms for tackling re-offending & managing offenders in the community have been set out by Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling.   Consistently high re-offending rates have led to the radical overhaul with almost half of all prison-leavers re-offending within 12 months - for those serving less than a year that figure rises to almost 58%. 500,000 crimes are committed by convicted crooks each year.

Under plans laid out in the consultation 'Transforming Rehabilitation', a new refocused & streamlined public sector service will be tasked with keeping the public safe from the most dangerous & high-risk offenders.  Private & voluntary sector organisations will work together on closing the 'revolving door' of the criminal justice system by tackling lower risk offenders. Consultation closes on 22 February 2013.
Press release ~ Transforming Rehabilitation - a revolution in the way we manage offenders ~ Punishment & Reform: Effective Probation services ~ MoJ: Community sentence proposals ~ MoJ: Work in prisons programme ~ CBI responds to Government probation proposals ~ BIS:  Recruiting ex-service personnel to teach in poorly performing schools may not be such a ‘wild’ idea after all ~ Civitas: Police focus on individual offenders can cut crime ~ Government launches employment support for prisoners ~ Youth Offending Teams improve their contributions to health services for children & young people who offend ~ Coalition Government's 'rehabilitation revolution' fails to tackle repeat offenders ~ HMIC: A new approach to tackling offending in communities needed ~ Teenage Kicks: The value of sport in Tackling Teenage crime ~ Civitas: Report exposes hidden costs of community sentences over custody ~ HMIC: Bad administration or a ‘lazy’ solution for certain police forces? ~ PRT: Can they legally be treated differently than men? ~ Coalition's anti-prison policies ignore MOJ data on effectiveness of long sentences ~ IPPR: Replacing prison sentences of six months or less with community sentences would save taxpayers £50 million a year ~ Probation competition proposals need rethink warns Justice Committee ~ NAO: The youth justice system in England and Wales: reducing offending by young people ~ PX: Fitting the Crime: Reforming Community Sentences 
PC&PESome battle skills of the future will be much less physical , but no less deadly - The Government must be more vigorous in its approach to cyber security, says the Defence Committee.  Their latest report notes that cyber threats can evolve with almost unimaginable speed and serious consequences for the nation’s security.
Evidence received by the Committee suggested that in the event of a sustained cyber attack the ability of the Armed Forces to operate effectively could be fatally compromised due to their dependence on information & communication technology.  The Committee probed MoD witnesses about its backup systems in these circumstances.
Press release ~ Report: Defence and Cyber-Security ~ Inquiry: Defence and Cyber-Security ~ Digital Agenda: European Commission supports research on Cyber security ~ Protecting and promoting the UK in a digital world - one year on ~ UK announces extra funding for cyber security capacity building ~ Digital Agenda: Major banks, telecoms companies & governments join forces in EU-wide cyberattack exercise ~ The Intelligence and Security Committee’s Annual Report for 2011-2012  ~ BIS:  Physical locks & guards won’t keep them out ~ Government Web Sites Under Sustained Attack: Protecting Against Modern DDoS Threats (10th item)
IME ‘Global War on Want’ should heed old saying ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ - A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that as much as 50% of all food produced around the world never reaches a human stomach due to issues as varied as inadequate infrastructure & storage facilities through to overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food.
With UN predictions that there could be about an extra 3bn people to feed by the end of the century and an increasing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the Institution is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.
Press release ~ Global Food Waste Not, Want Not ~ Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on sustainable food ~ EU News:  What would those living on $2 a day make of this issue? (3rd item) ~ DFID:  Access to & control of resources is what has been at the basis of conflicts for millennium (2nd item)
NSPCC:  Scale of Savile's alleged abuse ‘Simply Beggared Belief’ - The Metropolitan Police Service and the NSPCC have published their joint report into sexual allegations made against Jimmy Savile.   The report, 'Giving Victims a Voice', details the work of Operation Yewtree based on the accounts of the hundreds of victims who have come forward since Jimmy Savile was exposed as an alleged sex offender in October 2012.
Press release & links
WAG:  Let's hear about modern day 'Florences' - An awards scheme to recognise the joint efforts of the NHS and the military for their treatment & care of the armed forces has been launched.  The UK-wide Military & Civilian Health Partnership Awards celebrate the work of Britain’s military & heath care workers and are open to civilian health staff & military medics working within the Defence Medical Services, the NHS, and private or voluntary sectors.  Nominations close on 21 February 2013.
Press release ~ Military & Civilian Health Partnership Awards ~ Defence Medical Services
DfECalling all budding young poets - The poems of John Donne, Lord Byron & Sylvia Plath are among those included in an anthology for a new national poetry competition which launched in schools & colleges last week.  The full anthology is available on Poetry By Heart's website.  
The website also contains competition information for schools, material about poems & performances, and teaching resources.  The National poetry competition is open to schools & colleges in England only.  To register, schools should email info@poetrybyheart.org.uk or telephone 0117 905 5338.  The final stage of the competition will be a ‘finals weekend’ based on regional heats, which will lead to a grand final held at the National Portrait Gallery in April 2013.
Press release & links

UKAS: Acreditation – Supporting Efficient Policy Delivery - The use of accreditation, as a tool for the efficient delivery of policy and regulation, continues to grow.
As the national accreditation body, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) provides accreditation to underpin public confidence in an ever-widening range of policy areas. Could you make better use of the services provided by UKAS?
To help answer this question, UKAS has released a new edition of Accreditation Matters, an information leaflet for policy officials. Accreditation Matters Issue 9 provides information on UKAS and accreditation in general plus case studies on the use of accreditation in new areas such as physiological diagnostics, self-certification for the Building Regulations, inspection of equipment for new and existing nuclear plants and combating Legionella.

Click here to learn more about how accreditation can help you deliver your policy objectives, click the link below to download your copy of Accreditation Matters.

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