CMS:  Old Boys Club or family responsibilities to blame? - The authors of the 2013 Cranfield Female FTSE board report have expressed concern that after a short period of growth, complacency may again be setting in when it comes to improving the number of women on the boards of the UK’s top companies.

The latest report from the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders predicts that if the FTSE 100 companies regain the momentum they achieved in the first half of last year, with one third of all new appointments going to women, then the target of 25% female FTSE 100 board directors should be met in 2015.

The report does reveal positive signs from the FTSE 250 companies with 13.3% women on boards (up from 9.4%).  73% now have women in their boardrooms, a substantial increase from last year’s figure of 54%. 
Press release & links ~ Government must introduce quotas to help women get onto boards, says TUC ~ Press release & links ~ CBI responds to Cranfield women on boards report ~ Maria Miller calls on business leaders to redouble their commitment to women in the workplace ~ Making companies more accountable to shareholders and the public ~ Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders ~ Marks & Spencer - Recruiting women from different backgrounds ~ FRC: Feedback Statement: Gender Diversity on Boards ~ Benchmarking early adopters of the Corporate Governance Code 2012 ~ Women on Boards ~ EU News:  One notes that most ‘top bankers’ are male, which illustrates the point being made rather nicely

PC&PEWe need to Bee more proactive on this threat - The Environmental Audit Committee has recently published its Pollinators and Pesticides report (formerly the Insects and Insecticides inquiry).  The Government must introduce a precautionary moratorium on 3 pesticides linked to the decline of pollinators - imidacloprid, clothianidin and TMX – that suspends their use on flowering crops attractive to pollinators, Parliament’s cross-party green watchdog has said.

Authorities in France, Germany, Italy & Slovenia have already suspended the use of certain neonicotinoids.  The European Commission has also proposed an EU-wide moratorium on the use of imidacloprid, clothianidin and TMX on crops attractive to bees, following a recent risk warning from the European Food Safety Authority.  The UK has refused to take domestic action or to support the EU proposal.

Many of the UK's largest garden retailers, including B&Q, Wickes & Homebase, have voluntarily withdrawn non-professional plant protection products that contain neonicotinoids.  The report recommends a full ban on the sale of neonicotinoids for public domestic use, which could create an urban safe haven for pollinators.
Press release & links ~ NERC: Insect Pollinator projects ~ Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) ~ Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) ~ Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) ~ Defra – Bee Health ~ Wellcome Trust ~ ScotGov: Bee Healthy ~ WAG: Bees ~ NAO: The Health of Livestock and honeybees in England ~ BeeBase ~ NE: New licensing regime announced to help safeguard native bees ~ Ombudsman welcomes Commission's actions to combat increased bee mortality ~ Minister launches plan to keep Welsh bees busy (consultation closes on 4 June 2013~ Plan to help ensure Wales is the bee's knees ~ EFSA reviews studies on some pesticides and bee health

CLGThe problem is that it is so often not just a problem of ‘housing’ for these individuals - Housing Minister Mark Prisk has announced a new Gold Standard that will set the bar for local homelessness services, protecting this country’s most vulnerable when they face losing their home.  Launching the £1.7m Gold Standard support & training scheme, the minister said it would showcase the very best services across the country and ensure that homelessness remains the last possible option.

The scheme will be delivered by the National Practitioner Support Service Team and hosted by Winchester City Council with the National Homelessness Advice Service providing technical & training support.  Applications for the scheme will open on 1 May 2013.  Further information is available on the Gold Standard website.
Press release & links ~ Hospitals Discharging Homeless People onto the street ~ Report warns of looming housing crisis for over a million young people by 2020 ~ ScotGov: Homelessness Prevention Reaps Real Benefits ~ Grant Shapps: Prevention is best cure for homeless ~ Andrew Stunell: Community groups to bring 2,000 empty homes back to life with government help ~ Grant Shapps: Safety net against homelessness continues to 2015 ~ New website launches to help combat London's rising homeless problem ~ HL: Regulation of private landlords needed to help prevent homelessness~ Universal Credit Reforms Going Too Far, Too Fast ~ Work Programme is not working for homeless people ~ Homeless Link responds to Government prevention plan ~ Lack of Homes Causing ‘Catch-22 for Society’s Most Vulnerable’ ~ Rise In Rough Sleeping Shows Need For Services That Help People Quickly Off The Streets ~ Welfare changes pushing young people into homelessness, report warns  ~ Make it your New Year’s resolution to help get rough sleepers off the streets ~ New boost to help Britain’s most vulnerable young adults and the homeless ~ HL: Not having a ‘home’ is depressing enough (3rd item) ~ ESRC:  It is not as hopeless as one may think to help the homeless (4th item)

PC&PEStill many questions to be answered before voters can make an informed choice, rather than emotional choice - The Economic Affairs Committee have been considering the potential economic impact of Scottish Independence on the economies of Scotland and the rest of the UK ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence to be held on the 18 September 2014

The Committee have considered a broad range of economic questions including defence spending & Trident renewal, monetary policy, the future of North Sea oil and possible division of the UK’s national debt.
Press release & links ~ Economic Implications for the United Kingdom of Scottish Independence ~ We should focus on the things Scotland and England want to do together, says CBI chief ~ IFS: Independent Scotland would face long term fiscal challenges ~ IPPR - Future of England in a devolved union can’t be decided by expert commission ~ Seven key strengths of Scotland’s economy ~ ScotGov:  If the vote is negative the whole of the UK will need to answer the West Lothian question before deciding what new Devo Max powers could be agreed ~ WAG:  Scottish Devolution / Independence is ‘not the only game in town’

BIGA BIG chance to become better at how they provide their services - One of Scotland’s largest third sector funders is looking for up to 15 organisations with the vision & desire to become Better By Design.   Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is offering the chance to receive FREE, intensive, expert & bespoke support to those that want to undergo a service redesign.

BIG is working with Taylor Haig and the Young Foundation, experts in innovation, change & service design, to find up to 15 high potential organisations that are ready for the challenge and can see the potential through design, thinking to put users at the centre of their services, improve outcomes and make their organisations more innovative. Applications close on 13 May 2013.
Press release & links

UKOCBringing online health to the community - As part of UK Online’s ongoing work with NHS, they are looking to fund 5 new, flagship health projects

If you think your centre is leading the way in helping learners manage their health online, if you’re based in a health setting, if you work with your local GP or hospital, or if you target niche ‘health’ groups - like those with mental health problems - UKOC want to hear from you!
Press release & links

Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2013 | 5 - 6 June | London - The ways in which customers wish to engage with an organization are evolving. New channels, elevated expectations and a shift in power are forcing organizations to rethink how they manage customer relationships. Organizations must work hard to understand their customers via a single holistic view, stimulate engagement through appropriate communications and continually deliver rewarding and differentiated experiences. Sounds simple in theory, but the reality is complex and many organizations struggle.

The Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies summit will provide attendees with the insight and inspiration they need to address these challenges and more. With specific tracks for those interested in Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Customer Experience as well as one dedicated to those who are new to the world of CRM, the summit will help attendees to shape a leading-edge vision and strategy for CRM across their organizations that will earn customers for life.

Click here to find out more and to register.

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