WIREDGOV NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

The Cold War heats up as the cyber threat increases
To help deliver its mission to keep the UK safe, GCHQ is always looking to recruit the very best computer scientists.  That is why it is launching the Cyber Insiders Summer School.  Aimed at computer science students in their 1st or 2nd year at university who have an interest in cyber beyond that of their university studies (& skills in at least one computer language), it will deliver a high-quality, 10-week cyber training programme, running 6 July – 11 September 2015.
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Bristol City Council Collaborates to Improve Front-Line Services and Citizen Access Bristol City Council “Collaborates” to Improve Front-Line Services and Citizen Access 

In response to cuts in central government funding, Bristol City Council recently embarked on a major transformation programme in a bid to shave £70 million from its annual operating budget and simultaneously deliver more services.

Despite severe funding restrictions, Bristol CC was able to implement a unified document management and collaboration platform to overhaul its electronic document and records management systems, enabling the delivery of efficiency improvements in a variety of Council services.

Key benefits of the implementation include:

  • Elimination of the majority of paper-based processes
  • Provision of easier secure data sharing within the Council and with external organisations
  • Innovative new workforce practices — including mobile working with remote workforce scheduling and digital reporting
  • A fully scalable solution — with up to 7000 employees able to collaborate in an instant!​

Click here to access the full Bristol CC case study and discover more.

 
Time for employers to accept that most professional, technical & managerial jobs need ‘Brains not Brawn’
UK women are getting into work faster than any other country in the G7, yet there are still professions where not enough women are breaking through and reaching the top jobs, Employment Minister Esther McVey said as she launched the business-backed #notjustforboys campaign.
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Would this help resolve the West Lothian question?

English local government & the services it provides are no longer sustainable in their current form, the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance (an independent commission) is warning.  It argues that the future of local services is dependent on local authorities becoming largely self-sufficient and less reliant on central government.

Key reforms necessary include greater freedom over jobs, housing & care, a single budget for public services in an area and a devolved model of taxation based on new arrangements for Scotland.  This would include reform of council tax & business rates along with devolution of some existing national taxes like income tax & VAT.

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More logical than a mansion tax to raise funds for NHS
Overseas visitors who need healthcare while in England will soon be charged differently for using the NHS in order to recoup £500m a year.  From April 2015, the way the NHS charges these visitors is being changed so that it does not lose out on income from migrants, visitors & former residents of the UK who have left, who should all pay for their care while in England.  The changes will affect visitors & former UK residents differently, depending on where they now live.
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Options for the UK in the event of a vote to leave the EU

Discussions on the outcome of a potential referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU have been characterised by political grandstanding, at the expense of serious economic analysis.  With Brexit now a real possibility in the next Parliament, the IEA has released a report outlining 4 different options for the UK in the event of a vote to leave the EU, all of which take into account both economic challenges & possibilities.

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The rooms / buildings  & gardens also need to be of a decent size
Over 1m new homes could be built over the next decade if each of the 353 councils in England built just one garden village of 3,000 new houses.   A new report by think tank Policy Exchange argues that a future government can overcome local opposition to development by devolving powers to set up new garden villages from Whitehall to councils.  As part of a quid-pro-quo, councils agreeing to build new garden villages sufficient to meet their housing need would be allowed to rule out having development around existing communities forced on them through appeal.
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Sadly the guidance is necessary
NICE has published a new briefing to ‘help local authorities & partner organisations put older people’s needs at the heart of the care given by residential & nursing homes’.
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Implementation is always the main issue
A new report from The King’s Fund has called for fundamental changes in ‘how health services are commissioned, paid for and regulated to deliver the vision set out in the NHS five year forward view’.  The Forward View, published in October 2014, set out how NHS services will need to change in future.  It has been endorsed by all 3 main political parties and will set the agenda for NHS reform in the next parliament.  The report argues that dealing with growing financial & service pressures could crowd out the time & space needed to implement long-term changes to NHS services.
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Less sleep, much less money, but many moments of joy
With just 8 weeks to go until mums & dads with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 can start sharing up to 50 weeks of parental leave.  285,000 working couples a year are expected to be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) with parents giving their employers 8 weeks’ notice of the pattern of leave they intend to take.
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How much is that operation!
Monitor & NHS England have written to all providers of NHS services outlining interim arrangements for operating the NHS payment system, pending a final decision on the way forward on the national tariff for 2015-16.  A majority of NHS providers formally objected to the original proposals and Monitor now has to decide whether to re-consult on a revised package or refer the matter to the CMA.
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Knowing something is important, but knowing how to ensure the information is used is critical
RCUK and PraxisUnico are working together to deliver a competition to reward & recognize knowledge exchange, technology transfer & commercialisation professionals (KEC) who have excelled in enabling & facilitating the achievement of impact from the outcomes of research.  Competition closes at midnight on 16 April 2015.
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Support for families
Registration for the new Marriage Allowance for married couples and those in civil partnerships is now open.  A spouse or civil partner who doesn’t pay tax, or doesn’t pay tax above the basic rate of income tax, can transfer up to £1,060 of their personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner – as long as the recipient of the transfer doesn’t pay more than the basic rate of income tax.
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 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

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Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

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Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

The citizen, a digital native, will have a personal budget for health and social care. The frontline worker will be more flexible, with better access to data. The senior manager, "a small spider within a big web", will be more focused on strategy. And the local politician will be more accountable for local decisions.

How do you envision the future of local government? Tell us what you think of Kim Ryley's predictions on Twitter via @Guardianpublic.

Most Popular
What will your council look like in 2025?

What will your council look like in 2025?
How local government will change for the citizen, frontline worker, manager and local politician

UK voters are being sold a lie. There is no need to cut public services

UK voters are being sold a lie. There is no need to cut public services
Redesigning the public sector to work more like Amazon and Uber could save billions with no frontline cuts

Tax officials call for more resources and better pay after HSBC scandal

Tax officials call for more resources and better pay after HSBC scandal
Union claims HMRC has been criticised unfairly for failing to combat massive tax evasion at the bank

Global Views
Detroit's gentrification won't give poor citizens reliable public services

Detroit's gentrification won't give poor citizens reliable public services
Call the police in Detroit and you’ll wait hours. But the wealthy have their own security forces

Livechat: Can mobile technology be a catalyst for inclusive growth?

Livechat: Can mobile technology be a catalyst for inclusive growth?
Join us on 26 February, 5-7pm GMT, to discuss the potential for mobile to help lift people out of poverty

News in Brief

• Dozens of arms firms employees are on MoD secondments, records showed
• Labour would open a review into practices of HMRC, Ed Miliband said
• New EU rules could mean more jobs for people with mental health problems
• The Social Value Act is largely being ignored
• Former leader of Rotherham council has been summoned to parliament
• Scottish councils claimed government-imposed teacher freeze is illegal