WIREDGOV NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

What does this mean for the future control of UK borders if we stay in EU?

The EC has launched the process for a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), presenting options for a ‘fair & sustainable system for allocating asylum applicants among Member States’.

The Commission has identified 5 priority areas where the CEAS should be structurally improved, including:

  • To deal better with a high number of arrivals & ensure a fair sharing of responsibility, the EC could propose to amend the Dublin Regulation, either by streamlining & supplementing it with a corrective fairness mechanism or by moving to a new system based on a distribution key.
  • A new mandate for the EU’s asylum agency:   This could include operating the distribution mechanism under a reformed Dublin System, monitoring the compliance of Member States with EU asylum rules, identifying measures to remedy shortcomings, and a capacity to take operational measures in emergency situations.
Researched Links:

EU News:  Options for reforming Common European Asylum System and developing safe & legal pathways to Europe

Future framework for stronger & smarter information systems for border management & internal security

Stronger & Smarter Borders in the EU: EC proposes to establish an Entry-Exit System

4 fundamental rights issues to consider in EU safe countries list

So ‘Tens of Thousands’ is the right policy!

IPPR - New research on EU migrants finds mixed picture on jobs, benefits & housing

Chatham House - The refugee crisis: A European call for action

IPPR - Statement on EU deal

Adam Smith Inst: Liberalise immigration to boost international development, says new report

NIESR: Facts can beat fiction in the immigration debate

IPPR: Many unanswered questions on emergency brake

Adam Smith Inst: An extra charge on skilled workers would be a poison pill for UK businesses

Cameron should demand EU fund to ease pressures on local services - IPPR

CIVITAS:  Economic benefits of large-scale immigration outweighed by strains of population growth

And that is without considering the latest EU migration issue

Was the NHS funded for the 330,000 rise in population from last year’s nett migration?

Rather worrying given current situation with terrorist threats and migration crisis

Sticking Plaster’ agreed

Editorial comment; Points to ponder on the Syrian migration crisis

Shocking pictures, but there is no simple solution for millions of people wanting to come & live in Europe

 
WiredGov 1-minute SAM Awareness Survey

Take part now for your chance to win
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Latest research indicates that software and software licences represents an average 30% of an organisation’s total IT budget. Software Asset Management (SAM) is currently delivering much needed savings across the public sector whilst at the same time ensuring all important compliance with regulatory requirements.

This brief WiredGov survey has been designed to measure the current levels and awareness of SAM across the public sector and to determine where improvements (if any) can be made. 

Click here to take the survey and be entered into our prize draw for £100 Amazon Voucher.

 
Steel industry going same way that Aluminium did!

Following the decision by India’s Tata Steel to sell all or part of its UK business, Think Tank IPPR has looked at the potential job losses at the plants themselves and in the supply chain, in the event that no buyer can be found.  Tata Steel’s UK business employs 15,000 people, with a further 25,000 jobs in the supply chain estimated to depend on the steel plants. The largest plant is in Port Talbot, South Wales, where there are currently around 4,000 workers and a further 6,600 dependent jobs in the supply chain.

The supply chain job losses are likely to hit manufacturers & suppliers of iron, manufacturers of machinery, and processors and suppliers of coke & petroleum, some of which will be based outside of the UK.  Experts at IPPR say in reality the likely job losses related to the closure of Tata steel plants will be higher as these estimates do not capture the further impact of lost demand in the local economies from reduced spending power of workers and their families.  This could lead to further business closures & job losses outside of the steel sector.

Researched Links:

IPPR:  40,000 jobs across UK could go if Tata’s steel plants do close

IPPR:  Lost jobs from steel crisis could cost UK government £4.6bn

BIS:  Business Secretary confirms formal Tata Steel sale process

BBC News:  Tata Steel windfall from carbon emissions permits

Carbon Market Watch:  Carbon leakage mythbuster - UK

BIS:  New public sector boost for UK steel

BIS:  New consultation launched on energy cost relief for industry

10DS:  PM meeting with Welsh FM: 5 April 2016

WAG:  Statement from FM of Wales following meeting with the PM on Tata Steel

Welsh Secretary statement following Downing Street meeting on steel

BIS:  Steel industry: Business Secretary Sajid Javid to meet Tata Group chairman

Why the Government cannot just simply ‘Do Something’ about UK Steel Plants

CBI reacts to announcement of aluminium smelting plant closure

The future role of energy in manufacturing - Gov.uk

The Demise Of The UK Aluminium Industry

Technology Innovation for Energy Intensive Industries - TUC

Iron, steel & aluminium in the UK

UK government secures EU compensation for Energy Intensive Industries

DECC:  Will costly green power provide the energy security we need? (1st item)

TUC:  Converting to a low carbon economy is not going to happen of its own accord (2nd item)

Do current Climate-change policies threaten British jobs?

Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on Energy Intensive Industries Compensation Scheme

Britain’s £800m cement industry threatened by carbon reduction policies

The £200bn price tag for Britain's green folly

High energy costs “silent killer” of enterprise, warns new report

Future of the UK's energy intensive industries far from certain, warns TUC

CBI comments on Government figures showing UK’s climate change policies costing energy intensives dear

TUC - Energy intensive companies must be found a place in the UK's green economy

Stephen Crabb: “Lowering energy costs vital for international competitiveness of UK manufacturing

Support for energy intensive industries

Government 'dithering' over energy & climate policy could cost jobs & investment, says TUC

UK Government Ministers engage in energy discussions with key Industrial employers in Wales

Government should seize shale gas as an economic opportunity

First Minister holds summit on high energy prices for energy intensive industry

 
Anyone got a solution for ‘powering’ Steel Blast Furnaces?

Innovate UK has announced that Round 4 of the Energy Catalyst funding competition is now open, making available £9m in funding for projects that address current concerns for the UK energy industry.  The deadline for registration is dependent on the award, with the earliest closing date on 8 June 2016.  Proposed projects should address the 3 major challenges facing the energy industry:

  • low carbon
  • security of supply
  • affordability
Researched Links:

techUK:  £9m Energy Catalyst Funding Competition Open for Applications – (techUK:  Energy revolution: what could change the energy sector)?

STFC's Neutron beam line contributes to renewable energy breakthrough

 
Could your Town/City exhibit the ‘Power of the North’?
The competition to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018 has opened.  Towns & cities across the North East, North West & Yorkshire are invited to bid to put on the 2-month exhibition, which will celebrate the best of art, culture & design across the northern regions.  The Government is contributing £5m towards the exhibition itself and a further £15m into a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

DCMS:  Competition opens to host Great Exhibition of the North

 
SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

 
You won’t be smiling after this treatment
Dangerous DIY teeth whitening kits containing bleaching agents that massively exceed the maximum legal levels are putting people's health at risk, councils are warning.  High level bleaching gels can cause mouth infections, blistering & burns to gums, damage to nerves & tooth enamel, and gum-shrinking.

LGA:  New warning about dangerous DIY teeth whitening kits

 
Preserving our sea life eco-system

The next phase of marine planning will begin on 11 April 2016 with the launch of public consultation and a series of events across the country.   The marine plans, which will cover the north east, north west, south east and south west, will guide what happens in the marine area, making sure activities take place at the right time and in the right place, enabling sustainable growth.

Building on the work & knowledge of the East Marine Plans and the draft South Marine Plan, this next phase will complete the network of marine plans, ensuring that all marine areas are covered by a plan by 2021. As part of this, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) are holding a number of events in the north east, south east, south west and north west of England.

The events, which are open to anyone with an interest in the marine area, are an introduction to marine planning, providing the opportunity to meet your local marine planner and to find out more about what marine planning will mean for your area and how you can get involved. There will also be demonstrations of the online Marine Information System and evidence base, where you can see some of the information & evidence we already have gathered for the areas.

MMO are also launching public consultation on the Statement of Public Participation and the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report for this next phase of marine plans.

Researched Links:

MMO:  Next phase of marine planning begins

Marine Information System

Marine Management Organisation - GOV.UK

Marine Conservation Zones - JNCC

Marine Protected Areas in the UK

Marine conservation zone designations in England - GOV.UK

Marine Protected Areas - Marine Conservation Society

Conserving UK’s marine future

Fish-eye view could help protect more endangered species

Urgent marine protection

Marine-Life Protection Zones need to be speeded up

Better protection for underwater habitat

New network to protect valuable marine life

Report says MCZs are vital

NE:  For our Children’s, Children’s sake (5th item)

EC invests over €7.5m for sustainable growth and jobs in the marine & maritime sectors

 
Standards of ‘justice' are not all equal in EU states then!
CJEU: Execution of a European Arrest Warrant must be deferred if there is risk of inhuman or degrading treatment.  If the existence of that risk cannot be discounted within a reasonable period, the authority responsible for the execution of the warrant must decide whether the surrender procedure should be brought to an end.  In these 2 cases it was held that Romania & Hungary had infringed fundamental rights due to the prison overcrowding which is characteristic of their prisons.
Researched Links:

CJEU: Execution of a European arrest warrant must be deferred if there is risk of inhuman or degrading treatment

Manchester fugitive arrested in Hungary

Right to a fair trial: New rules to guarantee presumption of innocence

Civitas:  European Arrest Warrant destroys 800-year-old legal protections

UK cannot be confident its extradition regime is protecting human rights, says Lords

Innocent until proven guilty: 'Yes', says European Parliament

Detention: EC calls on Member States to implement commonly agreed rules for people sentenced or awaiting trial in another EU country

The Right to… - a Fair Trial!  EC wants more safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings

EU-wide right to information at arrest is now law

Brits need guaranteed protection abroad say Peers

EC to guarantee suspects’ rights to speak with a lawyer, inform family of arrest

British tourist tells how he was framed for murder in Greece

 
This is not a P/T post, given all that has gone wrong before!
Following the departure of Dame Eileen Sills from the post of National Guardian, the CQC are ‘continuing to perform their responsibility to set up the office without compromising the ability of Dame Eileen’s successor to shape its functioning’.
Researched Links:

CQC:  National Guardian update

NHS's first 'national guardian' resigns after two months

We wish her ‘Good Luck’

Supporting people who speak out about patient safety

Online Whistleblowing Consultation – (closes on 6 May 2016)

 
Sometimes HMRC is less of a ‘financial vampire’!

Some of tax changes starting in April 2016:

  • The personal allowance will increase to £11,000 and the higher rate threshold will increase to £43,000
  • People renting out a furnished room in their home won’t pay tax on the first £7,500 they earn; up from £4,250
  • A new personal savings allowance of £1,000 (or £500 for higher rate taxpayers) is being introduced for the income that people earn on savings
  • Savers will be able to take money out of an ISA & put it back in later in the year without losing ISA tax benefits
  • Charities will be able to claim a 25% top up through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme on up to £8,000
Researched Links:

HMT:  New tax year: changes coming into effect in 2016

Defra:  Extended tax averaging for farmers starts

NEF:  Tax & savings changes - who’ll benefit the most?

 
A partial response to the ‘Panama Incident’?
As of 6 April 2016, companies will have to hold a register of People with Significant Control (PSC).  It will include information about the individuals who own or control companies including their name, month & year of birth, nationality, and details of their interest in the company.  From 30 June 2016, UK companies (except listed companies) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) will need to declare this information when issuing their annual statement to Companies House.

BIS:  ‘People with Significant Control’ register comes into force

HMRC’s response to the ICIJ story on offshore tax evasion

 
Which is more important headline; ‘Celebrate a Boy still fighting for his life’ or ‘Man pays his taxes’?
Dad James Jeynes tells of his fight to get a Personal Health Budget for his terminally ill son Lewis that could help transform his life while also saving the NHS money.

Personal Health Budgets… Just let go a bit

 

 More contributions to the EU Referendum

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

Researched Links:

IFS:  The EU Budget: a guide

10DS:  Britain's choice: economic security with the EU, or a leap into the dark

Options for reforming Common European Asylum System and developing safe & legal pathways to Europe

Future framework for stronger & smarter information systems for border management & internal security

Stronger & Smarter Borders in the EU: EC proposes to establish an Entry-Exit System

10DS:  Government responds to public desire for EU facts

CJEU: Execution of a European arrest warrant must be deferred if there is risk of inhuman or degrading treatment

VAT Action Plan: Commission presents measures to modernise VAT in the EU

 

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

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

When the government consulted on privatising the Land Registry in 2014, the proposal was wholeheartedly rejected. An overwhelming 91% of respondents didn’t agree that this would result in a more efficient service. And yet, the government has launched a new consultation, with the aim of moving the Land Registry into the private sector. John Manthorpe, a former chief land registrar, explains why he thinks the idea is so misguided and wrong.

Most Popular
Privatising the Land Registry would be misguided and wrong

Privatising the Land Registry would be misguided and wrong
Proposals to sell off the Land Registry make it clear government doesn’t actually understand what it does

Museums are all about inspiration – I fear closures will undermine aspiration

Museums are all about inspiration – I fear closures will undermine aspiration
In Lancashire’s post-industrial towns, museums are part of efforts to rebuild the economy

How to have tricky conversations with politicians: a guide for comms staff

How to have tricky conversations with politicians: a guide for comms staff
Public officials can easily get caught in the crosshairs of rival politicians. Here’s how to avoid pitfalls

Border staff are needed more than ever, but are being battered by cuts

Border staff are needed more than ever, but are being battered by cuts
Border staff are crucial to national security amid terror attacks – yet turnover is high and morale low

News in brief
• Councils use gagging orders in most staff settlements, finds investigation
• Top civil servant John Kingman quits Treasury
• Kathryn Bishop appointed as interim First Civil Service Commissioner
• Police sick leave for psychological reasons up by a third in five years
• Suicide attempts at UK immigration removal centres at all-time high
• Foreign Office must not lose sight of human rights agenda, MPs warn
• Council leaders warn Brexit would 'wreak havoc' on services
Monthly roundup
With devolution dealings, fresh budgets and a series of announcements from George Osborne, there's been a lot to talk about in the local government sector these past few weeks. In your monthly local government roundup from the Public Leaders Network, we've a helpful guide for comms staff on how to have tricky conversations with politicians, and a explainer on how the 2016 budget affects councils, to refresh your memory. Mary O'Hara, Mark Thompson and Liam Booth-Smith also have their say on issues impacting the sector.
Local government coverage
Local government and the budget 2016: views from the sector

Local government and the budget 2016: views from the sector
New devolution deals, business rates reform and stripping councils of education – what you need to know

Opinion
Osborne's business rate changes undermine his northern powerhouse

Osborne's business rate changes undermine his northern powerhouse
Mary O'Hara: this unexpected manoeuvre could remove a chunk of tax receipts from local government coffers

The hidden exploitation of frontline staff by their own administrators

The hidden exploitation of frontline staff by their own administrators
Mark Thompson: middle managers in public and private sector are skimming funds from public services

Libraries are too important to leave to councils: it’s time to ringfence their funds

Libraries are too important to leave to councils: it’s time to ringfence their funds
Liam Booth-Smith: cash-strapped councils face an impossible task choosing between public services

News in brief
• Councils decry government's academy schools 'land grab'
• Greater Manchester begins £6bn 'devo health' experiment
• Libraries facing 'greatest crisis' in their history
• National living wage hits services already at breaking point – LGA
• UK's winter floods land councils with nearly £250m bill, survey shows