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’.

WiredGov 1-minute SAM Awareness Survey

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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.

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...
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.

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...
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...
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...
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

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