A silent memory!

The FM of Wales, Carwyn Jones, is calling upon the people of Wales to pause & remember the Aberfan disaster with a minute’s silence at 9.15am on Friday 21 October 2016; exactly 50 years after the tragedy took place.


With over 2,500 IT users and services spread across more than 90 separate buildings, many of which were outdated and inefficient to run, Bath & North East Somerset Council (BANES) operating costs were too high and staff were far too scattered for effective communication and collaboration.

A recent property rationalisation programme has seen the closure of a number of offices with services centralised in a new civic centre. The plan also included a large increase in flexible working with hot desks in the new building and a much greater degree of working from home.

As a result, the council has closed seven major offices and reduced total floor space by 40 per cent, enabling revenue savings of £3.5m per year.

Click here to find out more and access this latest case study.

The sad loss of babies / children still happens for some on a daily basis

Babyloss Awareness Week is held annually from 09 – 15 October.  Involving 21 pregnancy & baby loss charities in the UK, it’s a special opportunity to mark the brief lives of babies lost in pregnancy or soon after birth.  The Miscarriage Association’s National Director, Ruth Bender Atik, takes a look at how we can improve experiences of care when loss occurs.

There is no ‘Soft’ option; the ICO will come down ‘Hard’ on non-compliance

The Information Commissioner’s Office is warning business leaders that transparency with customers is fundamental if they want to succeed in the digital economy.  A new code of practice has recently been launched by the ICO which sets out how organisations should explain to people how they’re using their personal information.  It follows an ICO survey which found that only 1 in 4 adults trust businesses with their information.

£50k p.a. each up to the age of 25!

The French Interior Minister and British Home Secretary have agreed to work together to ensure the successful dismantling of the Calais camp.  A meeting on Monday 10 October 2016, focused on the strengthening of Franco-British cooperation in Calais, specifically in relation to the protection of children before, during & after the planned dismantling of the camp.  Both the UK and French governments jointly agreed that the safety of vulnerable children in Calais is their utmost priority.

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. 

It is not just a question of funding; more likely one of leadership & management

The Department for Education has recognised since 2010 that child protection services are not good enough but its subsequent response has not yet resulted in better outcomes.

Sorting out NHS & Social care is on a par with Brexit; All are critical to our financial future

Stephen Dalton, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, has responded to the CQC State of Care report released last week:  “The report shows that the NHS is being stretched to the limit, especially after additional pressure caused by ongoing cuts to social care, mental health and public health.……

Is the answer no diesel & electric cars 2030 at the latest?
Harry Quilter-Pinner, IPPR researcher on health, has responded to the Mayor of London’s announcement of a new consultation on tackling air pollution in London.
Researched Links...
We need a ‘front rank’ digital future (especially with Brexit) 
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has started its annual hunt for today’s academics & industrialists who deserve to be recognised for their contribution to computer science & engineering.  The Institute is inviting nominations (by 16 January 2017) for its two annual academic awards; the Lovelace Medal, for senior academics & industrialists, and the Roger Needham* Award (sponsored by Microsoft Research), for those at mid-career.

BCS:  Nominations invited for 2017 BCS Lovelace Medal and Roger Needham Award

Being white & middle-class should not make one a ‘more suitable’ candidate for promotion, but it appears to do so!

Unite, the union, is reaching out to NHS workplaces to combat the scourge of racism that holds back the promotion prospects of black Asian and ethnic minority (BAEM) workers in the health service.  Unite in Health, which has 100,000 members in the health service, has launched its Race Ahead In Health toolkit aimed at tackling race discrimination in the workplace.

This ‘Train’ looks like it might leave the platform next year

The Transport Secretary has confirmed that the government is committed to pressing ahead with HS2 to tackle the looming capacity crisis the rail network faces and to help boost jobs & regeneration along the line of the route and across the country.  Construction is due to begin on the scheme in the first half of 2017.

Remember the days of Sandwich courses and Day release / Evening Classes?

CIPD research suggests that for too many jobs the cost of university outweighs the economic benefits, and that the prevailing rhetoric on the need to get more & more young people into university needs to change.

Don’t take this scam lying down
Complaints about cheap ‘fireball’ mattresses sold online or from the ‘back of a van' have soared in some towns & cities, prompting a safety warning by councils & fire authorities.  They often come with professional looking paperwork to buyers, but this contains false or limited contact details which makes it almost impossible for a consumer to get their money back under the 14-day ‘cooling off period'.

LGA:  ‘Back of a van' fire-risk mattress scam prompts warning by councils

Reward those who ‘go the extra mile for others’
There is less than 1 week to go until the close of nominations in the St David Awards.  The Awards acknowledge the achievements and great deeds & contributions made by people from all walks of life of people the length & breadth of Wales.  Closing date for nominations is midnight on the 21 October 2016.

WAG:  Give your local heroes the recognition they deserve

Faulty defibrillator warning
People & organisations should check if they have the defibrillator models, LIFEPAK CR Plus and LIFEPAK EXPRESS Automatic External Defibrillators (AED), because an electrical fault.   Approximately 2,577 devices are defective.

MHRA:  Faulty defibrillator warning


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

NEF:  Building A New Economy Where People Really Take Control

NEF:  Political Leaders Ignore Remain Voters At Their Peril

techUK Joins Business Leaders in Open Letter on Brexit Negotiations

CBI: Protect London's position as magnet for workers from all over the world

DfE:  Funding support for EU students

WAG:  EU student funding guarantee for Welsh universities extended

FDA:  Government can’t rely on ‘make do & mend’ approach to civil service delivering Brexit, says FDA

FRC: Speech by Sir Win Bischoff, FRC Chairman - Financial Services BREXIT summit


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

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Local authority chief executives were in Newcastle last week for their annual conference, where newly-elected president Jo Miller, chief executive of Doncaster, told them she would champion women, inclusion and diversity. Some of the same themes emerged when Dawn Foster interviewed the elected mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees.
There has been much complaint about the lack of diversity among mayoral candidates, particularly for the metro mayor elections next year - Rees is an exception, though he notes that there is a stark lack of women being selected. He wants to see greater diversity not just in politics, but from within the council too.
“Our case on diversity doesn’t start with the idea that it’s a nice thing to have for fluffy liberals. This is an essential part of getting a competent leadership that understands its city and can design services right first time,” he says.
Also on the network last week, a piece by Rob Whiteman, former chief executive of the UK Border Agency, on why the government should offer an amnesty to the UK's illegal immigrants.
"I believe the public is ready for a mature debate where the outcome is a country that, post-Brexit, is more comfortable about the role of immigration in our economy and society," he writes. That remains to be seen.

Also on the network

Why the government should offer an amnesty to the UK's illegal immigrants

Why the government should offer an amnesty to the UK's illegal immigrants
Closing long term cases would allow a short-staffed Home Office to focus on higher risk areas and improve post-Brexit border control

After the army, I had post-traumatic stress disorder. Now I run a cafe

After the army, I had post-traumatic stress disorder. Now I run a cafe
This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on dealing with trauma. As a former soldier, I know how hard it is to ask for help

Easier, cheaper travel needs joined-up government thinking

Easier, cheaper travel needs joined-up government thinking
Increased data sharing and confidence about long-term investment is needed to boost better transport, according to our transport experts

News in brief
• Hundreds of jobs at risk as councils publish budget plans
• Paul Maltby to leave Government Digital Service
• Cabinet Office recruiting new director of civil service group
• Department for Transport sets up Brexit-focused trade team
• Child protection services judged 'unsatisfactory and inconsistent'