In the News
There remains the issue of internet access for non-connected ‘seniors’ - Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) data is being presented in a website that allows people to find out more about care services. On the website you can select your local authority from the map or drop-down menu, or type in your postcode to find out how carers & people receiving local authority funded care & support in your area rate factors such as:
* quality of their life
* satisfaction with care services
* feeling safe
Basic life for many is sustained by food & water, not oil - Regional instability poses the single greatest threat to food security within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, says a new briefing paper, Edible Oil: Food Security in the Gulf. The GCC countries depend on imports for 80-90% of their food and are surrounded by 3 maritime ‘choke points’ that could be closed as a result of conflict or political manoeuvres. Nearly all imports must pass through one or more of the Suez Canal, Bab Al Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz.
It could create a ‘Win – Win’ situation - In two reports published last week: The role of major contractors in the delivery of public services; and Managing government suppliers the National Audit Office has challenged government and its private sector suppliers to work together more effectively in the taxpayers’ interest and to address the issues behind the current lack of confidence in government’s use of contractors.
Did they need ‘teaching certificates’ to succeed? - Projects run by former armed forces personnel are to receive a further £4.8m after research showed they were turning around the lives of thousands of young people. Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has announced that 6 projects, including 2 new charities the Prince’s Trust and CVQO, will receive the funding to build on previous work and support the government’s commitment to drive up education standards.
Facts and not political promises are required to facilitate voters’ decision - The Bill to allow the people of Scotland to vote in a referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country has reached its final stage in the parliamentary process. The legislation follows the Edinburgh Agreement, signed by both the Scottish and UK Governments, which confirmed that it was for the Scottish Parliament to introduce the Bill, which sets out the details of how the referendum will be organised & regulated.
Parish councils can now join the e-world - The Local Government Minister, Brandon Lewis, has laid the parliamentary papers to abolish the existing, inflexible, ‘2 signature rule’ that currently prevents parish councils from using electronic payment methods and wastes too much of council members’ time. New guidelines will allow parish councils to use electronic methods of payment, provided robust anti-fraud measures are in place.
Perhaps the Government should do its own bit to reduce the cost of living! - Committee of Public Accounts has published a report which examines the charges that people are paying to call government customer telephone lines. Some 63% of calls to central government were to higher rate telephone numbers at an estimated cost to callers of these calls in 2012–13 was £56m.
Given the changes in population / society over the years, a highly relevant question! - The ESRC is pleased to announce the launch of its 2013/14 photographic competition – ‘Where do I belong?’. The competition is open to all young people aged between 14-18, who are invited to take a picture of where they feel they belong - whether it’s a place, what they do, who they are with, or where they want to be in the future.
Share what works - NICE is calling on organisations that have used its guidance or quality standards to enter the 2014 NICE Shared Learning Awards. Now in its 7th year, the Awards recognise & celebrate services and organisations that have put NICE guidance or quality standards into practice in innovative & effective ways. Nominations close on 17 January 2014, with shortlisted entries announced in March 2014.
A ‘career making’ opportunity - The British Embassy in Lima is looking for motivated & ambitious students to undertake an Internship with a starting date of 6 January 2014. The deadline for applications is Friday 22 November 2013 – see FCO announcements page for full details. The Internship Programme is intended to give students with leadership potential in government, business & civil society the opportunity to experience the real working environment of a busy & high profile diplomatic mission.
‘Cook thru’ to be safe! - The Food Standards Agency is inviting tenders to carry out research on the effectiveness of surface treatment in reducing microbiological contamination of meat. This project only applies to meat intended for the production of raw or lightly cooked food. There are indications that consumers & caterers are showing a preference for serving burgers undercooked and in a variety of settings. Applications should be submitted online by 5pm on 17 January 2014.
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