ScotGov: The true picture behind the recent decline & future potential of Scotland's television industry has been revealed with the Scottish Broadcasting Commission publishing the interim report on its first phase of evidence-taking.
Taking this initial evidence forward, the Commission is looking to hone in on certain areas it believes have an impact on the economic viability & importance broadcasting can have in Scotland. In particular the Commission is looking to:
* Verify further & quantify any new commitments to Scotland made by the BBC & Channel 4 in particular
* Stimulate further debate concerning quotas as a policy option
* Examine the potential new technologies & platforms offer the broadcasting industry in Scotland
Defra: Defra has published an epidemiology report into the H5N1 avian influenza case in wild birds in Dorset, which found that while it has not been possible to conclusively identify the source of the infection, the most likely hypothesis is that it was introduced by an infected migratory wild bird.
There is currently no evidence to suggest widespread disease in the wild bird population, but poultry keepers in the area are reminded to remain vigilant and report any signs of disease immediately. There remains no evidence of disease in domestic birds.
HEFCE: A review of sustainable development in the higher education (HE) sector carried out for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) suggests that, although a great deal has been done, the momentum for change needs to continue & increase if HE institutions are to maximise their role in improving the environment, preserving natural resources and making an economic & social impact.
The review covers four main areas: teaching, research, corporate and estates management. It aims to ascertain a baseline of sustainable development in the sector, against which to measure progress and highlight what the sector is already doing.
NAO: The National Audit Office (NAO) has reported that the effective delivery of community order sentences could be improved to secure the full benefits of the scheme by the National Probation Service. It found that there is incomplete data on the cost of orders, the number of offenders who have not completed all aspects of their orders and that there are long waiting lists for some group rehabilitation programmes.
The NAO also found that community orders offer benefits such as enabling offenders to stay with their families & in work while avoiding additional pressure on the prison estate by reducing re-offending. However, some community order requirements are not available or rarely used in some of the 42 Probation Areas.
For example, alcohol treatment varies greatly in availability, despite strong links between alcohol and offending behaviour. This means orders may not be addressing the underlying causes of offending behaviour as fully as they could.
Press release ~ National Probation Service ~ National Offender Management Service ~ Community Orders ~ The National Probation Service: the supervision of community orders in England and Wales ~ Executive Summary ~ Costing of Community Order Requirements (by Accenture) ~ A synthesis of literature on the effectiveness community orders (by RAND Europe) ~ Annual report 2006-2007 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons