General Reports and Other Publications
Defra: The Council of Food Policy Advisors has published its first report for Environment Secretary Hilary Benn. The Council has identified 3 priority areas to focus on:
* Defining an environmentally sustainable healthy diet
* Government setting an example via public procurement
* A UK fruit & vegetable strategy
A meeting of retailers, growers & public procurers to consider the barriers to greater consumption and production of fruit & vegetables in the UK has already taken place, following discussions between the Council and Ministers.
Press release ~ Council of Food Policy Advisors ~ First Report ~ Information & advice on making sustainable food choices ~ Secure and Sustainable Food ~ View previous Defra related article (Swede and Turnips for all) ~
MO: Global warming continues to pose a real threat that should not be ignored — a claim reinforced in a new study by scientists reported in a supplement of the August issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This is despite very small global temperature rises over the last 10 years.
Met Office Hadley Centre scientists investigated how often decades with a neutral trend in global mean temperature occurred in computer modelled climate change simulations. They found that despite continued increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, a single-decade hiatus in warming occurs relatively often.
However, the Met Office’s decadal forecast predicts renewed warming after 2010 with about half of the years to 2015 likely to be warmer globally than the current warmest year on record.
Press release ~ Met Office Hadley Centre ~ American Meteorological Society ~ Do Global Temperature Trends Over the Last Decade Falsify Climate Predictions
FSA: The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) has, after public consultation, published a report on increased incidence of listeriosis in the UK. Following reports of an increase in cases of listeria, predominantly in the over-60s age group, the Agency sought advice from the ACMSF, an independent scientific advisory committee, on the reasons for this change. Similar increases were also reported in other European countries, including France & Germany.
Newswire – CABE: Nearly 90% of people say that better quality buildings & public spaces improve their quality of life according to new MORI research, published by CABE on its tenth anniversary. CABE is marking its first decade with an exploration of fresh ideas for the next 10 years. As a society, we face three crises – an age of austerity, a short time to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions and social pessimism. The strongest response to all these can come through changes to our built environment.
The current risk is that public spending cuts to non-statutory council services (like parks management & maintenance) lead to places becoming dirtier & shabbier, with key targets like community safety & obesity being missed as a result.
The new research shows that the quality of the built environment is seen as important by voters across the political spectrum. Only 2% of people who intend to vote Conservative don’t have any interest in what buildings, streets, parks and public spaces look or feel like to use. This compares with 4% of people who said they would vote Labour and 3% said they would vote for other parties.
Press release ~ How does CABE help local decision-makers choose good design? ~ CABE - 10 places where they have made an impact
ESRC: Britain has now been in recession for over a year. How can policy-makers respond most effectively, on a global scale as well as nationally? And what are the likely effects – both now and in the future – on jobs, on businesses and on people’s lives?
A new report published by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) explores what can be learned from evidence on previous recessions: the 3 that Britain has experienced most recently – in the mid-1970s, the early 1980s and the early 1990s (as well as recessions elsewhere in the world) and the global recessionary period to which current times have often been compared - the 1930s.
Press release ~ Recession Britain ~ Britain and the Global Financial Crisis – Lectures, seminars and events ~ Recession Research and Response ~ Related links to other organisations
Cabinet Office: A joint response to the consultation on plans for a new type of incorporated charity structure has been published by The Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office and the Charity Commission. The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) will be the first incorporated legal structure designed specifically with the needs of charities in mind.
It will be an entirely new type of charity structure that will provide charity trustees with protections & responsibilities similar to those given to directors of limited companies. Responding to the consultation on how the CIO will work, the Government and the Charity Commission have agreed to make a number of important changes to initial proposals. The aim is for the CIO to become an option for charities from spring 2010.
Increasingly, charities are seeking incorporation as a means of limiting the risk of personal liability for trustees. Currently, around 4 in every 10 new registered charities are incorporated as companies, but this brings the burden of double regulation by both the Charity Commission and Companies House. The new CIO will be regulated by the Charity Commission alone.
Press release ~ Summary of Consultation Responses and Next Steps ~ The Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office ~ Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) ~ Charities Act 2006
CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has called for a renewed drive to cut numbers of people with cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths in England. It is publishing a study on efforts to cut deaths from the disease and to reduce inequalities between those in deprived areas and other parts of the country of which CVD is the biggest cause.
The Government has already met its target of cutting total deaths among people under 75 by at least 40% by 2010 and it is on track to meet its target of narrowing the gap between worse-off areas and the country as a whole. But CQC says the nation must go further as the UK still has one of the highest CVD rates in Europe.
Caused mainly by obesity & smoking, CVD costs the country more than £30bn a year. It is set to affect greater numbers of people with forecasters predicting that 90% of adults will be overweight or obese by 2050.
Press release ~ CQC: Report published on tackling cardiovascular disease and health inequalities ~ DH – Pacesetters ~ DH – Vascular disease ~ NICE: Identifying and supporting people most at risk of dying prematurely ~ Cardiovascular risk assessment and the modification of blood lipids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease ~ Smoking cessation services in primary care, pharmacies, local authorities and workplaces, particularly for manual working groups, pregnant women and hard to reach communities ~ Brief interventions and referral for smoking cessation in primary care and other settings ~ Statins for the prevention of cardiovascular events ~ Health Inequalities Intervention Tool ~
DH - Obesity ~ Cardiovascular disease and stroke ~ The Coronary Heart Disease National Service Framework: Building for the future - progress report for 2007 ~ HB14: An evaluation of behavioural methods for CVs disease risk reduction in general practice - Known as the Change of Heart Study ~ NHS Health Check: Vascular Risk Assessment and Management Best Practice Guidance