General Reports and Other Publications

PX:  The government will fail to reduce long term welfare dependency unless radical changes are made to Jobcentre Plus (JCP), the agency tasked with helping the unemployed back into work.  A new report (Personalised welfare: rethinking employment support and Jobcentres) published by think tank, Policy Exchange, argues that government is wasting £bns and letting down the unemployed by failing to diagnose claimants’ underlying problems and barriers to work at an early stage.

It recommends that JCP should be replaced by a smaller, cross departmental organisation called ‘CommunityLink’ whose main role would not be to hand out benefits, but to identify the support that people need and get them into long term work.

Press release & links

PC&PE:  Government legislation on the prevention & investigation of terrorism is a missed opportunity to put right serious flaws in the control order regime it is meant to replace, says the Lords Constitution Committee.  In its report on the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill, the Committee says that the Bill's proposed measures do not adequately address a ‘serious and continuing failure of public policy’

The report questions whether the should adopt a permanent scheme of what are meant to be ‘extraordinary’ powers for dealing with terrorist suspects.  The Bill is due to have its second reading (main debate) in the Lords on Wednesday 5 October 2011.

Press release & links

IPCC:  The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published the first part of its report regarding corruption in the police service.  The report, which was requested by the Home Secretary earlier this summer, outlines the various aspects of behaviour by police officers & staff that can be considered as corrupt.  It also has information about the number of referrals the IPCC receives and examples of some corruption cases the organisation has investigated.

Press release & links  (the only way to read this document is to download a copy)

:  Children living in children’s homes, residential special schools & boarding schools have given their views about Ofsted’s social care inspection in the report Social care inspection: the children’s audit, by Dr Roger Morgan, the Children’s Rights Director.

When children were informed that inspection was going to take place, 26% of them were asked to prepare for inspectors. Preparation included tidying up before inspectors came, being told to behave themselves well while inspectors were around, and 4 children said that they were told they had to tell the inspectors good things about the place they were living in.

Press release & links

DfT:  Light rail has a future in this country if capital costs can be reduced Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said as he published a review looking at how trams can be more cost effective in the future. 

The report found that one of the main reasons for high construction costs is the need to divert & locate utilities which lie under the road where the tram is to be built e.g. water & gas main pipes. The Department for Transport will now launch a consultation to seek views on how this system can be simplified & ultimately how costs can be reduced.

Press release ~ ‘Green Light for Light Rail’

ESRC:  Current policy pressures on universities to focus on improving their research excellence and to widen participation make it hard for them to engage meaningfully with excluded communities, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).  University-community engagement remains marginal to the organisation, funding, management and strategic control of universities.  This reduces their benefits for excluded communities.

However, universities can engage more effectively in community social capital building, even now. To help them increase their impact, the researchers have developed a 3-stage strategy.

Press release & links

PC&PE:  The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes its 50th Report of this Session which, on the basis of evidence from Department for Communities & Local Government and representatives from the Fire & Rescue Service, examines the delivery & cancellation of the FiReControl project

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said:   "The Department's ambitious vision of abolishing 46 local fire and rescue control rooms around the country and replacing them with nine state of the art regional control centres ended in complete failure. The taxpayer has lost nearly half a billion pounds and eight of the completed regional control centres remain as empty & costly white elephants”.

Press release & links

iea:  Prof Philip Booth, Editorial Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs , comments on the Economic Freedom of the World: 2011 Annual Report.

Press release & links

CIPD:  The new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Coaching Climate) investigates how coaching & mentoring are developing in organisations and helps HR professionals & coaches to deliver the best possible value from their initiatives.

Press release & links

Ofsted:  In a survey of federations where schools have joined together to raise standards, improvements have been seen in the three key areas of teaching & learning, behaviour and pupils’ achievement, according to a report launched by Ofsted.

Press release & links

PC&PE:  Connecting the UK's electricity system with neighbouring countries via a new European 'supergrid' would allow the National Grid to balance supply & demand more effectively, as intermittent sources of electricity become more important in our energy mix - according to a report by the Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee

The cost of developing such a supergrid could be very high, the report warns. But it may bring a host of economic benefits - including tens of thousands of new jobs in the offshore renewable industry - and could allow the UK to become a net exporter of energy.

Press release & links ~ WWF comment

PC&PE:  The Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has published its tenth report of this Session which looks at the relationship between pub companies and their lessees.  On publication, Chair of the Committee, Adrian Bailey MP, said:  "The deep-seated problems within the pub industry, and in particular the relationship between pub companies and their lessees who run pubs, have been the subject of repeated scrutiny by Parliamentary select committees. …….  On every occasion the industry was found wanting

The third report in 2010 delivered a final ultimatum to the industry: eighteen months to show that they were working successfully within the voluntary code. That has passed, and the evidence is that they are not.  The message now can only be: three strikes and you’re out”. 
Press release & links

PC&PE:  In a new report, the Commons Home Affairs Committee examines the Government's proposals for policing reform and calls for it to revise its timetables for introducing the changes

Press release & links

RUSI:  A new Royal United Services Institute report examines the diplomatic, strategic & military aspects of the campaign between February & September 2011.  It analyses how the operation progressed and finally succeeded.

Press release & links

CBI:  The creative industries sector has huge growth potential and will be a key driver of economic recovery, but risks being held back by a lack of relevant skills, the CBI said last week. Its new report says that ‘the creative industries sector is expected to employ 1.3m people by 2013, potentially making it larger than financial services.  But, the CBI warns that in order for the sector to meet its potential, urgent action is needed to train people to the required skills levels’.

Press release & links

DWP:  The Department for Work and Pensions has published a report of findings from a survey of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants.  The report provides detailed information about the characteristics of people who claim ESA and changes in their employment situation over a period of around 18 months.

Press release ~ DWP 774:  Routes onto Employment and Support Allowance

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