In the News

‘Catastrophe’ for those flooded, but decades of planning & building flood schemes has ‘paid off’

The Natural Resources Wales flood review has found that Wales’ flood & coastal defences performed well in the December & January storms, protecting over 99% of coastal properties at risk of flooding.

The flood review indicates that while the storms & associated coastal conditions reached levels and a ferocity not seen in Wales for many years, less than 1% of the properties & agricultural land at potential risk were actually flooded.  (Editors Note:  I have myself suffered from coastal flooding in the past, but now benefit from improved coastal defences).

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Think Cloud for Government 2014 – 25th March, Business Design Centre, London

Think Cloud for Government 2014 – 25th March, Business Design Centre, London

Keynote Speaker:  Stephen Kelly, Government Chief Operation Officer

Cloud computing is revolutionising the way the government engages the procurement and delivery of IT.  For decades, public sector IT has been dominated by multi-year, multi-million pound contracts.

All of that has changed with the cloud......THINK Cloud for Government 2014 is the must attend event for anyone seeking to engage with the latest knowledge and developments surrounding this game-changing area as you’ll hear from:

  • Expert commentators on how the cloud can change the shape of government IT.
  • Market analysts on the trends and forces driving cloud adoption across the public sector
  • Policy-makers from the UK, Europe and US on how cloud mandates and standards are evolving.

Click here to register and find out more (Free of charge for all Public Sector attendees)

Preventing ‘security’ becoming ‘control’

The Home Office announced the appointment of a new Surveillance Camera Commissioner.  Tony Porter will replace Andrew Rennison, whose term of office came to an end this month.  The commissioner is responsible for:

* Encouraging compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice
* Providing advice on the effective, appropriate, proportionate & transparent use of surveillance camera systems
* Providing advice on operational & technical standards
* Reviewing how the code of practice is working and advising the Government where any changes may be necessary

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As SHOs progressively have to share / use more data to ensure compliance with legislation, Data Security is an increasingly important issue

A report published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has highlighted areas where social housing organisations should improve their compliance with the Data Protection Act.  The report is a summary of nine advisory visits & four audits carried out across the UK over the past 3 years.

 The visits found that organisations need to improve their policies & procedures regarding data sharing, data retention & homeworking.  But the report also found good practice in areas such as encryption and the physical security of office buildings.  Other improvements were also suggested in relation to secure printing and maintaining a records inventory.

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The way to an affordable & efficient NHS?

In future, ‘family care networks’ with GP surgeries at their heart should provide a wider range of services for patients outside hospitals, says a report on the future of primary care, published by The King’s Fund.  These networks would enable GPs to strengthen their role as providers & co-ordinators of care in collaboration with other staff working in the community and some hospital-based specialties.

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We must never forget the 6m Jews AND 5m ‘others’ who died

Young people can be involved in making sure Britain has a fitting memorial to the Holocaust through a competition launched by Natasha Kaplinsky.  The commission is looking at ensuring there is a permanent & fitting memorial to the Holocaust & educational resources for future generations.  6 places are up for grabs to join a youth forum set up by the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission with 1 person having the chance to sit on the commission.  The closing date of the competition is Friday 30 May 2014.

Alongside the competition to find a Youth Commissioner, a nationwide public call for evidence is running until the end of May 2014, with people across the country being invited to submit their views.  A number of regional evidence sessions will also be held to hear from interested parties in person. 

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NMC is ‘greedier’ than even the energy companies

Proposals to be considered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) that could see registration fees for nurses, midwives & health visitors jump by 20% (to £120 in march 2015) have been branded as ‘outrageous’ by Unite, the union.

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Welsh patients can give their NHS services a health check

A Welsh Government website containing easily accessible information on NHS performance has been updated further, giving patients even more information on the NHS services in Wales broken down to GPs surgeries, hospitals & health boards

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Only 1 month to go to ‘ACE’ you funding

At the start of January 2014, Arts Council England opened the application process for their national portfolio arts organisations and museums for 2015 to 2018.  There is now less than 1 month to go before applications close on 17 March 2014.

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Time to say ‘Thank You’

Cities, communities & local organisations across the UK are being asked to host an Armed Forces Day event this summer to show their support for our servicemen & women, past & present, with funding available to support the festivities.

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Despite our floods, other problems around the world are even worse

UNICEF has appealed for £1.3bn to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in 2014 to 85m people, including 59m children, who face conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 50 countries.

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