DWP: Local authorities will have a role in shaping & delivering Universal Credit, Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said recently. The DWP and the Local Government Association have jointly issued a prospectus calling on local authorities to deliver pilots to support residents in preparation for the introduction of Universal Credit in 2013.
Local authorities will be expected to work with DWP, Jobcentre Plus and community groups to support residents during the transition to Universal Credit and to act as examples of best practice to other councils. Pilots are expected to start this autumn ahead of the introduction of Universal Credit in October 2013.
CO: MyCSP Ltd, the first ‘John Lewis style’ business created from a central government service was launched recently by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office. MyCSP Ltd’s Mutual Joint Venture model gives employees a 25% ownership stake, representation at board level and a share in profits.
The new enterprise will be contracted by the Government to administrate pensions for the 1.5m members of the Civil Service scheme. It will ‘cut costs for taxpayers, reaching annual savings of 50% by 2022, while improving the service’.
WAG: Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children & Social Services, has announced a funding package of £2m for 2012-13 to support children & adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across Wales. The funding will continue Welsh Government support to the Social Services Improvement Agency, which funds a full-time national autism co-coordinator to run the Learning and Improvement Network (LIN).
WAG: Wales is leading the way in the UK for children’s rights as a duty on Welsh ministers to have due regard to the requirements of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The ‘due regard duty’ means that ministers must consider the rights of children & young people in all the decisions they make about new legislation, policies and changes to existing policy.
This is backed by the Welsh Government’s Children’s Rights Measure which identifies how this will work in practice and provides an easy, accessible way for children & young people to challenge the government if they feel their rights have not been taken into account.
Defra: Measures to reduce the risk of bovine TB being spread between cattle are to be strengthened as part of the Government’s plan to eradicate the disease in England. From 1 July 2012 amendments to the rules on cattle movements will come into force, alongside changes to compensation policy, including reduced payments for owners of TB affected herds with overdue tests..
CLG: A new national taskforce will be set up to tackle the issue of ‘beds in sheds’ by taking action against criminal landlords and removing illegal immigrants. Last week, Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Immigration Minister Damian Green held the first in a series of cross-Whitehall summits with representatives from the police, the UK Border Agency and local government.
The meetings will find ways to close down thousands of sheds & outbuildings being rented out illegally to migrants, including some with no right to be in the UK.
DWP: The Minister in charge of the child maintenance system has promised intensive action against irresponsible parents who have failed to support their children after separation.
It comes as new figures show sharp increases in the use of key enforcement powers against parents who refuse to pay. Child Support Agency data also shows that more than 5,000 past & current CSA cases are over £50,000 in arrears.