ESRC: Becoming an Avon cosmetics Sales Representative is helping some poor South African women escape poverty as well as inspiring many with self-confidence & hope.
South Africa’s growing band of 'Avon Ladies' are benefiting from economic empowerment, a sustainable income, raised social status & greater personal confidence, according to new research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).
Unite: A searing indictment on the failings of the Nursing & Midwifery Council is ‘a serious wake-up’ call for the organisation to put its house in order. Unite, the union, said the report by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence confirmed many of its fears about the dysfunctional nature of the NMC, the body that regulates the UK’s 670,000 nurses, midwives & health visitors.
PX: The government could save up to £33bn a year - the equivalent of £500 for each person in the country – by using public data more effectively. A specialist ‘Data Force’ unit should be set up in Whitehall to start identifying these savings in areas such as tax avoidance & benefit fraud.
A new report – The Big Data Opportunity – by think tank Policy Exchange says that better use of data, technology & analytics could help the government save money by improving efficiency rather than reducing service levels.
PC&PE: Women who received substandard breast implants have had their say about their experiences in a web forum run by the Commons Health Committee. Last week the Committee published a summary of the comments received on the web forum for women with PIP implants, which it ran in May 2012.
Defra: The Independent Panel on Forestry has published its final report.
PC&PE: Ministers must act now to prepare for a future where water resources in England will come under increasing pressure, says the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in a report published last week. MPs call on the Government to take rapid steps to tackle the environmental damage caused by the over-abstraction of water, and set more ambitious targets to increase levels of metering.
NIA: In a report published last week the Assembly Public Accounts Committee has raised concerns over the regeneration & redevelopment of 6 former military & security sites that were gifted in 2003 to the Office of the First Minister/deputy First Minister (OFMDFM). The Report showed that OFMDFM has spent £62m to date preparing the sites for redevelopment by either private companies or government bodies.
ONS: People of all ages benefit from learning and the gaining of new skills substantially contributes to National Well-being, according to a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Whether the learner is in school or an apprentice or employee looking to gain vocational skills to further their careers, or an older person wanting to remain physically & mentally active by taking part in adult education classes or taking up a new hobby, learning builds up self confidence and increases self-esteem.
NO: Castle Point Borough Council has failed to provide taxi drivers who it had overcharged since 2004 with compensation recommended by the Local Government Ombudsman in a 2011 report. The Ombudsman, Anne Seex, says: “Drivers who have held a licence since 2004 have been caused an injustice due to the overcharging. The Council has not provided a full remedy for that injustice.” The Ombudsman finds the Council has not implemented a remedy that meets the recommendations of her previous report.
DCMS: A report by Olympic Delivery Authority chairman Sir John Armitt, hails the construction of the Olympic Park as “a superb advertisement for UK plc” and highlights that British companies “now have precious experience that they can use to win business at home and abroad”. In total 250 businesses who worked on the Olympic Park were asked about how working on London 2012 had affected their companies, including the impact on staff, finances, reputation and future prospects.
PC&PE: The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its report - The completion and sale of High Speed 1. The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the PAC, said: "Whilst HS1 provides an efficient service, contributing in an important way to British transport infrastructure, there were costly mistakes in the history of the project. These must not be repeated with HS2. HS1 was supposed to pay for itself but instead the taxpayer has had to pay out £4.8 billion so far to cover the debt on the project”.
Cipd: Continued progress on transforming public services in Ireland and reducing public spending will depend on a further step-change in people and HR management capability, to deliver higher-quality and lower-cost front line services.
This is one of the central messages from a new report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in Ireland, which is designed to help policy makers & public sector employers continue to build on the progress in transforming public services outlined in the Implementation Body’s recent second progress report.
NAO: The National Audit Office has published its report on the Government’s new Affordable Homes Programme, aimed at delivering below market price housing. The report found the launch of the Programme to be a success, however, key risks remain.
Civitas: Many ‘off-shored’ British manufacturers are realising that they are better off in Britain than in China, according to think tank Civitas. High-end manufacturers are evolving & enjoying new competitive advantages that Britain offers, not in price but in quality & service.
Labour costs constitute a shrinking proportion of production costs, around 22% in Britain in 2009 and this means that the wage savings of retaining production in China are estimated to be only 18% on the east coast by 2015. With other costs, such as shipping, rising, the potential for savings has been wiped out for many British ‘off-shorers’. As a result, some are bringing production home.
Civitas: As the City reels from the revelations of the interest-rate fixing scandal, a new Civitas report claims that the Government's reforms of UK banks leave the public exposed to the mis-selling and risk-taking of bankers.
CBI: New research by the CBI shows that the UK has the ability to become a global front-runner in low carbon products & services, which could be adding £20bn extra in annual GDP by 2015.