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In the News

CQCSo it is not just a question of funding! - The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has set out its concerns around the lack of communication between care homes & hospitals in preventing infections passing between these two settings

The CQC found that there was a need for hospitals & care homes to provide information about infections to each other, to make sure that people with, or recovering from, an infection are cared for properly and to reduce the chances of other people being infected.

But the report highlights that this information is not provided in a coordinated way with 17% of the care homes participating in the study saying that they received no information on infections at all when people were discharged from a hospital to their care.  Even when information was received, this could be weeks late, incomplete or illegible.

Other areas of concern included:
* Care home managers raised concerns about illegible or incomplete discharge information
* Most common route for supplying information between hospitals & care homes was verbally
* Ambulance crews are often left out of the information loop
* Care homes have not fully implemented national guidelines (2006) designed to prevent & control infections

CQC was concerned that care homes were not fully prepared & knowledgeable on the forthcoming regulatory changes that will affect the industry from October 2010 (1 April 2010 for all hospitals & healthcare settings).
Newswire – CPS:  Can we really put ourselves in their position? - Launching his interim policy on prosecuting cases of assisted suicide, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, called for public participation in a consultation (closes on 16 December 2009) on the factors he has identified which will be taken into account when considering whether prosecutions will be brought for this offence.

The Suicide Act 1961 is applicable when a substantial part of the aiding, abetting, procuring or counselling of the suicide occurs in England or Wales.  The suicide itself can be committed in any country.

As with every other case, the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors (the Code) will be applied: there must be enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.  If the case does not pass that evidential stage, it must not go ahead no matter how important or serious it may be and consideration must be given to whether a prosecution is needed in the public interest.

The Code sets out a substantial number of factors both for & against prosecution in all types of cases.  The interim policy sets out further factors which are more directly related to cases of assisted suicide, which also need to be considered.  The interim policy includes the public interest factors in favour of prosecution and against a prosecution.  The public can feedback their comments directly and a finalised policy will be issued in Spring 2010.
DECC:  Less controversial than Nuclear - Wave & tidal developers are invited to bid for £22m in new government funding to accelerate the commercial development of marine energy in the UK.  The Marine Renewables Proving Fund, announced in July 2009 as part of the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy, will be designed & delivered by the Carbon Trust and will provide finance for the demonstration of wave & tidal technologies.

The funding follows demand from industry & analysis by the Carbon Trust, which has shown that extra support is needed to take marine devices successfully from initial prototype development through to early–stage commercial generation, where they are eligible for funding from the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund.
DefraWhat would happen if we actually had ‘Barbeque Summers’? - Britain is a nation of water wasters, according to a new Defra campaign.  The average household uses over 100,000 litres of water a year – that’s the equivalent of 317 pints or 150 litres per person per day.  Fronted by TV presenter Kate Humble, the Act on CO2 campaign aims to help people to save 20 litres a day each with simple tips to reduce everyday water usage.

Despite being an island – and our reputation for wet weather – the UK actually has less available water per head than many European countries including France, Italy and Greece.  London, for example, has less annual rainfall than Rome, Paris or Naples.

Research shows that 87% percent of people don’t use a water-saving bag in their toilet cistern yet this could save 1 litre of water per flush with minimal outlay or effort.  Similarly only 3% percent use an aerated/water efficient shower head which could save up to 6 litres of water a minute. Defra’s water strategy for England – Future Water – outlines a vision to reduce daily water consumption by 20 litres per person by 2030.
HAPretty country roads can be pretty dangerous - As autumn approaches, the Highways Agency and partners in The Deer Initiative are asking drivers to watch out for deer as part of a new campaign - DeerAware. 

Every year, people are killed or injured in road collisions with wild deer around England and there have been over 1,000 deer-vehicle collisions recorded by the Highways Agency since September 2007 on the motorway and A-road network alone.

The Deer Initiative estimates that there are up to 74,000 deer-vehicle collisions every year in the UK – 80% in England.  Most deer are killed, but thousands are left to die of injuries. Periods of highest risk are Autumn & Spring, and around dawn & dusk.  A key to reducing the number and severity of these incidents is to get drivers to be ‘deer aware’ – to slow down and watch out when they see deer signs.
WAGLooking after their future - First Minister Rhodri Morgan recently said the importance of ‘investing in our Children’s eyes’ was the key theme at the annual Welsh Eye Care Conference at Cardiff University’s School of Optometry this year. 

The First Minister said: 
“As part of our Welsh Eye Care Initiative we are funding the Children’s Low Vision project, which enables children and young people with Low Vision to access the services provided by health, education, social care and third sector organisations.  It also encourages multi-disciplinary working between professionals from health, education, social care and third sector organisations. We also look forward to the launch of the Children’s Low Vision Toolkit in a few months time”.
Newswire – ECWhat issues would get their interest? - According to Electoral Commission, British citizens living abroad can register as overseas voters if they have been registered to vote in the UK at any time within the past 15 years.  Yet of the estimated 5.5m British citizens living abroad, less than 13,000 overseas voters are currently on a UK electoral register.

Brits living overseas can vote by post or arrange for a proxy to vote for them in a UK Parliamentary election and the Commission has launched a campaign to encourage British citizens abroad to register to vote ahead of the next general election.
Forthcoming eventsHow Project & Resource Management helps you to ‘work smarter’ – Free Seminars - With even Gordon 'the Investor' Brown joining the other major political parties in forecasting 10%+ cuts in public sector  organisation (PSO) budgets, the immediate future looks bleak for PSO’s trying to decide how & what services to deliver next year.

A concern that is magnified when one remembers that the government's budget figures already include £bns in savings from its 2009 Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) review.  So how can Ministers like Ed Balls achieve even more £bns in efficiency savings?

Asta Development is holding a number of breakfast seminars throughout the UK for the public sector.  They will be taking a look at some of the current government programmes & processes aimed at maximising resources & delivering efficient services and explaining how effective project & resource management systems can support organisations in achieving these goals.

Using case studies from Wandsworth Borough Council and The Hyde Housing Group, as well as references from our most recent customers (Denbighshire County Council and Lancashire Constabulary), they can illustrate how Asta Teamplan has been effectively implemented within their organisation.

Click here to register your interest in these events and receive further information as it becomes available.

For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar

For other Industry News please click HERE

General News

NA: Files uncovered at The National Archives shed new light on the hardships some women endured in their fight for the vote 100 years ago. The two Home Office files date from late 1909, but only came to light during a recent cataloguing project.  They relate to the arrest of 9 suffragettes and their subsequent imprisonment in Winson Green Prison, Birmingham.
The arrested women, who included Mary Leigh and Charlotte Marsh, were the first suffragettes to be subjected to force-feeding after going on hunger strike - a practice which had gained popularity among the suffragette movement earlier that year. The files also contain medical opinions on force-feeding - which continued to be used until the outbreak of the First World War - along with signed letters from Emmeline & Christabel Pankhurst and various petitions.
BIS: Young people will now be able to study for brand-new qualifications inenterprise & entrepreneurship as the National Enterprise Academy (NEA), brainchild of Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones (and backed by Government), which officially opened last week.
The NEA, the first-ever UK educational institution dedicated solely to enterprise & entrepreneurship, will pioneer a new & innovative way of teaching.  It will expose students to real-life business issues in real-life business environments, with a high level of input from a range of entrepreneurs acting as mentors, supporting trained tutors.
The 2 new qualifications have a strong focus on practical skills.  The first, a level 2 BTEC Diploma in Understanding Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, and the second, a level 3 BTEC Diploma in Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, have been developed in partnership with Edexcel.  Both will be available to 16 to 19-year-olds from September 2009 at the NEA’s enterprise centres in Buckinghamshire & Manchester.  The qualifications will also be integrated into diplomas.
DSA:  The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has has joined YouTube to publish official road safety videos on the world’s largest video sharing service.  Visitors to the DSA channel can embed video content directly into their own websites or blogs, put it into forums, share it by email, and even link to it through social networking sites such as Facebook.
The channel – – is being used to post road safety videos which offer advice to test candidates and other road users.  Content so far includes videos of the modular motorcycle test and the Are You Ready? films for car & motorcycle candidates.  During testing, it was viewed more than 42,000 times by users. There is also an example of the new case study questions being introduced into the theory test from 28 September 2009.
VSO: VSO supporters, would-be volunteers & fans of Papua New Guinea should tune in to Charley Boorman Sydney to Tokyo: By Any Means this autumn on BBC2 to see Charley getting a taste of life as a VSO volunteer.  He visited Marcel Pool, a VSO volunteer physiotherapist working in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea, as part of his journey for the second series of By Any Means
Charley accompanied Marcel on a field trip to the Mount Sion community based rehabilitation unit to see his work training and supporting Papua New Guinean community volunteers.  Marcel is helping these volunteers understands the issues of disability & training them in basic rehabilitation skills. 
As a VSO volunteer you are provided with flights, accommodation and an allowance to cover basic costs.  UK public sector professionals volunteering for between 6 months & 2 years are entitled to claim pension contributions providing they return to the public sector for a minimum of 6 months on their return to the UK.
OS: The lost princess of Wales, Gwenllian, daughter of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, was ‘reunited’ with her family last weekend when a north Wales peak was officially renamed in her memory - the result of a long campaign by the Princess Gwenllian Society.  Carnedd Uchaf, as the peak is currently named, will be known as Carnedd Gwenllian, with the change being officially marked on Ordnance Survey maps from January 2010.  This ‘reunites’ Gwenllian with her father, uncle & mother, after whom other mountains in the area are named. 
Princess Gwenllian, born in June 1282, was daughter to Llywelyn, the last ruling Prince of Wales.  Llywelyn was killed in December the same year, shortly before the whole of Wales came under the control of Edward I.  Gwenllian, as heir to the Welsh throne, was snatched from her home and taken to the Abbey at Sempringham, Lincolnshire, where she was held for the rest of her life, dying in 1337 aged 54.
While Ordnance Survey does not have the authority to alter place names itself, it has agreed to put Gwenllian on the map following consultation with all the parties involved, including the Snowdonia National Park Authority, the National Trust, local authorities and emergency services.
DirectgovDirectgov has announced major improvements to their Blue Badge map to help disabled people travel across the UK more easily.  Disabled football fans can now use the map to find out about a stadium’s accessibility before going to games. Its also good news for train travellers too, as the new rail map gives information about more than 2,000 train stations.  This means disabled people can find out about station facilities and can book direct assistance in advance.

The Blue Badge scheme provides a national range of parking concessions for disabled people with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport.
DCSF: Ed Balls has claimed that the National Challenge programme is on track to achieve its target and announced the next steps for National Challenge with a focus on schools at risk of not reaching the minimum standard.
Based on early indications from local authorities, results are better than expected and he predicted that fewer than 270 secondary schools will remain below the minimum standard of at least 30% of pupils gaining 5A*-C grades at GCSE including Maths & English.
LSIS: Young people aged 16-19 have been given a platform for their unique viewpoint of British society with the launch of a national photography competition.  Shortlisted entrants will have the opportunity to showcase their entries at an event at the Houses of Parliament.
The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) is asking learners to present an image that addresses the competition title question: The Real Picture: strong communities or broken society? The most striking images – complete with captions and a statement of their context – will be shortlisted & exhibited at Portcullis House (Houses of Parliament), Westminster on 9 March 2010.
You are asked to complete an expression of interest form by 1 October 2009 if you are interested in involving young people you work with. Completed entries must be accompanied by a final entry form by 18 December 2009.  You are asked to read the competition guidance before embarking on this project.
STFC: The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) astronomical observatory has taken another step forward — and upwards.  One of its state-of-the-art antennas was carried for the first time to the 5,000m plateau of Chajnantor, in the Chilean Andes, on the back of a custom-built giant transporter.
Earlier this year the first of 26 receiver systems that go inside the antennas (that are being assembled & tested at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) was transported to Chile.   
They are designed to operate fully exposed in the harsh conditions of the Array Operations Site.  This means surviving strong winds and temperatures between +20 & -20 Celsius whilst being able to point precisely enough that they could pick out a golf ball at a distance of 15 km and to keep their smooth reflecting surfaces accurate to better than 25 micrometres (less than the typical thickness of a human hair).
Newswire – EA: The Environment Agency (EA) has just increased the number of flood warning areas for parts of Oxfordshire including Abingdon, Wantage, Grove, East Hanney and Bampton.  New river level gauges have recently been installed along the River Stert, Letcombe Brook and Shill Brook.  A new gauge has also been installed along the River Evenlode upstream of Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire.
Installing these gauges will ensure that the EA is able to detect flooding and inform communities when it is likely to flood in their area.  These areas were all seriously affected by the July 2007 floods and while flooding cannot always be prevented, these new gauges will allow local residents time to take action, keep safe & save their valuables.
OS: Following the announcement in April of a new business strategy for mapping agency Ordnance Survey, the pricing & licensing of its flagship digital terrain model, Land-Form PROFILE Plus, has been completely overhauled and partner distribution terms introduced from October 2009.
Land-Form PROFILE Plus is Ordnance Survey’s highest-resolution digital terrain model.  It provides the foundation for accurate flood modelling & analysis, as demanded by utility suppliers, insurers, developers and planning authorities. 
NA: Following an extensive consultation over the summer, The National Archives has announced a number of changes to its operations & public services:
* Moving to a 5-day week (Tuesday to Saturday), from 4 January 2010, with an extension of opening hours
* Charging for use of the public car park, with an annual season ticket available for frequent users
* Changes to copying & microform services, with the aim of simplifying the process for users
MoD: RAF Chinook helicopters operating in Afghanistan will receive a £408m upgrade to deliver more powerful engines and more advanced, digitised cockpits - the MOD has announced. The £128m engine upgrade will enable the Chinooks to operate more effectively in the hot summers & high altitudes of Afghanistan, while their impproved fuel efficiency means that, despite being more powerful, the fleet will be able to fly further without refuelling and spend longer supporting the front line, before needing re-servicing.  
In addition, our Chinook pilots will also benefit from improved visibility, thanks to a £280m contract to fit Thales ‘glass cockpits’, which will improve the capability of the aircraft under demanding low light conditions.
OSOrdnance Survey, Britain’s national mapping agency, is introducing a new way to deliver location information on demand to government & commercial users anywhere in the country.  OS On Demand is a web map service that hosts & supplies the latest & most accurate raster mapping of anywhere in Britain directly from Ordnance Survey, via the Web.
Because OS On Demand is designed to open web service standards, the data can easily be incorporated to any application quickly and with minimum costs.  For example, it can be used within an organisation’s own Intranet pages, ensuring that everyone has access to, and is using, the same data.
NE: England’s newest wildlife reserve - the BigWildlifeGarden – is ready for exploration!  The website creates an online network of gardens & open spaces and encourages people of all ages to discover how to attract more wildlife into their gardens.
Families, individuals and primary schools can collect Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards for their efforts to attract wildlife - with the highest accolade reserved for the appropriately named Green Award.  There is also a brand new competition to find England’s BigWildlifeGardenSchool of the Year’.  Schools progress through each Award level by collecting points for each wildlife wonder added to their garden.
The Big Wildlife Garden is part of Natural England’s ‘One Million Children Outdoors’ programme which launched in April 2009.  By summer, children all over the country were taking part in free outdoor activities all over England associated with this campaign
NENatural England and the RSPB, assisted by the Forestry Commission, have been looking at the feasibility of re-introducing the white-tailed eagle - also known as the sea eagle - to East Anglia & the Suffolk coast, following a 3-year study of eastern England.
The Suffolk coast is favoured because of its location at the centre of a string of wetland habitats stretching from The Wash to the Thames Estuary, which could provide a suitable home for white-tailed eagles.  Elsewhere in Europe, white-tailed eagles thrive in similar lowland wetland habitats.
HO: Skilled migrants renewing their visas to stay in the UK, under Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS), will be issued with an ID card from January 2010 skilled the Home Secretary Alan Johnson has claimed - 3 months ahead of schedule. Since their introduction 90,000 cards have been issued, mainly to students renewing their visa under Tier 4 of the PBS and those renewing marriage visas.

From October 2009 foreign nationals who are being issued with ID Cards will be given the choice of providing their fingerprints & photograph at one of the 17 participating Crown Post Offices for a fee of £8 or at one of the UK Border Agency or Identity & Passport Service Offices currently included within the scheme, which will remain free.
TfLTransport for London (TfL) has announced plans to tighten the guidelines for licensing taxi & private hire drivers in the Capital.  In future, taxi & private hire licences will not be granted to applicants who have been convicted for serious or violent offences, unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances.

This clarification comes as a result of recent public interest in the case of an individual, with a conviction for manslaughter, who was licensed (now being revoked) as a private hire driver and accepted onto the Knowledge of London programme.
MoDHMS Ark Royal has just undergone a £12m upgrade in her home port of Portsmouth and is about to embark on 2 weeks of post-maintenance tests. During the upgrade her hull was painted with new ‘intersleek’ paint – allowing her to cut through the seas more quickly - which will cut fuel costs & emissions by 9%.  It will also increase her top speed by 2 knots to 30 knots.
The work, carried out by BVT Surface Fleet, also included new exhaust systems, an updated IT network and improvements to sewage treatment plants. Her gearboxes, main engines & diesel generators have also been refurbished.
DH: A new scheme supported by football clubs across England will help educate men about the symptoms & risks of ‘male’ cancers and encourage them to present earlier with their symptoms. The new 1-year pilot initiative Ahead of the Game – Organise Your Defence will use the appeal of football to improve men’s knowledge of the signs & symptoms of lung, bowel and prostate cancers in men aged 55 & over who are most at risk of dying from these cancers.
The Football Foundation will run the pilot scheme, which will raise awareness of these symptoms in a variety of ways including nurses giving out information and FREE health tests at matches & community road shows. The scheme which is part funded by the Department of Health and 5 football clubs will take part - Portsmouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Blackburn Rovers, Scunthorpe United and Norwich City.

Policy Statements and Initiatives

BIS: Business Minister, Ian Lucas, has claimed that the government is ‘doing all it can to support the car industry helping it to adapt & survive, so it can emerge stronger and better able to deal with future challenges’. Mr Lucas made the comments as he published the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) response to the Business & Enterprise Select Committee’s report,The Automotive Industry in the UK’.
In addition, the government recently made the first loan from the Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP).  Tata Motors TMETC has been given a £10m to support the development & manufacture of electric vehicles in the UK.
DECC: Britain’s top 100 business leaders & top 100 media personalities are being asked to put their efforts & influence behind the global ‘tck tck tck’ climate change campaign - a global alliance of NGOs, trade unions, faith groups calling for a ‘fair, ambitious & binding climate change agreement’.
Kofi Annan, ex-Secretary General of the United Nations and leader of the campaign, recently wrote to 100 global leaders, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to ask them to join the campaign for an ambitious global climate deal at Copenhagen in December 2009.
Just as he wrote to the global ‘top 100’, the UK Government is now passing on the message to the top 100 leaders in British business & media.  The letter asks business & media leaders to write to their own ‘top 100’ telling them why they personally believe in tackling climate change, send them a badge and ask them to pass on the message to their own ‘top 100’.
ScotGov: A new action plan to help cut greenhouse gas emissions from across the agricultural sector has been launched. The 5-point plan will help farmers increase productivity and tackle climate changeFarming for a Better Climate (FBC) is funded by the Scottish Government. A dedicated website, hosted by the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), will offer advice on cost-effective ways to benefit business and the environment.
DCSF: Schools Minister Vernon Coaker has announced the 10 successful pilot areas looking at how local services can be better co-ordinated for separating & separated parents.  The £4.75m project aims to improve the wellbeing of families caught up in divorce & separation with help from, local services including counselling, mediation and practical & legal support.
Over 90% of parents responding to a 2008 survey by the Kids in the Middle campaign felt that more should be done to support families during separation.  This was echoed earlier in the year with responses to the Child Maintenance & Other Payments Act consultation.
The pilots will also provide the Government with evidence as to how local approaches can tackle the stress & conflict faced by parents going through separation or divorce and to reduce the negative outcomes that children caught in the middle can face.
ScotGov: All Scotland's local authorities will be able to apply for funding from the Scottish Government to help ensure that people going out for the night can enjoy themselves in a safe environment. The Safer Streets funding of £400,000 will be available to Community Safety Partnerships from November 2009 - March 2010.
It is to be divided between all 32 local authorities to fund community safety initiatives including high visibility police patrols in 'hot spot' areas, street pastors, targeting of street drinkers, enhanced CCTV and late night taxi marshals.
Defra: Pond dipping, a hunt for ancient trees, coppicing & scrub bashing were just a few of the activities Wildlife & Biodiversity Minister Huw Irranca-Davies got stuck into recently as part of Defra’s Muck In4Life campaign. The Minister was spending a day volunteering for conservation work in the South East to find out about the range of activities available.
MuckIn4Life encourages families & people of all ages to get fit & healthy out and about in the countryside by taking part in conservation volunteering with all sorts of activities on offer from bird surveying to pond cleaning and path building.
Volunteers can also take part in a photo competition to win high street vouchers simply by taking snaps of their volunteering experience.  The winning photos will also be displayed at the famous KewGardens.
BIS: Graduates thinking about starting their own business will get a flying start, as successful entrepreneurs offer advice to help them make it happen. Building on the Flying Start scheme launched in 2004, the Government is investing a further £1m, so 5,000 graduates will get the opportunity to attend one of 50, one day rallies aimed at inspiring them to start up their own business.
The rallies will provide support, advice, guidance & information through practical workshops and inspirational speakers & business mentors.  Graduates will also have the opportunity to network with like-minded people, giving them the motivation they need to take the first step. Graduates will be contacted shortly with more information about how they can get involved with Flying Start - Make it Happen.
WAG: Better public transport and walking & cycling facilities are making it easier for people in Wales to get into town without their car.  On 'In Town, Without My Car!' Day recently, the Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, set out how the Assembly Government is helping people to take part.
ScotGov: Television viewers in Scotland could be guaranteed more content relevant to their lives & interests under different constitutional arrangements, Culture Minister Michael Russell claimed as he published a discussion paper on Broadcasting - an area currently reserved to Westminster.
The Opportunities for Broadcasting paper sets out - as part of the National Conversation on Scotland's future - what could be achieved in relation to broadcasting, under 4 different constitutional options. Further devolution of powers could mean the Scottish national football team's World Cup and European Championship home qualifying matches being protected for free-to-air transmission.
ScotGov: Local Authorities are to be given the legal protection they require to limit P1 class sizes to 25 Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced. The right of children to more time & attention in the classroom and delivery of improved literacy & numeracy in early years are at the heart of the Scottish Government's decision to introduce new regulations, which will allow local authorities to tackle the largest classes and help drive down P1 classes towards 18.
The Scottish Government plans to introduce regulations to establish a maximum class size for primary one from the start of the next school year.  Ms Hyslop also announced the Scottish Government is establishing a Class Size Review to examine the variety of rules & regulations governing individual class sizes across primary & secondary levels, and how to make them more coherent, giving consideration as to whether primary legislation is required.
ScotGov: The importance of establishing a successful relationship between Government and the Third Sector has been emphasised in a joint statement signed by the Scottish Government, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). It represents a milestone in efforts to create partnerships and encourage joint working in Community Planning Partnerships throughout Scotland.
ScotGov: The largest & most comprehensive examination of child protection measures in Scotland has just finished - allowing safeguards to be strengthened through the most in-depth analysis ever - Children's Minister Adam Ingram has claimed.
Mr Ingram said the Scottish Government and child protection agencies had already started drawing from the vast bank of information to help ensure successes can be shared and measures across the country are as robust as possible.
HO: A competition has been opened for designers to develop new ideas or methods to tackle retail crimes such as shoplifting.  Design students from across the country are being invited to enter the competition as part of the national Retail Crime Action Plan, which sets out a broad range of actions to tackle crime against retailers and small businesses.
The competition is part of the Home Secretary's Design and Technology Alliance's work to ‘design out’ crime, which is aimed at generating innovative & cost-effective ways of stopping crimes likes shoplifting or ‘dipping’ with measures such as new types of packaging, new shop layouts or products (including more secure trolleys and baskets).
ScotGov: Young children whose parents regularly speak to them have hundreds more words in their vocabulary by the age of just two Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said, as she kick-started a nationwide parenting campaign.
The new Play, Talk, Read campaign - part of the Scottish Government's focus on the first years of children's lives - will help parents stimulate young children and put in place the building blocks for future life chances. The national drive - which includes TV & radio adverts and a new one-stop website for parents of young children - is aimed at helping parents stimulate their children from day one through easy, fun activities.
DCSF: Children’s Minister Delyth Morgan has announced a package of measures to help put the focus clearly on the child in the care system.  The minister has also written to local authorities to look at ways to bolster support for foster carers.  The measures include:
* consulting on significant revisions of the National Minimum Standards (NMS) against which Ofsted inspect care settings
* providing research on how local authorities might improve the stability of permanent placements and better structure their looked after children budgets.
Research published by the DCSF shows that children in stable, long-term placements achieve much more than children who have a series of temporary placements or whose placements breakdown.  We therefore need to urgently address the issue of stability in the care system.
Defra: Measures to protect & improve our soil to meet rising demand for food and to combat climate change have been unveiled by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn. England’s soil has suffered over the last 200 years from the impacts of intensive farming & industrial pollution and today is under threat from erosion by wind & rain, a loss of organic matter & nutrients and pressure for development.
Safeguarding our Soils sets out how the government plans to halt & reverse the degradation of England’s soil over the next 20 years, working with farmers & other land managers, developers, planners & construction companies to manage soil sustainably.
By 2050 the world will need to double current food production to feed a growing population, possible only with healthy soils.  Future sustainability of the UK’s food supply will depend on maintaining the natural resources, including soil, on which production depends.
ScotGov: Further benefits to the rural economy were announced last week at Scotland's first-ever Rural Gathering. The Scottish Government intends to fund up to 90% of projects in rural communities, such as small businesses, renewable energy projects & community gardens and festivals through the LEADER programme, which previously provided up to a maximum of 50%.


CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities have extended the deadline for people & organisations to share their views on the Government's green paper 'Shaping the future of care together' to Friday 9 October 2099. The Government green paper sets out a vision for a National Care Service, the options for reform and how the new system could be organised and paid for.
HEFCE: The Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) has published a consultation, on behalf of the 4 UK higher education funding bodies, on the Research Excellence Framework (REF).  The REF is the new process for assessing research in UK higher education institutions, enabling the selective allocation of funding.  It will replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
Newswire – Care Support Independence:  People across the country will be able to come face to face with their future selves now as Care Services Minister Phil Hope launches the Big Care Debate ‘Face of Care’.  The online software will allow people to ‘age’ a photo of themselves and generate an image of what they might look like in old age.  Alongside facts & stats on the care & support system, the snapshot will be a fun but frank look at what might be in store for people as they get older.
In using the application, people will also be encouraged to have their say on proposals for a radical reform of the care & support system, including the creation of a new National Care Service that is ‘fairer, simpler and more affordable for everyone’.  
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities are looking at the impact of recession on business performance.  Their last business performance report in January 2009 found:
* an increasing deterioration of businesses across rural England
* heavy reliance of rural businesses on finance secured on mortgage lending, overdrafts & credit card borrowing
* high visibility of major retail closures in market towns 
CRC want your views & experiences by Friday 9 October to help inform their next business performance report.
DWP: Employers will be having their say on some of the key elements of the Government’s auto-enrolment pension reforms with the launch of the consultation (closes on 5 November 2009) on the second batch of regulations
It will seek views on matters including scheme self certification, qualification criteria for pension schemes and requirements to provide employees with information on auto enrolment. The responses to the consultation on the first batch of regulations have also been published.
In addition the Government has also published a second consultation (closes on17 December 2009) on draft guidance on the use of Group Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) for auto-enrolment and the use of default options in workplace personal pensions (WPPs) used for auto-enrolment.
ScotGov: Farmers are being urged to have their say on how future financial support for agriculture & rural development should be targeted. The Inquiry into Future Support for Agriculture in Scotland has announced it wants to gather evidence from as many sources as possible, including individual farmers & industry bodies.
The inquiry team met for the first time last week and, as the first stage in its programme of work, agreed to issue a call for written evidence from interested organisations & individuals.  Evidence can be submitted on the Scottish Government website until October 30, 2009.
In addition the inquiry will draw upon relevant statistics, reports, international experiences & research, including the forthcoming findings of the Rural Land Use Study. An interim report will be published in December 2009 before a public consultation and a series of meetings take place. A final report is due in April 2010.
DECC: International energy & environment Ministers will converge in London on 13 October 2009 to move international collaboration on carbon capture & storage forward ahead of the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen.
The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), hosted by the UK & Norway, will bring together Ministers from 23 countries as well as the European Commission and industry stakeholder and build on the foundations of the G8’s ambition to launch 20 CCS demonstration projects globally by 2010.
Ahead of the talks DECC is launching a consultation (closes on 30 December 2009) which aims to harness the huge potential of the North Sea for storing CO2. The consultation proposes the regulatory framework to ensure that exploration, development & management of the potential storage sites is safely carried out and effectively coordinated with other uses of the sea. DECC aim to make & lay regulations in the first quarter of 2010 in order to bring the regime into force in April 2010.
WAG: A consultation (closes on 20 November 2009) on the future management of the fishery orders (Several and Regulating) held by the Sea Fisheries Committees has been launched by the Welsh Assembly Government.  The consultation follows the announcement that WAG will assume full responsibility for the management & enforcement of sea fisheries in Wales.  
The fishery Orders are currently held by the 2 Sea Fisheries Committees (SFC) in Wales, which are due to be amalgamated with WAG Fisheries Unit.  The consultation will seek to prevent the loss of valuable fisheries managed by the SFCs under fishery Orders.

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

Newswire – GC: The Gambling Commission (GC) recently published advice for gambling operators and a short leaflet aimed specifically at small businesses to enable them to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). It is a requirement of POCA that all gambling businesses identify, assess & minimise the risk of customers using money obtained illegally (the proceeds of crime) to gamble in their business.  
Where such activity is suspected, operators must report their concerns to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) via a Suspicious Activity Report.  Failure to report known or suspected money laundering activity may result in prosecution.
FSA: The Food Standards Agency recently updated its fish & shellfish advice to help consumers make informed, sustainable choices, as part of its commitment to taking sustainability into account in all of its policy making. As the evidence for the health benefits of fish consumption remain clear, Agency advice is unchanged: people should be eating at least 2 portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish.
But the advice is being set more firmly in the wider sustainability context and consumers are now being asked to think about the choices they make when they choose which fish to eat by, for example:
* trying to choose fish that has been produced sustainably or responsibly managed
* looking for assurance scheme logos
* being adventurous & eating a wider variety of fish species
CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has urged healthcare organisations to make better use of the patient information that they collect, so care can be shaped to the individual needs of each patient. A CQC study looked at how healthcare organisations manage personal data and found that healthcare organisations generally did not systematically use the non-clinical information they collected on patients to tailor healthcare services to the needs of individual patients.
The notable exceptions were found in mental health providers.  Deficiencies in the way in which personal information is handled can result in poor patient care, including delays in access to care (through missed appointments), loss of privacy and independence. 
The report says that sharing personal information effectively is a fundamental part of an integrated healthcare system.  The study found that healthcare organisations supported this in principle, but there were technical & cultural barriers to sharing patient information between healthcare and social care settings.
LSIS: The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) has launched a new online Self-assessment & Improvement Planning guide, to support providers to build their capacity to improve.  Self-assessment is critical to evaluating & improving the quality of learning provision and organisational development.  It also informs the thinking of funding bodies and Ofsted inspection teams.
Although the Guide should save practitioners time, its main purpose is to provide them with tools to carry out self-assessment and improvement planning.  The guide provides up-to-date references to current policy (including changes to inspection), useful links to information and examples of effective practice.
The Guide is relevant to all types of post-16 provision.  It is principally for LSC funded providers, but there are tools & links which may be of use to Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) funded providers who need to check that their self-assessment meets DWP requirements.
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final guidance on the use of pemetrexed for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  The guidance recommends pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin as an option for the first-line treatment of patients with NSCLC that has spread to the surrounding tissues or other parts of the body and if it has been confirmed as being a type of tumour known as an adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma.
People who are currently being treated with pemetrexed for NSCLC, but who do not meet this criteria, should have the option to continue their therapy until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop.
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final guidance recommending the use of ustekinumab as a treatment option for adults with severe plaque psoriasis.  It is recommended if the person is assessed as having severe disease that has not responded to standard systemic therapies including ciclosporin, or for adults who cannot use those therapies.  
Treatment with ustekinumab should stop if an adequate response has not been achieved by 16 weeks (after the start of treatment) as defined by assessment based on severity of the psoriasis and quality of life. 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on promoting the social & emotional wellbeing of young people in secondary education. Between the ages of 11 & 19 years, young people undergo numerous physical & emotional changes which will help shape their adult life.
Recent reports suggest that one in ten young people are unhappy at school and over a third are worried about being bullied.  The new guidance on social & emotional wellbeing in secondary education outlines how secondary education providers and service commissioners can help protect & nurture young people by providing a friendly, supportive environment that meets their social and emotional needs.
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on the use of sunitinib for gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GISTs).  
The guidance recommends sunitinib as a possible treatment for people with unresectable (non-operable) or metastatic (where the cancer has spread) GIST if they have already tried imatinib treatment but it has stopped working, or was not suitable.  Sunitinib is recommended on the basis that the cost of the drug for the first treatment cycle is covered by the manufacturer.
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on the uptake of immunisations (including targeted vaccines) in people younger than 19 years.  The guidance aims to tackle inequalities across England by offering practical recommendations to increase the number of children & young people who are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Evidence shows that groups of children and young people who are at particular risk of not being fully immunised include, those who have missed previous vaccinations (whether as a result of parental choice or otherwise), looked after children, those with physical or learning disabilities, those from non-English speaking families  and younger children from large families.
LDA: Londoners are being given a helping hand to access jobs & training opportunities linked to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.  Podium Skills London is offering sector specific jobs & training information in areas such as construction, creative media, and hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism (HLTT) by working closely with colleges & universities.

The website includes an innovative employment forecast providing users with information about the types of skills needed to deliver the 2012 Games, a course search selection, which enables users to link into training courses related to key sectors and information, plus case studies relating to the sector specific skills needed by the 2012 Games.

Annual Reports

BIS: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is prioritising its use of better regulation principles and has made real progress improving its performance as a regulator, according to a new report published by the Better Regulation Executive.
The report, part of a series of reviews of national regulators, examined how the SIA matched up to the principles of effective regulation set out by Philip Hampton in 2005. The report highlighted that the SIA could further improve performance by integrating risk assessment into strategic planning, improving customer focus and some aspects of communication with stakeholders.
BIS: The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has made good progress putting better regulation principles into practice according to a new report published by the Better Regulation Executive. The report, part of a series of reviews of national regulators, examined how the GLA matched up to the principles of effective regulation set out by Philip Hampton in 2005.  
The GLA regulates businesses that provide workers to farming, the food industry & related sectors which employ up to 450,000 workers or around 10% of the UK employment agency sector.  Among its findings were that the GLA has had an impressive impact in improving the working conditions for some vulnerable workers.
However, despite making real progress in implementing better regulation principles into its work, the report also identified some issues the GLA needed to address to improve its performance further, including working with a wider range of partners to improve its intelligence gathering.  The GLA could also benefit by clarifying its decision making process in licensing cases, to help stakeholders understand how better to comply and avoid prosecution.
DH: Young first time mothers are being helped to improve the life chances of their babies & fathers are more involved in the early years of their children’s lives thanks to the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme, independent research has found
FNP is a £36m programme providing intensive support for vulnerable first time young mothers and their families.  Specially trained nurses work with them from early pregnancy until the child is 2 years old, building close relationships and guiding them towards adopting healthy lifestyles for themselves and their babies.
DfT: The Department for Transport has published a new Official Statistics Opinions Survey on public experiences of & attitudes towards rail travel. A similar study was last carried out by the Office for National Statistics in 2006.

General Reports and Other Publications

ESRC: Being seen as either well behaved or naughty at school is never entirely in the hands of the individual child, a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) shows.  Once some children acquire poor overall reputations among teachers & other school staff, classmates and parents, it becomes difficult for them to be regarded as ‘good’.  
Two broad types of behaviour in school cause particular concern: physical actions such as kicking & punching and persistent failure to comply with adults’ requests.  Repeatedly calling out or not sitting properly in class, failing to listen or being noisy in queues are all examples of conduct likely to arouse the concern of teachers and other staff.
HEFCE: The HEFCE has welcomed the CBI Higher Education Task Force report recommending a stronger relationship between higher education & business. Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:
“HEFCE will continue to support enduring education, innovation & research partnerships between universities and colleges & business.  It will also continue to promote study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – boosting demand and provision to meet the needs of employers and new industries………
While supporting the main tenets of the report we do not wish to pre-empt the fees review, participation targets & other aspects of the student finance debate”.
Newswire – TSA: £ms are claimed to have been saved by the existence of the Tenant Services Authority (TSA).  In his speech at the recent annual National Housing Federation conference, Chief Executive Peter Marsh explained how better regulation of housing associations has attracted investors and maintained the confidence of both existing & new lenders, meaning more favourable interest rates.
CQC: The biggest-ever national survey of people’s experiences of acute mental health inpatient services reveals that too great a proportion feel they were let down in some important aspects of the care they received, says the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The findings from the survey underline 2 key issues that have been previously identified as priority areas for improvement:
* focusing on individuals’ needs
* ensuring the safety of patients

Large proportions of patients also reported shortcomings in other aspects of the care they received during their hospital stay.
Barbara Young, CQC Chairman, said: “It is not acceptable for people to feel unsafe in hospital or for them not to be to given basic information about their care & treatment.  All trusts must provide a therapeutic environment in which patients can feel safe & recover. A therapeutic environment must include adequate access to activities & talking therapies”.
MonitorMonitor has had a positive impact on efficiency & governance at NHS foundation trusts, according to a new study.  It produced the report, Measuring Monitor’s Impact, to evaluate the effect of its activities as the independent regulator for NHS foundation trusts. The study highlights improvements in performance at NHS foundation trusts as a consequence of both Monitor’s assessment process for applicant trusts and its risk-based approach to regulation.
Defra: A Defra funded report summarises the impact that windows have on the environment in the first step to providing industry best practice on sustainability.  The report establishes that wood, PVC and aluminium frames all have a role in the future of windows – and a place to play in creating sustainable buildings.
This report has been produced collaboratively by Government & industry representatives and is one of several actions to help deliver the Strategy for Sustainable Construction. The next step for the Government & industry organisations involved, is to agree a voluntary action plan for tackling some of the areas highlighted in the report.
Defra: A Defra funded report into the sustainability of plasterboard is the first step on a ‘roadmap’ which will ultimately provide best practice for the industry. The next objective for the Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership is for Defra to work with industry stakeholders to identify areas that could benefit from further effort and to prioritise the development of a voluntary action plan for tackling some of the gaps identified. 
ESRC: Teenagers’ attitudes to diet & weight are shaped by their social class, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.  Policymakers have long insisted on the importance of understanding young people’s health & eating habits but this is the first study to show how everyday practices & perceptions of different social classes contribute to variation in the diet, weight and health of teenagers.

Middle class families look towards their children’s future, expecting young teenagers’ tastes to develop and have a good body shape to actively participate in adult life.  Parents expressed concern that if children were overweight they would have poor health in later life.  They also felt that being overweight would affect the children’s self-esteem and ability to take part in life’s opportunities.

In working class families, concern for the future is dominated by more pressing concerns about everyday life.  
Although working class families express the desire to improve the diet & lifestyle of their children, they sometimes lack the social and cultural abilities as well as money to make such changes happen.
ACE: More people than ever before are getting involved with dance according to a report published by Arts Council England.  Dance mapping: a window on dance - the largest piece of research of its kind - offers a deep insight into the breadth & range of dance in England.  
The overwhelming message is that dance is an ‘artform in growth’ with more than 40,000 people currently working in dance and the amateur sector accounting for a fifth of all arts participation in England.  The report also shows a new generation of emerging artists coming through the DCSF funded Centres for Advanced Training. The number of people studying dance in higher education has increased by more than 97% in the past 5 years.

Legislation / Legal

OFT: The Builders Merchants Federation represents almost 500 merchant and distributor companies & outlets in the UK with annual sales of over £7bn.  It approached the Office of Fair Trading OFT for advice on improving its terms & conditions for consumers as a result of builders merchants increasingly selling directly to households, rather than simply engaging in traditional business-to-business sales and distribution.

Its members have agreed to implement revised terms & conditions with a view to complying with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCRs).  The improvements to members' contracts include:
* clarification of circumstances under which a written quotation may vary and how the consumer can confirm or cancel the contract in exchange for a full refund
* improved cancellation rights for consumers without any penalties where there is a significant increase in price
* clearer language ensuring terms are plain and intelligible
* the amendment of terms relating to exclusions of liability
ScotGov: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has announced her intention to amend the 2008 code of practice in relation to Part 5 of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, in order to reinstate a specific reference to food & fluids. The code of practice issued at the time of the 2000 Act ensured that any health professional who acted in any way to deny food or fluids to a patient with euthanasia in mind would be acting against the law.
Ms Sturgeon has received a letter on the matter from Michael Matheson MSP, who played a prominent role in ensuring that this specific reassurance was included in this section of the Code, under the term of the previous administration. 
Mr Matheson's letter indicates that he has received representations from interested parties expressing concern that the specific reference to food & fluids does not now appear in the same section of the revised code of practice.  The Code is not mandatory but may be referred to by the courts.
BIS: Vulnerable workers will be able to seek advice about their workplace rights & report abuses of those rights through a new Pay & Work Rights helpline, which is part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of workplace rights enforced by Government.  It provides a unified point of contact for both employers and workers.
The employment rights in question are; National Minimum Wage # Agricultural Minimum Wage #  Working Time (48 hour average working week) # Employment agency standards Gangmaster licensing. Previously calls on each of these rights were taken by 5 separate Government bodies.
LBRO: The international family-owned food business, Dr Oetker, has signed up to a new regulatory relationship, as part of a pioneering UK scheme for better local regulation. The maker & distributer of high quality food stuffs has created an innovative partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, establishing the local authority as its single point of contact for trading standards issues across its Chilled and Ambient ranges within the UK.
Known as a Primary Authority agreement, this is the first of its kind between a local authority and a food manufacturer. Primary Authority (PA), run by the public body for better local regulation LBRO, provides companies with reliable & consistent regulatory advice from a single source - the Primary Authority - when dealing with key aspects of environmental health, trading standards & licensing services.  Government estimates suggest the scheme could eventually save business across the UK up to £50m a year.
ScotGov: Ending the display of cigarettes in shops will help reduce child smoking in future generations, Public Health Minister Shona Robison has claimed. The move is one of the proposals in the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill, which received its stage one debate in the Scottish Parliament recently. 
The bill is expected to complete its passage through the parliament by the beginning of 2010.  Large retailers will then have until 2011 to implement the display ban, while small retailers will have until 2013.
The bill's proposals include:
* Banning tobacco displays in shops
* Banning cigarette vending machines
* Introducing a registration scheme for retailers
* Fixed penalty notices for retailers who sell cigarettes to under 18s
* Banning orders to prevent retailers selling cigarettes if they continually flout the law
MoJ: Steps to tackle excessive legal fees in defamation proceedings have been announced by Justice Secretary, Jack Straw. The government response to the consultation Controlling Costs in Defamation Proceedings, which was published last week, comes following extensive consultation with the Civil Procedure Rules Committee and representatives from the media, legal profession, insurance industry and judiciary.
The response sets out the first raft of measures aimed at making libel costs more proportionate & reasonable from 1 October 2009:
* early notice if ‘After the Event’ (ATE) insurance has been taken out
* a 42 day ‘cooling off period’ where, if the defendant admits liability and it leads to a settlement, the ATE premiums won’t be payable by the defendant
* a mandatory cost budgeting pilot for defamation proceedings, aimed at ensuring that costs are proportionate and within the agreed budget, with close judicial supervision

EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

Defra: The new minimum claim size for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and other direct farm payments has been set. The decision follows the completion of a consultation exercise covering the CAP Health Check reforms relating to these payments.  After full consideration of the consultation responses and discussion with industry, it has been decided that the new minimum claim size will be set at one hectare.
This will apply to a farmer’s total claim for SPS, Area Payment for Nuts and Protein Crop Premium from the 2010 scheme year.
Defra: Further details on the derogation for the amount of manure nitrogen that can be applied to farmland have been announced by Defra. Farmers of grazing livestock will be able to apply (before the end of January 2010) for a retrospective derogation for 2009 allowing them to apply up to 250kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare, where certain conditions are met to help protect waters.  Derogation applications for 2010 will should be made from 1 February to 30 April 2010.
The 170kg nitrogen limit continues to apply to livestock manure from other animals (such as pigs & poultry) that are not classed as grazing livestock. New regulations, guidance & application periods will be published later in 2009 for farmers wishing to apply for the derogation.
WAG: Wales is marking a major milestone as it reaches its target of investing 50% of European funding available to the region - almost £1bn - as part of a 7 year drive to boost the Welsh economy and create jobs.  The target was set for the 2007-2013 Structural Funds programmes in response to the economic downturn and, with match funding, will generate an investment of £1.8bn through 119 projects, helping nearly 29,000 Welsh businesses and providing employment & training opportunities for 280,000 individuals.

Charity and Voluntary Sector

BIG: Findings from a 6-year evaluation by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) into the impact of its £751m New Opportunities for PE and Sport (NOPES) programme show a sharp rise in the community usage of BIG-backed sports facilities in an average week.  The number of people using them as part of community groups and sports clubs has almost trebled during the period that on top of the lessons run during school hours.

Business and Other Briefings

FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a feedback statement reaffirming its regulatory approach to balancing the responsibilities of consumers & firms, which it first set out in Discussion Paper 08/05
ECGD: All 1,000 workers at a potash mine in the North York Moors National Park will be working hard this autumn, after the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) and UK Trade &Investment (UKTI) joined forces to help their company secure a major export order. 
Failure to secure the order would not only have had implications for the 1,000-strong workforce at CPL, but also an additional 4,000 people in its supply chain.
HMRC: You can now use the internet to report to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) any individuals or businesses that you believe may be evading their tax. Since 2005, over £42m has been recovered as a result of information received directly from members of the public through the taxman’s confidential hotlines.
In addition, information received through the hotlines has led to the successful recovery of 320kg of class A drugs, along with 27m illegal cigarettes and 9.7 tonnes of hand rolling tobacco - equivalent to £6m of revenue.
WAG: A £37m initiative to help 18,000 people across West Wales & the Valleys become ‘world class business leaders’ has been announced by the Welsh Assembly Government.  
The Enhancing Leadership & Management Skills in Wales programme, backed with almost £16m from the Convergence European Social Fund, will also work with over 5,000 businesses to ‘develop motivated, competitive and highly skilled individuals to drive the workforce and support a 21st century economy’.
Over the next five years the initiative will provide grants to meet up to 70% of costs to help employers fund their staff to develop their leadership & management skills, and will be accessible through the Workforce Development programme via the Assembly’s Flexible Support for Business (FS4B) service.
As part of the initiative, a consortium of partners involving Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Glyndŵr University School of Business and Tattum Guests Associates will provide an All-Wales Centre of Excellence, offering training, workshops, information & services to the business community to promote & drive up demand for leadership and management development & qualifications. 
This Revenue and Customs Brief provides details of HMRC's response to the High Court judgment in Insurancewide/Trader Media.

Forthcoming Event

WAGDoes the media damage the relationship between older people and younger people?  This is the key question under discussion at the Welsh Assembly Government’s Citizens Jury to be held at County Hall, Cwmbran on 1 October 2009.
People are being invited to have their say on whether the portrayal of young & old people by the media is damaging the relationship between generations. The WAG-organised Citizens Jury is made up of members of the public who consider evidence, cross examine witnesses and come to a verdict or make recommendations to address the issue.    
This event is one of many which will be held across Wales to celebrate the UK/UN day for Older People.  It is also an opportunity for WAG to show its commitment to strengthening the relationships between the generations in today's society.

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