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In the News

DHThe trouble with political visions is that most turn out to be just illusions - A vision that will ‘allow nurses & midwives to transform the quality of care’ has been set out by the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery.  It also sets out that in the future nurses & midwives will take centre stage in all aspects of health care and that nursing & midwifery practice will be ‘rooted in compassion’.

Separate to the vision statement the Commission has identified ten hot topics through responses to the first engagement phase and their own deliberations, which they want further debate on.  Included within the hot topics for discussion are the need to address the confusion over roles and title of nurses & midwives and the role of nurses & midwives in putting service users in charge of their own care.

The 2nd engagement phase will last 2 months and will include meetings with nurses & midwives, stakeholder meetings, public events and seeking views online through the Commission’s website.  A final report will be produced by the Commission in early 2010 and presented to the Prime Minister &Health Secretary.
DCSF:  But will it be at a cost to other education budgets? - Ed Balls has announced measures to provide better support for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabled children.  The proposals aim to make life easier for parents and help their children maximise their potential. The measures will:
* Test easier ways of assessing children with special educational needs
* Review current & future supply of teachers trained to meet the needs of pupils with severe learning difficulties
* Provide new guidance for schools to tackle high exclusions of children with SEN

Writing in response to Brian Lamb’s letter which highlighted ways of improving parental confidence in the SEN system, Ed Balls announced trials to test different ways to assess children’s needs.
Building on the 8 innovative pilots run under the Lamb Inquiry and reviewed by the Institute of Education and Warwick University, a second round of projects will expand into every region, including projects where assessments are more independent of the local authority.  It will include a formal evaluation of how this separation impacts on parental confidence.
HO:  Will it be based on hearsay or evidence? - Violent partners will be banned from their homes and their victims given support to escape abuse under new proposals unveiled by the Home Secretary.  Police will be able to initiate a Domestic Violence Protection Order, also known as 'Go' orders, barring perpetrators of domestic violence from their homes for up to a 14 days, giving their victim time to consider their options.

The new Orders are based on successful models in countries such as Austria and Switzerland. Local caseworkers will use the period of the order to advise the partner about services if they decide to leave the relationship, including practical help to secure a longer-term injunction. 

The powers will complement new restraining orders which came into force on 30 September 2009 to help protect victims of harassment, including domestic abuse, where an offender has been prosecuted for any criminal offence.

Around 750,000 incidents of domestic violence are reported to the police every year, resulting in 200,000 arrests.  Currently, victims only receive immediate protection if the police arrest & charge a perpetrator and appropriate bail conditions are set or a civil injunction is sought by the victim.  If this does not happen, the only option for victims may be to escape to temporary accommodation.
Press release ~ HO: Restraining Orders ~ Refuge Website ~ Women's Aid Website ~ Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) ~ Home Office – Domestic Violence ~ DM Leaflet ~ Victim's Advisory Panel ~ Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse ~ Corporate Alliance for Against Domestic Violence ~ National Plan on Domestic Violence ~ Domestic Violence Mini-site ~ Caada ~ Domestic Abuse website  ~ ScotGov National Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan ~ Safer Lives: Changed Lives - A Shared Approach to Tackling Violence Against Women In Scotland ~ Scottish Women’s Aid ~ CAB – Domestic Violence ~ Fact or Fiction ~ Castlemilk Domestic Violence Project/D.A.R.A. ~ ScotGov - Violence against Women ~ Strategic action plan to address violence against women and to update the Welsh Assembly Government’s domestic abuse strategy ~ All Wales Domestic Abuse strategy ~ WAG - Domestic abuse ~ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women ~ WAG Domestic Abuse Guidance: Supporting People & Multi-Agency Working ~ Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline ~ Welsh Women’s Aid

STFCGoogle to forecast future Barbeque Summers - The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has provided Google with data that has allowed the internet company to use climate change projections within its Google Earth application

Users can now view for example, images of greenhouse gas emissions by region, as well as the expected consequences of climate change; the idea is to make the information more accessible in the hope that this will eventually lead to more action on the issue.

The data given to Google is being used as part of the internet company’s collaboration with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; they’re working together to increase global engagement in climate change in the run-up to & during the UN Climate Change Conference which will be hosted by Denmark in Copenhagen in December.
CLGGood news, but where will the new savings come from? - New figures show that local authorities reported £1.76bn of savings during 2008-09, by making services more efficient & improving value for money - equivalent to £98 for the average band D council tax payer.  The Government has put in place a £5.5bn efficiency savings target for councils to meet over the current spending review period, by 2011.

The Government is also currently piloting 'Total Place', an initiative which will ‘identify radical changes which will allow better services to be delivered at lower cost, and demonstrate the benefits of public services working together to address customers' needs’.  Elected councillors are looking at all the money that is being spent on a particular issue - from policing to healthcare - and considering whether it might be spent more effectively to get a better deal for residents.
DCSF:  But if he reduces the management level who will work on this issue? - Ed Balls has set out plans to ensure all schools have good, not just satisfactory, behaviour.  He has written to all local authorities asking them to make behaviour a priority and has produced a leaflet to parents setting out their rights & responsibilities in supporting their school’s behaviour policy.  

In addition, the Government set a new ambition that all schools should have a good or outstanding Ofsted rating on behaviour by 2012, or be on track to reach one at their next inspection.
VSO:  Linking up to give hope & support to communities - Community groups throughout the UK are being invited to help shape a new government scheme to promote & fund links with the developing world by taking part in a nationwide survey.  The survey findings will help shape the new DFID Community Linking Programme, which will launch in 2010.  The 3-year programme will provide grants, support and networking opportunities to UK community groups to develop or establish links with organisations in developing countries.

The survey aims to engage as wide a range of groups as possible, including faith, Diaspora, minority ethnic groups, youth groups and charitable organisations.  Groups taking part in the survey will have priority access to information about funding & support opportunities.
Press release ~ Take part in the survey at (closes 31 December 2009) ~ VSO

Industry News: It’s a whole new language of threats – The problem with ICT is that is it can be so useful that end users wish to deploy it in so many different ways and, indeed, most organisations (& even individuals) cannot possibly operate without it. However, teaching users how to obtain all the benefits from the numerous ICT gadgets in a secure manner is not just a case of providing them with an instruction manual and ensuring that they actually read it (now there is a novel idea), or even providing them with formal coaching.

The one certain fact is that, despite management publishing formal security procedures & policies (and threatening dire consequences if they are not read & followed), or even providing formal training, there will ALWAYS be the odd occasion when somebody fails follow security procedures.  It is not a question of ‘if this happens’ to your organisation, but rather ‘When’.

Indeed, when one considers the terms IT personnel use to describe threats one can understand why some may not take the matter seriously:
* Bluesnarfing – Using Bluetooth devices to capture data
* Podsurfing – Using an iPod to download large quantities of data
* Thumbsucking – Using USB Thumbdrives to capture, or transfer without IT authorisation
* Zero-day threats – Ones so new that no solution exists

So, while organisations should ensure that they put security procedures in place, the only (relatively) failsafe attitude to take is that somebody, at some time, will fail to follow them, so the best thing to do is to physically prevent them from being able to do so, by ‘locking down’ hardware according to centrally managed security policies.
Functionality can then be provided on a ‘need to have’ basis, as well as a ‘need to have it over a set time period’ basis, but the general rule will be that you only have the functionality you need to undertake your job.

Click HERE to find out how Kent Police received the highest rankings possible for its IT infrastructure and was ranked one of the top five police forces in the UK.

Cannot happen to You? – Read on:
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General News

BIS: A new imperial glass size, measuring two thirds of a pint, is set to be introduced in pubs & clubs under proposals to change prescribed quantities of alcohol. The option of pouring a two-thirds measure follows calls from many members of the pub trade to allow them more flexibility in serving draught beer & cider, especially those with a higher alcohol content.
The proposal is contained in the Government’s response to the National Measurement Office’s Consultation on specified quantities – non pre-packages and food information, which also includes measures to:
* Deregulate specified quantities for unwrapped bread
* Deregulate wine servings of less than 75ml from the requirement to use specified quantities
* Replace the existing specified quantities for fortified wines with smaller sizes of 50ml & 70ml
* Bring the sale of Brandy into line with other spirits by requiring its sale in specified quantities of 25ml and 35ml
HA: As part of its commitment to safe & reliable services for all road users, and to taking account of the needs of disabled customers, a new publication which sets out what the Agency is doing to improve our infrastructure for disabled road users is now available.
Following the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in 1995, the Agency has been reviewing & updating its design standards, introducing more inclusive design principles into its road improvement schemes. This includes features such as tactile paving, dropped kerbs and raised footways at bus stops to facilitate access to buses.
WAG: Recently, Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones visits Carmarthenshire to announce the accommodation businesses which have been successful in being included on the Visit Wales Gold Award List of accommodation for 2009/2010.  The aim of the Gold Award is to recognise & reward outstanding quality, exceptional comfort & hospitality in the serviced accommodation sector in Wales.
Newswire – HCA: Around half of the 260,000 new homes projected to be built in England in 2009 & 2010 will be directly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency it was revealed recently. The Agency’s Corporate Plan, which covers the period April 2009 to March 2011, outlines how it will use £6.75bn of its budget to directly deliver 117,000 new homes, the vast majority of which will be for affordable rent or sale.
Through the Plan the HCA has pledged to focus on delivery using innovative approaches – such as the Public Land Initiative, new models of investment & private rental activity – and to maximise the scale & impact of its Programmes.
HO: Dancer Wacky Rymel, 16, will soon be holding free classes teaching robotic dance moves to young people on his Hackney estate.  He won the chance after coming first in the Government-backed MTV competition 'Good 4 The Hood', which saw entries from more than 300 young people across the UK.
It is part of the Government's drive to prevent young people becoming involved in crime and empowering them to make a difference in their own communities.  Wacky will now be provided with audio equipment, outfits and funding to hire a venue for the next six months with the help of MTV. He will then be given details of ways to get further funding and advice on applying so he can carry on his dance classes.
MoD: The MoD is proud to announce that a Commanding Officer who served with the Welsh Guards was awarded a posthumous bravery medal last week.  Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, who was killed by an explosion in Afghanistan, has been awarded the Estonian Defence Forces Distinguished Service Decoration.
The award was presented by Chief of Defence of the Estonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots in recognition of Lt Col Thorneloe’s bravery and the support that he provided to Estonian troops.
Defra: The planned coastal path at Weymouth will be introduced in time for spectators to enjoy the 2012 Olympic Games sailing events at Weymouth Bay. Natural England will be consulting with key stakeholders from 2010 on how the new path will be delivered.  It is now planned for a section approximately 20km long to be opened by July 2012.
MOD: 28 of the RAF’s Puma helicopters (which can each carry up to 16 infantrymen), will receive a £300m upgrade that will enhance performance & enable them to operate in the toughest & most demanding conditions. 
The upgrade includes a £220m contract to equip the Puma fleet for at least 10 years’ further service, while new engines will give 35% more power & 25% better fuel-efficiency than the existing engines. Deliveries are due to start in 2011 and the first 14 aircraft are planned to be in service by the end of 2012.
TfL: Thousands of West Londoners will benefit from rail access to the capital's transport system, following Mayor Boris Johnson opening a new London Overground station at Imperial Wharf.  The £7.8m ImperialWharf station provides residents in Hammersmith & Fulham, Chelsea and West Brompton with high frequency rail connections to the major transport interchanges of Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction.

The station, partially funded by Transport for London (TfL), features Oyster ticketing, a staffed ticket office, step-free access, CCTV and the latest security & information features.  It is served by London Overground's new air-conditioned trains, which have increased capacity, walk-through carriages and driver-monitored CCTV for improved security. From 2011, it will be served by 4 London Overground trains per hour all day, every day.  Southern trains also call at the station.
CCWater: Many households will now have received the second water bill of the year, and the Consumer Council for Water recommends customers take 10 minutes to look through what they are paying for and that charges for water & sewerage services are correct.
By carefully reading through your water bill, you may find ways to save.  For example, if you have a soakaway which drains rainwater into the ground rather than into the public sewerage system, you can apply to your local sewerage company to have surface water drainage charges removed.  This could typically save around £30 each year. If you have a septic tank you should not be paying sewerage charges.
It may also be worth taking time to visit the CCWater’s website to see if you could save money by having a water meter fitted.  The water meter bill calculator on the website can help you work out how much you might pay on a metered charge.

OGC: The Office of Government Commerce’s (OGC) Contract Database now carries 400 cost effective deals, an increase of 60% over the year.  It allows purchasers to make significant cost & time savings, as the contracts included are aggregated and have, where appropriate, already been competitively tendered in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), an increase of 60% over the year.  
It allows purchasers to make significant cost & time savings, as the contracts included are aggregated and have, where appropriate, already been competitively tendered in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).  
The 400th deal on the Database is for technology that assists contracting authorities to achieve voltage optimisation improvements
Press release ~ Contracts Database ~ Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO)
FSA: Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar has officially launched a project, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), to encourage school children to eat healthily and live a more balanced lifestyle.  The project, called Something to Chew On, uses Manchester United players to teach primary school children about being healthy.
The Manchester United Foundation has received the funding to develop the project over 3 years and will work in partnership with the FSA, local & regional healthy schools teams, and local authorities. Each school in which the Foundation delivers Something to Chew On will receive a full teacher resource pack, so that the project will be sustainable for future pupils. It will be rolled out across Manchester, Trafford & Salford with a view to going national next year.
TfLLondon Underground (LU) has welcomed the RMT leadership’s decision to abandon the completely unnecessary threat of a 1-day strike on the Victoria line over changed working patterns for drivers.  LU met with the union recently to clarify the working arrangements, which the RMT had claimed would lead to an increase in workload.  Following that meeting, the union has accepted that no drivers will work longer hours and has signed up to the same working patterns accepted with ASLEF last week.
ScotGov: Scotland's premier development programme for teachers has been given a boost following the launch of the revised Standard for Chartered Teacher. After a consultation period, the Standard has been refocused to ensure it highlights key leadership skills and better natural progression from the Standard for Full Registration that all teachers work towards during the first year of teaching.
The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers has launched a new Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher.  This Code compliments the revised Standard for Chartered Teacher by giving illustrative examples of the professional actions outlined in the Standard.
SESport England and Facebook have announced a new partnership that will ‘transform the way sports bodies engage with participants as they deliver a lasting Olympic legacy of one million people playing more sport’. The new partnership, which is intended to help national governing bodies (NGBs) to reach out beyond their traditional club structures, was launched at a mass table tennis event in London, organised through Facebook.
Central to this new way of working is the new Facebook ‘Sport Hub’ which enables NGBs to engage with over 20m people who use Facebook in the UK.  The ‘Hub’ looks & feels like a Facebook fan page, but offers a range of new applications, enabling NGBs to organise & market grassroots sports events.  Facebook users are able to challenge other people in their area to compete against them – whether in a squash match or a running race – and then share the results with their Facebook friends & networks.
Students & young people who use Facebook are the first to benefit though a pilot scheme run by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and 6 sports: Table tennis - Squash & racketball - Badminton - Judo - Athletics - Volleyball.
FSAJames T Blakeman and Co. Ltd. has withdrawn some of its sausages because they contain wheat (gluten) & sulphites that are not mentioned on the label.  The product is a possible health risk for anyone who is allergic or sensitive to wheat, gluten or sulphites.  The Agency has issued an Allergy Alert and if you are allergic or intolerant to wheat, gluten or sulphites you are advised not to eat this product.
You can get details of all the latest allergy alerts as soon as they're issued by getting the details sent as an SMS text message direct to your mobile phone. To sign up to this free service, simply send the text message 'START ALLERGY' to the number 62372.
FSA: Sainsbury’s has recalled its Sainsbury's Chicken & Creamy Basil Pasta, because some packs have been wrongly packaged and may contain King Prawn Linguini.  This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to shellfish.  The Agency has issued an Allergy Alert. If you are allergic to shellfish you are advised not to eat this product.
CO: Last year a pledge was made to scrap the mandatory retirement age for all Civil Service staff below the most senior levels.  The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, has now promised to remove it for everyone in the Senior Civil Service as well.  From April 2010, all staff who wish to carry on working after 65 will be able to do so.
DCMS: 12 talented amateur gardeners from across the UK will be hoping to ‘win gold’ as the public vote for the ‘RHS Olympic ParkGreatBritishGarden Competition’ kicks off. Run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the competition invited green-fingered Brits to design a quarter acre garden in the London 2012 Olympic park expressing the unique qualities of a British domestic garden.
For the next month the public will be able to vote for the design that they would like to see on the park during & after the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.  The winning garden will showcase one of the UK’s favourite pastimes and commemorate the Much Wenlock Olympian Society in Shropshire, whose games inspired Pierre de Coubertin to found the modern Olympic movement.
ACEArts Council England’s Sustain programme, which is helping arts organisations continue to maintain artistic excellence during the recession, will close to new applications on 9 October 2009. Sustain, which is investing an extra £40m in the arts over the next 2 years, has already made 52 awards worth more than £17m and is likely to have awarded all the funds by November 2009.

PCS: The PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union)has criticised proposals by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to remove up to 134 UK civil servants serving as management officers in UK embassies around the globe and replace them with staff recruited locally.  Management officers are responsible for the oversight of embassy staffing, finances, property and security. Localisation of staff is planned in approximately 50 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Russia, China and Nigeria. 
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "If the FCO want to make savings they should be looking at the £60m they spent on consultants last year”.
HO: Following a pricing review, the government agency has agreed to reduce the fee charged for a Standard Disclosure from £31 to £26. The change will come into effect from 1 October 2009. It has been made possible due to an expected increase in the volume of disclosure applications being processed as the new Vetting and Barring Scheme comes into place from 12 October 2009Checks for volunteers will continue to be free of charge.
LLUK: Did you know that thanks to the work of more than 260,000 professionals working in further education in England almost 3m people have improved their literacy & numeracy skills?  Or that, because of these same people, apprenticeships are available in 180 different careers across 80 sectors?
A major campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the invaluable role the FE sector plays. Lifelong Learning UK has developed the FE Works campaign on behalf of the FE Reputation Strategy Group.
DfT: Commuters travelling into London from Harrow, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire are to benefit from an extra 1,300 seats on 5 new peak time services. The Government has agreed funding with London Midland to operate the extra services from December 2009 boosting services for passengers commuting to the capital from Watford Junction, Bushey, Milton Keynes, Bletchley and Harrow & Wealdstone.
London Midland has also agreed to renew automatic ticket barriers and increase their number on Platforms 8-11 at London Euston by December 2010, reducing queues that build when trains arrive at these platforms during the morning peak.
STFC: The Herschel Space Observatory has produced spectacular new images of interstellar material in our galaxy, using the UK-led SPIRE camera in tandem with Herschel’s other camera, PACS.  The new pictures, made during the first trial run with the two instruments operating at the same time, have unveiled a small part of our Milky Way Galaxy as we have never seen it before and bode well for one of Herschel’s main scientific projects, which is to survey large areas of the galaxy.
Large areas of the Milky Way will be systematically surveyed by Herschel, helping astronomers to unravel the mysteries of star formation in a way that has never been previously possible. With the 2 instruments operating at the same time, the observations can be made with great efficiency.
ScotGov: Patients across Scotland could soon see a consultant over webcam and have their symptoms assessed electronically. People in rural Aberdeenshire and Orkney, for example, can use video links at their local GP surgery or community hospital to see doctors at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. As well as chatting in real time, a range of medical devices, including blood pressure cuffs & glucose monitors, can be used in the consultation and a diagnosis given.
Now, a nationwide hi-tech drive will be enabled by the integration of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth (SCT) into NHS 24, the health board which runs Scotland's national health helpline & website.  The SCT will transfer to NHS 24 on 1 April 2010.
MLA: A scheme designed to build learning partnerships between museums, archives and bodies that run undergraduate & postgraduate teacher training courses is open for grant applications.  The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) grants programme is a professional development programme, supported by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) that aims to embed the use of museums & archives into the practice of teachers, at the beginning of their professional careers.
Based around an audience of children & young people, the scheme is designed so that museum & archive staff can benefit from the ideas & expertise the teachers bring to the projects.  Expression of Interest forms should be submitted to the MLA by 16 October 2009 and final applications must be submitted by 16 November 2009.
Newswire – CABECABE Space is offering up to 8 people the opportunity to learn how well-designed spaces can benefit communities through the 2010 CABE Space design skills scholarships. The scholarships have been set up to boost design awareness in professions that create & manage urban public space.  Applications for 2010 scholarships close on 13 November 2009To apply visit

Policy Statements and Initiatives

BIS: The Government has announced a £100m increase to the vehicle scrappage scheme. Alongside the increased funding the Government will work with manufacturers to extend the benefits to van owners with vehicles over 8 years old, rather than the current 10 year requirement.  
Car owners will also get a boost, with the age qualification changed by 6 months to extend the benefits to cars registered on or before 29 Feb 2000 (V registration).  The scheme will come to an end in February 2010, or when the funding runs out, which ever is sooner.
ScotGov: The Scottish Government and the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) have made available around 4,000 Government files which would previously have remained closed for 30 years. 28 September was International Right to Know Day and ScotGov & NAS marked the day by beginning the process of releasing files up to 15 years earlier than had previously been the case.
DECC: The Government has launched a search for local authorities, charities & social enterprises to take up the challenge to help communities fight climate change. Communities can apply for a share of a £10m fund as part of the Low Carbon Communities Challenge to build on existing low carbon schemes. All applicants are requested to register interest by 12 noon on Wednesday 28 October 2009 and let DECC know whether they intend to apply for capital funding within this financial year or the next.  The challenge is scheduled to start in January 2010.

The 20 successful communities will each receive support to pay for real measures selected by the local residents themselves.  For towns to be eligible they must demonstrate they are already making changes and are committed to developing both infrastructure & behaviour change that results in carbon reduction, such as wind farms, electric car infrastructure or home energy refurbishments.

DfT: Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has launched a major £14m package to ‘transform facilities for cyclists at rail stations and encourage healthier, greener travel’.  Over the next 2 years a series of measures, including 'Cycle Hubs' at 10 major rail stations and 10,000 extra cycle parking spaces across the country will be introduced by Government, Network Rail, Cycling England and train operators.
The new cycle hubs will include extra cycle storage facilities, repair services, hire schemes and improved cycle access to & from the stations. This announcement follows the Government's commitment in June for £5m to be spent over the next two years to improve cycle storage facilities at up to ten major railway stations nationwide, including in London.  Due to the quality of the response to that announcement, the funding has now been doubled to £10m.
ScotGov: The long-term damage caused by property speculation on croft land must be tackled, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said recently. However an occupancy requirement, which would mean houses built on former croft land have to be used as main residences, will not be included in the Crofting Bill. 
Alternative ways of keeping land affordable to those who want to take up crofting will be explored instead. Ms Cunningham also confirmed there were no plans to end the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants Scheme and the Croft House Grants Scheme.
Defra: Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has announced a review of England’s wildlife & ecological network, including its links with our National Parks and its ability to adapt to climate change and other pressures. Reporting by June 2010, the review will explore if our collection of sites represents a coherent & robust ecological network, capable of responding to the challenges of climate change & other pressures.
CLG: 37 councils are being given the go ahead by John Denham to borrow against or sell assets up to £501m so they can meet & manage the one-off costs of settling their equal pay promises faster. Since 2006 central government has given English councils permission to raise over £1.6bn for equal pay costs under a process known as equal pay capitalisation.
SE: Funding to create 2,000 new jobs for young people in sport has been announced by the Government as part of its £1bn Future Jobs FundSkillsActive, one of Sport England’s national partners, will help to shape the qualifications, training & continuous professional development the young employees need.
The National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, part of the SkillsActive Group, will deliver the Future Jobs Fund programme in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, a number of NGBs, the Prince’s Trust and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.
MoJ: Families of murder & manslaughter victims are to ‘benefit from a boost in practical & emotional support’, after Jack Straw announced proposals for a new National Victims Service, beginning with a service for those affected by murder & manslaughter.
The National Victims Service, which will be introduced during this financial year, will begin its work by offering one-to-one tailored support to all those bereaved by murder or manslaughter to help them cope with the trauma of losing a loved one to crime.
DFID: A new plan to allocate £14m is set to drive economic growth across Central Asia and tackle poverty in the region’s poorest areas. The Department for International Development’s 3-year plan will look at boosting the business climate across the region, strengthening public services and improving the effectiveness of development organisations.

DFID’s work in the region to date has focussed on the two poorest countries, KyrgyzRepublic and Tajikistan. Under the new Central Asia Development Strategy, UK aid will continue this support, but will also be used to reduce poverty regionally by promoting sustained & inclusive economic growth across all 5 countries in Central Asia.
WAG:   The Welsh Assembly Government is a step closer to implementing a wildlife strategy as part of its comprehensive bovine TB eradication programme.  Following consideration of the responses to a 14-week public consultation, the Minister has laid the TB Eradication (Wales) Order 2009, which will give the Assembly Government the powers to use culling & vaccination of badgers as part of the eradication programme.
The Minister stressed that the legislation did not, in itself, mean the start of a badger cull, but that an important part of the preparatory work is complete.  Work on environmental considerations and defining the area is also underway.
WAG: New measures to care for people with chronic conditions have resulted in reduced admissions to hospitals, improved health of patients and reduced pressure on the NHS. The first 12 month report into 3 demonstration areas – Carmarthenshire, Cardiff & North Wales – set up to try out & test new ways of managing care for people with chronic conditions - identified major benefits to patient care.
The aim is to ensure that individuals living with chronic conditions such as arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and chronic heart conditions can access the right service, at the right time, in the right place and delivered by the right person.
ScotGov: Government, businesses, Scotland's Colleges and individual Scots all have a role to play in helping Scotland's Economic Recovery Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop has said.
DCSF: Ed Balls has announced a full & detailed review of the provisions which prevent the promotion of racism in schools.  He has asked Maurice Smith, formerly HM Chief Inspector of Schools and currently Director of Education for the Church of England Manchester Diocese, to lead the review and deliver his report in January 2010.
Newswire – TSA: England’s affordable housing regulator, the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), has welcomed the government’s focus on Family Intervention Projects (FIPs), which will see a crackdown on anti-social behaviour & crime.
Under the new plans, the TSA will be working with the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Communities and Local Government on a new £15m Challenge Fund (further details will be announced shortly).  This funding will be for housing associations & local authorities to identify & provide support to families causing problems within their local community.
Newswire – HCA: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and ConstructionSkills – the UK’s Sector Skills Council for construction - have announced a joint employment drive to resume the training of hundreds of apprentices made redundant during the recession.
The collaboration draws on the HCA’s expertise & relationships with their key local authority and Registered Social Landlord (RSL) partners in a bid to promote & foster support for ConstructionSkills’ Apprenticeship Matching Service (AMS), which recently secured £1m of financial support from the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).
Companies able to provide suitable employment to displaced apprentices and support them to complete their training are eligible to apply for up to £1,000.  For employers who are registered with CITB-ConstructionSkills - the Industry Training Board for construction that collects levy from the industry - this money comes on top of funding already available through the organisation’s existing grant scheme.
Defra: Compensation payable during October 2009, in England (and in Wales & Scotland for BSE only) for a bovine animal compulsorily slaughtered for disease control purposes has been announced.
HO: New advertising which highlights the cost of carrying a knife and a taskforce of young anti-knife crime campaigners have been launched.  They are part of the next phase of the Home Office’s ‘It Doesn’t Have to Happen’ campaign, which aims to reduce knife carrying among 10 - 16 year olds.  The youth taskforce are a group of young people, aged 15 to 20, from communities touched by knife crime, who will be spreading the campaign messages to their peers.
The advertising employs the powerful message ‘carry a knife and lose your life’ demonstrating how easily carrying a knife can lead to death, loss of freedom or serious injury.  Research has shown that messages make the most impact for this age group when they come from their peers who have experience of the issue and can talk first hand about the consequences.
CC: The Competition Commission (CC) has formally recommended to the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) - and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland - that they take the necessary steps to introduce a competition test in planning decisions on larger grocery stores. This follows the CC confirming in a decision that it will bring significant & lasting benefits for consumers.

The competition test would prevent supermarkets’ groceries developments, including extensions to existing stores, by retailers with a strong presence in a local area, to make competing developments from rival retailers easier.  The CC published its provisional decision in July and, after considering responses to that document from retailers & other parties, has now made its final decision.
WAG: A £34m programme to ‘drive forward cutting-edge research to secure a low carbon future for Wales, create green jobs and help business to develop sustainable products & technologies’ has been announced.  The Low Carbon Research Institute Energy programme is aimed at meeting Welsh Assembly targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by exploiting the knowledge in Welsh universities and helping industry develop new products, technologies & services, turning them into commercial reality.
DH: The completion of a series of reforms, to strengthen the focus on public protection in the regulation of health professionals including nurses, midwives & dentists, has been announced by the Department of Health.
DCSFPartnerships for Schools (PfS) has assumed responsibility for the management & delivery of all schools capital programmes – a total of £21.6bn over the entire Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) period up to 2011.  PfS is the delivery organisation for Building Schools for the Future. 85 local authorities are now engaged in the BSF programme, with 26 Local Education Partnerships formed to deliver school building projects in these areas.


FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) have set out a package of measures for consultation (closes on 30 November 2009) aimed at protecting vulnerable consumers in the sale & rent back (SRB) market.  Exploitative advertising and high-pressure sales techniques will be banned under the new proposals, due to come into effect on 30 June 2010, which builds on the FSA’s interim regulation, which started on 1 July 2009.
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced a package of measures (consultation closes on 30 October 2009) to protect consumers in the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) market and ensure they are better treated when buying PPI or complaining about it.
Firms representing more than 40% of face-to-face sales in the Single Premium Unsecured Personal Loan PPI market have agreed to review these sales & redress those consumers identified as mis-sold.  Ongoing supervisory action continues with the remainder of this market place.  These measures build on the agreement the FSA obtained from the industry earlier in 2009 to stop selling Single Premium PPI on unsecured loans.
CO: In July 2009 the Government launched a consultation into the design & functions of a Social Investment Wholesale Bank (closes on 07 October 2009). This consultation could result in a new breed of financial institution - a bank with the primary purpose of investing in society, the environment and the economy.
DCMS: People who want to sell alcohol, put on live music and other arts events, or sell hot food & drink late at night, will soon be able to make applications for licences entirely online under new measures proposed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Online applications will make the licensing process quicker & easier and could save businesses & voluntary organisations up to £1.5m per year.  Those applying for Temporary Events Notices will also be able to do so online.
A 6-week consultation (closes on 13 November 2009)on the scope & detail of the new online process has been launched to give all users – including pub landlords, parent teacher associations, restaurants owners and sports club managers - the opportunity to have their say before the system is due to go live in January 2010.
VSO: Community groups throughout the UK are being invited to help shape a new government scheme to promote & fund links with the developing world by taking part in a nationwide survey. The survey findings will help shape the new DFID Community Linking Programme, which will launch in 2010.  – See ‘’In the News’ section for more information.
LLUK: Lord Herman Ouseley was asked by Lifelong Learning UKto lead on a review of the Workforce Race Advisory Group (WRAG) - supported by Saheema Rawat. A part of this review includes gaining feedback (by 20 October 2009) from providers, staff, managers & trade union stewards, finding out what people know about the group and understanding what the important issues are in relation to race equality & the sector workforce. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

ScotGov: Scotland's youngest pupils are to benefit from the new approach to learning & teaching being embedded in the nation's classrooms through materials being issued to every nursery, pre-school and primary.
Thousands of copies of the DVD - Curriculum for Excellence Supporting the Early Level - which promotes outdoor learning and aims to enable better continuity of learning by easing the transition between pre-school and primary – have been issued.
Defra: New guidance to measure & tackle greenhouse gas emissions for businesses & organisations has been published by Defra and DECC.  The guidance has been published alongside advice on what it means to be carbon neutral.  The guidance is aimed at all sizes of business, as well as public & third sector organisations and it will help businesses & organisations to measure & report their current emissions and set reduction targets.
FSA: The Food Standards Agency has updated its list of product ranges that do not contain the 6 food colours associated with possible hyperactivity in young children.  A further restaurant (Domino’s Pizza Group) producing product lines free of the colours has been added to the list, which includes both companies whose product ranges have never contained the 6 colours and product ranges that have been reformulated to remove the colours.
HSE: New training legislation came into force on 1 October 2009, which included revised guidance for employers and revised guidance for first aid training organisations.

Annual Reports

Newswire – EA: Water quality in England & Wales has improved for the 19th year in a row the Environment Agency has claimed.  As a result, more rivers are becoming home for species that were once thought to be in terminal decline in them, such as salmon, eel and otters.
The improvement has been achieved mainly through investment by water companies, tougher action on polluters, changing farming practices and thousands of local projects. The Environment Agency also published new plans to revitalise & transform over 9,000 miles of river by 2015.
ScotGov: The Scottish Health Survey published last week shows that three-quarters of adults in Scotland rate their health in general to be 'very good' or 'good', while 7% rate it as 'bad' or 'very bad'.
This is the first report of the Scottish Health Survey since a major review & redesign.  The survey is now run on an annual basis and has adopted a core and modular structure.  The previous Health Education Population Survey run by NHS Health Scotland is now incorporated as a module of this survey.  Results from this module will be published at the end of the year.
HSE: The number of employees being killed or injured at work is at its lowest level since the inception of the modern health & safety system 35 years ago.  The Health & Safety at Work etc Act was introduced on 1 October 1974, a year in which 651 people were killed in work related incidents.
Last year, statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed 180 people died as a result of work based activity.  The most recent statistics from 2006 show Britain had the lowest rate of fatal injuries in the EU While Europe averaged 2.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers the UK figure was just 1.3.
Defra: In 2008-09 there were 1.16m fly-tipping incidents dealt with by local authorities.  A 9.3% decrease from the 1.28m reported in 2007-08. 50% of all fly-tips occurred on highways and the estimated cost of clearance of illegally dumped waste reported by local authorities in this period was £54.9m.
OGC: Nigel Smith, the Chief Executive of the OGC (Office of Government Commerce), has praised Whitehall Departments for their progress in driving forward improvements in procurement capability. These improvements are detailed in an overview report published by the OGC summarising the findings of the first wave of the Procurement Capability Review (PCR) programme.

General Reports and Other Publications

CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities’ new report - Indicators of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Rural England: 2009 - uses the most current data available to present a range of key indicators of poverty & social exclusion in rural England in comparison with the equivalent data for urban areas.  In total, there are 37 indicators grouped into 7 sections focussing respectively on low income, work, education, health, housing, services and community.
ScotGov: ‘Minimum pricing for alcohol and a ban on off-sales promotions’ would save hundreds of lives every year, according to research commissioned by the Scottish Government and carried out by experts at Sheffield University.
Findings show that, using an example minimum price of 40p per unit combined with a ban on promotions, alcohol-related deaths would fall by about 70 in the first year of the policy and about 370 per year after 10 years of operation - a drop in such deaths of nearly 20%. It also shows that a minimum pricing policy would lead to significant falls in alcohol-related illnesses & crimes, leading to yearly savings for taxpayers.
Newswire – AC: The Audit Commission has cut what it charges for checking government grants to councils by over a third during the past 5 years.  The AC, in collaboration with grant-paying bodies, has also simplified & rationalised how grants claims are checked for errors, allowing it to cut the number needing to be scrutinised.
Each year auditors check grants worth about £43bn.  Since 2004 auditors have identified errors in grant claims worth £530m - leading to reductions of £381m in what councils were due, with increases of £149m in what they should get. When it last examined grant certification in 2004 it promised a 25% cut in fees over 5 years, which has been comfortably exceeded. 
ESRC: With spectacular losses of personal details by major organisations still fresh in the public mind, a new booklet - Assessing Privacy Impact - provides important insights from leading academics, industry experts & information regulators into the whole debate around who knows what about us, whether they need to, and the treatment of often sensitive data.
Published by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the booklet summarises key presentations and open discussion involving a wide range of participants, at a special seminar organised in conjunction with the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) - the focal point for UK expertise in this area of activity.
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities have responded to CLG’s Consultation 'Strengthening Local Democracy', which sets out a range of proposals to promote democratic renewal and strengthen the power & responsibility of local government. Its response focuses on the need for 'rural proofing' the new proposals and relates to ways of ensuring that rural communities can benefit from & contribute to the ambitions of these new policy directives.
NENatural England has announced the outcome of its public consultation on ‘General Licences’ for wildlife. ‘General Licences’ enable people to carry out activities affecting bird species that would be unlawful under wildlife legislation, but which are deemed necessary in order to prevent public health & safety problems, serious damage to crops or disruption to native wildlife.
Reviews of General Licences are carried out periodically to ensure that the licences address emerging circumstances & conservation issues.  The latest review ensures that the licence framework remains up to date and is able to target the increasing impact of non-native species - recognised as a major global conservation problem.
Draft versions of the revised licences, which will come into force on 1 January 2010, have been published on the Natural England website to allow licence users time to familiarise themselves with the changes.
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published a response to the feedback it received to the Turner Review and associated discussion paper (DP) issued in March 2009. The feedback statement sets out the FSA’s analysis of the responses received & reports on the progress made since March, in implementing change and in achieving international agreement.
Respondents generally agreed with the analysis of the Turner Review and the broad approach it proposed.  The majority offered clear support for the analysis of causes, the main recommendations and the FSA’s supervisory approach as detailed in the Turner Review and DP.
Alongside the process of formal response to the proposals, wider debate has continued on the overall approach to financial regulation. In this context, the FSA’s own thinking has continued to develop on certain proposals which now require a more detailed analysis.  Therefore, in addition to this feedback statement, the FSA plans to issue a further discussion paper which will be published ahead of the second Turner Review conference,which is being held on 2 November 2009.
EHRC: The Commission Disability Committee has published its strategic priorities, setting out how it will use its powers & responsibilities to tackle some of the major issues faced by disabled people. The strategy is working towards the Committee’s vision of creating a society where disabled people participate fully and contribute to society as equal citizens.
In order to achieve these priorities, the Committee will initiate a series of projects, act as a source of expert advice for all of the Commission’s work and consider how to use the Commission’s regulatory powers to get results.
LLUK: Last week saw the publication of Learning Through Life, an independent inquiry into the future for lifelong learning. The report recognises the rich spread of learners, of all ages, who are learning at various levels and in different settings - from colleges through to work-based learning and in the community.
It also emphasises the impact that a more diverse range of learners has on the social & economic benefits of lifelong learning.  This involves encouraging greater responsiveness to learners, literacy & numeracy, and the development of a credit-based system, which Lifelong Learning UK are currently undertaking.
HEFCE: There is no systemic failure in quality & standards in English higher education (HE), but there are issues needing to be addressed, a report commissioned by HEFCE concludes.  The report is based on a major review chaired by Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, to examine public concerns about quality & standards in HE.
HEFCE is legally responsible for making sure that academic quality is assessed in each university or college across England that it funds.  They contract with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to make this assessment based on audit visits.  The group concluded that the current method used by the QAA needs to be made more flexible & responsive to keep pace with changes in English HE and should be revised for the next series of audits beginning in 2011.
Ofsted: A new Ofsted report showcases 20 primary schools in very challenging circumstances that have been rated 'outstanding' at least twice.  It is written for all primary schools to use & help them achieve success.
The 20 schools, from across England, defy the association of disadvantage with low standards. They serve communities where pupils come from poorer urban backgrounds and an above average proportion receives free school meals.
The report - Twenty outstanding primary schools - Excelling against the odds - shows they succeed by having the highest expectations for every pupil & staff member.  It follows a similar report, launched earlier this year, that looked at the ingredients that lead to outstanding secondary schools.
NA: The latest in a series of innovative videocasts, created by The National Archives to mark the 70th anniversary of the Second World War, has been released. The Longest Day tells the dramatic story of the Normandy landings, one of the most significant operations of the war.  The videocasts form the War on Film series, which recount the events that went on to inspire popular war films, using extracts from real government records and archive footage.
CQC: Early observations from regulator's enquiry into out-of-hours provider, Take Care Now, may indicate a nationwide gap in monitoring.  The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said it fears Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) may not be effectively monitoring performance of GP out-of-hours services, and risk failing to spot patient safety concerns as a result.
Updating on its review of out-of-hours care provided by Take Care Now, the regulator warned the NHS it must improve its monitoring.  The CQC is expected to publish its final report early in 2010, however it may provide further updates in the interim if there are important lessons to be learned for Take Care Now or PCTs.

Legislation / Legal

BIS: New rules came into force on 1 October 2009 to ensure that thousands of workers get a fair deal on tips & wages. The changes make it illegal for businesses to use tips to bring staff pay up to minimum wage levels.  They come into effect on the same day as new increases to national minimum wage rates which will benefit up to 1m people.
ScotGov: The UK Government's proposals for agricultural reform would hit farmers by damaging prices, reducing livestock numbers and cutting their income, according to Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead. Independent research also shows that the UK's future vision for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) would hit Scottish farmers harder than those south of the border.
The research looks at the impact of the vision on farming across the whole of the UK and also its impact individually in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The research was jointly commissioned by the UK Government and the devolved administrations.  The UK vision differs in a number of ways from the Scottish Government's own vision, which takes into account the unique circumstances & characteristics that exist north of the border. 
DH: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 came into force on 1 October 2009The 2008 Act is intended to ‘respond to changes in society and ensures it is fit for purpose in the 21st Century’.  Government undertook a review of the 1990 Act, bringing legislation up to date with society and to reflect technological developments (such as new ways of creating embryos).  
It enables scientists to investigate cures for serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and regulate assisted reproductive treatments. The 2008 Act maintains the regulatory system set out by the 1990 Act.
MoJ: On the eve of the new legal year, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw has announced the successful delivery of the new UK Supreme Court, which opened on 1 October 2009.
Set up under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Supreme Court is intended to ‘provide greater clarity in the UK constitution by further separating the judiciary from the legislature underlining the independence of our judicial system’.  The existing Law Lords have become the first Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and the Senior Law Lord has become the President.
It will be the final court of appeal for all civil cases in the United Kingdom, all criminal cases in England, Wales & Northern Ireland and will also assume the devolution jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
BIS: The biggest overhaul of company law has been completed with the final elements of the Companies Act 2006 being brought into force, with 2.5m British companies set to ‘benefit from a range of measures that simplify & strengthen the way they do business’.
ScotGov: A new bill which will assist Scotland's legal profession to grow & compete both in the UK and internationally has been published. The Legal Services (Scotland) Bill will:
* Alow solicitors to secure external investment &business expertise and to combine with other professionals to offer legal services to the public in new ways
* Remove restrictions on solicitors entering into business relationships with non-solicitors
* Make it easier for Scotland's leading commercial law firms to compete effectively with other UK firms and internationally
* Create a robust regulatory framework in which the Scottish Government will appoint approved regulators who will regulate the new business structures
The consultation paper ‘Wider choice and better protection - a consultation paper on the regulation of legal services in Scotlandwas published January 7, 2009.  It sought views on the proposed regulation of ABS for the delivery of legal services in Scotland.  The independent analysis of the responses will be published on the Scottish Government website in the next few weeks.
HO: Individuals found guilty of terrorism & terror-related offences will be subjected to notification requirements and foreign travel regulations similar to those that apply to sex offenders under new measures that have come into force.
Notification requirements, made under Part 4 of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008, will help police manage the risks posed by terrorists following their release from custody.  The requirements will be retrospectively applied to those guilty of terrorism & terrorist related offences and will also allow police to apply to a court for an order restricting overseas travel where they believe it will prevent someone travelling to become involved in terrorist activities.
ScotGov: Proposals for a new law to protect people affected by debt have been published in the Scottish Parliament. The Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill is the first of its kind in the UK to review legislative protection available to home owners and to address practical support for those in financial difficulty.

EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

FSA: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its opinion on a wide variety of health claims submitted by food businesses from across the UK and other EU Member States. The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation requires a list of EU-permitted health claims to be developed, one aim of which is to increase consumer protection.
The next step in the process will be for the European Commission and Member States to decide whether to authorise the claims for use on food, taking into account EFSA’s opinions. Legislation will be developed by the Commission.  Member States will then vote on what claims are to be included in a final list of permitted EU health claims.
ScotGov: Action is needed now on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said as he pledged to stand up for Scotland's fishermen. He told industry representatives they were in the 'middle of a storm' caused by economic pressures, European restrictions and a 'broken CFP' but that he was determined to help them navigate through it.
And he said that rather than wait until 2013 to overhaul the CFP, the European Commission should act now on discards to help to help the fishing industry sail towards a 'more sustainable and profitable future'.

Business and Other Briefings

BIS: Minister for Consumer Affairs & Competition, Kevin Brennan, has announced that he has cleared Atlas Elektronik’s proposed acquisition of QinetiQ’s underwater systems division. The acquisition remains subject to statutory undertakings from Atlas which address certain public interest concerns that have arisen.
The undertakings place a number of binding requirements on the new owners which address the public interest concerns that had been identified relating to:
* the protection of information sensitive to the UK
* the maintenance of certain strategic capabilities within the UK
* ensuring the continued independence and impartiality of research output & advice undertaken by the enterprise being acquired
BIS: The Government has joined forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to offer up to 10,000 graduates a boost to their future employability, through internships in small & micro businesses. The FSB, which represents 215,000 small businesses across the UK will campaign to encourage its members to offer these internships in addition to places already on offer under existing schemes.  
The extra places will be funded through a grant, administered through Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the universities who will administer the scheme.  That will provide £100 per week towards the wage costs involved.  Employers will meet the balance.  University Careers services will help match graduates to the opportunities available.
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a Feedback Statement that confirms that it intends to pursue enhanced transparency of short selling through disclosure of significant short positions in all equities.  However, it will work towards agreement on future requirements at an international level rather than introducing a separate domestic regime.  In the meantime it has no plans for immediate changes to its current short selling requirements.
Currently, the FSA requires disclosure to the market of net short positions of 0.25% or more of the issued share capital of UK financial sector companies or companies carrying out a rights issue.
CLG: The Valuation Office is letting businesses in England know their new rateable values ahead of bills being issued in March 2010. The government claims that 60% will see falls in their rate bills. For the minority paying more the Government is putting in place a £2bn relief scheme self funded by businesses that will limit & phase in increases.
The Government is encouraging small businesses to apply for small business rate relief, which can help provide up to 50% off their bill.  And the Government has recently announced that it will remove the requirement to re-apply for small business rate relief at revaluation reducing bureaucracy for small businesses & billing authorities.
A Brief of interest to all businesses within the telecommunications, Internet service provision and broadcasting sectors who claim to have moved or may consider moving the place of supply of their services from the UK to another Member State.

Industry News

OS: A range of new licences from Ordnance Survey provide users with free access to a wide range of mapping data for experimentation and development. Users can now download sample areas of premium products direct from the Ordnance Survey website, while even more data – up to 10% of anywhere in the country – is available for free to those that request it.
The three new licences – entitled ‘Discover’, ‘Evaluate’ and ‘Developer’ – make it easier for businesses, government agencies, social groups & entrepreneurs to experiment with Ordnance Survey data and realise the value of location-based information.  Samples of 22 datasets are available, including the entire OS MasterMap product suite of topography, imagery, address and transport network layers.
The licences, one of which is only half an A4 page in length, have been created specifically to be easy to understand and to offer the chance to test, develop & demonstrate Ordnance Survey data internally or to potential customers without cost.
FA: According to Fellows Associates, innovation in delivery is essential for the long term sustainability of the social care system.  Northgate Public Services have launched an online self-service support solution which gives the citizen greater control and promotes enablement and early intervention in adult social care.
Supporting a pro-active & preventative model of personalised social care centred on improved wellbeing, with greater choice & control for individuals, My Support helps citizens to shape their own lives & the services that they receive.
Whilst online self service will not be appropriate for all citizens, for many it will provide a means of increasing citizen satisfaction with their social care support.  Citizens will benefit from 24x7 access to information & services from the comfort of home at a time that suits them.

Forthcoming Event

LBRO: Working together to forge a new relationship between business and its local regulators is the focus of the LBRO Conference at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, on Thursday, 19 November 2009
The event will showcase progress over the previous year, reflecting major developments in the local better regulation / post-Hampton agenda.  Delegates will also hear about the success of LBRO’s key initiatives such as Primary Authority, which establishes a single point of contact for local regulations for companies operating in multiple local authority areas; and the Trading Places scheme in which regulators are placed with businesses – literally experiencing the impact of their work at the ‘business end’.
The conference covers the contribution of better regulation to economic prosperity, sharing best practice, delivering quality of life and the next steps for better regulation.  There will also be the latest update on how good practice is being shared among regulators through the Beacon theme ‘Cutting Red Tape.
LLUK: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is launching The Learning Revolution Festival, a month-long celebration of informal adult learning and its benefits for individuals, families, businesses and communities.
Throughout October hundreds of events, such as taster sessions, workshops, demonstrations, performances, competitions & classes, will take place across England giving current learners the chance to celebrate what they enjoy and others the opportunity to try something completely new.  The Learning Revolution Festival will run from 6-31 October 2009. To find out what events are happening near you, please visit
Organisations wishing to support The Learning Revolution Festival and access materials should visit:

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