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In the News

ScotGovThey have more in common than just being detained - An anti-sectarianism education programme for adult offenders is to be piloted at Addiewell Prison after the Scottish Government awarded a £20,000 grant to the Iona Community youth department

The programme seeks to challenge Sectarian prejudices & beliefs and aims to change prisoners' attitudes, so they
learn to accept diversity & promote citizenship.

The Iona Community have a successful track record of working with young offenders on similar anti-sectarianism projects and have run similar courses at Polmont Young Offenders Institution since 2003.
NAOAnother 8 years for the last 8% - It is estimated that over 1m social homes have been improved by the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Decent Homes Programme, which aims to improve the condition of homes for social housing tenants. 

But the National Audit Office has warned that there are weaknesses in the information collected by the Department, which has reduced its assurance that value for money was being achieved.

The original target was that all social sector homes would be decent by 2010 but, by November 2009, the Department was estimating that approximately 92% of social housing would meet the standard by 2010, leaving 305,000 properties ‘non-decent’.  100% decency would not be achieved until 2018-19.
CQCMental health treatment for BME groups still unbalanced - The NHS, councils & wider community bodies should improve preventative services to ensure they meet the mental health needs of people from BME groups, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said as it published the latest Count me in census.  

The report - published last week & designed to promote equality in healthcare - monitors the ethnicity of inpatients and people subject to the Mental Health Act.  It underlines the need for better local strategic needs assessments and bespoke community-based services to reduce the risk of admission & detention.  

This year's census shows people from black & white/black mixed groups are 3 times more likely than average to be detained under the Act.  Furthermore, there is no evidence of a decline in admission rates among BME groups, one of the 12 goals of the Department of Health's action plan, Delivering Race Equality.
Newswire – ECNo address need not mean no vote – The Electoral Commission is reminding people living in temporary accommodation that they don’t need a permanent address to have a say at the next general election.  The Commission, the independent elections watchdog, has produced a poster encouraging residents in shelters, hostels & B&Bs to discuss how to register to vote with their accommodation managers.

A General Election must take place by 3 June 2010.  People living in temporary accommodation can register to vote with the local Electoral Registration Officer using their temporary address. 

People with no fixed address should complete a Declaration of local connection available from the local electoral registration office.  On the form you need to give an address where you would be living if it were not for your current situation or an address where you have lived in the past. If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time.
Newswire – PO and LGODon’t they realise that their main function is to provide a service to the public? - The combined failings of 3 public bodies allowed illegal waste activities to go unchecked over a 7-year period with devastating effect, says an Ombudsmen report published last week.  

Environmentally Unfriendly, a joint report by Ann Abraham, Parliamentary Ombudsman and Local Government Ombudsman, Anne Seex, looks to the 3 bodies to pay £95,000 in compensation to the neighbours of the unauthorised waste site.

The payment by the Environment Agency, Lancashire County Council and Rossendale Borough Council reflects years of extreme distress, aggravation & financial loss suffered by Mrs D and her son after the EA & Councils failed to stop a neighbour from using his land as an illegal landfill site.

From 2000 - 2007 thousands of tonnes of rubbish were illegally dumped, burned & processed on farmland a few metres from Mrs D’s home, enough to fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools.  The 3 public bodies failed to work together despite the existence of a national protocol which clearly required a coordinated joint approach on waste enforcement.
MoJEthical business practices encourage ethical government services - The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has announced new plans to combat global corruption. The Foreign bribery strategy aims to:
* strengthen the law through the new Bribery Bill
* encourage & support ethical business
* enforce the law against foreign bribery
* reduce the demand for bribes through international cooperation & capacity building

Earlier investment in a dedicated foreign bribery police unit and new powers for the Serious Fraud Office has led to increased investigations, multi-million pound fines and criminal prosecutions.  Last year the SFO obtained the first conviction of a UK company for foreign bribery, with the company agreeing to pay £6.6m.
Industry News: - Free White Paper - Getting the Most From Protective Marking - To balance the need to share information with the need to protect it, UK Government and Public Sector organisations are required to apply the Government Protective Marking System (GPMS) to documents and email messages. Implementing and enforcing GPMS could be a time-consuming and even painful exercise without a considered approach and the benefits of protective marking outside of meeting regulatory requirements are sometimes underestimated.

Secure information exchange experts Boldon James have recently published a whitepaper on Protective Marking, available exclusively to Wired Gov subscribers, which outlines and assesses different approaches to meeting protective marking requirements and suggests that protective marking  can add additional value to IT infrastructure, on top of security and compliance benefits.

Click here to receive your free copy of the white paper, 'Protective Marking for UK Government & Public Sector'
Forthcoming event:  The Impacts of Land Use Change: Myth or Reality? - The increased demand for bio-renewables has brought land use change into the spotlight.  But does land use change deserve its negative connotations?

The National Non-Food Crops Centre are holding an event, The Impacts of Land Use Change:  Myth or Reality to discuss this controversial issue this Thursday 28 January 2010 at The Royal College of Physicians, London.  This event is the ideal opportunity to see the latest research in this very complex area from world-leading experts in the field.

Also on the 28 January, the RFA's first annual report on the impacts of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) will be laid before Parliament. Aaron Berry, the RFA's Head of Carbon and Sustainability and the lead author of the report will be introducing the report at this event. Aaron will give a short overview of the reports content and the key messages contained within it. 
A limited number of seats are still available for this event. Click here to register or view the full programme.
For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar

General News

DWP: Those wanting to make a difference to the employment opportunities of ethnic minorities and influence Government policy are being urged to apply for membership of the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group (EMAG), which provides advice to the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force on what is likely to work best for ethnic minority communities.
It reviews planned initiatives to ensure they have the best chance of success, makes recommendations on new initiatives that Government could take forward and examines existing policies to advise if they are working as intended.
Applicants are being sought from various sectors including education, voluntary & community groups, training providers, faith groups & employers. Membership of EMAG is voluntary & unpaid.  The closing date for applications is Friday 26 February 2010.
DfT: Travellers flying between the UK & Bangladesh are set to enjoy more frequent flights and a greater choice of destinations after new air services arrangements were agreed, Transport Minister Paul Clark has announced. Following recent negotiations in Dhaka, the number of flights allowed between the two countries will increase from 10 to 31 services a week on each side.  
The new arrangements also allow airlines from either country to operate services between anywhere in Bangladesh and any UK airport, instead of just Heathrow, Manchester and Dhaka.
LLUK: The Registration Committee for the CLD Standards Council for Scotland have been looking for a model of registration best suited to the values & diversity of the Community Learning & Development field. After months of discussion & scrutiny of existing models in comparable fields, their recommendation is that the CLD Standards Council pursue a voluntary model of registration for workers, managers, training providers and others involved in CLD. 
There will be a small number of categories of registration, depending on qualifications & experience.  The committee will work on the details of these and consult with the field before finalising the model.  This consultation will begin with a series of events around the content of a Code of Practice for the CLD field.
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has commented on last week’s claims by UK bariatric surgeons that some obese patients are not getting access to the NHS weight-loss surgery they need (as recommended by NICE).
WAG: Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, has joined forces with the Welsh Assembly Government to spread the word that credit unions are a safe & reliable way to save money for people from all walks of life and ‘are an excellent alternative to high interest or illegal moneylenders to whom people might turn in the recession’.

Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGov: A new phase of the award-winning No Knives, Better Lives initiative has been launched in Inverclyde. A series of new posters, bus advertisements and pavement chalk stencils will depict the life-changing choice between 'knife or life' that many young people face.
WAG: A major independent review of how education funding in Wales is allocated to schools, colleges & universities has been announced by Education Minister, Leighton Andrews. Itwill be conducted in 2 stages by external consultants with experience & expertise in this field to ensure complete objectivity & impartiality.
Scheduled to begin in February 2010, the first stage is an internal exercise looking at the costs of administering education in Wales using information collected by the Welsh Assembly GovernmentRecommendations for making savings & opportunities to move resources to front line services will be made by the end of March 2010.  A wider review of administering education across Wales will then follow.
ScotGovBBC Alba is playing an important role in Scotland's broadcasting landscape and should be available on Freeview, according to the Minister for Gaelic. Responding to the BBC Trust's consultation on its review of the Gaelic channel, Fiona Hyslop has sent a clear message of support for BBC Alba.
As the channel's principal funder, the Scottish Government's response says it is satisfied with the performance of the channel and is strongly in favour of it being made more widely available. With BBC Alba currently only available via satellite services, Ms Hyslop wants urgent action to be taken to extend availability to both cable & Freeview.  The BBC Trust's review will decide whether or not the channel should be made available on Freeview.
Newswire – 10DS: The Government announced a series of measures to ‘promote the aspirations of young people from all backgrounds and put social mobility at the heart of plans for economic growth’, when it published a response to ‘Unleashing Aspiration’, the final report from the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, setting out plans to implement the vast majority of the panel’s 88 recommendations.
The measures include the creation of an online National Internship Service and a Social Mobility Commission and a ‘guarantee’ for around 130,000 of the brightest pupils from low income backgrounds to benefit from structured assistance at secondary school.
ScotGovScottish literature will be showcased at Asia's leading community-based arts festival, thanks to support from the Scottish Government. Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop has approved funding of £10,000 to raise Scotland's profile at the festival which attracts thousands of book lovers from all over Asia and the world.  Running from 21 - 25 January 2010, the Jaipur Literature Festival is Asia's leading literary festival, which promotes cross-cultural appreciation by bringing together the best of Indian & international writers.
ScotGovFuture agricultural support should consist of 4 strands - direct payments, a top-up fund, rural development programme funding and Less Favoured Area (LFA) support. That was the main thrust of the interim report of the Pack Inquiry into the future of agricultural funding. Detailed consultation on the interim findings will now take place, with a series of meetings planned around the country.
DCMS: Thousands of amateur sports clubs across the UK are missing out on a share of tax savings running into millions of pounds, Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has claimed. Sutcliffe wants more clubs to join the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) scheme so they will have more money to help drive a sporting legacy from 2012.  Clubs eligible are those that encourage participation in a qualifying sport, are open to the whole community, without discrimination and ensure profits go back into the club, benefiting sport.
ScotGov: The latest Know the Score awareness campaign highlighting the dangers of taking cocaine launched last week. The focus of the ad, which highlights the health risks such as paranoia & chest pains (as well as increased chance of heart attack or stroke) is 'you don't know what you're getting with cocaine'.
The campaign, which is aimed at 16 to 22 year olds, will run in cinemas from last Friday and online later this month.  For the first time the Scottish Government has produced adverts specifically for Spotify the music streaming website popular with the target age group.
DCSF: Secretary of State, Ed Balls, has written to Sir Roger Singleton, the Chief Advisor on the Safety of Children, to ask for his initial views (this week) on the use of physical punishment in part-time educational & learning settings, in which adults may be able to rely on the defence of reasonable punishment.  
Schools Minister, Vernon Coaker, has also written to Ann Cryer MP to explain the background & context.
DH: The most vulnerable people in society will be better protected by local agencies such as councils, the police and the NHS, Care Services Minister Phil Hope has claimed.  In response to the Government’s consultation on strengthening protection for vulnerable adults, new legislation will be introduced to enshrine in law the need for every local area to have in place a Safeguarding Adults Board, which will hopefully ensure that vulnerable adults who suffer abuse will have quick & easy access to the people who can help them best.
The Government, working with stakeholders, will now set in train a programme of work to lead & support all agencies involved in safeguarding adults.  There will also be a new cross Government Ministerial group which will oversee the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, set priorities, work up new policy and provide national leadership.
The Government is also working with the General Social Care Council on a system of registration for home care workers.  This will hopefully strengthen protection of vulnerable people, raise the quality of care provided and help prevent abuse.


MoJ: The government is asking for views as to ‘who the new bodies responsible for regulation & complaints in the legal profession should be able to share information with’. The Legal Services Board is the new oversight regulator of legal services, while the Office for Legal Complaints will replace the numerous bodies that currently handle complaints about different legal professionals.  The LSB became operational on 1 January 2010 and the OLC will assume its functions later in 2010.
Both bodies will be restricted to disclosing personal information for defined purposes.  This includes where the effectiveness & efficiency of the wider regulatory framework will be improved by the sharing of certain information with other regulatory bodies.  A consultation (closes on 21 April 2010) published on the Ministry of Justice website suggests who those other bodies might be and seeks views on those suggestions.
Defra: Dairy farmers are being asked for their views on how best to distribute England’s £16m (€18m) share of the EU Dairy Fund in a consultation (closes on 17 February 2010) launched by Defra.  The fund is intended to help farmers who have been most affected by changes in demand & prices over the last year.
Following discussions with the farming industry, the consultation presents 2 options for providing help to farmers, keeping administrative costs to a minimum, and supporting a competitive dairy sector.
Ofgem: Ofgem has published the latest consultation (closes on 9 April 2010) for its RPI-X@20 project, which is looking at possible reforms for network regulation.  Its Emerging Thinking consultation document suggests that the RPI-X price control mechanism, which has been successfully used by regulators for over 20 years, needs to be changed as it will not be able to cope with the pace, uncertainty and scale of change needed to deliver sustainability for consumers.
Ofgem’s consultation sets out a potential new regulatory framework for consultation.  This framework seeks to ensure network companies deliver investment when & where it is needed and stimulates innovation in the way networks are run.  If implemented, it would also encourage a change in the mindset of network companies so they manage the uncertainty & risk in delivering a low carbon economy and seek to innovate as well as to invest to support this transition.
ACEArts Council England has) launched Achieving great art for everyone - a consultation on future priorities for the arts, which sets out the Arts Council’s understanding of the current arts landscape and pinpoints the areas that the Council believes need development. 
The consultation (closes on 14 April 2010) outlines 5 long term goals that will drive the ACE’s development work, inform its funding priorities and strengthen relationships with artists, organisations & audiences.  The results of the consultation will inform a 10-year strategic framework and the ACE’s future investment decisions.

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

NICE: Final draft guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will enable another therapy to be considered for some people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. In the draft, certolizumab pegol is now recommended as a treatment option for some patients with the disease. 
HSE: New guidance is now available to help local authorities understand the importance of a sensible approach to health & safety when it comes to procuring & managing waste and recycling services, in a bid to help reduce death & injury. The recycling industry has 9 times more fatal accidents than the national average and 4 times as many workers suffer injuries.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified that a contributing factor may be that some local authorities are unclear what their legal duties are and mistakenly believe that putting a service out to contract relieves them of all health and safety responsibilities. 
The new online guidance gives practical information on how to make health and safety an integral part of the procurement and contract management process. HSE will be running a series of regional events giving LA representatives the opportunity to hear more about the guidance, share experiences with others and seek advice on potential management solutions.
ScotGov: A comprehensive package of support for teachers, including events & best practice examples, will be available to help them implement assessment for curriculum for excellence. The package, including a commitment to provide a funding boost to help pay for additional local work, is designed to make sure teachers are able to maximise the new assessment system to raise overall standards and attainment as well as assessing and explaining pupils' overall skills & knowledge.
Press release ~ The Assessment Framework and associated paper on Quality Assurance and Moderation ~ Assessment Framework - key facts ~ Curriculum for Excellence ~ Learning and Teaching Scotland

Annual Reports

CO: Civil Servants come from more diverse backgrounds than ever before according to new research. The new figures also show that in the very top jobs (contrary to many common perceptions) the vast majority of people went to state school – a higher number than in many other professions.
Alongside the publication of the research, the Cabinet Secretary has announced that, as recommended by the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions in Unleashing Aspiration, a survey will be conducted on the socio-economic background of all entrants to both the Senior Civil Service and the Civil Service Fast Stream.
ScotGov: Updated Scottish prison population projections have been released by Scotland's Chief Statistician.  These projections take into account current trends in the prison population, including the latest provisional data for the first 10 months of 2009.
Ofsted: The teaching of citizenship is improving but some schools have limited understanding of what is required to provide an effective citizenship education according to a report published by Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills.
The best schools do not just teach citizenship in classrooms, but help pupils become active citizens as well, by giving them opportunities to take on leadership roles in their school community, through volunteering or community action, or as part of a school council.
ScotGov: The second annual report on Scottish Policing Performance Framework published last week by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS) highlighted 3 areas of performance where improvements were required.
Newswire – FSRForensic Science Regulator, Andrew Rennison, has published his first report since the position was created in February 2008.  The report records achievements to date & revises the Regulator’s Business Plan, which was published last year for the period 2008-2011.
The role of the Regulator is to establish & monitor compliance with quality standards for the provision of forensic science services to the criminal justice system.  Following a formal consultation exercise, a programme of work has been commenced to develop a modern & effective quality standards framework.  The report sets out the Regulator’s plans for the next 4 years in embedding the new standards framework.

General Reports and Other Publications

Newswire – IfGThe Centre of Government (No 10, Cabinet Office and Treasury) must do more to improve its strategic capacity to be able tackle the UK’s future challenges, according to a report by the Institute for Government.  The Institute is an independent charity with cross party and Whitehall backing, working to improve government effectiveness.

Based on interviews with over 60 top civil servants and a year’s analysis by the Institute for Government, the report - ‘Shaping Up: A Whitehall for the Future’ - makes recommendations to improve long-standing issues about governance at the centre and in departments.
Socitm: Public sector heads of ICT should be taking the lead in encouraging councils to embrace social media and not be party to moves to block staff from using these important new tools for business, says the latest report from Socitm Insight.
In fact, according to a survey of IT managers published in Social media: why ICT management should lead their organisations to embrace it, many Councils currently take a cautious view of social media, with some 90% restricting access in some way.
About 67% have a total ban on use, enforced either through policy or by a software block.  Others allow use of out of office our or over the lunch period - suggesting that they see these tools as purely social and not having any business benefit.  In contrast, according to Computer Weekly, some 80% of private sector organisations do not block access.
FSA: People who regularly use semi-skimmed milk would be happy to switch to drinking 1% fat milk, according to research published by the Agency to coincide with the launch of the second phase of its saturated fat campaign. 
Whole milk is, on average, 3.5% fat, while semi-skimmed is about 1.7% and skimmed is 0.1% fat.  1% fat milk is suitable for adults & children from 5 years of age.  The research found that while 56% were able to taste a difference, 94% or more found it to be an acceptable alternative across a range of uses, including in hot drinks, on cereal, as a drink on its own, in milkshakes and in cooking.  85% of those who gave it to their children said they did not notice the switch when given the lower-fat milk.
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities has prepared a discussion paper - The potential impacts on rural communities of future public austerity - following a literature review and a roundtable discussion in December 2009 chaired by Ben Lucas, Director of the 2020 Public Services Trust.
This discussion paper aims to help those who represent & serve our rural communities with ideas on how future austerity measures might affect rural people & places and how any adverse impacts might be mitigated.
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) believes that local authorities and other organisations should be making greater use of their ability to pursue policies & projects which increase the economic well-being of the communities they serve.  To encourage & help them, the CRC has launched 2 reports which explain economic well-being and give guidance as to how the concept can be used.
Good practice examples of economic well-being include:
* Pension Extra’ Benefit Take Up Campaign lead by the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Caradon, Cornwall is helping pensioners access the benefits for which they are eligible.  The project has improved the economic well-being of local pensioners and, in turn, has generated additional spend in the local economy.
* 'Out of the Rut' is a commercial venture developed from inside Rutland Council, to help vulnerable people back into the workforce by providing paid, supportive, employment in horticulture, retail & associated activities.  
CQC: The Care Quality Commission has published a letter regarding its review into the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.
ScotGov: An update on a 2008 study on Scotland's hydro resources now estimates there could be 1.2 Gigawatts of potential new hydro capacity in 7,043 schemes.  This compares to 657 Megawatts (MW) according to the 2008 study. The study has taken account of micro-hydro schemes under 100 kilowatts (kW) and has factored in payments to supply electricity to the grid.
New hydro schemes must be sustainable and the Scottish Government has just published a short policy statement on its support for hydro while protecting the water environment.
CLG: Housing and Planning Minister, John Healey, has published research that claims inappropriate building on back gardens is not a widespread, national problem and is often linked to councils’ failure to have local policies in place.
He promised action to head off any current or future problems by strengthening national policy advice, to make crystal clear that previously developed land, which can include garden land, is not necessarily suitable for development and that the decisions to stop unsuitable building on gardens rest at a local level.
OS: Two books covering the history of Ordnance Survey are now available via its website for the first time. Both volumes have been published in a handy Flipbook style, making it easy for readers to find their way around the pages.

Legislation / Legal

Newswire – LEASE: Unwelcome chickens may be coming home to roost for people who bought flats in the 1970s & 1980s on relatively short leases of 125 years.  Leaseholders have rights in law to extend their leases by 90 years (Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act, 1993), but the costs of doing so can jump dramatically, once the unexpired term of the lease gets below 80 years.
One of the main reasons for the big jump in costs when extending a lease of 80 years or less is that valuers must take into account ‘marriage value’.  This is a measure of the potential for increase in the value of the flat arising from the grant of the new lease, and it has to be shared 50:50 between the parties.  You can get a ballpark idea of the cost of extending your lease by using the quick calculator on the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) web site.
ScotGov: An independent review of the system of rights of audience in the Supreme Courts has published its draft findings for comment. The review was commissioned by Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, in September 2009, following concerns expressed by the Lord Justice Clerk Lord Gill in an Appeal Court ruling, and a call for a review by the Law Society of Scotland.
Comments should be submitted ( by 19 February 2010.  The review is expected to publish its final report in March 2010.
ScotGov: A review looking at the potential impact of the UK Supreme Court on the Scottish legal system has been published by Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University. The review was commissioned by the Justice Secretary in December 2008, following the establishment of a new Supreme Court for the UK, to examine the possible effects of the new court on Scotland's distinct legal system.
In his final report, Professor Walker has put forward six possible models of reform.  However, he focuses on 2 options in greatest detail, which could be characterised as an 'independence option' and a 'devolution max' option.
MoJ: Legislative proposals included in the Children, Schools and Families Bill should encourage media attendance at family court cases, the Ministry of Justice has claimed. The proposed legislation aims to build on a rule change in April 2009 which permitted accredited media to attend most family cases, by allowing journalists to report the substance of cases while protecting the anonymity of children and families involved.
Measures to increase the public confidence in the family courts are being introduced in stages.  The next stage is to allow broader reporting of family proceedings, which requires primary legislation.  The proposals include an indefinite prohibition on the publication of any information that is likely to identify children & families as involved in proceedings, as well as restrictions on publishing sensitive personal information.  The final stage would be a review, subject to parliamentary agreement, with a view to removing some of these restrictions.
Alongside these stages, a pilot scheme is underway at courts in Cardiff, Leeds & Wolverhampton to test the publishing of judgments in family cases on the internet.
DH: From last week, all NHS organisations are legally obliged to take account of the rights & pledges set out in the NHS Constitution. Among other things, it gives patients the legal rights to:
* access NHS services
* drugs & treatments approved by NICE
* choice about where they receive their care
*be treated with dignity & respect

EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

Defra: Dairy farmers are being asked for their views on how best to distribute England’s £16m (€18m) share of the EU Dairy Fund in a consultation (closes on 17 February 2010) launched by Defra.  The fund is intended to help farmers who have been most affected by changes in demand & prices over the last year – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.

Charity and Voluntary Sector

ACE: For all those frustrated budding musicians out there, Arts Council England’s Take it away scheme has commissioned 5 exclusive online tutorials of hit songs. The tracks have been produced by Show Me How To Play using their unique ‘Multiplayer’ software which helps you learn your part, while playing along with the rest of the band.  All 5 songs have been cleverly arranged to strip down separate parts for a variety of instruments and are suitable for musicians & vocalists of all abilities
The tracks have been commissioned by ACE as part of a unique partnership with children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.  Users are invited to make a donation of 50p for each tutorial which goes directly to CLIC Sargent as part of their ‘Practice-a-thon Music’ campaign.
Users wanting to get more involved are encouraged to put their musical talents to good use by organising a sponsored practise or even put on a fundraising gig in aid of CLIC Sargent.
HL: If you want to receive fresh, locally-grown, mainly organic vegetables & fruit for your charity, Foodshare want to hear from you. They’d like to help homelessness charities find a local Foodshare group, but in order to not miss this opportunity, you need to register your interest in receiving free Foodshare hampers by 28 January 2010.
Foodshare anticipates a lot of people signing up to grow for Foodshare, and they’d like to tell them that your charity would be a welcome recipient! To be listed on Foodshare, please fill out this form today.  A charity can proactively start their own Foodshare scheme and find a local growing partner using their Guide for Charities.

Business and Other Briefings

Announcement of HMRC's revised policy on Lennartz accounting following a ruling by European Court of Justice

Industry News

BIS: Figures released recently show that more than three quarters of the budget for the Government’s vehicle scrappage scheme has been used up.  Funding for less than 82,000 new vehicles orders is left for consumers to take advantage of under the scheme, as it nears its end.
As the scheme enters its final stages the Department for Business will allocate order quotas to manufacturers.  The quota system will be based on brand popularity and is intended to help ensure a smooth closing of the scheme.
Newswire – CABE: More than half of urban local authorities took on green space apprentices in 2009, offering a boost to the Skills to grow strategy addressing the shortage of skills in the green space sector.  Thanks to Communities and Local Government grants of £1m, an initial 60 green space apprenticeships were awarded in March 2009.  Grants have now been offered for a further 175 apprentices in urban local authorities.
CABE Space offers online guidance on running good apprenticeship schemes, including inspiring films following the progress of individual apprentices.  The CABE Space leaders programme runs for the fifth time in February 2010, training 81 green space managers in leadership & management skills.  While sector skills council Lantra has created a new horticultural apprenticeship framework offering a ‘pathway’ tailored to people working in public green spaces.
CO: A new website has been launched to the public which gives anyone who wants to use it free access to government data in one place. The site called contains more than 2,500 sets of data from across government.  All of the data is non-personal and in a format that can be reused by any individual or business to create innovative new software tools, such as applications about house prices, local amenities and services, or access to local hospitals.
NA: The Government is offering a new licence model to re-use government data, working with the Creative Commons teams in the UK to replace the existing Click-Use Licence.  Adopting a non-transactional Creative Commons approach to licensing the re-use of government information was promised in Putting the Frontline First: Smarter Government.  
It is key to supporting new information initiatives, such as the beta release of, also launched last week, to promote transparency, public service improvement and economic growth.
The National Archives, which oversees the re-use of government information, has put together a simple & enabling set of terms & conditions for the site.  This means that the data available through will be re-usable both commercially & non-commercially.  These terms and conditions have been aligned so that they are interoperable with any Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence.

Forthcoming Event

MLAFive FREE ‘Best Practice’ workshops to help preserve & improve culture services in challenging times are being launched in February & March 2010 for sector professions by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).  The interactive workshops will look at new models of working, teams, budgets & collaborations to develop innovative, integrated & sustainable services for all.
Run by Culture Unlimited on behalf of the MLA, the one day workshops are aimed at all Heads of Services & Programme Managers from museums, archives & libraries, with speakers from across the sectors.  Sessions will be made up of inspirational talks, group discussions and interactive workshops that will culminate in an in-depth focus on personal planning and daily action for each participant

Editorial Content Statement

Any views expressed are therefore entirely those of the WGPlus editorial team and independent of any sponsor, government organisation or political party.
For the official view of a source organisation, readers should click on the ‘press release’ that is the first link attached to each item.
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While every care is taken to ensure that all links ’work’ in the newsletter (including checking just before publication), WGPlus cannot guarantee that websites will not make changes that will nullify individual links, especially over a period of time.
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