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In the News

Changes to WGPlus Newsletter Format 2010
As mentioned last week, with the approaching semi-retirement of our newsletter editor, we have to consider changes to the format of our FREE weekly newsletter - WGPlus - to take into account the reduced resources that will be available to produce it in the future. Click HERE for more information.
FDA: Tackling ministerial bullying - FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume said in a press release:  "The FDA does not wish to comment on the specific allegations of bullying of civil servants in No.10 Downing Street. However, too often politicians have little idea about what is acceptable in a modern workplace, and the behaviour of some ministers & special advisers does falls short of what is acceptable on occasions. …… In practice no civil servant is likely to make a formal complaint against a minister. Instead, concerns about the behaviour of a minister will be dealt with through informal channels. 
If informal action does not succeed then the civil servants concerned generally either have to 'grin and bear it' whilst the minister or special adviser remains in office, or seek a transfer. We should consider putting in place a better mechanism………….
The FDA is also struggling to make progress in introducing an anti-bullying code in the House of Commons……. It is vital that MPs set an example in this area, and we still hope to have a code in place after the General Election."
ScotGov: Unfortunately it is not the Scottish economy which is rapidly ‘expanding’ - Public Health Minister Shona Robison last week launched a strategy aimed at tackling Scotland's 'Obesity Time Bomb'. The 'Preventing Overweight and Obesity' document warns that if action is not taken, by 2030 nearly 40% of Scots will be obese - costing Scottish society up to £3bn a year - a cost so large that it will directly impact on our nation's ability to achieve sustainable economic growth. 
The strategy, a joint publication with COSLA, reveals that in today's society weight gain is almost inevitable and unveils ambitious plans to work across every area of Government to make healthy choices easier, including:
* Working with retailers, producers & the food industry to control exposure to, demand for & consumption of high calorie foods & drinks
* Using planning legislation to increase opportunities for physical activity in our daily lives
* Working with schools to continue encouraging young people to take up healthy habits
* Working with businesses to encourage their employees to eat healthily & be more active
A series of national events will be organised by the Scottish Public Health Network in May 2010 to allow organisations from all sectors an opportunity to be involved in how the policies detailed in the 'Preventing Overweight and Obesity' document are implemented. A joint governmental leadership group will meet after the summer to endorse a plan of action and agree key milestones that will be used to monitor delivery.
Press release ~ Preventing overweight and obesity in Scotland: a route map towards healthy weight ~ Scottish Public Health Network ~ Food & Health Alliance ~ Walk to School week ~ Active Scotland ~ SOAR ~ Obesity in Scotland: an epidemiology briefing ~ NICE: Weight management in pregnancy and after childbirth~ RAF fitness challenge ~ Draft all Wales obesity pathway ~ Appetite for Life ~ Climbing Higher - creating an active Wales ~ Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do It! or MEND for short ~ NICE guidelines on overweight and obesity ~ Healthy and Active Lifestyles in Wales ~ 'Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives toolkit: A Toolkit for Developing Local Strategies' ~ Healthy Eating, Active Living: An action plan to improve diet, increase physical activity and tackle obesity (2008-2011) ~ DH - Obesity ~ Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Project ~ NAO - Tackling Child Obesity - First Steps ~ Information Centre for Health and Social Care - Obesity ~ Child Health - obesity ~ Healthier Food Mark - Promoting healthier, more sustainable food ~ Pre-consultation pilot
DH: When will managers who are (highly & possibly over-) paid to be responsible, actually suffer (financially) when things ‘go wrong’ - The Government has accepted all the 18 local & national recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Health Secretary Andy Burnham claimed last week.
Press release ~ Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Inquiry report (scroll down for related documents) ~ CQC: Original investigation report, the 3 month follow-up and the recent 6 month follow-up report ~ Sharing and Publishing Information about Complaints ~ Health Service Ombudsman ~ KPMG report: Learning & Implications from Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust ~ Monitor's management response to the Internal Audit Report on lessons learnt from Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust ~ DH - Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust documents ~ Related AC press release ~ Taking it on Trust – report and related papers ~ The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Independent Inquiry ~ Timeline: Stafford Hospital in crisis, 2007-2010 ~ Stafford Hospital inquiry 'waste of time'  ~ Related Monitor press release ~ Related CQC press release
CQCHospital ‘Standards’ rather than ‘Targets’ - Commenting on the publication last week of the National Quality Board's 'Review of early warning systems in the NHS - Acute and community services'. Dame Jo Williams, CQC's interim chair and a National Quality Board member, said: 
"The review reinforces the fact that the ultimate responsibility for the quality of care given to patients rests with the provider organisations. They must ensure that they meet the essential standards of quality and safety set out by the new system of registration with CQC, which for NHS providers comes into effect on 1 April this year."
BISThere is only one ‘cake’ - A new approach to managing the UK’s land will be vital to meet the challenges of the 21st century, according to the latest report from Foresight, the Government’s futures think tank. ‘Land Use Futures’ looks at how landscapes & land use could change in the UK over the next 50 years.
It concludes that the present way the land system is managed in the UK will need to change. There are already pressures on land, but these will intensify in parts of the country, such as in the South East of England. Shortages in critical public goods – such as water supply, biodiversity, carbon sinks and urban green space – could result unless carefully managed.
Decisions will be needed on crucial issues such as:
* how to balance local & national interests
* what is the appropriate mix of market incentives & regulation to guide future land use change
* how government can improve the strategic use of space & assets when land is mostly under private ownership.
ScotGovIt is not just the Tory party who say they want change - Plans to give the people of Scotland their say on the nation's future - including enhanced devolution and extending the powers of the Parliament to enable independence to be achieved - were unveiled last week with the publication of a draft Referendum Bill, which would give people the opportunity to have their say on 2 questions, whether:
* the Scottish Parliament should have more devolved responsibility
* there should be an additional extension of power to enable Scotland to become an independent country
A consultation paper, published with the draft Bill, seeks views (by 30 April 2010) on the best option for the question on further devolution:
* full devolution including fiscal autonomy (known as 'Devo Max'), or
* the more limited proposals made by the Commission on Scottish Devolution (the 'Calman Commission')
Press release ~ Referendum (Scotland) Bill consultation ~ View the proposed ballot papers ~ Commission on Scottish Devolution ~ EHRC - An Uncertain Mix: Equality and Scottish Devolution ~ FAQs ~ Natural Resource Taxation and Scottish Devolution ~ White Paper: Scotland’s future in the UK

Forthcoming event: Policy Implementation in Crisis: White Paper and Breakfast Briefing - Policy implementation in the Public Sector is in crisis. As the volume and complexity of policy changes grow, implementation is hampered by a lack of funds, resources and planning. The consequences include fines and lawsuits, and in the most extreme cases lives can be put at risk.

Join Oracle and the Economist for breakfast at Mosimann’s on Thursday 29th April to hear key findings from the Economist report Enabling Efficient Policy Automation, and discover how Policy Automation technology can ease policy implementation issues.  Contact Tracey Capocci on 01604 246697 or at for more information and to register.

The Economist report on Enabling Efficient Policy Automation: Your last chance to download this Oracle-sponsored Economist survey revealing the true extent of the policy implementation challenge in the Public Sector. Click here to receive your copy today.

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

General News

HL: Would you like the chance to represent England and play in the next Homeless World Cup in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in September 2010?  The Big Issue in the North is conducting open regional trials between January and March 2010.     .  
ScotGov: A Chinese language & culture visit, by a group Scottish pupils, will take place this summer (2010), while a further 2 Confucius Classroom Hubs are set to open. This will bring the total to 10 hubs across the country - involving 15 local authorities - offering a central learning point for schools & communities about China.
Following on from a successful initial visit by 51 pupils to China last year, up to 60 pupils - 6 from each hub - will participate in a 3-week course in July 2010.  The study visit is being organised through Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) in partnership with the British Council and the Chinese authorities.
Newswire – NSPCC: The NSPCC has announced a ‘Call to Action’ to sports organisations and their partners to sign up to a shared vision of child protection in sport for 2015. It calls on all organisations providing sport to children to sign up to key actions, such as involving children & young people in creating child protection plans and ensuring appropriate checks are followed when recruiting staff & volunteers. .

Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGov: The bus concessionary fare scheme will be maintained and funding for the Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG) will be increased as a result of a new funding agreement with the bus industry. The package was agreed following discussions between the Scottish Government and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).
Funding for the BSOG, which benefits passengers by helping support the bus network & keeping fares affordable, will increase to £66.5m in 2010-11. The scheme will also provide incentives for operators to operate low carbon vehicles, including hybrid buses.
DFT: The Government wants to see access to cycle training for every child - creating a generation of new, safe cyclists. This is one of the aims of the 'Active Travel Strategy' - published last week - which outlines plans to put walking & cycling at the heart of local transport & public health strategies over the next decade. - published last week - which outlines plans to put walking & cycling at the heart of local transport & public health strategies
The other aims of the strategy include:
* Every major public sector employer to be signed up to the Cycle to Work Guarantee
* Cycle parking at or within easy reach of every public building
* Sufficient secure bike parking at every rail station
* LAs introducing 20mph zones into more residential streets to improve safety for pedestrians & cyclists
Also published were results from an evaluation of the Government's Sustainable Travel Towns project, which aims to showcase towns that put walking, cycling & public transport firmly in the spotlight.
ScotGov: Thousands of disabled armed forces veterans are among those who will benefit from new support aimed at helping all disabled people who want to work into sustained, paid employment.  48.1% of disabled people in Scotland are in work, compared to around 75% of the general population. There is considerable variation in the employment rates for different health problems or disabilities, with less than 1 in 5 people with severe learning difficulties in paid work.
In addition, an estimated 28,000 armed forces veterans in Scotland (more than half of whom have a long term illness or disability), are unemployed.  In 2007-08, 38% of children living in a family with a disabled adult were in poverty compared to 16% in a family without a disabled adult.
DWP: People suffering from mesothelioma will be given more financial help, the Government has claimed. Lump sum payments from the 2008 Mesothelioma Scheme will increase by around 40% from April 2010 to the same level as those paid under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979
This will mean that individuals who develop the disease from asbestos exposure outside the workplace will receive the same payment as those exposed at work.  People can develop the disease if, for example, they lived close to an asbestos factory or by washing their partner’s clothes if their partner was exposed to asbestos.
Sufferers currently receive a minimum payment of £8,197 from the Mesothelioma Scheme.  This will rise to £11,678 in April.
DfT: Pioneering motorists will receive up to £5,000 to buy an ultra-low carbon car and the roll-out of supporting infrastructure will begin in selected regions, the Government has announced.  The Plug-in Car Grant will be distributed directly to the consumer at the point of purchase and will be available across the UK from January 2011, by which time a range of eligible vehicles is expected to be available.  
Also included in the Government’s plans is the roll-out of a £30m fund for a network of electric vehicle hubs – called Plugged-In Places – which will see charging infrastructure appearing in car parks, major supermarkets, leisure and retail centres, as well as on the street.  The first Plugged-In Places have been named as London, Milton Keynes & the North East; and between them they will be installing over 11,000 vehicle recharging points during the next 3 years. .


DH: Patients, staff & stakeholders are being invited to share their views (by 6 April 2010) on a strategy to tackle the growing problem of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in England published by the Department of Health. COPD is thought to affect over 3m people in England, but less than a million of these have been diagnosed. 
One of the main aims of the strategy will be to support the local NHS in identifying those who are not aware they have the condition and helping them to receive an early & accurate diagnosis and treatment to limit further damage.  The strategy also looks at care for people with asthma, as it is often confused with COPD and there are similarities in treatment for the two conditions.
DWP: The next step in a shake-up of the way disabled people use state funding took place last week, as Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, named the Trailblazer areas which will test the Right to Control, which gives disabled adults more choice & control over the state funding they receive – allowing them to shape the support they receive, or use the money to buy their own services or equipment.
The government has also published a consultation (closes on 19 May 2010) on the regulations that will govern the trailblazers.  This is aimed at Trailblazer authorities & local disability organisations.
DH/HO: New proposals on the access of foreign nationals’ to the NHS, aimed at preventing health tourism hhave been set out by the Department of Health.  The proposals include failed asylum seekers who are not co-operating with the UK Border Agency should not be entitled to free healthcare, but those who are cooperating will not have to pay for NHS treatment’The consultation runs until 30 June 2010..
Linked to this, the Home Office is also consulting on a proposal to refuse entry to the UK to those who have significant outstanding debts for previous NHS treatment.  This consultation runs until 28 May 2010.

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

DH:  The NHS National Leadership Council has launched The Healthy NHS Board: Principles for Good Governance, highlighting the critical role boards play in ensuring that quality, centred on patient safety, effective care & patient experience, is at the heart of the NHS.

Good governance is essential for the NHS and the guidance explains clearly what this means for health organisations and their boards.  Boards have 3 key roles – to formulate strategy, ensure accountability and shape a positive culture for their organisation.

Press release ~ The Healthy NHS Board: Principles for Good Governance ~ NHS National Leadership Council

:  Continued learning can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on older people’s health, confidence and dramatically improve their quality of life.  This was the main finding of Enhancing Informal Adult Learning for Older People in Care Settings - a BIS Learning Revolution project involving older learners across.
A new set of resources (to take the project forward) have been launched, which will give practical advice & support to care managers, education providers and local authorities in order to enhance learning in care settings.

Press release ~ Enhancing Informal Adult Learning for Older People in Care Settings ~ The Learning Revolution ~ Government Office for Science report:  Mental Capital and Wellbeing ~ National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE)

HL:  Homeless Link has designed guidance to help local areas to tackle the issue of older people living inappropriately in temporary accommodation or precariously housed and to share examples of where local authorities & providers have been addressing the needs of this group.

The guidance is aimed at commissioners of housing and support services for homeless people & commissioners of longer term housing care & support for older people.  It is also aimed at providers of services in the homeless sector looking to move on older people from hostels and providers of retirement housing addressing the needs of a client group that may be unfamiliar and different to their traditional client group.
Press release ~ Guidance

:  Public health guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published last week focuses specifically on school-based methods to prevent children & young people from starting to smoke.

Research shows that children who start smoking before the age of 16 find it harder to quit and are twice as likely to continue to smoke as those who begin later in life – and are more likely to be heavier smokers.  Recommendations include encouraging pupils to lead smoking prevention activities and integrating discussions on the effects of tobacco use across a range of curriculum topics. 
Press release ~ Guidance ~ NHS Stop Smoking Services

:  Final guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published last week means that another drug - certolizumab pegol (Cimzia) - can be considered for some people in England & Wales  suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.

NICE’s decision to recommend the drug follows its request to the manufacturer, UCB Pharma, for more information on the drug’s clinical and cost-effectiveness.  The manufacturer (UCB Pharma) will also provide the first 12 weeks of certolizumab pegol free for all patients starting treatment through a patient access scheme agreed with the Department of Health. The NHS will now have 3 months to being implementing this new guidance.
Press release ~ Guidance

NICE:  New guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) week aims to reinforce the safety of donor breast milk by making recommendations to maintain high standards of practice in specialist milk banks in the UK.

New mothers can choose to donate their breast milk to one of 17 main dedicated milk banks. It can then be used by hospitals that request it.  This new guideline serves as a practical guide to the effective running of these services.  It makes a series of recommendations designed to promote consistent standards of practice across the country and ensure the safety of donor breast milk.
Press release ~ Guidance ~ Milk Banks

NICE:  New guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will give a specific group of cancer patients access to a new drug on the NHS which could help extend their lives.  The guidance recommends trabectedin (Yondelis) for the treatment of certain patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma.

This recommendation was made possible after the drug manufacturer, PharmaMar, agreed to meet the costs of the drug for any treatment needed beyond the fifth cycle of treatment. The NHS will now have 3 months to being implementing this new guidance.
Press release ~ Trabectedin for the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma


General Reports and Other Publications

CC:  The Competition Commission (CC) has published recommendations arising from a review of its approach to remedies in market investigations.  The review followed 2 partly successful appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) last year against aspects of remedies resulting from the CC’s market investigations into Groceries and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). In both cases, the CC’s overall findings were not affected.

Press release ~ Review of the Competition Commission’s approach to remedies in market investigations: recommendations and proposed action

Newswire – TSA:  The Tenant Services Authority’s (TSA) new study - The Impact of the Credit Crunch on Housing Associations - uses data from housing associations, property companies and commercial businesses from outside the housing sector to explore the effects of the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, in the latest quarterly survey figures out last week, the TSA has indicated that housing providers continue to be resilient and attract investment to build new homes.
Press release ~ TSA:  The Impact of the Credit Crunch on Housing Associations ~ Latest quarterly survey

:  The Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have thanked Sir Mark Walport and the Science and Learning Expert Group for their report - Science and Mathematics Secondary Education for the 21st Century - and will now consider the recommendations.
Press release ~ Science and Learning Expert Group report

HO:  An independent review into the sexualisation of young people, conducted by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, has been welcomed by Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.  Commissioned by the Home Office, the review forms part of the government’s strategy to tackle ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ (VAWG) and looks at how sexualised images & messages may be affecting the development of children & young people and influencing cultural norms.  It also examines the evidence for a link between sexualisation & violence.

A pack for teachers & pupils to accompany the campaign will shortly be made available to all schools.
Press release ~ Sexualisation of Young People Review ~ New campaign focuses on abuse in teenage relationships ~ Violence against women and girls

Legislation / Legal

DWP:  New laws to improve the safety of tower cranes on construction sites were laid before Parliament last week, paving the way for the start of a statutory registration scheme.  The regulations, developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will come into force on 6 April 2010.  They include a register of conventional tower cranes, which is being set up in response to increasing concerns about crane safety.

The new regulations place a ‘duty to notify’ on the employer.  Employers will have to notify the HSE of relevant information, including the site address and the name & address of the crane owners.  HSE will have to be notified within 14 days of a through examination of the crane, which must be carried out following installation, or re-installation, on a site before it can put into service.  Cranes already erected when the regulations come into force will have to be registered within 28 days.  Electronic notification will be available via the HSE website.

Press release ~ HSE:  Leaflet containing guidance about the new legal duties ~ Investigating Tower Crane Failures

WAG:  ’ Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has announced that the use of collars designed to administer an electric shock to dogs or cats will be banned in .  The ban is the first of its kind in the .

The announcement follows a third consultation on the draft legislation, held between 21 December 2009 and 9 February 2010.  The Minister has laid the legislation – the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) ( ) Regulations 2010 - before the Assembly, which will need to consider & agree the legislation (in due course) before a ban can be implemented.
Press release ~ Draft Regulations: Animal Welfare (Electronic Devices) (Wales) 2010 ~ WAG:  Animal health and welfare

NAO:  Venues & infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games are on track to be delivered on time for the Games and the cost is currently forecast to be within the £9,325m budget for the Games announced in March 2007, according to a progress report to Parliament by the National Audit Office

However, there is potential for further calls on the contingency fund
, which is part of the budget for the Games.  Previous experience shows that financial pressures and risks are likely to occur right up to the Games.
Press release ~ Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games: Progress report Feb 2010


Charity and Voluntary Sector

BIG:  An England-wide scheme delivering wheelchair skills training to children & young people with disabilities is one of dozens of initiatives taking a share of £11.8m in lottery good cause funding from the Big Lottery Fund.  Excursions for visually impaired people and support for foster families are also among the 40 projects receiving funding today from BIG’S Reaching Communities programme.

Press release ~ BIG’S Reaching Communities programme ~ List of projects receiving Reaching Communities grants last week ~ Whizz-Kidz (The Movement for Non-Mobile Children) ~ Action for Blind People


Business and Other Briefings

BIS:  Significant disparities exist between small businesses in their confidence & awareness of managing employment law, according to new research published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The government offers free advice & simple online tools on the Employing People section of the Business Link website to help SME’s manage their legal obligations.   As an extension of this, BIS launched a new online tool - The Employment Law Organiser – in September 2009 to help SMEs stay up to date on new legislation.

Press release ~ The Employment Law Organiser ~ Business Link:  Employing People

BIS:  British manufacturers could save £ms in import duties through an EU scheme promoted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).  Companies that are unable to source the materials they need to manufacture their products from within the EU could be eligible to import those materials duty-free by applying to the EU Duty Suspensions & Tariff Quotas Scheme.

Currently companies save over €30m p.a. through the scheme - a figure that rose by €4.6m in the first half of 2010.  But this could rise even higher if more manufacturers were aware of the scheme and how easy it is to apply.  BIS is urging manufacturing companies to take the opportunity to find out more ahead of the 15 March 2010 deadline for the first round of this year’s applications. Press release ~ EU Duty Suspensions & Tariff Quotas Scheme

Industry News

WAG:  A simple to use test that is set to revolutionise healthcare for millions of people who have a risk of developing blood clots is under development by a north medical technology company.  Microvisk is developing a technologically advanced device to enable people to check quickly & accurately if they are getting the correct dosage of warfarin.

There are currently more than 7m people in Europe & the using warfarin, the majority of whom need regular monitoring at GP surgeries or hospital clinics as even a change of diet can affect circulating levels of warfarin.

Press release ~ Microvisk ~ Rutherford Appleton Laboratories ~ WAG:  Flexible Support for Business

WAG:  The world’s first lightweight portable jib crane capable of lifting a tonne in weight is expected to create quite a splash with the water industry when it is launched in the in March 2010.  The innovative new system designed, developed & manufactured in-house by Chepstow based Reid Lifting, is specifically designed to meet the rigorous requirements and stringent health & safety regime of the water industry.

The lightweight Porta-Davit is made from aluminium, can be carried & assembled by two people, lifted into embedded sockets on site and ready for use within minutes.  It is designed for water & waste treatment plants where pumps, valves & filters need to be lifted for inspection on a regular basis.  Currently engineers have to rig up large machines or build permanent structures to carry out this work.
Press release ~ Reid Lifting:  Porta-Davit ~ WAG:  Innovation and e-Business Roadshow Events 2010

:  A Welsh company - Affresol - has developed the technology to build affordable low carbon homes from recycled waste plastic & minerals – including packaging & manufacturing waste.  Each house consists of approximately 18 tonnes of recycled plastic waste that was destined for landfill, while each modular building is made up of 4 tonnes of recycled waste.

Last week Worcester Bosch, the ’s market leader in domestic heating & hot water systems, ordered the first modular building from Affresol – for their plant in Warndon, Worcestershire.  Supplying Affresol with plastic recovered from recycled boilers will enable Worcester Bosch to achieve a zero waste policy.

Affresol has developed an innovative new material called Thermo Poly Rock (TPR) from recycled plastics & minerals for use as a structural building product.  The patented process uses a low energy cold process which converts the plastics into a very strong structural element.

The TPR panels are bolted together to form the load bearing frame of the house which can be externally clad using a material of choice (brick, block or stone) and the interior insulated and plastered as standard.  The roof is tiled from recycled materials.
Press release ~ Affresol:  Thermo Poly Rock (TPR) ~ WAG:  Help for your business

Ofsted:  Ofsted has confirmed the appointment of the 2 companies chosen to undertake day to day inspection & registration visits.  Tribal Group Plc has been appointed to cover the contract area for the South region and Prospects Services Ltd has been appointed to cover their work in the North & Midlands.
Press release ~ Tribal Group Plc ~ Prospects Services Ltd

:  The Wood Energy Business Scheme 2 (WEBS 2), which is managed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government, will provide £7.8m of European funding to enable wood from Wales to be turned into a carbon neutral renewable fuel - creating jobs & stimulating our rural economy in the process.

WEBS 2, which is available for businesses throughout , will enable the wood energy market to contribute to the objectives of the Assembly Government’s strategy for woodlands & trees - Woodlands for Wales.
Press release ~ WAG:  Renewable energy ~ Wood Energy Business Scheme 2 (WEBS 2) ~ Woodlands for Wales ~ Renewable Energy Route Map for Wales

Forthcoming Event

HL:  London Housing Foundation (LHF) are funding 2 places on a number social media workshops, taking place from February to March 2010, for people who work for homelessness agencies in London .  The workshops, which will focus on social media and Web 2.0 in the homelessness arena, will be delivered by Euan Semple - an expert from the field.  You can find out more about the workshops here.  If you are interested in attending please contact:

Press release ~ London Housing Foundation (LHF) ~ Homeless Link 

LDA:  The London Development Agency (LDA) has announced that a new series of free seminars will give SMEs in the capital access to advice that will help them grow out of recession.  The new series builds on the success of last year’s programme of 14 smaller workshops, which helped more than 1,000 SMEs in the capital.

Feedback from these events has helped shape the current series of seminars. There will be more networking opportunities because of the greater number of participants and the discussion will focus on the areas of key importance to SMEs.  The first seminar will be held in May 2010 and will be open to more than 200 people. Registration for the event will start in the next few weeks.

Press release ~ Mayor of London’s Economic Recovery Action Plan ~ Current series ~ Case studies

:  Tickets for the fifth National Digital Inclusion Conference - NDI10 - are nearly sold out, and those interested in taking part are being urged to get in quick, or follow the Conference from the comfort of their own computer via the live webstream and twitter hashtag #NDI10.   The Conference takes place at Vinopolis in London Bridge on 10 & 11 March 2010, and this year's theme is all about Passing IT on

Press release ~ Conference details ~ Digital engagement network ~ Civic Agenda ~ UK online centres ~ Ufi

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