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In the News

DfE:  A victory for the rights of teachers and 99.9% of the pupils? - New rules published recently will put an end to excluded pupils winning the right to come back to school against the headteacher’s wishes

Coming into force from September 2012, the new regulations will apply to maintained schools, academies & pupil referral units.  The changes were legislated through the 2011 Education Act and the Department for Education will shortly be publishing revised guidance supporting the new system for exclusions.

Currently when a headteacher excludes a child from school, the school can be forced by an appeals panel to re-admit that child.  This can lead to a disruptive child continuing to damage their own education as well as that of others – as well as undermining the headteacher’s authority.

Under the new system, headteachers will have the power to exclude a child ‘as long as the decision is legal, reasonable & fair’.  If the new review panels believe this has not been the case, they will be able to require schools to revisit their decision.  They will not be able to force the school to take back the child

The new exclusions system will also provide additional safeguards for pupils with SEN, in particular through the introduction of the role of SEN experts to advise independent review panels.
NHS ConfedA bed is just their first need - A joint report by the NHS Confederation Mental Health network and homeless charity St Mungo's makes the case for improving support & care for homeless people.  The issue will be all the more important as the economic outlook continues to be bleak.   Rough sleeper numbers have risen by 23% nationally since 2010 to 2,200 and many thousands more are staying in shelters, homeless hostels or other temporary accommodation. 

Mental ill health is a major contributing factor in making people homeless and can also be a consequence of being homeless.  Up to 70% of people who use homelessness services have a mental health problem.  Alcohol & substance abuse, relationship breakdowns, bereavements and periods spent in prison are also common.  These issues are compounded by low educational levels and poor physical health.

Homeless people require more flexible models of care to help tackle a range of needs.  These models can include providing outreach services directly to homeless people where they live & stay, and working with other specialist homeless support.
Press release ~ Mental health and homelessness: planning & delivering mental health services for homeless people ~ NHS Confederation Mental Health network ~ St Mungo's ~ HL: Improving the health of homeless people ~ HL: 100 Days To Go: Rough Sleeping and the Olympics ~ HL: Other related links ~ DH:  For some the real problems start after the ‘safe’ return home ~ NHS Confed: There is a need for change in the NHS (4th item) ~ ESRC:  It is not as hopeless as one may think to help the homeless (4th item) ~ Grant Shapps: Over half of London's rough sleepers now non-UK nationals ~ The Mind guide to housing and mental health ~ Understanding Homelessness & mental health ~ The Mental Health Needs of Homeless Young People ~ Guide to models of delivering health services to homeless people ~ NO: Homelessness: how councils can ensure justice for homeless people,

Civitas:  Will we end up a green country with no industry, no jobs and flat broke? - Recently, Nick Clegg derided claims that environmental legislation was holding back industrial recovery as 'utterly wrong'.  But a new Civitas report ('The closure of the Lynemouth aluminium smelter') claims that, in fact, the UK's draconian energy policy is causing the collapse of a successful British industry.

In 2008, production of aluminium was an industry with an annual turnover of £3bn and a 20,000-strong workforce.  Today, it is a shadow of its former self. The report charts the steady erosion of the British primary aluminium business as UK energy prices have risen unilaterally and 2 of the 3 British smelters have closed.

The most damaging of all additional energy costs are those that are imposed unilaterally.  These are the costs that British energy-intensive industries pay that their rivals in other countries do not.  

With the addition of the most recent of these, the carbon price floor, total UK electricity costs in 2013 will be raised by 24% for energy-intensive sectors.  By contrast, German energy-intensive businesses will only be paying 16% extra through government-added costs in the same period.
WAGA helping hand can save the state a fortune - Care & Repair services across Wales have been awarded £4.67m funding from the Welsh Government to help older people to remain in their own homes.  The service helps older people to repair, improve & adapt their homes to enable them to continue living comfortably and independently by offering a range of services.
MOSunny weather for one lucky charity - The Met Office is asking for applications from charities to become their new Corporate Charity for the next 3 years.  The 3 year tenure of ShelterBox as their Corporate Charity is due to end in June 2012 so they are beginning the process to choose the next one. The deadline for nominations will be 4 May 2012.
EU NewsDespite 3 years of surpluses they insist on repeating Oliver Twist’s most memorable line again - The €123bn EU budget for 2011 shows a 1% surplus (€1.49bn).
HMRCIt's not just death & taxes that are 'certain' but penalties as well - Anyone whose Self Assessment return is more than 3 months late will now be charged a further £10 penalty for each day it remains outstanding, up to a maximum of 90 days.  This is on top of the £100 late-filing penalty they have already received. Further penalties of at least £300 (or 5% of the tax due, if that is more) will be issued for returns that are 6 & 12 months late.
MoDNo excuse for not buying that present, even under the ocean - Members of the Armed Forces stationed overseas will enjoy the same access to online goods & services as they do at home in the UK thanks to the introduction of new online postcodes this month  

The postcodes will help everyone serving overseas, including those aboard Her Majesty's ships & submarines, and their families, by improving access to products & services on the internet, as proposed in the Armed Forces Covenant.  It will also help personnel maintain a UK credit history recognised by financial service providers.
BIG:  Definitely a good cause! - A Ballymena group providing vital support for people living with brain injuries & their carers has been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.   Headway Ballymena is one of 73 groups across Northern Ireland that have been awarded grants totalling over £564,137 from the Awards For All programme.
Press release & links

Disposal Services Authority: Asset Management in the Public Sector – Free Seminar, Manchester, 24th May 2012 - ** FREE Enrolment for Public Sector delegates only - If items are not correctly identified as assets they are, by virtue, deemed as waste. Assets are often classed as waste due to space and time constraints within organisations. So, in practical terms, the selling (of an asset) often ends up as a cost, as most organisations buy in the services of a contractor for its assets disposals.

The MoD’s Disposal Services Authority (DSA) is the expert in maximising returns for the sale of public sector assets, whilst ensuring a compliant, secure and audited process.

The DSA is the only government organisation offering a completely managed service for the re-use, recycling and ultimate disposal of surplus Government and Public Sector assets.

What's on the Agenda?

Topics covered in this free seminar include:
  • Identifying assets from waste
  • Compliance and Security
  • Audit
  • Sustainability through procurement
Click below to find out more and to register.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive

General News

SOCA:   Three convicted drugs traffickers who recruited a ‘courier’ to pick up a stash of heroin to distance themselves from the deal were caught when he put the wrong address into his sat nav
TfLHammersmith Flyover will be closed on Sunday 29 April until 17:00 to allow critical works to be completed. The revised work programme removes need for full weekend closures to the flyover and will allow flyover to fully reopen in June; well ahead of London 2012 Games.
ScotGov: The number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Scotland has reached a record high of over 2m. New figures show that as of 31 March, 38.8% of the population are signed up to be organ donors.
FSA: The Food Standards Agency is inviting tenders to carry out enhanced molecular-based surveillance and source attribution of campylobacter infections in the UK.
PCS: The PCS union's national executive has unanimously agreed a programme of ongoing action, starting with national strikes over pensions co-ordinated with other unions on 10 May and at the end of June. 
The action across the civil service, health & education, will include joint national strikes; national, regional & local protests; lobbying of ministers, MPs & other politicians; and co-ordinated, targeted industrial action in employer groups and sectors.  Some PCS members employed in the private sector are also planning to strike on 10 May.
LGAIntroducing a minimum price for alcohol and banning discounted multi-buy deals could see a surge in potentially dangerous black market booze, public health leaders are warning.
OCUKOnline Centres UK has developed a new Training & Development programme, aimed towards those with a limited training budget who are still keen to develop their staff & volunteers.
WAG: Welsh fishing companies will be casting their nets a bit wider next week as they head to Belgium to attend the European Seafood Exposition, the largest seafood trade event in the world (24 – 26 April 2012).).
MoD: Recently the city of Plymouth officially accepted the honour of hosting the Armed Forces Day national celebrations for 2012 as the official flag was delivered to the city.  Plymouth will host the national celebrations on Saturday 30 June 2012 in a spectacular event on Plymouth Hoe.
Press release & links

Policy Statements and Initiatives

DWP: With summer approaching, Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, is sending a warning to people who commit benefit fraud abroad.  He is also urging law-abiding Brits to use the dedicated Spanish fraud hotline to report benefit thieves.
People who are pretending to live in the UK to claim benefits, but are actually living overseas cost the taxpayer an estimated £43m last year.  More allegations of people living in Spain, whilst continuing to receive UK benefits, are received than for any other foreign country.
ScotGov: The Scottish Government last week outlined the positive case for independence, highlighting Scotland’s economic strengths. Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, highlighted 7 key strengths of Scotland’s economy.
No.10: The Prime Minister has set out the next steps of his campaign to work with nurses to improve standards of care for all NHS patients.  He has asked the first meeting of the Nursing Care Quality Forum in Downing Street to ‘scour the country, find out what works best and share it across the NHS.’
The NHS Patient Feedback Challenge, backed by a £1m fund and run by the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement, will select the most ambitious ideas and seek to implement them from July 2012.
DfE: Charlie Taylor, the Government’s Expert Adviser on Behaviour, has called for a crackdown on primary school absence to make sure it is not a problem later on in life. Latest figures show that almost 400,000 pupils miss 15% of schooling a year – the equivalent of having a month off school.
DCMS: The UK & China have launched a new cultural dialogue to develop closer ties in key sectors such as culture, the creative industries, science and education.
DCMS: Speaking at the government’s first Disability Sport Summit last week, Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that the sport sector needs to attract more disabled people into playing sport

The School Games, which will hold its inaugural competition at the Olympic Park next month, will feature a range of disability sports in a bid to encourage sports participation among younger people of all abilities. 
Sport England will also invest £8m from the Place People Play programme to help overcome some of the barriers that make it harder for disabled people to do sport.
DfEHundreds of school support staff are to get degree-level & specialist training in helping children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), under a new £500,000 programme set out last week by Children's Minister, Sarah Teather.
The annual SEN support scholarship programme will provide up to £2,000 each to boost the skills of talented teaching assistants & school staff who work with children with SEND.  The scholarship cash will fund staff through rigorous, specialist courses and qualifications.
CO: The UK will use its 18-month co-chairmanship of the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) to ‘help establish the partnership as a sustained force for global change’.  The OGP brings developed & developing countries together to promote transparency, increase accountability and harness new technologies.  Open government can help fight corruption, engage citizens, spread prosperity and save lives.
ScotGov: The Justice Secretary has hailed the success of a pilot project to tackle youth offending, which has seen a major reduction in crimes committed by young people. The system, which is being extended to local authorities across Scotland, aims to hold young people to account for their behaviour and stop them following the wrong path into a life of crime.
Police, courts, education and social services work together to address minor offending behaviour before it becomes a major problem. The final report into the pilot of Whole System Approach in Aberdeen shows a marked improvement in youth offending. Kenny MacAskill said the approach may now be rolled out and used to also help reverse the rise in female offending
ScotGov: The UK Government will abolish the existing Council Tax Benefit in April 2013 and cut the successor budget by 10%.  The Scottish Government and COSLA have now agreed to cover the £40m cost of the cuts in 2013-14. 558,000 people receive Council Tax Benefit (CTB) in Scotland, which is worth £387m to Scotland.


ScotGov: Time is running out for people who haven’t yet taken part in the Scottish Government’s consultation on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. The online consultation closes on 24 April 2012 and gives people an opportunity to comment on the European Commission’s proposals to reform the CAP.
DECC: DECC has published an independent expert report recommending measures to mitigate the risks of seismic tremors from hydraulic fracturing - and is inviting public comment on its recommendations until 29 May 2012. .
DH: A UK-wide consultation seeking views on whether tobacco products should be sold in standardised packaging has been launched (closes 10 July 2012).).

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

IPCC: The Independent Police Complaints Commission has helped shape new national guidance on the safer detention & handling of detainees

The second edition of the ACPO Guidance on the Safer Detention and Handling of Persons in Police Custody, which was released in March 2012, focuses on practical issues within custody and aims to provide a definitive guide to police forces on strategic & operation policies to raise standards of care within custody.
The IPCC made a number of recommendations on best practice as a result of learning from its investigations into deaths & serious injuries, complaints appeals and its Study of Deaths in or following police custody (December 2010), which have been reflected in the new guidance.
DfT: The United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to a proposal put forward by the United Kingdom, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the Philippines to develop guidelines to address concerns related to alleged serious crimes & persons missing at sea.
The technical work necessary to complete the guidelines will begin immediately and will be led by the UK who will work with other Member States of the IMO to ensure that the development of guidelines are proportionate for different ships types and without excessive burden to the Master and crew, a crucial element will be consultation and input from CLIA and other organizations with specialized expertise and consultative status within the IMO.

Annual Reports

PC&PE: Despite its impressive performance in representing the UK’s interests across the globe, the FCO is underfunded, says the Foreign Affairs Committee in its Annual Report into the Department’s performance. This situation has been exacerbated by the Spending Review 2010.
MoJHMP Durham needs to tackle the availability of drugs, though it had seen some improvements in other areas, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an announced inspection of the local north east jail.   

Recent inspections of Durham prison have identified slow progress against a backdrop of some significant concerns, and this inspection found a similar pattern.  
CIPD: In its latest Work Audit report, published last week, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) looks at how the jobs recession that began in 2008 has affected men & women across the age spectrum.
PC&PE: The Government should be straightforward about the impact that UK consumption is having on the world's climate, according to a report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee.  The MPs warn that: 
* UK's record on cutting greenhouse gases is not as good as DECC figures suggest
* CO2 emissions from imported goods consumed in the UK are going up faster than Government is cutting CO2 at home 
PA: The Patients Association has revealed results of research which showed a dramatic increase in waiting times for surgical procedures and a decline in the number of operations being carried out.  The figures cast serious doubt on claims by NHS decision makers that waiting times are falling, and has lead to the organisation calling for more transparency about waiting times in individual clinical areas.
NAO: The National Audit Office has reported on how government is fulfilling its commitments to promote the transparency of public information.  The report highlights progress across government in fulfilling most of its initial commitments, however, it also calls for an assessment of whether transparency is meeting its objectives of increasing accountability, supporting service improvement and stimulating economic growth.
PC&PE: The Treasury Select Committee has published its report into the Budget 2012.
ACEArts Council England have published their 2011 Stakeholder research report. The aim of the research is to ensure ACE are in touch with the views of our external stakeholders and the public, and to explore levels of trust & confidence in the Arts Council, as well as perceptions of accountability.

General Reports and Other Publications

PC&PE: MPs on the International Development Committee are warning of a mounting humanitarian crisis in South Sudan as the country tries to cope with hundreds of thousands of refugees and the loss of oil revenues following a dispute with the Northern Republic of Sudan.
The Republic of South Sudan gained independence from the Northern Republic of Sudan on 9 July 2011, following long civil wars that left more than 2m dead.  The country has some of the worst development indicators globally, particularly in health & education.
NIESRUsing temporary agency workers (TAW) improves firm performance, but at the cost of permanent employees' wellbeing, according to a new study by the National Institute of Economic & Social Research.  

Profitability is higher in workplaces using TAW and those using TAW experienced greater improvements in their performance than ‘like’ workplaces that did not use temporary agency workers.
IISS: Comment from the International Institute for Strategic Studies in an IISS Voices item on the failed launch of North Korea’s ‘earth observation satellite’.
IPPR North: The UK economy would be £40bn better off if Northern economic potential was properly utilised and brought closer in line with other English regions.  Narrowing the difference in output by only 50% between the North of England and the other English regions would be equivalent to over £1,600 per English worker, a new report by the Northern Economic Futures Commission finds.
CSPL: The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life, chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly, has published its submission to the government’s consultation on the proposal for a statutory register of lobbyists.
NO: The London Borough of Hillingdon delayed in finding a school place for a boy who was out of school finds Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin.  In her report, she finds the delay caused the boy to lose almost two-and-a-half terms of education, which was a very significant disadvantage.
DWPYoung people taking part in a Government-backed work experience placement are more likely to get off benefits and into work, according to recently published research. 

The first 3,490 young people who took part in the Government placements were 16% more likely to be off benefits 21 weeks after starting than those in a similar group who did not take part.
TUC: The manufacturing & construction sectors have suffered the biggest loss of jobs since the eve of the recession, while finance & business services is the only sector with a bigger workforce today, according to a TUC analysis published last week. 

The analysis finds that the types of jobs that account for over half of all youth employment - manufacturing, construction and retail, hotels & restaurants - have shed nearly 1m jobs since 2007.
IfG: The government has recently faced a wave of negative media headlines over pasties, grannies, charities, and jerrycans.  Each of these problems has led to the bigger question: how effective is the centre of government?   

Over the past 2 years the Institute for Government has examined the challenges facing the Centre and the press release has links to a sample of some of IfG’s views on this issue.
EHRC: Research released by the Equality and Human Rights Commissionat last week’s Brighton conference on the European Court of Human Rights, shows that just a tiny minority of rulings (1.8%) by the Strasbourg Court are against the UK government.
FSA: The Food Standards Agency has published results from its latest study looking at levels of process contaminants acrylamide and furan in a range of UK foods.
CCC: There is no longer any reason to exclude international aviation & shipping emissions from carbon budgets according to the Committee on Climate Change.  This was the conclusion in the Committee’s report ‘Scope of carbon budgets – Statutory advice on inclusion of international aviation and shipping’.
ScotGov: The Commission on Women Offenders, established to examine how female offenders are dealt with in the criminal justice system, has produced its final report: ‘Commission on Women Offenders: Final Report 2012’.
NENatural England has made its publicly available Geographic Information datasets available under the Open Government License.
PC&PE: New research shows a significant increase in the quantity and quality of parliamentary debate about human rights: ‘Arts and Humanities Research Council: Parliament and Human Rights: Redressing.’
CBI: In a speech last week at a CBI / Policy Exchange business taxation debate, John Cridland, the CBI Director-General, said that UK businesses pay around a quarter (£163bn) of the country’s total tax revenue, and that a competitive tax system is essential to the economy & prosperity

He also launched a major new CBI report, Tax and British Business: Making the Case.

Legislation / Legal

ScotGov: The first protection order has been issued in Scotland to protect a victim of forced marriage. The legislation, which was introduced in Scotland on 28 November 2011, is the first in the UK to make it a criminal offence to breach an Order, leading to a two year prison sentence, a fine, or both.
Around 50 people from BME backgrounds have been assisted by the Scottish forced marriage & domestic abuse helpline since the legislation came into force in Scotland on 28 November 2011.
ICOLeicestershire County Council have breached the Data Protection Act (DPA), following the theft of a briefcase containing sensitive personal data from a social worker’s home, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said recently.
The social worker had asked for permission to take the reports home in order to continue work on them, and this was authorised by the relevant manager, in accordance with the Council’s procedures. The authority had a policy in place but this didn’t relate to the handling of paper documents while working from home.
Press release & links

MoJ:  Last week marked the second National Stalking Awareness Day. The aim of the day is to help more victims feel confident seeking help early and to make sure that those they report the crime to know what can be done to help them. 

1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men are a victim of stalking at some point in their lives.  The Government is introducing two specific criminal offences to tackle this abhorrent crime.  They will carry a maximum sentence of 6 months and 5 years in prison respectively. The new offences are part of the Protection of Freedoms Bill and will be enacted as soon as possible.

Press release ~ National Stalking Helpline

EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has opened an investigation into whether the EC has taken appropriate measures to combat increased bee mortality in the EU, which is potentially linked to certain insecticides.
EU News: A new EU energy initiative which will provide access to sustainable energy for an additional 500m people in developing countries by 2030 has been announced by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso.
Speaking at the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit in Brussels, he unveiled this EU commitment in the framework of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4All) launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year.
EU News: A new partnership between the EU & UN Women, set up to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations on their work on empowering women and gender equality, has been signed.
EU NewsImproving equality between women & men is essential to the EU's response to the current economic crisis, according to the European Commission's latest annual report on gender equality.
EU News: With EU unemployment hitting record levels and forecasts of a grim economic outlook for the months ahead, the Commission has come forward with a set of measures to boost jobs.

The proposal focuses on the demand-side of job creation, setting out ways for Member States to encourage hiring by reducing taxes on labour or supporting business start-ups more.  It also identifies the areas with the biggest job potential for the future: the green economy, health services & ICT.
ScotGov: More than 7,900 Scottish producers will receive their share of £22m of European funding this week. Payments for the 2011 Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS) will start to arrive in bank accounts from Tuesday (April 24), with 95% of recipients expected to receive their payment by the end of April, subject to necessary validation checks.  Payment information is available to view on Rural Payments Online.
Press release & links
EU News: The European Commission has launched the “We Mean Business” campaign, which aims to encourage companies to create more trainee placements to boost young people's skills & employability.  

In 2012-2013, the Commission will provide funding support for a total of 280 000 placements through its Leonardo da Vinci and Erasmus schemes for vocational & higher education students.
EU News: A new report from the European Commission has discovered that top performing Member States have recycling rates of up to 70 % and bury virtually nothing, whilst others still landfill more than three-quarters of their waste.
EU News: The use of a common consolidated corporate tax base should be made compulsory, said Parliament in a vote on last Thursday outlining its position on legislation proposed by the Commission.  The Commission had proposed a voluntary scheme, but said it should become mandatory after a transition period, says the resolution.
EU News: A new agreement on the transfer of EU air passengers' personal data to the US authorities was approved by the European Parliament last week.  The deal sets legal conditions and covers issues such as storage periods, use, data protection safeguards and administrative & judicial redress. Justice & Home Affairs Ministers will formally approve the agreement on 26 April 2012, which will apply for 7 years.

Charity and Voluntary Sector

MoD: Two Royal Marines who were injured in Afghanistan have paddled 125 miles (200km) in 28 hours for charity.   Captain Jon White (a triple amputee) and Colour Sergeant Lee John Waters from 40 Commando Royal Marines were both badly injured in separate incidents in Afghanistan during Operation HERRICK 12 in the summer of 2010.
VSOA new partnership between the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and VSO will maximise the potential of volunteering to help citizens drive development forward themselves.

Business and Other Briefings

HMRC: The software industry, after consultation with HM Revenue and Customs, is producing simple record keeping mobile apps for small businesses.   

The apps, which are mostly FREE, complement existing HMRC record-keeping guidance & tools.  They aim to help small businesses & the self-employed who are below the VAT threshold - £77,000 ­maintain good records and estimate what their tax liability might be.
DWP: Current private pensions regulations are being put in the spotlight from this week, as part of the Government’s 'Red Tape Challenge'From 19 April – 10 May pensions regulations such as defined benefit legislation, the protection regime and legislation relating to the role of the trustee will be examined as part of a cross-Government drive to abolish outdated or unnecessary regulations.
People who deal with pensions processes day-to-day are being urged to tell the Department for Work and Pensions specifically which regulations they think are too burdensome. Overall, of just under 1,500 regulations considered so far, the Government has committed to scrap or improve well over 50%.

Industry News

MOMet Office experts presented new ways to maximise wind farm investment at 2 major international renewable energy conferences last week.  Weather patterns and crucially wind speeds underpin the success for this type of renewable energy. 
The first presentation ('Improved Wind Resource Site-Screening and Planning')demonstrated the key developments & improvements that have been made through modelling capability to increase the accuracy in outputs from the Met Office's long-term wind assessment solution; Virtual Met MastTM.
The second presentation was on how the accuracy of these archived wind data can be further improved using the Met Office's high-resolution dynamical downscaling technique to allow for local terrain and land use around the site.
BIS: The Government launched its first marine industries showcase at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) last week to highlight the industry’s multi-billion pound contribution to the UK economy.
Held in association with the UK Marine Industries Alliance, ‘Marine Manufacturing - Global excellence and innovation’ celebrates the role of the industry to UK manufacturing across 5 key themes including leisure, naval, marine energy, commercial and marine science.
BIS: The Government has launched a new Enterprise Capital Fund that will invest at least £40m in high-growth potential SMEs in the UK.  The new fund – Notion Capital – will target investment into internet-based services, which covers a range of areas including cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS), as well as other business models which utilise the internet in their service offering.
WAG: Last October water & sewerage companies in England & Wales became responsible for private sewers that were previously the responsibility of property owners. 

MD Infrastructure Support Services
is one of a few companies that use hi-tech remote controlled surveying & robotic equipment that can inspect, clean & repair underground pipes without the need to excavate roads or pavements. 
It is now expanding and investing £372,000 in state-of-the-art remote controlled robotic equipment to secure and retain a number of multi-million pound contracts.  The investment in equipment is supported by £153,000 from the Welsh Government Economic Growth Fund and will see the workforce increase from 30 to 36.
Dstl: The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory has developed a new virtual training concept that will enable the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to train its armed forces to combat-ready proficiency.  At the same time it will reduce the capability, cost & environmental impact of using valuable equipment, which would otherwise be deployed on military operations.
Over the last 12 years, a Dstl team has been developing a series of ground breaking war-gaming simulations for MOD training needs.  This work has subsequently evolved into the Defence Operational Training Capability – Air (DOTC(A)) research programme, sponsored by Capability Theatre Airspace (CAP (TA)).

Forthcoming Event

WAGWorld Intellectual Property Day will be celebrated in Aberystwyth on April 26 with a training course run by PATLIB Cymru for local companies wishing to learn more about how to identify, protect & exploit their Intellectual Property Rights.  Monthly surgeries will be held in Wales on 10 May, 7 June & 5 July 2012., & .

In the News

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