In the News
WGPlus Summer Break
Notice: Please note that
whilst the Wired-GOV email alerting system will be operating as normal
throughout August, our next weekly newsletter will be published and
emailed to subscribers on Monday, 2nd September.
But do the FM’s figures add up when
analysed in hard-headed Glasgow? - Scotland’s
oil & gas reserves are a premium advantage, offering an independent
Scotland greater choices & chances to strengthen its diverse economy,
Alex Salmond said last week when he unveiled a key policy paper
(Maximising the return from Oil & Gas in an independent
Scotland) ahead of next year’s historic referendum.
PC&PE: Is more staff the answer or less
immigrants? - A&E is Keogh's next
challenge, say MPs as the Health Committee publishes its
report on urgent & emergency services.
Growing demand on A&E departments will make them unsustainable if
effective action is not taken quickly to relieve the pressures on them,
according to MPs on the Health Committee.
Its summer, so it must be time to think
of the problem of icy pavements & other dangers! - The
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has
launched a campaign to prevent thousands of older people being
unnecessarily admitted to hospital from a fall at home.
RoSPA has created the short
film, Facing up to Falls, as part of its Safer Homes project.
It aims to educate families & older people on practical steps
to avoid falls by highlighting key issues that lead to a
The film, involves real-life experiences of older people living in the
London boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Newham. Falls among people aged
over 65 are a national problem with around 310,000 hospital
admissions in 2011-12. Over a quarter of falls result in
hip fractures and the treatment of these alone is estimated to cost
HMT: Detailed critical analysis or Europhile Civil Service
‘fudge’? - As part of the government’s
Balance of Competences Review - a 2-year project to
analyse & examine the UK’s relationship with the EU
– HM Treasury has published a report considering what EU
membership means for the UK & taxation.
aims to examine the balance of competence between the UK & EU and to
provide an analysis of what the UK’s membership of the EU means for the
UK national interest.
The report is 1 of 6 reports published. These
reports cover the single market (an overview), health, development
co-operation & humanitarian aid, foreign policy, animal health and
welfare & food safety, as well as taxation.
IPCC: The ‘wheels of justice’ continue to grind (very
slowly) - The Independent Police Complaints
Commission has published its decision in relation to
referrals regarding allegations connected to the investigation into the murder
of Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson Inquiry.
Location beacon (service) turned
off - The Consular Service will no longer
use the LOCATE system for registering details of British nationals,
nor will it continue to routinely use our SMS system that they have recently
piloted. This follows the launch of a new consular
strategy for 2013 to 2016 titled ‘Consular
Excellence’. From now on every British National going abroad
will have access to update country-specific travel advice through email updates
and via social media.
Help keep food safety issues out of
future headlines - The Food Standards Agency has
joined forces with the British Biotechnology and Biological
Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to fund 2 early-career
fellowships in food safety.
The 5-year fellowships will
support scientists who wish to pursue research into areas such as combating
foodborne diseases or emerging issues affecting food safety. Working with
the FSA, the fellows will also be encouraged to use their research expertise to
contribute to relevant policy initiatives. Deadline for
Applications: 4pm 23 October
Time to stem that funding
gap - The Welsh Government is issuing a final
call for applications from providers of Science, Technology,
Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities for its National Science Academy Grant
Scheme (NSAGS). The deadline for its autumn grant
round is 31 July
Press release &
FSCS: Not what it says on the ‘tin’!
- The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is
warning consumers that it does not protect the customers
of Diamond Savings Unlimited.
The company is using
strong interest rates to attract savers and it features FSCS’s
logo on its website. So people may think FSCS is protecting
their money with the firm. But this is not the
Press release &
Invitation - 22nd October, Park Plaza Riverbank, London -
It's no secret - beating the bad guys can seem like an impossible
mission………especially when they’re targeting
sensitive data and invaluable IT assets. However, implementing a secure
connected strategy, protecting your datacentre, network and endpoints could
mean Mission Accomplished!
Join a group of
your peers, high-profile speakers and influential security experts to gain the
insight necessary to transform your organisation’s security
Network with other public sector
security professionals, get in-depth security updates, and learn more about
today's most pressing security challenges.
this and a guest speaker appearance Andy McNab, DCM MM, former SAS operative
and soldier, author of Bravo Two Zero!
here to find out more and to register as a
free public sector delegate.
Please note that previously published
newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter
NICE: NICE will develop innovative new ways
of considering how the costs & benefits of informal care
can be taken into account when developing social care guidance & quality
standards. This follows a series of recommendations made by NICE's
Citizens Council who were asked at their last meeting to consider
whether NICE needed to take into account any additional factors when looking at
MoD: A thought-provoking
exhibition on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) opened
recently at the National Army Museum in London. In an instant
they can change lives, causing confusion & destruction. Over the last
decade the improvised explosive device has become the insurgents’ weapon
of choice and entered our lexicon of evil.
ScotGov: The pristine marine
environment at Sound of Barra is to be given
international recognition following a decision to make the Western
Isles site a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The
new SAC will be managed using an innovative majority community-led approach
utilising local knowledge.
HO: A new pilot allowing top
business migrants to continue travelling whilst waiting for their visa to be
processed launched last week. Applicants re-applying for a visa
under the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) route will now receive their
passport back within 7 - 10 days, after
applying for their visa, but before it has been approved.
It forms part of the Home Office focus to make the
visa application easier for businesses & their employees.
Recent figures show that our reforms to the immigration system have not
deterred the brightest & the best from coming to the UK as visas for
skilled migrants increased by 5% in the year up to March 2013.
UNICEF: Sports fans signing
up for seats at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
will have the chance to donate to UNICEF’s life-changing work with
children when they buy their tickets. This will be the first opportunity for
the general public to actively support this exciting new partnership for
children announced by UNICEF, the Commonwealth Games Federation
and Glasgow 2014 back in April 2013.
As part of their ticket
application every person will be given the opportunity to include a
donation of £1, £3 or £5 to UNICEF, the world’s leading
children’s organisation. The money raised will go towards helping
improve the lives of babies & children in Scotland and in Commonwealth
countries across the world through the many transformative projects UNICEF
delivers every day.
ScotGov: An outbreak of
American Foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting
colonies of honeybees, has been found in an apiary in the Stranraer
area. The disease was confirmed last week following laboratory diagnosis
by Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).
The AFB infected
hive has been destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the
disease in the UK. There are no risks to public
health from AFB and no implications for the quality & safety of
honey. The movement of bees & related equipment into or out of the affected
apiary are under specific controls.
HO: Vans displaying large
adverts encouraging illegal migrants to return home
voluntarily have been driving around London in a one week pilot.
The vans, as well as leaflets, posters & messages in local newspapers
will be used to highlight the advantages of returning home voluntarily –
while making clear enforcement action will be taken if they do not.
Ofcom: A correction has been made to reflect
changes in the news release regarding news minutage in
Ofcom has set
out the terms that will apply to new public service broadcasting
licences for ITV, STV, UTV and Channel 5. This forms part of
Ofcom’s work to issue new 10-year licences when the current ones expire
at the end of 2014.
DECC: National Grid have
announced that T-pylon, the winner of the Pylon
Design Competition, is being offered for the first time in the UK for a
new electricity connection in Somerset.
The new design has a
single pole and T shaped cross arms which hold the conductors and wires in a
diamond ‘earring’ shape. Because of this innovative
layout, the pylon can stand at a height of just 35 metres, 10 to 15 metres
shorter than the traditional lattice towers.
TUC: Responding to last
Wednesday’s announcement by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority
(GLA), that (from October 2013) it is
to stop carrying out automatic inspections of all
companies applying for a new GLA licence, the TUC has warned
the decision could lead to an increase in rogue employment
ACE: A new application
process for organisations wishing to apply for Arts Council
National portfolio and Major partner museum funding
from 2015 to 2018 will open in January
2014. The overall budget for National portfolio
organisations and Major partner museums is anticipated to be reduced by 5% in
real terms in 2015/16.
will be invited to submit applications during a 3 month window
from early January 2014, with further
information about the process, timeline and the criteria for
making funding applications being made available in
TfL: New figures from London
Underground's workplace violence unit show that 10 years of using
DNA spit kits to identify perpetrators of spit attacks on Tube
staff has contributed to a reduction in such behaviour by 75%.
Policy Statements and Initiatives
DECC: The government will take additional action
to help independent renewable generators gain entry to the electricity
market, in order to promote competition & innovation.
An amendment has been tabled to the Energy Bill that will make
it easier for independent generators of renewable electricity to sell their
power to suppliers via Power Purchase Agreements, thereby improving their
access to market.
BIS: The UK will become a world
leader in agricultural science & technology following the launch of
a new strategy to deliver sustainable, healthy & affordable
food for future generations. Breakthroughs in nutrition, informatics,
satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology & precision farming mean the
agriculture sector is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.
DH: More than 650 lives a year
could be saved if simple NHS Health Checks were offered throughout the country
& taken up, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said recently in a
call to action for people to start thinking more seriously about their
Health England (PHE) review has reiterated that checking 40 to
74-year-olds’ blood pressure, cholesterol, weight & lifestyle could
identify problems earlier and prevent 650 deaths, 1,600 heart attacks
and 4,000 cases of diabetes a year. PHE, which leads the NHS
Health Check programme, has now launched a 10-point plan to help
councils roll them out to 20% of their eligible local population a
year –15m people by
DWP: The government's wage
incentive scheme has encouraged UK businesses to offer over 21,000
jobs to young people at risk of long term unemployment. The scheme,
which offers businesses up to £2,275 for taking on a young person who has
been out of work for at least 6 months, or is attached to the Work Programme,
is part of the cross-government Youth Contract package of measures to
tackle youth unemployment.
CLG: Housing Minister, Mark Prisk,
has confirmed that the Right to Transfer coming into
force in the autumn, will mean tenants can take
control over future investment into their communities by requesting a change of
ownership & requiring new homes to be built.
GPS: The Cabinet Office
recently announced the intention to establish an integrated
commercial service for Government to deliver significant savings
to the taxpayer and improve the quality of commercial & procurement
activity across central government and the wider public sector.
This will bring together Government Procurement Service and
other Cabinet Office teams. The Crown Commercial
Service will be established this
autumn building on the evolution of GPS over the last two
DH: Building projects up & down
the country have been given the green light to start producing homes
that will support older & disabled people to live independently for as long
as possible. Last year the government asked local
authorities to bid for a share of £300m to boost the supported housing
market. The Department of Health has now allocated funding to
build 3,544 new homes.
WAG: Minister for Natural Resources
and Food, Alun Davies has announced new measures and an additional
£6m to help halt the loss of wildlife & habitats in
DECC: A new £20m
Green Deal Communities scheme to help local
authorities drive street-by-street delivery of the Green Deal has been
announced. Under new proposals from the Department of Energy and
Climate Change (DECC), local authorities in England will be able to bid
for funding from a £20m pot to help households benefit from the Green
Deal on a street-by-street or area basis.
Local authorities will identify target streets & areas in their
regions that could most benefit from the Green Deal, and then offer incentives
to households in these areas to encourage them to install energy efficiency
home improvements under the Green Deal. Local authorities will propose
incentives as part of their bids for funding, which will be assessed by DECC.
CLG: A Southampton quayside
development was last week the first to benefit from a government scheme
to build homes specifically for private rent. Housing Minister
Mark Prisk welcomed the first deal under the Government’s £1bn
Build to Rent scheme, to deliver homes private rent as part of a
1,600-home development at the Centenary Quay
Defra: An action plan to
help farmers prepare for risks to their businesses was agreed by major
banks, farming charities & farming representatives at a summit convened by
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson recently.
The first farming resilience summit was held
earlier this year following the bad weather that placed particular financial
pressures on many of Britain’s farmers. The experts in banking,
farming, insurance and business convened again last week to agree new action to
improve farmers’ resilience in the face of future challenges.
DH: 116 hospitals & care homes across England
have been awarded a share of a £50m fund to create pioneering
care environments designed with the needs of people with dementia in
will allow Scotland to set defence priorities that reflect Scottish needs and
develop the right capabilities to meet them, First Minister Alex Salmond
said recently. In the third of a series of keynote speeches the First
Minister is making over the summer,
Mr Salmond focussed on
Scotland's defence needs and the difference
between current capabilities based around maintaining the UK’s perceived
prestige and Scottish priorities.
HMT: The government has launched a consultation
on a proposed tax regime for shale gas, including a new shale
gas ‘pad’ allowance. The ‘pad’ allowance is based
on the highly successful existing field allowances for oil and gas production
which are expected to help encourage nearly £14bn
investment in 2013 – the
highest on record. The new allowance will reduce the tax on a portion of a
company’s production income from 62% to 30% at current
Alongside this, new
guidance was published recently that explains to industry &
local communities how applications for exploratory shale gas developments
should proceed through the planning system. Consultation closes on
TfL: Crossrail 2
would create a new high frequency, high capacity rail line with shorter journey
times between southwest and northeast London. People are encouraged to
share their views on Crossrail 2 before the consultation closes on
2 August 2013.
HO: The government wants to
make tramadol a Class C drug but ensure it is available to
those who need it as a prescription medicine. Crime Prevention Minister
Jeremy Browne has launched a consultation in conjunction with the
Department for Health, on access to tramadol. Consultation closes
on 11 October
BIS: Employers could be
funded directly to purchase the apprenticeship training they want as
part of proposals which will put businesses in the driving seat. The
government is consulting on funding reforms proposed by the entrepreneur Doug
These will give employers freedom to choose the
training that is most relevant to the needs of the Apprentices and their
businesses, and which represents best value. The consultation closes on
1 October 3013.
CLG: Property owners could get a
greater role in revitalising their high streets under plans announced by Local
Growth Minister Mark Prisk. The minister visited London’s West End
to see an example of how business improvement district partnership can bring
regeneration to an area. The consultation closes on 17 September 2013.
FRC: The Financial Reporting
Council has issued a proposed revised version of its practice
note on ‘The Audit of Housing Associations in the United
Kingdom’. The consultation closes on Friday 25 October 2013.
EU News: The European
Commission is consulting the public on draft guidelines on how
Member States can support the provision of risk finance to SMEs.
Based on the results of a first consultation in July 2012), the draft
proposes more flexibility in defining eligible companies & forms of
financing. Consultation closes on 18
ScotGov: A joint marine
consultation has been launched that will help decide how
Scotland’s seas are managed in the future. The joint
Scotland’s first National Marine Plan
* Proposals for a network of new Nature
Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
* Draft sectorial marine plans for a sustainable
offshore renewable energy industry in Scotland
Throughout the consultation process Marine Scotland along
with SNH and Joint Nature Conversation Committee (JNCC) will
be hosting a series of events & workshops throughout
Scotland. The consultation closes on 13
HEFCE: Views are invited on the
open access proposals for the post-2014 Research Excellence
Framework (REF). The 4 UK higher education
funding bodies aim to further increase the proportion of research outputs
published in open-access form by introducing this as a requirement in the next
set out the details for implementing this requirement, and were developed
following the advice received by the funding bodies in response to
HEFCE’s earlier letter on open access. The consultation document is
available on the Higher Education Funding Council
Englandweb-site. The consultation closes 30 October 2013 - please use the electronic response
form which can be accessed alongside the consultation document.
Ofgem: Ofgem has launched a
consultation on a proposal for £205mn of funding to reinforce the
transmission infrastructure between the Kintyre peninsula and
Hunterston. Consultation closes on 18 September 2013.
Ofcom: Ofcom has set out
proposals for the renewal of the Channel 4 licence, which is
due to expire at the end of 2014. Under
the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom is required to issue a licence to
Channel 4 Corporation for the broadcast of the Channel 4 service, and is
required to impose certain obligations on the licence.
Ofcom is consulting on whether 2 of Channel 4’s current licence
conditions remain appropriate, or whether amendments might be
considered. Ofcom considers that the other licence conditions remain
appropriate and should remain unchanged in the renewed licence. The
consultation closes on 10 October
Additional Consultations: Readers
should be aware that many consultations are never publicised with a press
release, so do not appear in either the email alerts or Wired - GOV
Plus. Many of these consultations can be found at the
Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides
NICE: Surgery should only be offered to treat
varicose veins if other less invasive treatments are unsuitable for
patients, according to latest guidance from NICE.
Varicose veins develop when blood vessels become enlarged, preventing blood
flowing back to the heart efficiently and resulting in blood flowing in the
wrong direction. They normally occur in the legs, and are more likely to occur
among older people and those who are pregnant.
To help standardise the kind of treatment patients with this treatment
can receive, NICE has published a new clinical guideline on varicose
HEFCE: A web-based tool to
measure plant diversity on university & college campuses has been
developed by the University of Northampton with funds from Higher
Education Funding Council England.
Index is an interactive system which allows organisations with little
or no knowledge of biodiversity to assess the level of plant diversity on their
land quickly, simply and scientifically.
NICE: NICE has recommended the
use of aripiprazole (Abilify) as an option for treating moderate to
severe manic episodes in adolescents with bipolar disorder.
This latest guidance follows the 2006 clinical guideline on the overall
management of bipolar disorder in adults, children & adolescents, and
focuses on the use of aripiprazole for the specific treatment in adolescents
aged 13 and older.
Ofcom: In time for the summer
holiday exodus, Ofcom has published a new guide to help travellers
protect themselves against ‘bill shock’ when using their
smartphones & tablets abroad.
NICE: A new device that detects
the cause of unexplained vaginal wetness in pregnancy could help
pregnant women avoid receiving unnecessary invasive speculum
examinations, according to NICE. Unexplained vaginal wetness
during pregnancy can be caused by preterm, prelabour rupture of the membranes.
NICE says GPs, midwives & practice
nurses can use Vision Amniotic Leak Detector as a way of
reliably excluding a leak of amniotic fluid as a cause of vaginal wetness in
pregnancy. The device is a diagnostic panty liner that can be attached to
underwear, which has a central polymer-embedded strip that turns blue-green on
contact with amniotic fluid.
FRC: The FRC has issued updated
guidance for audits of entities of all sizes that may be subject to the
risks associated with using financial instruments. The guidance
aims to enhance investor confidence in the depth & reliability of the
HMT: The government has launched a
consultation on a proposed tax regime for shale gas, including
a new shale gas ‘pad’ allowance. Alongside this, new
guidance was published recently that explains to industry &
local communities how applications for exploratory shale gas developments
should proceed through the planning system – See
‘Consultations’ section for more information.
PC&PE: Government must match long-term
vision with long term funding to secure a 2012 legacy for school
sport, says the House of Commons Education
MoJ: The latest figures show that
the number of claims management companies registered to handle personal
injury claims has fallen from 2,435 in March 2012 to 1,700 in June
The sharp decline follows changes to the law around
no-win, no-fee deals passed by the Government in 2012 and brought into effect
in April 2013. These included a ban on the
‘referral fees’ which used to be paid between no-win, no-fee
lawyers, claims firms and others for profitable claims.
The figures were included in last week’s annual report
of the Claims Management Regulation unit, based at the Ministry of
Justice, which is responsible for regulating the companies which advertise
for claims and handle them on behalf of people pursuing compensation for
injuries or other issues, like mis-sold insurance.
Ofsted: The support &
challenge provided to local schools by the first two councils visited under a
new Ofsted inspection regime were last week branded as
'ineffective'. The verdicts follow 5-day inspections of local
authority arrangements for school improvement carried out last month in
Norfolk & the Isle of Wight.
DfT: 10 most crowded trains
statistics and latest train crowding statistics have been released.
PC&PE: In an inquiry
scrutinising the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra) and its Rural Communities Policy Unit, the
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee finds that
much more needs to be done if Defra is to achieve its target
of ‘fair, practical & affordable outcomes for rural residents,
businesses and communities’.
MoJ: While the number of people entering
the criminal justice system is falling a hardcore group continue to
re-offend at an alarming rate, latest figures show. More than
400,000 crimes were committed by those who had broken the law before, in the
year up to September 2011.
General Reports and Other Publications
PC&PE: The Home Affairs Committee
has published its Report on Police & Crime Commissioners: power
to remove Chief Constables. The Report
recommends that police & crime panels should fully exercise their
powers of scrutiny in cases where the commissioner proposes to remove a chief
distinctive feature of the 211 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
that took over responsibility for the majority of the budget for commissioning
health care services in the English NHS from 1 April 2013 is that they are
membership organisations designed to harness the clinical expertise of their
local GP members. Handing greater control of budgets to GPs was a key element
of the government's Health & Social Care Act (2012).
However, one of the first studies to be
conducted into the early experiences of CCGs, published last week by The
King's Fund and the Nuffield Trust, suggests that member GPs are
less likely to believe that their CCG is 'owned' by them when compared with the
leaders of those CCGs.
While there was a great deal of
support for what CCGs are trying to achieve, many of the GPs involved in the
study felt that decisions being taken by their CCG did not always
reflect their views.
PC&PE: The Justice
Committee’s 4th Report of Session 2013–14,
Environmental Offences Guideline: Consultation examines
proposed sentencing guidelines on Environmental Offences published by
the Sentencing Council.
NE: Natural England has
published a report containing the final proposals for the 41 km stretch
of England’s Coast Path which runs between Sea Palling on
the east end of the north Norfolk coast, and Weybourne in the west.
This follows on from a 3-month public consultation asking for
people’s views on the draft proposals for this stretch of
CIPD: The UK’s
economic growth could be boosted if large firms adopted the entrepreneurial
spirit that drives so much value in start-ups and small firms. According
to new CIPD research, by encouraging a culture of
‘intrapreneurialism,’ big businesses could help their
employees adopt entrepreneurial behaviours that foster innovation & growth.
ESRC: One of the greatest social
changes across Europe in recent decades has been the increase of women in the
labour market. However, changes in women’s work patterns
have not always been matched by changes in the division of household tasks
between the sexes, reveals a study from the European Social Survey
not unfairly women often feel their work is never done, with those working
full-time still responsible, on average, for around two-thirds of the total
time heterosexual couples spend on housework. However, with women doing
most of the housework this can lead to feelings of work-life conflict -
cooperation needed to help Service children get equal education
opportunities, say MPs. The MoD must resolve a conflict at the heart
of the Armed Forces Covenant in the provision of education to
Service children, says the Defence Committee.
The nature of Service life means that families
are required to be mobile if they are to accompany the Service parent.
This mobility has major impact on the continuity of
children’s education, in particular, parents can find it
difficult to get their children into the schools of their choice.
PC&PE: The Public Accounts
Committee publishes its 16th Report of this Session which examines the
progress in minimising waste from the FiRecontrol project and
achieving the original objectives through other means.
NLGN: Can Local Government
innovate its way out of cuts? - The New Local Government
Network posed this question in a recent survey of more than 65 councils
from across the country. Depending on how you read the results, the
findings are either remarkably optimistic or deeply
NO: The Local Government
Ombudsman has issued a report into Wiltshire Council’s
handling of a homelessness case, despite finding no
significant injustice in the council’s treatment of the
PC&PE: The House of Lords
Constitution Committee last week published its report on
the constitutional arrangements for the use of armed force, in which
it criticises the Government’s lack of clarity over the need for a
Commons vote before any steps are taken by the UK to arm the Syrian National
PC&PE: There are risks to the
justice system’s ability to convict criminals and meet the needs of
victims unless there is a proper strategy for forensic science following the
closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS), the Science
and Technology Committee has warned.
PC&PE: In a report published
last week, the Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
calls on Government to produce a 5-year rolling Spending
Review, aligned to the 5-year fixed term Parliament. Greater
clarity on spending would reduce short-termism in policy planning &
LSIS: The Learning and Skills
Improvement Service has published 3 new research reports on
sustainability which can serve to inform & serve FE and skills
sector learning providers as they look to embed sustainability skills &
education for sustainable development (ESD) in their learning provision,
building on the support and resources that LSIS has offered over the last three
“The publication of the reports
marks the completion of the LSIS Leading and Learning for a Sustainable
Future strategy which we launched in spring 2010”, said
Conrad Benefield, LSIS Sustainability Programme Development
Legislation / Legal
CLG: Ministers gave backing recently to a council
byelaw that would make spitting in the street a criminal
offence. The London Borough of Enfield applied to the
Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, for provisional approval to make byelaws that
prohibit anti-social spitting across the borough due to the extent of the
across the country already have byelaws in place to tackle anti-social
behaviour, from dog fowling to urination. Byelaws may be submitted to the
Department for confirmation if they are formally adopted by the council and
submitted in accordance with the procedure set out in the guidance notes, which
can be found on the Communities & Local Government website.
PC&PE: A Bill
establishing a statutory code for pub companies should be brought forward at
the earliest opportunity, says the Business, Innovation and Skills
Committee in a Report published last week.
welcomes the Government’s consultation on a Statutory Code of
Conduct, an action it recommended in 2011, but warns that there
can be no more delays in resolving the matter and bringing forward
TIS: The Supreme Court last
week delivered judgment in the matter of Lehman Companies (No.
2) following an appeal brought by the administrators. The appeal
was allowed, meaning that liabilities under a Financial Support
Direction issued against an insolvent company rank as an unsecured
claim. The Government welcomes the decision and careful consideration will
be given to the implications of this important judgment.
Press release &
CC: The Competition Commission
(CC) has provisionally ruled that the merger between kaolin
suppliers Imerys Minerals Limited and Goonvean Limited could
lead to a loss of competition & higher prices for some of their
ICO: The Information
Commissioner’s Office has issued an enforcement notice
ordering a police force to review its use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition
(ANPR) cameras. The decision follows the ICO’s
investigation into Hertfordshire Constabulary’s extensive use of
ANPR cameras surrounding the town of Royston.
The use of these cameras has effectively made it impossible for anyone
to drive their car in & out of Royston without a record being kept of the
journey. The scheme is regularly referred to as ‘the ring of
steel’. The ICO has now ruled that the collection of the
information is unlawful – breaching principle
one of the Act – and excessive – breaching
Hertfordshire Constabulary has been issued with an enforcement notice
ordering the force to stop processing people’s information in this way,
unless they can justify the ANPR cameras use by way of a proper privacy impact
assessment, or similar such assessment.
MoJ: The needs of bereaved
families will be put at the heart of a reformed coroner
system by a new national code, Justice Minister Helen
Grant announced. The new legal framework will ensure all 96 coroners in
England & Wales will work to the same standards, ending the past
inconsistencies which led to criticisms of a postcode lottery – with
bereaved people in some areas facing long waits for inquests.
EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.
News: There is no clear evidence that the Commission
Proposals to create a smart border system for the external
borders of the EU will fulfil the aims that it has set out, said the
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) recently.
Following the publication of his opinion which
focuses specifically on the Entry/Exit System, the EDPS said that one of the
stated aims of the proposals was to replace the existing 'slow &
unreliable' system but the Commission's own assessments do not indicate that
the alternative will be sufficiently efficient to justify the expense &
intrusions into privacy.
EU News: Last week, in a public
demonstration, a successful position fix on the basis of the EU’s
current 4 Galileo satellites was announced. This position fix of
longitude, latitude & altitude is proof of the ability of Galileo - the
European Commission’s programme to develop a global satellite
navigation system under European civilian control - to provide
highly accurate positioning data of cars or other objects.
Tajani also announced that further satellite launches will bring
first services by the end of
2014. They will result in an improved GPS signal and - with more
precision, coverage & availability of satellite navigation signals - a
whole new array of business opportunities will arise.
EU News: Fraud affecting
the EU budget increased slightly in 2012 compared to 2011, according
to the Commission's annual report on the ‘Protection of the EU's
EU News: In order to adapt
EU payments market to the opportunities of the single market
and to support the growth of the EU economy, the European Commission
recently adopted a new package including:
* A new payment Services Directive
proposal for regulation on interchange fees for card-based payment
EU News: The European
Commission is consulting the public on draft guidelines on how
Member States can support the provision of risk finance to SMEs
– See ‘Consultations’ section for more information
Charity and Voluntary Sector
SE: England’s love affair with table tennis
is set to continue as the innovative street ping pong initiative
Ping! returns to our streets this summer. This time it’s
bigger than ever, with a record 12 regions taking part and more than 500 public
ping-pong tables available for freeplay. To join the fun, simply borrow a
bat from the side of the table and play ball!
Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport
launched last week in Bristol and will roll out across the rest of the country
this week with a special floating ping pong party on HMS President in
Press release &
UKOC: Over the last few months,
UK Online Centres been working with Jobcentre Plus to support
their work experience initiative by offering individuals placements as
volunteer Digital Champions in our centres - and you could get
The scheme is
rolling out regionally throughout the rest of this year and centres who have
already taken part have found it's a great way to build a stronger relationship
with their local JCP, add extra resource in their centre and bring in fresh
experience & new skills from the volunteer taking part.
you're interested in taking part and offering a jobseeker experience of working
in a UK online centre, please email UKOC to get involved.
BIG: 32 Local Authority areas
across England have been shortlisted for a share in a £70m funding
package under the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling
Lives: Ageing Better programme tackling social isolation for
vulnerable older people. The area partnerships will be led by local
initiative will make funding available in around 15 to 20 local areas, over a
period of up to 6 years, to pilot area-wide, voluntary service led local
authority partnership projects to improve the lives of older people.
Awards will be made in Spring
CO: Public servants who form
‘John Lewis style’ mutuals to take control of their
services need better access to external finance if they are to transform public
services, a report published yesterday argued.
Consulting Group report, Soft Finance, Hard
Choices, analysed the performance of 71 mutuals, which currently
deliver £1.2bn of public services, as well as 15 mutual projects in
development. It found clear evidence that mutuals are improving service quality
& driving innovation.
showed that they are performing well as businesses with the 62 mutuals launched
since 2010 generating substantial growth and creating as many as 3,000 new
The report warned that as the number of
new mutuals increased, greater consideration must be given to attracting social
& private capital investment to ensure long-term
Business and Other Briefings
CC: The Competition Commission (CC)
has published a provisional decision regarding the remedies it is
considering introducing when it publishes its final report on the supply of
statutory audit services to large companies in the UK this
summary of its provisional decision on remedies, the CC has
put forward a package of measures to promote competition and to ensure that
competition is directed towards satisfying the demands of shareholders.
The remedy package includes measures to improve the bargaining
power of companies and encourage rivalry between audit firms; measures to
enhance the influence of the Audit Committee; and measures to promote
shareholder engagement in the audit process.
WAG: The Welsh Government’s
pilot Energy and Environment SME Growth Fund – designed to
support the growth of businesses in this key sector - has been extended
to include support for capital investments.
Applications for the £ 590,000 Fund are invited for projects
with eligible costs ranging from £4,000 up to a maximum of
£100,000. Businesses applying for the non repayable finance will
need to provide a minimum of 50% match funding. Further details are
available on the Business Wales website.
BIS: A new scheme introduced last
week gives businesses a stronger voice in influencing how regulators
change the way they work. Under the new Accountability for
Regulator Impact scheme non-economic regulators that are planning a
significant change in policy or practice – for example, by updating
guidance or inspection regimes - will assess & quantify the impact of that
change on business.
then share & discuss these assessments with trade associations and other
business representatives before carrying out the proposed
HMT: A new
£10m prize to incentivise the development of the next generation
of ultra low emission cars has been announced by the Chief Secretary
to the Treasury Danny Alexander during a visit to McLaren. The
prize will only be targeted at technology for everyday cars
that are comparable in price to conventionally fuelled cars, in order to ensure
the next generation of low-emission cars are affordable for all.
The competition will start
by the end of 2013 and will be open to all
including businesses, universities and engineering experts.
SFA: The National
Apprenticeship Service has launched new measures designed to
help guide employers through the process of recruiting an apprentice.
This followed the announcement of the extension of the £1,500
Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16-24 year olds for another
new films, ‘How to hire an apprentice’ and
‘Why hire an apprentice’, have been launched on
apprentice.tv to guide employers through the process of recruiting an
BIS: Employers could be
funded directly to purchase the apprenticeship training they want as
part of proposals which will put businesses in the driving seat – See
‘Consultations’ section for more
R&C brief informing operators of some
combined heat and power stations of changes to their carbon price support tax
STFC: International research including the UK and
Japan has confirmed that subatomic particles called neutrinos have a
new form of identity-shifting property. These
results could one day help scientists explain why the universe contains
matter but very little antimatter.
Motors has confirmed development of the Bentley
SUV, which will be made in Crewe and create over 1,000 jobs in the
UK. On a visit to the Bentley headquarters in Crewe, PM David Cameron
welcomed the announcement, saying: “This £800m investment
and 1,000 new jobs from Bentley is fantastic news for both Crewe and for the UK
as a whole”.
DECC: North Blyth Energy
Ltd has been granted permission by Government to construct a
99.9MW biomass power station at Blyth
Harbour, Northumberland. The developer estimates that the
biomass project will provide enough electricity to meet the annual electricity
needs of as many as 170,000 homes a year – the equivalent of all
the homes in Northumberland.
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