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WGPlus provides an in-depth weekly briefing from the UK Government and Public Sector. To save your time, we research & validate the links to websites, documents and further background information. Click here for more about WGPlus

In the News

Do the police ‘over-react’ on occasion? - The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is has published a progress report providing an update on the emerging findings of its review of investigations involving death following contact with the police, and the progress made & planned towards addressing the issues raised.
Press release & links ~ IPCC:  Deaths during or following police contact ~ Deaths in custody: new website ~ Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody ~ IPCC recommendations shape national guidance on custody handling ~ Second edition of the ACPO Guidance on the Safer Detention & Handling of Persons in Police Custody ~ CPS:  Deaths in custody ~ OU:  Deaths in police custody study ~ Police ‘gross failures’ contributed to death in cells, inquest jury finds ~ Police custody in Cheshire – positive & professional ~ IPCC investigating ‘near miss’ at Medway custody suite ~ IPCC publishes annual deaths during or following police contact for 2012/13 – mental health a key factor ~ Thematic review of mental health care announced ~ Police custody is regularly being used to detain people whose only ‘crime’ is that they are suffering from a mental disorder, a joint inspection has found ~ A criminal use of police cells? The use of police custody as a place of safety for people with mental health needs ~ NHS Confed:  Mental Health Network comments on use of police custody facilities as places of safety ~ IPCC publishes findings from investigation into death of man in Northumbria Police custody ~ IPCC investigation ongoing into South Yorkshire Police death in custody ~ Second investigation launched into Taser use at Lancashire Constabulary custody suite ~ Police Custody in Norfolk and Suffolk - joint working 'strikingly successful'

Can there be such a thing as ‘Global DP enforcement’? – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has won a resolution in Warsaw which is set to see improved co-ordination between global data protection and privacy authorities.

The ICO led on the debate on international enforcement co-ordination at the 35th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners last week. The 2-day commissioners' conference was attended by delegates representing data protection authorities and privacy enforcement authorities from all over the world.  The ICO has won a resolution in Warsaw which is set to see improved co-ordination between global data protection and privacy authorities.
Press release & links ~ ICO:  Taking action - data protection & privacy and electronic communications ~ MEPs raise suspension of EU-US bank data deal ~ Smart borders: key proposal is costly, unproven and intrusive ~ Parliament to launch in-depth inquiry into US surveillance programmes ~ EDPS finds major deficiencies in anti-money laundering proposals ~ New specific rules for consumers when telecoms personal data is lost or stolen in EU ~ Commission calling for experts to identify safe and fair contract terms to boost cloud computing ~ 'Smart, sustainable, inclusive Europe': only with stronger and more effective data protection ~ Report highlights uncertainty on cost of EU data protection reform ~ MEPs back deal with Council on police access to asylum seekers’ fingerprints ~ The functions, powers and resources of the Information Commissioner  ~ Terrorist finance tracking: citizen's safeguards are in place ~ Assessment of law enforcement tools: no new databases needed at EU level ~ Justice Committee publishes report on the Committee's opinion on EU Data Protection framework proposals

Many doubt LAs actually provide a ‘place of safety’ - Ofsted has published its single framework for inspecting local authority services for vulnerable children, examining help, protection and care from the time it is first needed until a young person who is looked after has been successfully helped to start their lives as a young adult. The inspection is universal and will be conducted in a 3-year cycle.

Coming into effect from November 2013, the framework brings together into one inspection:

* child protection
* services for looked after children & care leavers
* local authority fostering & adoption services

Two other frameworks (which come into immediate effect) have also been published for inspecting:

* voluntary adoption agencies
* independent fostering services
Press release & links ~ LGA responds to DfE children's homes data ~ ICO responds to Michael Gove article in today's Daily Telegraph ~ Support for vulnerable families extended across Wales ~ Lack of evidence-based interventions risks leaving young people behind ~ Better quality care for vulnerable children ~ Sexually exploited children are still being failed ~ Revised safeguarding guidance for professionals working with children ~ Enhancing child protection ~ NHS leaders call on ministers to lead joining up of children's services ~ Help for children in care to achieve better school results ~ Working smarter to improve child protection ~ Help vulnerable children get the best start in life, says NICE ~ WAO - Education of Looked After Children Slowly Improving ~ TCS: Care system placing children in danger, parliamentary inquiry finds ~ Overhaul of alternative provision to fix ‘broken system’ and improve standards for vulnerable & disadvantaged children ~ Ofsted:  Double vulnerability through age & disability (6th item) ~ Ofsted:  Why are they running from a ‘Place of Safety’? (3rd item)

Financial help for entrepreneurs who want to bring ‘peace of mind’ to mothers returning to work by providing ‘safe’ childcare facilities - Anyone who wants to set up a new nursery or child-minding business can apply for grants of up to £500 to help cover the costs of things like training, equipment, insurance, and adaptations to premises.

The money, part of a £2m scheme launched in April 2013, is helping to get over 1,000 new start-ups off the ground and get more mothers back into the workplace.  Fledgling businesses are also being encouraged to team up with a free business mentor so they can access specially-tailored business start-up advice.  Charlie Bruin, Business Director, Central Government, at Liberata said: “Liberata is delighted to work with the Government in delivering this important initiative, which will be a real boost to the country’s childcare sector.”
Press release & links ~ Liberata ~ Tax-Free Childcare parents survey: still time to have your say ~ PX:  Cut tax free childcare for wealthiest families to help poorest children ~ Free childcare extended to working families on low incomes ~ New plan to improve opportunities for children announced ~ Childcare qualifications overhaul ~ Children's cognitive abilities relatively unaffected by having working mothers, latest analysis shows ~ Childcare: Commission calls on Member States to do more ~ Age UK - Grandparental care now worth £7.3b ~ Easing regulations around childcare is key to driving down costs ~ Quality nurseries urged to make full use of flexibility ~ Good early years get children off to a flying start, says Ofsted ~ New Bill will aid children and young people ~ Teach First Leadership Development Programme extended to early years

But will the future cost prove to be un-affordable? - Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Finance Secretary John Swinney have pledged that all pensions in an independent will be paid on time & in full.  A Scottish Government paper – Pensions in an Independent Scotland – details the arrangements for state, private & public sector pensions that will follow a vote for independence.
Press release & links ~ AP:  Scottish independence uncertainty for pension schemes ~ Scottish Independence: ICAS publishes major pensions report

How plausible are the SNP Defence Plans? – Information published so far by the Scottish Government on the defence & security implications of Scottish independence falls far short of requirements, says the Defence Committee in its report;  ‘The defence implications of possible Scottish independence’.
Press release & links ~ Nuclear-free defence forces will save Scottish taxpayers almost £1bn

Bring a new meaning to ‘Open Government’ - The Open Standards Board has recommended the approval of the first open standards for government technology.  The adoption of open standards will give government bodies access to a wider marketplace of innovative suppliers by encouraging a level playing field for open source & proprietary software providers.
Press release & links

Will you find your sandwich fulfilling? – It’s bad enough when you finish your sandwich at lunch time and still feel hungry - imagine if you left your student sandwich placement feeling the same way.  Sign up for something you can really get your teeth into, by applying for a placement with STFC.
Press release & links

Call for applicants for NICE ambassadors - Applications are now open for the NICE Fellows & Scholars programme, as it enters its fifth year.  Completed applications must be submitted to NICE by 5pm on Friday 1 November 2013.
Press release & links

 Gartner Symposium ITxpo, November 10th -14th, Barcelona, Spain - Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. Designed to deliver real-world insight, actionable advice and executive-level skill-building for a variety of roles and responsibilities, it is the only IT event that takes full advantage of the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization.

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At Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, attendees will discover how to seize new opportunities, forge strategic partnerships to drive change and evolve to become indispensable leaders in the digital world.

Join over 4,000 of your professional peers — including more than 1,500 CIOs.
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Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the
Newsletter Archive

General News

Policy Statements and Initiatives


Review of Industry Training Boards (ITBs) – (23 November 2013)

NICE consults on clinical guideline static list – (23 October 2013)

Ofcom invites views on its priorities for 2014/15 – (24 October 2013)

Consultation on co-operative & community benefit societies – a consolidation of the law – (15 November 2013)

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 (& subsequent conclusions) can be found at the following links:
GOV.UK consultations ~ Current ScotGov consultations ~ Recently added WAG consultations


Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

General Reports and Other Publications

More patients waiting in NHS A&E departments

Independent hospital in Nottinghamshire needs to make improvements to ensure it protects people’s safety & welfare

NHS complaints

Adopting Big Data analytics used by commercial sector could help save money and lives at MOD

Public Attitude Surveys

Today’s children will bear brunt of climate change UNICEF UK warns - (Report)

Counterfeit goods and criminality

IfL comments on OECD review of vocational education and training

CIPD - Employers link staff benefits provision to business strategy, reports CIPD

Westminster City Council left 40 homeless families in B&B accommodation for too long

Scottish Health Survey

Countryside benefits from speeded up broadband roll out

Ofcom publishes Digital Radio Report 2013

Younger disabled people enjoying the benefits of being online

FCA review of medium-sized firms’ PPI complaints handling finds significant room for improvement

Launch of FSA’s Chief Scientist report on science & evidence

JRF - Ethnic minority low paid workers face more barriers to promotion

More children adopted than ever before

Risk in China’s financial markets

Socitm data shows best & worst council services online

Committee publishes report on the Rural Broadband programme

Cornwall Council agrees remedy with businessman following planning error – (Report 12 005 870 Cornwall Council)

IFS: Welsh Government faces tough choices balancing spending over the next 12 years as cuts continue

Wales Audit: Welsh Local Government getting better at Planning, Delivering and Reporting Improvements

Work Programme: more than 168,000 people escape long-term unemployment – (Work Programme is still failing to help vulnerable people, says TUC ~ PX: Public overwhelmingly supports work-for-your-benefits schemes ~ Benefit cap successfully in place nationwide)

CBI/EC Harris unveil blueprint for delivery of next generation of UK towns and cities

A nation of culture vultures

CIPD: Lack of support for managers leads to leadership problems and crisis of organisational culture

Legislation / Legal

EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

Rural support schemes to continue

A city we like: sustainable solutions for European cities

Commission presents new EU forest strategy based on new, broader, approach to forest

EU is making major contribution to global fight against poverty

Turkish nationals do not have the right to enter the territory of an EU Member State without a visa in order to obtain services

ERA progress report: 'single market' for research closer, not yet a reality

Banking union tops agenda in discussion with Draghi

MEPs raise suspension of EU-US bank data deal

Gibraltar: European Commission sends a technical fact finding mission

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): Political agreement reached on last remaining points – (CAP reform deal: MEPs ensure significant improvements in future farm policy)

Klaus Regling quizzed about wider lending role for European Stability Mechanism

Reform of the Court of Justice will be discussed in Vilnius

Without a strong industrial base, Europe's economy cannot prosper

Amending EU budget 2013 in line with MFF political agreement

Health MEPs call for stricter controls on medical devices

Commission launches 'Opening up Education' to boost innovation & digital skills in schools and universities

Advocate General Kokott considers that both mothers have the right to receive maternity leave in the case of legal surrogacy – (According to Advocate General Wahl, a right to paid leave of absence from employment to parents of a child born through a surrogacy arrangement cannot be inferred from EU law)

€660m in EU funding to top researchers

Electoral rights: Commission action ensures EU citizens can cast their vote in European and local elections

EU programmes for research & small firms in 2014-2020 approved

EU master plan for raw materials: innovation is the key

EU and FAO help 6 countries achieve the Millennium Development Goal on hunger

Charity and Voluntary Sector

Business and Other Briefings

Industry News

Forthcoming Event

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