CC: What are the circumstances in which charities are able to deliver public services? - To help charities answer this question, the Charity Commission have announced a consultation (closes 5 January 2007) on its new guidance 'Charities and public service delivery'.
The draft guidance takes into account a number of changes, both within the charitable sector and in the relationships between charities and the public sector. It's based on wide consultation with charities and provides some key recommendations about delivering public services.
Andrew Hind, the Commission's Chief Executive, said,
"The decision about whether or not charities should deliver public services rests with their trustees. I'd encourage as many charities as possible to contribute to this consultation, ensuring the experience of the sector is fully included in our final guidance."
To coincide with the future publication of the revised guidance (due to be published in February 2007), the Commission also plans to publish the results of its survey into charities and public service delivery. This will explore the extent to which public service delivery is impacting on the charitable sector.
Press release ~ Charities and Public Service Delivery (CC37) ~ Regulating for the future ~ The Charity Commission’s response to the Strategy Unit review ~ Office of the Third Sector ~ Policy statement ‘Charities and public service delivery' ~ Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (acevo) ~ Full cost recovery website ~ National Council for Voluntary Organisations ~ National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (NACVS)
LSC: Use it or ... I’ve forgotten what I was talking about - People are not doing enough to keep their brains healthy according to new research from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which found that 56% of people think the brain does not begin to decline until age 45 or later, yet expert medical opinion claims deterioration can set-in as early as 18 years of age.
The research revealed a ‘brain training gap’ as 55% recognise the need to train the brain even more so than the body (28%), yet thousands are doing nothing, not enough or the wrong sort of exercise. Other findings include:
· 32% of people do not take any exercise to stimulate the brain
· 62% of people choose watching television as a way to stimulate their brain!
· 30% felt their brain had deteriorated in the last two years and 57% in the last five years
· 88% read books to stimulate their brain, with 84% doing crosswords or puzzles and only 17% studying through evening classes
· 47% said they would most like to improve their memory and 14% their concentration
According to a host of medical experts, continuous learning at every stage of life is one of the best ways to ensure the brain remains healthy and brain deterioration is kept at bay, as it builds stronger connections between brain cells to slow down the ravages of time.
The more education and training a person has in their life, the more densely connected are their brain cells and brains with better connected cells work faster and better.
Press release ~ Learning and Skills Council (LSC) ~ BBC news item ~ BBC Memory training ~ UEA Memory Training
DfES: Churches expand their ‘everyone welcome’ policy to schools - Education Secretary Alan Johnson welcomed the announcement that the Church of England will make available at least a quarter of places in its new schools to non-church families. The new commitment is intended to ensure a proportion of places in new Church of England schools are open to families of other faiths and no faith if there is demand for them.
Both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches have reaffirmed their commitment to social cohesion in an exchange of letters with the Education and Skills Secretary.
In addition, the Roman Catholic Church has said it will revise its inspection frameworks to ensure the contribution Catholic schools & colleges make to social cohesion is fully reported upon. The revised frameworks will include information on the:
· proportion of Catholics and minority ethnic groups in the Catholic school
· involvement of the school in the wider community, and how
· needs of non-Catholics are met, and
· Citizenship education and other factors
These announcements by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches build on an announcement in February by the main religious leaders that children and young people in faith and community schools should be taught about all the major faiths and develop deeper understanding.
Press release ~ DfES - Religious education in faith schools ~ Teachernet – Faith Schools ~ Impact of Specialist and Faith Schools ~ Catholic Education Service ~ National Society for promoting religious education ~ Becoming Fit for Purpose ~ National Secular Society ~ British Humanist Association ~ Learning together
OS: Will it be a tight fit? - Ordnance Survey is launching the first ever digital map dataset showing the weight, width and height restriction applying to road bridges in Great Britain. More than 110,000 bridges have been surveyed for what promises to be an invaluable single information source for satellite navigation, route planning and fleet management.
The bridge data is available to users of the Road Routing Information (RRI) theme of Ordnance Survey’s overall digital road data product, OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer. The RRI theme already includes a range of network and routing information.
As well as helping delivery and freight companies and the providers of satellite navigation and other routing solutions, the new data will support local authority freight plans.
The new data will be available to ITN Layer RRI theme customers from the end of October 2006, but Ordnance Survey is previewing it to licensed technology partners and visitors to the ITS World Congress and Exhibition in London on 9–12 October 2006.
Press release ~ OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network Layer: Overview ~ OS MasterMap ITN brochure (1.6Mb) ~ ITS World Congress and Exhibition 2006 ~ Prevention of bridge strikes - A good practice guide for passenger transport operational staff ~ DfT - Measures to reduce the frequency of over-height vehicles striking bridges: Final report ~ Last published Minutes of Bridge Strike Prevention Group ~ FTA guidance
Forthcoming Event: Only if you know what you have done can you begin to measure how well you have done it - The Government’s strategy to transform service delivery through the use of ICT has placed more effective, personalised and joined-up public services high on the agenda.
But public sector data is typically fragmented and dispersed within and across agencies. Storing, retrieving and managing this data is a massive task which, if done inadequately, can result in inefficiencies, poor service delivery or even a loss of citizens’ trust in Public Sector organisations.
Every aspect of public service is under the performance spotlight, from the speed with which the police respond to a crime, to the number of dustbins emptied each day by a refuse truck and (with regards to personal data) the government has even gone on record recently to say that: “Government Information sharing can help protect the most disadvantaged”.
A report by the Bathwick Group Ltd (highlighted by WGPlus earlier this year) - ‘Reporting Efficiencies in the Public Sector' - found that respondents spent, in a typical week, 9.5 hours – or around a quarter of the working week - getting the information they need to do their job, or to pass onto others to do theirs.
With political policy drivers such as the Gershon report, it is certain that Efficiency is Top of the Political Agenda and will remain there whichever party is in government. So it is vital that public sector managers are given every assistance (especially automated ICT systems) to enable them to cope with the requirements of data gathering, while also facilitating the use of that same data to ensure efficient use of resources and delivery of services.
Business Objects is expert at unlocking the potential of Public Sector data to help government agencies transform citizen service. To find out how, register for Business Objects’ forthcoming Information Management event dedicated to your needs: Public Sector Data – The Pursuit of Quality, on 7 November 2006 in London.
For other information on forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar
For Industry News please click HERE
Defra: The Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate (DHI), working on behalf of the Food Standards Agency, has merged with the State Veterinary Service (SVS), with the intention of simplifying the inspection regimes currently operating in the United Kingdom.
The DHI function - protecting the nation's raw milk supply from the risk of contamination and ensuring a satisfactory standard of hygiene is maintained on farms - transferred to SVS, an executive agency of Defra on 1 October 2006. The DHI is currently part of the Rural Development Service (RDS).
The merger is one of the recommendations of the Hampton Review, published in March 2005, to simplify enforcement activity and reduce the number of enforcement bodies. It is the first in a series of mergers which begin to transform SVS into an enlarged animal health thematic agency.
Press release ~ Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate (DHI) ~ Food Standards Agency ~ State Veterinary Service (SVS) ~ Rural Development Service (RDS) ~ Natural England ~ Hampton Review
TfL: Transport for London (TfL) has launched a traffic news website, which is claimed to be a unique traffic management tool that will provide real time details of road works, streetworks, public events, accidents and incidents that may affect road journeys, allowing road users to make informed decisions about their routes before they travel.
Traffic News is claimed to be a real time interactive map based on live information feeds from TfL’s LTCC (London Traffic Control Centre), which manages the Capital’s traffic flow by monitoring key routes and junctions across London and taking action to mitigate problems.
The website can also provide road users with information on forthcoming road works & events several days before they take place, allowing road users to plan journeys to avoid expected delays.
Press release ~ Traffic News ~ Traffic Management Act 2004 ~ AA Roadwatch ~ Highways Agency
TfL: The Mayor of London has offered Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police Service joint funding (over 2 years) to provide an extra 375 Police Community Support Officers to join the existing 1,200 uniformed Metropolitan Police officers in the Transport Operational Command Unit (TOCU) who patrol the transport network.
The Police Community Support Officers would be deployed in mobile 'transport teams' in suburban areas and outer London boroughs and could be deployed to different parts of London on a weekly basis to areas where patterns of anti-social behaviour have been identified as local hot spots by intelligence gathered by Transport for London and the Transport Operational Command Unit (TOCU).
The Mayor would like to see these teams deployed by early 2007 to concentrate on tackling fare evasion and anti-social and criminal behaviour at major transport interchanges, bus stations and schools.
Since the end of 2005, all of London’s 8,000 buses are fitted with fully recording CCTV – there are now between 55,000 and 60,000 cameras fitted on the fleet. In additional there are over 6,000 CCTV cameras on the Underground network – increasing to 12,000 by 2010.
Press release ~ Transport for London ~ Police Community Support Officers ~ Transport Operational Command Unit (TOCU) ~ MPS - PCSOs ~ Recruitment
MoD: Britain stands ready to help Ukraine in its aspiration to join NATO, UK Armed Forces Minister, Adam Ingram, has said at the NATO Ukraine Defence Ministers' meeting in Lisbon:
"Ukraine has already committed over 28,000 troops in support of peace support operations as diverse as Iraq, Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Liberia. I am pleased Prime Minister Yanukovych announced recently that support for NATO operations remains a priority for his government.
The NATO door remains firmly open but the final decision whether to enter rests with the Ukrainian people. There are no deadlines or time tables but Britain, for one, stands ready to help the Ukrainian Government as it continues to reform its defence and security sector."
Press release ~ NATO Ukraine Defence Ministers' meeting in Lisbon ~ June 2006 Statement ~ NATO Handbook (1.5Mb) ~ UK position ~ BBC News item – Ukraine not ready
Scottish Executive: Elish Angiolini is set to become Scotland's first female Lord Advocate in the 500 year history of the post. Her nomination by First Minister Jack McConnell has been endorsed by the Scottish Parliament and the Queen will now make the formal appointment.
Ms Angiolini, 46, was the first female Solicitor General when she was appointed five years ago and she will now replace Lord Boyd of Duncansby, Colin Boyd QC, who resigned on October 4.
DCLG: The Government has teamed up with four private sector lenders, Nationwide, Yorkshire Building Society, Advantage(a Morgan Stanley company) and Bank of Scotland, to offer a mortgage that is claimed will boost people's buying power by up to 25%.
Currently, a family on a combined income of £35,000 could typically obtain a mortgage of just £122,500, but if eligible for Open Market HomeBuy, they could potentially buy a home worth over £160,000.
The following groups are eligible for Open Market HomeBuy:
· Social tenants and those on the housing register
· Key worker
· Priority first time buyers: who have been identified as eligible for assistance by the Regional Housing Boards
Press release ~ Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing programme ~ Open Market HomeBuy ~ Open Market HomeBuy Guide ~ HomeBuy Agents ~ Social HomeBuy ~ New Build HomeBuy ~ JRF- Limits to working households' ability to become home-owners ~ Shared Equity Task Force
Home Office: 38 Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) will be working across England and Wales as part of a £3 million Government package to provide targeted professional support to victims of sexual violent crime.
The advisors will be based in Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) or specialist sexual violence voluntary organisations and will link in with essential services such as victim and witness organisations, counselling and health, whilst ensuring the safety of the victim is co-ordinated across all agencies.
The ISVA network will bring together existing good practice in advocacy & support services to develop accredited standards for training & service delivery, build capacity in the sexual violence sector to deliver these services and evaluate their impact.
Press release ~ Home Office - Policing sexual offences ~ Sexual Assault Referral Centres: Developing good practice and maximising potentials ~ Rape Action Plan ~ Tackling Sexual Violence: Guidance for local partnerships ~ Domestic Violence Mini-site ~ National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan ~ Women's Aid ~ Violence and Abuse ~ Family Matters ~ Domestic violence support advice
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions have published a clinical guideline to improve treatment & care for people with anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease, which advices on:
· the detection and diagnosis of anaemia in people with chronic kidney disease
· effective treatments
· when treatment for anaemia should start, and
· how clinicians and patients should create a joint treatment plan
A key recommendation is that age alone should not be a determinant for treatment of anaemia of chronic kidney disease.
Press release ~ Guidance - Anaemia management in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) ~ Related guidance in preparation - Early identification and management of adults with chronic kidney disease in primary and secondary care ~ National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions ~ Delivering the National Service Framework for Renal Service ~ DH Renal website ~ National Kidney Federation ~ Kidney Diseases index
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently issued guidance to the NHS in England in Wales recommending rituximab, within its licensed indications, (that is, in combination with cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisolone - or CVP) as an option for the treatment of patients with symptomatic stage III and IV follicular lymphoma who have previously been untreated.
Rituximab is a genetically engineered monoclonal antibody that ‘recognises’ and sticks to a protein found on the surface of some B cells, both normal and cancerous. This ‘labels’ the B cells and they are then destroyed by the body’s immune system. Once chemotherapy has finished, more normal B cells are produced to replace those destroyed. Rituximab is licensed as a treatment for previously untreated stage III and IV follicular lymphoma in combination with CVP.
Press release ~ Guidance ~ Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs) information centre ~ DH Cancer website
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently issued guidance to the NHS on the use of docetaxel and paclitaxel for the treatment of early breast cancer following surgery, recommending that:
· Docetaxel, when given concurrently with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (the TAC regimen) in accordance with its licensed indication, is recommended as an option for the treatment of women with early node-positive breast cancer following surgery.
· Paclitaxel, within its licensed indication, is not recommended for the treatment of women with early node-positive breast cancer following surgery.
Press release ~ Docetaxel and paclitaxel for the treatment of early breast cancer ~ Paclitaxel for the adjuvant treatment of early node-positive breast cancer ~ Taxanes for the treatment of breast cancer ~ Guide to Single Technology Appraisal (STA) process ~ Stages of Breast Cancer ~ Breast Cancer Blood Test hope
DCLG: New annual statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government claim continued progress by planning authorities in the processing of planning applications across England. The Development Control Statistics for 2005/06 detail activities at national, regional & local planning authority level and key points include:
· district planning authorities received 645,000 planning applications and decided 599,000 applications. Of these decided applications, 82% were granted with half of these being for householder development;
· county planning authorities received 1,836 applications for 'county matters' developments and made 1,664 decisions with 91% of all applications decided were granted. 72% of the decisions were for waste developments and 24% for minerals sites
Press release ~ Development Control Statistics, England, 2005/06 ~ DCLG Planning website ~ Planning portal ~ Planning Advisory Service ~ Planning Aid ~ Planning inspectorate ~ Other planning statistics
HC: The Healthcare Commission has called on the NHS to step up efforts to improve the management of admissions to hospital following its national report on admissions management, which suggests that trusts could improve further, delivering better value for money and improving the overall patient experience by for example:
· tackling delays further into patients’ hospital stays and
· giving patients admitted from the waiting list more choice over admission dates
The Commission looked at how trusts manage admissions for emergency care and patients on a waiting list and explored; waiting times, waiting list management, admission to the right bed and lengths of stay for medical and surgical patients
In the assessments it found that 16 hospital trusts scored the highest rating of ‘excellent’, 62 trusts got a rating of ‘good’, 61 were ‘fair’ and 4 scored the lowest of “weak”.
Press release ~ Management of Admissions review ~ HC Acute hospital portfolio website ~ Healthcare Commission ~ DH Emergency Care website
DCLG: Five years on from the launch of the Government's Choice Based Lettings (CBL) programme, a new research report - Monitoring the Longer Term Impacts of Choice-based Lettings - claims to demonstrate the positive impact of the CBL schemes, which are a way of allocating social housing by giving tenants a greater say over where they live.
The rationale behind CBL systems is to 'open up' the letting of social housing, allowing housing applicants to view details on, choose between and apply for properties. This contrasts with traditional housing allocation systems where applicants are normally faced with only the stark choice of whether to accept or reject a property deemed 'suitable' by a social landlord. In this way,
Whilst CBL set-up costs can be substantial, particularly in relation to developing an appropriate IT system, this can be off-set by increased housing management efficiencies particularly through increased tenancy sustainability and the reduction of re-lets. Importantly, in-depth work in eleven case study areas, appear to disprove concerns that CBL might concentrate certain types of households in particular types of area.
Press release ~ Monitoring the Longer Term Impacts of Choice-based Lettings ~ JRF- Implementing a choice-based lettings system for social housing tenants ~ Fund for development of regional and sub-regional choice based lettings schemes: Bid instructions (2006) ~ DCLG CBL website ~ 2006 Choice Based Lettings Conference in London ~ Housing Corporation – CBL Good Practice Note ~ Choice Moves website ~ SCSH: Choice-based Lettings: Implications for Homeless People
HSE: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to become the sole regulator for all safety issues associated with electricity transmission & distribution, following transfer of part of the DTI Engineering Inspectorate.
The 2005 Hampton report on regulation - 'Reducing administrative burdens: Effective inspection and enforcement' - included recommendations for HSE's role to expand to take in a number of other regulatory bodies, including the Engineering Inspectorate (EI):
· HSE and DTI have agreed that this recommendation is best achieved by HSE taking on EI's public safety role with respect to the electricity transmission & distribution industry. However, other roles will more properly remain with DTI.
· Initially the transfer will be achieved through an agency agreement; permanent transfer will follow via a Regulatory Reform Order under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, which is expected to be enacted later this year.
Press release ~ 'Reducing administrative burdens: Effective inspection and enforcement' ~ Electricity Act 1989 ~ HSE ~ Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 ~ Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) Engineering Inspectorate ~ Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill
DCMS: New codes of conduct designed to tighten the social use of gaming machines in pubs, clubs and arcades have been announced, which will require operators providing gaming machines, such as pub fruit machines, to protect the interests of children and vulnerable people.
The codes will be introduced alongside an increase in game machines' stakes & prizes, following an agreement by the Department for Culture Media and Sport and industry trade bodies. The codes have been backed by the Gambling Commission and GamCare and will ensure that all gaming machines:
· display the GamCare helpline number
· have clear signage forbidding play by under 18s, and
· are supervised to ensure that there's no underage play
The Gambling Act 2005 is due to be implemented in September 2007.
Press release ~ Gambling Commission ~ GAMCARE ~ Responsibility in Gambling Trust ~ Gamblers Anonymous ~ DCMS Gambling website ~ Gambling Act 2005 ~ Society for the Study of Gambling ~ International Gaming Research Unit
ESRC: Use of Internet no longer Voluntary - Ignoring the Internet is no longer an option for voluntary and community organisations, according to a new booklet ‘ICT, Social Capital and Voluntary Action’ published by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
It warns that failing to embrace information & communications technology (ICT) risks having their work overshadowed by those who do draw on this new source of ‘social capital’ – the reserve of goodwill generated when people interact. And, though local ICT initiatives are taking place, the booklet says that the smaller online communities they create need ongoing technical & funding support if they are to survive.
The booklet was produced to accompany the second in a series of special seminars entitled 'Engaging Citizens', organised by the ESRC in collaboration with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
Press release ~ ‘ICT, Social Capital and Voluntary Action’ (1.6Mb) ~ National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) ~ 'Engaging Citizens' seminars
BIG: The Big Lottery Fund recently launched a £40 million programme to bring generations of families together through a Family Learning programme which will fund practical & enjoyable activities for adults and children to do together.
Groups including charities, community and voluntary bodies and schools can now apply for awards of between £10,000 and £500,000 to help families bond whilst building life skills.
Projects may include activities like gardening, cooking or building a birdhouse together and others might help with reading or maths, using elements of sports, arts, crafts and drama as a basis for learning. Adults and children will be encouraged to continue learning together allowing stronger ties to be forged between parents or carers and their children.
Press release ~ Big Lottery Fund ~ Family Learning outline proposal form ~ Family Learning Q&As ~ Family Learning projects and reports ~ A world apart? Summary of key findings: Evaluation of family learning programmes in prison
CC: See ‘In the News section’ for new guidance on 'Charities and public service delivery'.
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has recently published a policy statement on how it will regulate all personal pensions including Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) from 6 April 2007, which provides feedback on a consultation paper put out in April and follows on from the Treasury's announcement in March this year that all personal pensions will fall within the FSA's scope.
The rules set out in the statement will cover all aspects of personal pensions including how they are sold and promoted to consumers. Firms new to FSA regulation and others wishing to vary their existing permissions can get application packs and guidance from the FSA website.
Press release ~ policy statement ~ closed consultation paper ~ How do I get authorised ~ Applying for a variation of permission ~ FSA pensions website ~ FSA - SIPPS
Pensions Regulator: The Pensions Regulator has released the fifth - 'DB recovery plans, contributions and funding principles’ - out of nine defined benefit scheme funding modules from the free trustee toolkit. It is aimed specifically at trustees of Defined Benefit schemes, builds on two previous scheme funding modules released in August and features case studies & problems for participants to solve
Trustees will learn about accrued benefits & future service funding methods, recovery plans, setting the contribution rate and the statement of funding principles.
The Pensions Act 2004 (sections 247-249) requires trustees to have knowledge & understanding of the law relating to pensions & trusts and the principles relating to the funding of occupational schemes and the investment of scheme assets. They must also be conversant with their own scheme's policy documents.
Press release ~ Trustee Toolkit ~ PR Trustees web page ~ Pensions Act 2004 – Obligations of Trustees
FSA: The Financial Services Authority has confirmed in a Policy Statement that it will allow fund managers more flexibility to adopt single or dual pricing of units in authorised Collective Investment Schemes.
Currently, investment companies with variable capital (ICVCs) have to value units on a single-pricing basis while authorised unit trusts (AUTs) are able to quote either single or dual prices. The dual-pricing method is based on one price being quoted to investors who want to buy units and a different, lower price to those who want to sell units.
The single pricing method first introduced for ICVCs in 1997 is based on a mid-market value between bid and offer prices.
Press release ~ Policy Statement 06/9 Single and dual pricing for authorised collective investment schemes – feedback on CP06/7 ~ Consultation Paper 06/7 Single and dual pricing for authorised collective investment schemes ~ The collective investment scheme sourcebook ~ HM Treasury ~ HMRC - Collective Investment Schemes
WGPlus would like to make it clear that the commentary & links provided, in respect of any particular item, are published in its capacity as an independent non-government funded organisation and reflect the editorial team’s need to both précis & re‑format the content of news releases.
Any views expressed are therefore entirely those of the WGPlus editorial team and independent of any sponsor, government organisation or political party.
For the official view of a source organisation, readers should click on the ‘press release’ that is the first link attached to each item.
While every care is taken to ensure that all links ’work’ in the newsletter (including checking just before publication), WGPlus cannot guarantee that websites will not make changes that will nullify individual links, especially over a period of time.
WGPlus is not responsible for the content of external websites