Big:  Not even Charities can afford to do everything for free - A guide to help third sector funders implement full cost recovery has been launched by the Big Lottery Fund and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).  The report, Mind the Gap: A funders’ guide to full cost recovery, provides an eight-step guide to help the organisations understand & implement the principle.


Meanwhile, over 330 development workers and staff from local infrastructure organisations have booked places on the BIG funded ACEVO/National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) full cost recovery training course.  


All courses for the first year of the project are now fully booked, but Acevo and NAVCA are now considering bringing forward the courses scheduled for next Autumn, in order to meet demand.


HM Treasury's 2002 Cross Cutting Review imposed a deadline of April 2006 on Government funders to implement full cost recovery, reinforced by the Gershon Efficiency Review in 2004.  This has now passed, and most commentators agree that a large gap remains between national policy and practice on the ground.

Press release ~ Mind the Gap: A funders’ guide to full cost recovery ~ ACEVO ~ Full cost recovery website ~ National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) ~ Big Lottery Fund ~ Future builders England  ~ Bridge House Trust ~ HM Treasury's 2002 Cross Cutting Review ~ Change Up ~ Capacity Builders ~ Active Communities Directorate (ACD) / Office of the Third Sector ~ Charities and Public Service Delivery (CC37)Regulating for the future ~ Policy statement ‘Charities and public service delivery'


DTI:  Norway supplies a Christmas Tree and warmth this winter - Prime Minister Tony Blair has claimed that a new era of enhanced energy security for the UK has been ushered in with the official opening ceremony of the Norwegian Langeled pipeline, set to deliver up to 20% of the UK's average winter gas needs.


The Langeled pipeline is one of a number of important gas import projects being constructed by the energy industry to replace the UK's declining domestic production.  In two years' time there will be additional gas import capacity equivalent to 70% of Britain's annual gas consumption.


The Government has also begun consulting (closes 12 January 2007) on the effectiveness of current gas security of supply arrangements to ensure the UK market is as resilient as possible.


Such further steps could include:

·         a legal obligation on energy suppliers to have enough gas even for non-domestic users in a severe winter.

·         regulating gas storage to make sure gas held in storage is put to best use at the right times of the year.

·         ensuring new gas fired power stations have back up fuel sources such as oil distillate

·         ensuring the provision of centrally determined levels of gas supply capacity

Press release ~ The Effectiveness of Current Gas Security of Supply Arrangements: a Consultation ~ DTI Oil & Gas website ~ Energy Review, July 2006 ~ Storage in caverns ~ Pilot Taskforce ~ DTI – Security of Energy Supply ~ Chatham House – Renewing Energy Security ~ Foreign Policy Centre - Energy ~ Oxford Research Group - Secure Energy: Options for a Safer World ~ G8 energy security plan


DCA:  Verbose Ministers could hinder access to documents? - The Government has indicated how it might address the costs of dealing with FoI requests and also responded to the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee's report Freedom of Information-one year on.


The Committee's inquiry into the first year of FoI found that the significant amount of new information being released was often being used in a constructive and positive way by a range of different individuals & organisations.


The DCA has also published an independent review of the impact of FoI, which examined the cost of delivering FoI across central government and the wider public sector and options for changes to the fees regime.


Based on the report, the Government is considering changes that will allow the inclusion of reading time, consideration time & consultation time (with Ministers) in the calculation of the appropriate limit (£600) above which requests could be refused on cost grounds; and a greater ability to aggregate requests under Secondary legislation.

Press release ~ CASC report on FoI ~ Government's response to CASC report ~ Review of FoI fees ~ DCA FoI website ~ Information Commissioner ~ Scottish Information Commissioner ~ Campaign for FoI - charges ~ Early Day Motion ~ Briefing paper for the case against changes ~ Guardian articles on FoI issues ~ National Archives ~ Cilip website


Home Office:  ‘Candid camera’ could help in getting perpetrators of domestic violence ‘sent off’ - Victims of domestic violence will be better protected & supported by police using new techniques and good practice pioneered during the Government's first ever domestic violence enforcement campaign (DVEC).


Innovative tactics, such as the use of body-worn video cameras by police, the installation of a covert camera in an offender's home and other specialised investigation techniques, were deployed over eight weeks in February & March 2006  and during the FIFA World Cup to protect victims and bring more offenders to justice.


The resultant report highlights a number of 'lessons learned' and good practice aimed at strengthening current & future police enforcement work and informing wider Government work in reducing domestic abuse. 


Findings also support previous academic research linking large-scale sporting events & alcohol consumption with increases in domestic violence, which is why the Government has invited all football & sporting groups to join the 70 companies already tackling domestic abuse as part of the UK Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence.

Press release ~ Lessons Learned from the Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaigns 2006 ~ National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan Report and Guidance (scroll down) ~ Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV) ~ ACPO Guidance on Investigating Domestic Violence ~ Domestic Violence National Plan ~ Investigative Report: Violence-related injury related to alcohol in England and Wales 2006 ~ National Domestic Violence hotline ~ Women’s aid ~ Home Office - Domestic violence ~ Women & Equality Unit - Domestic Violence ~ Responding to domestic abuse: A handbook for health professionals ~ Cost of Domestic violence ~
Tackling Domestic Violence: Providing support to survivors from Black Minority Ethnic communities ~
Tackling domestic violence: Providing support for children who have witnessed domestic violence ~ Developing Domestic Violence Strategies - A Guide for Partnerships ~ Violence at Home


CEOP:  Virtual inquiries assist police to achieve joined-up results - Microsoft has joined together with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre to deliver a new technology that allows police forces to share & analyse information for investigating child sex offences in the UK.


The Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) has been running at the CEOP centre since the launch of the centre in April 2006 and is now being offered as a ‘proof of concept’ to police forces across the country, with Essex, West Midlands, South Wales police forces and the Hi-tech Crime Unit of Scotland all undertaking a pilot programme.


The technology allows the creation of a virtual investigation team, where police officers across the country can share & analyse information on suspected offenders, avoiding duplication and coordinating a national approach that will reduce the risk of offenders moving across geographic borders to avoid detection.


CETS was developed following a personal e-mail plea from Toronto Police Detective Sergeant Paul Gillespie to Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates.  Microsoft has donated more than $7 million (USD) to date for the system's development and to assist in its global deployment.


In one recent UK case, an individual's activities online was reported to the CEOP website on four separate occasions.  By using CETS the CEOP centre investigators were able to identify a number of online identities used by various paedophiles who were attempting to contact the individual and the investigators were able to pass these to a single force for investigation.

Press release ~ Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre ~ Stay safe online ~ Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) ~ Hi-tech Crime Unit of Scotland ~ Virtual Global Taskforce ~ Microsoft – Protect your family ~ Consultation paper On the possession of extreme pornographic material - summary of responses and next steps ~ NSPCC inform ~ Child Protection Policing - Home Office ~ Child Protection on the Internet – Home Office ~ Childnet International


DCA:  Four options for party political funding - Sir Hayden Phillips has published an interim assessment of the work his Review has done so far on the funding of political parties.  The assessment contains four broad scenarios, which cover most of the key issues and illustrate the nature of the choices and the arguments involved:

·         Scenario 1: Minimal change: including some small changes to make the current system work more effectively

·         Scenario 2: Increased transparency and greater expenditure control: whether to provide more information about who funds parties and reducing the amount parties can spend on campaigning at general elections or more widely

·         Scenario 3: Cap on donations: whether to set a limit on the amount people can donate to political parties

·         Scenario 4: Greater levels of public funding: whether to provide more support for political parties through public funding, whether through a general subsidy, a targeted subsidy, or an incentive scheme such as matched funding.

Press release ~ The review of the funding of political parties – Interim assessment ~ Party Funding Forum  ~  Public Perspectives: The future of party funding in the UK Interim report - Research Study Conducted for The Electoral Commission/COI 2006 ~ Electoral Commission - Loans ~ Electoral Commission - Donors ~ Hansard – Principles of party funding ~ Constitutional Affairs Select Committee ~ July 1999 Report ~ The Government's proposals for legislation in response to the Fifth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (1999) ~ EC paper from 2004


OFT:  OFT takes some of the risk out of flying - Ryanair has agreed to change its contract terms to give air travellers a fairer deal, following action by the OFT, who had expressed a number of concerns with Ryanair's terms, in particular:

·         Ryanair's liability for damage or delay to sporting equipment, infant equipment, medical/mobility equipment and musical instruments - Ryanair's terms excluded liability for damage or delay to the above items and stated that they were carried on a 'limited release basis' - in other words, at the passenger's own risk.  

·         Ryanair's liability for baggage claims - Ryanair required that if an item of baggage was reported as lost and not found within 21 days, consumers would have to make a further claim within a further 21 days, otherwise Ryanair excluded liability for the lost baggage.  In the OFT's view this relieved the airline of liability to a greater extent than permitted by the Montreal Convention.  

·         Ryanair's liability in the event that flights are delayed or cancelled, or passengers are denied boarding on a flight - The OFT was concerned about the options that Ryanair offered to consumers in these situations, and considered that Ryanair's terms did not reflect consumers' full rights under the relevant EU Regulation.  Press release ~ OFT – Unfair Terms in Contracts ~ Air Transport Users Council - Montreal Convention ~ FAQs on passenger rights under EC Regulation 261/2004 ~ Ryanair Terms & conditions



For Industry News please click HERE


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


General News

CIOB:  51% of UK construction professionals felt that corruption is commonplace within the UK construction industry according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).


The survey asked over 1,400 construction professionals what type of corrupt practice was most commonly found and examined attitudes of how corrupt they deemed a variety of practices to be.  The study also looked at the areas in which respondents felt that corrupt practice was most likely to occur.


76% of respondent’s regarded the employment of illegal workers as widespread in UK construction; 60% felt that fraud within the industry was prevalent and 41% had been personally offered a bribe.

Press release ~ Corruption in the UK Construction Industry ~ Corruption Bill 2006 ~ Disclosures in the public interest: Protections for workers who 'blow the whistle' - Guidance ~ CPS Bribery & Corruption Offence ~ ECGD Business Principles ~ ECGD anti-bribery and corruption policy ~ Transparency International (UK) ~ Business Link – Ethical trading ~ DTI procurement manual section B: accountability & ethical practice ~ DTI - ECGD's anti-bribery and corruption procedures introduced in December 2004


Defra:  A police-led Unit to target & disrupt serious wildlife crime on a regional, national & international level was launched in Edinburgh last week.  The National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) is the only one of its kind in the UK and a world leader in tackling wildlife crime.


A multi-agency operation, the NWCU will gather, analyse & co-ordinate wildlife crime intelligence and support the enforcement activities of police and HMRC officers in the UK, while a new proactive arm, staffed by Investigative Support Officers, will further increase the impact of the Unit's efforts and directly support Police Wildlife Crime Officers across the constabularies of the UK.

Press release ~ National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) ~ RSPB web site ~ HMRC:  Endangered Species and Protecting the Environment ~ TRAFFIC ~ WWF-UK's Wildlife Trade Campaign ~ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ~ Defra PAW website ~ Defra - CITES


MoD:  Holcombe Moor Heritage Group from Bury in Greater Manchester is this year's winner of the MoD's annual Sanctuary Conservation Award, which recognises work across the MoD's estates both in the UK and overseas that benefit wildlife, archaeology or community awareness of conservation issues.


The Group's project has enabled the clock to be turned back on a mosaic of stone walls & hedges to reveal a variety of historic farmsteads and allow the group to trace the development of the landscape from the medieval times to the present day.

Press release ~ Joint Nature Conservation Committee ~ Sanctuary Magazine ~ Defence Estate Strategy 2006 - In Trust & On Trust (VLF 1.2Mb) ~ The Stewardship Report on the Defence Estate 2005 (VVLF 4.8Mb) ~ MOD Public Access website (www.access.mod.uk)


MoD:  A new centre to collate & distribute intelligence across NATO has been launched by Adam Ingram, Minister for the Armed Forces, and General James Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire.


The Intelligence Fusion Centre will provide NATO missions, including current operations, with comprehensive intelligence support drawn from across the alliance.  All NATO nations have been invited to contribute to the centre.

Press release ~ Defence Intelligence Collection Group ~ NATO


BIG:  The first crop of Lottery funding from the Breathing Places grants scheme has been rolled out recently by the Big Lottery Fund and thousands of green fingered people up & down the country, inspired by the BBC–led Breathing Places campaign, have been gearing up to plough their slice of the £1 million in Lottery funding into creating their own wildlife-friendly green havens.


Now the second phase of the Lottery-funded Breathing Places grant scheme has been launched and a further £4 million will be made available for projects.  In this phase a much wider range of organisations can access funding including schools, local health bodies, parish councils and voluntary and community groups.

Press release ~ Breathing Places grants scheme ~ Click here for a full list of the successful applicants ~ BBC–led Breathing Places campaign ~ BBC BS website ~ Doorstep Greens’ initiative ~ ‘Opening Green Doors’ (2Mb) ~ Green Space online ~ Directgov ~  Green Flag Award ~ Cleaner Safer Greener Communities


TfL:  From January 2007, the pricing for single & return rail tickets within London will be based on the same familiar zones already used for Underground and Travelcard tickets helping to pave the way for Oyster pay-as-you-go smart ticketing to be rolled out across national rail in London over the next few years. 


Currently there are over 330 rail stations within the Travelcard zones, and at present each of 97,300 different station-to-station combinations has its own set of fares.  These will be replaced by just 21 zone-to-zone combinations, with a single, return and cheap day return set for each.


As compatible smartcards based on the ITSO (integrated transport smartcard organisation) standard are rolled out outside the capital, passengers will be able to benefit from national smartcard-enabled through-ticketing on all modes of travel.


The new prices take effect 2 January 2007 and Operators will be required to set rail-only seasons on a similar zonal basis from January 2010.  The recently awarded South Western rail franchise will roll out ITSO smartcard technology across the franchise area by 2009 and also accept existing Oyster products in London zones 1 - 6.

Press release ~ ITSO (integrated transport smartcard organisation) ~ Future of Rail White Paper ~ TfL: Oyster Card ~ Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) ~ London Travelwatch

Policy Statements and Initiatives

DH:  A programme of 30 pilots is testing how teams of consultants, GPs and nurses can step-down healthcare closer to patients' homes and safely & effectively to provide minor operations, such as varicose vein & hernia repairs and diagnostic tests, including hearing checks.


The Department of Health pilots will investigate shifting care from large hospitals to more convenient community settings in six specialty areas: urology, ear, nose & throat, dermatology, orthopaedics, gynaecology and general surgery


A number of different approaches will be evaluated, including: consultant led clinics provided in community settings, surgery led by specially trained GPs, nurse-led services, dedicated telephone follow-up systems for outpatients and home chemotherapy, before recommendations of appropriate models to be adopted nationwide are made in early in 2007.

Press release ~ DH – Care Closer to Home project  ~ White Paper: 'Our Health, Our Care, Our Say'  ~ Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) ~ CRE – Defining Primary Health Care ~ Community Health Partnerships in Scotland


DH:  Health Minister Rosie Winterton has launched a series of pilots, to be run in partnership with voluntary organisations like Cancerbackup and Macmillan Cancer Support to trial a new idea which will see patients are prescribed information from their doctor as well as medicines. 


As patients only remember on average 10% of information from consultations, having a list of specific information resources relevant to individual circumstances should help people to seek further information and make choices about their health care.


These individual prescriptions - drawing on local as well as national knowledge & information - will point people to the relevant websites, telephone numbers and support groups for their condition.  The idea is that it will help people with long-term conditions such as cancer, or mental health problems, to stay independent and take control of their illness.


The initiative, which has funding of £1.35 million, will initially focus on cancer and mental health and later on vulnerable older people, and will run until the end of 2007.

Press release ~ Cancerbackup ~ Information Prescriptions 'From Theory to Practice' Workshop report (1Mb) ~ Cancer Information Maze: Report investigating access for people with cancer ~ Ask About Medicines ~ Medicine Guides ~ Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry ~ Macmillan Cancer Support ~ Future Trends and Challenges for Cancer Services in England: A review of literature and policy ~ The NHS cancer plan and the new NHS: Providing a patient-centred service ~ Cancer 2020 campaign ~ DH – Prescriptions and Prescribing


DCLG:  Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has asked local authorities across the country to step up their efforts to work in partnership with Muslim communities to tackle extremism, saying that ‘extremism is not just a problem for Muslim communities - it is an issue for all of us and we must all play our part in responding to it’.


In the first in a long-term programme of meetings with a range of local authorities, key & challenging issues were discussed including:

·         Do LAs have an understanding of which sections of their communities might be vulnerable to extremism?

·         Are LAs working with the right partners to tackle extremism?

·         Do LAs support innovative & credible organisations who are tackling ideologies - including local youth organisations and community & third sector organisations?

Press release ~ DCLG – Community Cohesion ~ Community Cohesion: SEVEN STEPS - A Practitioner's Toolkit ~ Commission on Integration and Cohesion ~ Race, cohesion and faith ~ Preventing Extremism Together ~ IDEA - Equality & Diversity ~ LGA:  Share of the action : how community leaders can get involved in the shared priorities ~ Government Offices for the Regions ~ CRE - LA’s Race Equality Duty


DCA:  Local authorities in England have been invited to run pilots testing out different voting methods at the May 2007 local elections.


The different methods of voting include; remote electronic voting (internet and telephone), e-voting kiosks in supervised locations, including processes which support electors voting from any polling station, electronic counting of votes and advance (early) voting.

Press release ~ Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) ~ DCA 2007 Pilots ~ Electoral Administration Act 2006 ~ The Electoral Commission ~ Electoral Commission’s evaluation of the 2006 electoral pilots


MoD:  Defence Procurement Minister Lord Drayson has launched the Defence Technology Strategy (DTS) and unveiled the Ministry of Defence's plans for encouraging innovation to support the UK's front line forces.  The DTS builds on the Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper published in December 2005.


Lord Drayson also unveiled plans for a £10million pound Competition of Ideas that is intended to ‘encourage innovation by funding new research in prediction, protection, object recognition and networking’.  The Competition of Ideas is an internet-based competition to attract original ideas from individuals, academia and small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs).  The first call for ideas will run until 31 January 2007.


He announced a separate Grand Challenge to innovators produce a system that can detect, identify, monitor & report a comprehensive range of physical threats in a complex urban environment.  It will be launched later this year and is designed to further encourage innovation in the UK.


Lord Drayson also unveiled new programmes to support research by graduates into emerging technologies.  The MOD is keen to ensure that the UK skills base can support the needs of the Armed Forces now & into the future and is therefore sponsoring up to three University Research Fellowships in cooperation with the Royal Society.

Press release ~ Competition of ideas ~ Defence Technology Strategy (DTS) (Caution VVLF6Mb) ~ Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper ~ MOD – SIT website ~ National Defence Industries Council (NDIC) ~ Royal Society ~ Defence Science Advisory Council


FSA:  Young people, families, university students and workers are all being successfully targeted by the Financial Services Authority's National Strategy for Financial Capability to help them to manage their finances better.


The findings from the Baseline Survey in March this year identified real challenges for those in the 18-40 age group – along with a general weakness in planning ahead & choosing financial products.  The FSA pledged to help over 10 million people in the next five years with these challenges and has committed £15-20 million per year over the next four years.

Press release ~ National Strategy for Financial Capability Resource Centre ~ 'Financial Capability in the UK: Establishing a Baseline' ~ 'Financial Capability in the UK: Delivering Change' ~ Building financial capability in the UK ~ Levels of Financial Capability in the UK: Results of a baseline survey ~ Helping Young Adults Make Sense of Money: Executive summary ~ Part 1- Strategy Document ~ Part 2 - Pilot Case Studies, Action Research and References ~ DWP Report No. 275: Financial Education: A review of existing provision in the UK ~ Summary version ~ Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) – Financial capability ~ TeacherNet ~ 'moneylaidbare' website ~ National Debt line ~ OFT Debt website ~ The Debt Test on FSA website ~ BBC Onelife website ~ Financial Healthcheck


Ombudsman:  Ann Abraham, the Ombudsman, has launched her Six Principles of Good Administration for consultation (closes on 12 January 2007) in a document that describes how the Principles might work in practice.


She is urging public services & Government to:

·         get it right

·         be customer focused

·         be open & accountable

·         act fairly & proportionately

·         put things right when they have gone wrong, and

·         seek continuous improvement

Press release ~ Ombudsman: The six Principles of Good Administration ~ Draft Principles ~ Public Administration Select Committee ~ Local Government Ombudsman ~ Charter Mark ~ IDEA - Drive for Change ~ IDEA – Communications and Customers


DTI:  See DTI item in ‘In the News’ The Government has also begun consulting (closes 12 January 2007) on the effectiveness of current gas security of supply arrangements to ensure the UK market is as resilient as possible.

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

DCA:  The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has issued a handbook and a short introduction for public sector staff giving guidance on how to use human rights in their work as part of a Government campaign to press the positive case for human rights.


Baroness Cathy Ashton, Minister at the DCA, said that ‘there was an urgent need for the public to be better informed about the benefits of the Human Rights Act and to debunk the many myths that had grown up around it and the European Court of Human Rights’.

Press release ~ DCA Human Rights website ~ Making sense of human rights  ~ Human rights: human lives ~ UN high commissioner for human rights ~ Draft Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ~ Review of the Implementation of the Human Rights Act  - Executive Summary ~ Human Rights Act 1998 ~ European court of human rights ~ European Convention on Human Rights


DH:  The government claims that new national guidance is set to transform the way councils procure temporary staff, which could deliver savings of up to £100 million a year on local government's annual temporary staff bill.


Called 'Transforming the procurement of temporary, agency and interim staff', the guidance has been drawn up by the London Borough of Havering, with funding from the London Centre of Excellence and has now been adopted by the Office of Government Commerce and the other Regional Centres of Excellence to promote it nationally.


Value Wales Procurement has recently adopted the guidance and is planning to issue it to Welsh local authorities to promote best practice in the procurement of temporary staff in the Principality.

Press release ~ 'Transforming the procurement of temporary, agency and interim staff' ~ London Centre of Excellence ~ Office of Government Commerce ~ Regional Centres of Excellence ~ Value Wales Procurement ~ Chief Executives' Task Force


BIG:  A guide to help third sector funders implement full cost recovery - Mind the Gap: A funders’ guide to full cost recovery - has been launched by the Big Lottery Fund and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).  See ‘In the News’ section for full details

Annual Reports

DfES:  This year's survey, '2005/06 School Sport Survey' of more than 16,800 schools in school sport partnerships reveals that 80% of pupils now take part in at least two hours PE and sport a week, beating the 75% target set for 2006 and representing an increase of 29% since the first survey two years ago.


School sport partnerships - school networks working to build opportunities for physical activity - have proved key to boosting PE and sport.  Every school in England is now part of a school sport partnership, supported by 400 sports colleges, providing a platform for future sporting excellence in our schools.

Press release ~ '2005/06 School Sport Survey' ~ School sport partnerships ~ QCA – PE and School Sport ~ The Standards Site – Sport (PESCCL) ~ Youth Sport Trust ~ See also Ofsted item in ‘General Reports’ section


DCLG:  The annual Housing in England 2004-05, which provides key housing data on owner occupation and on the social and private rented sectors has been published.  The annual survey of nearly 20,000 households was carried out for the DCLG by the National Centre for Social Research and some other key findings for the period 2004-05 are:

·         Type of Occupancy: There were 14.6 million (71%) owner-occupying households, 3.7m (18%) social renters and 2.4m (12%) private renters. 

·         Home ownership: 57% were buying their home with a mortgage & 43% owned their home outright

·         First-time buyers: Of the 5.5 million first-time owners, 1.1 million had purchased their home since 2001 and 70% of recent first-time buyers were under 35.

·         Private renting growing in popularity: From 1993 to 2005, the proportion of household reference persons aged 25 to 29 who were owner occupiers fell from 60% to 50% while the proportion that were private renters rose from 19% to 34% (or were they just unable to afford the deposit & repayments?)

·         Second homes: It is estimated there are 255,000 households with second homes in England, 34,000 with second homes in Wales or Scotland and 193,000 with second homes outside GB.


The next annual report, for 2005-06, will be published in July 2007.  However, provisional results from the 2005-06 survey will be released next month.

Press release ~ Survey of English Housing ~ Tackling Overcrowding in England - A discussion paper ~ Decent Homes Standard ~ DCLG - Affordable Housing ~ CABE  ~ National Centre for Social Research


DWP:  The latest  and 8th edition of the annual cross-Government report Opportunity for All has been published to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and this year the document has a special focus on child poverty in the UK bringing together ‘progress so far’, as well as indicating where the Government has more to do.


This year's report is made up of two documents:

·         The first lays out progress made across Government in all areas, as well as a specific chapter focussing on child poverty

·         The second document contains all the information on indicators used to monitor our strategy

Press release ~ Opportunity for All website ~ 8th Report ~ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.


Defra:  The UK Government's indicators of wild bird populations have been updated and are published in Wild Bird Populations 2005: Sustainable Development Strategy and Public Service Agreement Indicators.


These cover breeding seabird & woodland bird populations and wintering wetland birds, as well as an assessment of progress against the Government's Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for breeding farmland birds.


Bird populations are considered to be a good indicator of the broad state of wildlife & countryside because they occupy a wide range of habitats, they tend to be near or at the top of the food chain, and considerable long-term data on bird populations have been collected.

Press release ~ Defra:  Population of wild birds: 1970-2005 ~ RSPB - State of UK Birds 2005 ~ British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) ~ Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) ~ Securing the future 2005  ~ Sustainable development indicators in your pocket. Defra, 2006 ~ A biodiversity strategy for England: Measuring Progress – Baseline Assessment

General Reports and other publications

DH:  Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has set out claimed progress made since the publication of the Our health, our care, our say white paper in January this year and action needed to deliver on commitments made in the white paper.


The new report - Our health, our care, our say: Making it happen - highlights the claimed achievements made in the last nine months, sets out the future direction for delivering the commitments made in the white paper and is aimed at supporting the NHS, social care & other partners who are responsible for delivering the commitments

Press release ~ Our health, our care, our say: making it happen ~ Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services white paper  (scroll down).  See also ‘Care Closer to home project’ and ‘Prescribing information trial’ in ‘Policy Statements & Initiatives section’


Ofsted:  The school sport partnership programme is motivating some disaffected pupils in PE and sports according to a new report published by Ofsted.  The report shows that the programme is helping to improve the quality of provision in physical education and in other school sports, particularly those in primary schools. 


Schools reported that this encouraged positive attitudes, better attendance and increased participation by pupils. The report also highlights that wherever possible all pupils are included in PE & sports and that the programme is further encouraging pupils with learning difficulties & disabilities to take part in all lessons and club activities.


The report School sport partnerships: a survey of good practice, evaluates the impact of the government's Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy.

Press release ~ School sport partnerships: a survey of good practice ~ Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy ~ See also DfES item in ‘Annual Reports’ section


DCMS:  An independent report - Making every child's music matter - with more than 50 recommendations to boost the teaching of music to young people has been ‘welcomed’ by the Government.  The Music Manifesto - the campaign for improvement in music education - is backed by over 600 signatories and calls for:

·         more opportunities for young people to deepen & broaden their musical interests & skills

·         our most talented young musicians to be identified & nurtured

·         a world class workforce in music education

·         improved support structures for young people's music making

·         a national singing campaign


The report recommendations cover areas such as workforce development, school federations, accreditation and music making in & out of schools.

Press release ~ The Music Manifesto ~ Making every child's music matter ~ DfES Music and Dance scheme ~ Teachernet Music website ~ Music at School ~ Youth Music ~ Musical Futures ~ National Federation of Music Societies  ~ Music Colleges ~ Federation of Music Services


DH:  Progress in the drive to deliver better wheelchair services has been welcomed by Care Services Minister, Ivan Lewis with the publication of a Department of Health report "Out and About".  The document provides an overview of the current state of wheelchair provision, makes recommendations on how the NHS, working with partners, can improve outcomes for wheelchairs users and outlines how timely & appropriate provision can contribute to health, well-being, independence, and inclusion


The key recommendations, which will feed into the development of a new model for delivery for wheelchair services, include: Benchmarking of services to ensure all users receive the same high standard and Promotion of voucher schemes so wheelchair users can exercise more choice

Press release ~ Download Out and about - Wheelchairs as part of a whole systems approach to independence (VLF 2Mb) ~ Download Out and about – Summary version ~ Transforming Community Equipment Services Project ~ Transforming Community Equipment Services Project: Questions and Answers ~ Associate Parliamentary Limb Loss Group ~ Wheelchair Users Group ~ Care Services Efficiency Delivery Programme ~ National Wheelchair Managers' Forum ~ Improving Services for Wheelchair Users and Carers - Good Practice Guide


Ofsted:  The Young Apprenticeships programme is providing a successful alternative to Key Stage 4 provision, according to Evaluation of the Young Apprenticeships programme published by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).


The programme, which was introduced in September 2004 and covers a wide range of professions including engineering, business & administration, social care and sports management, allows students to spend two days per week working towards nationally recognised vocational qualifications, including 50 days’ work experience, while continuing to follow the core National Curriculum.


The report also found that some vocational areas, such as engineering and health & social care, were dominated by one gender or did not reflect the ethnic diversity in the schools involved.

Press release ~ Evaluation of the Young Apprenticeships Programme ~ Learning and Skills Council - Apprenticeships ~ National Foundation for Educational Research: Post-16 education ~ QCA: Apprenticeships ~ Teachernet - Apprenticeships ~ Teachernet E2E ~ UVAC publications

Legislation / Legal

Defra:  New legislation that the government claims will modernise agricultural tenancies came into effect last week.  The Regulatory Reform (Agricultural Tenancies) (England and Wales) Order 2006 amends the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 and brings in changes that are intended to:

·         enable a successor to a tenancy to earn income from diversified activities without losing the right to succession, where the landlord consents

·         enable landlords & tenants to reach their own agreements on rent reviews & end of tenancy compensation

·         make it easier for landlords & tenants to restructure holdings held under a 1986 Act tenancy

·         remove the need for unnecessary applications to the Agricultural Land Tribunal where a landlord agrees on the successor to the tenancy

·         Enable landlords & tenants to agree the length of a notice period to suit their particular circumstances, providing it is longer than the minimum period of 12 months

Press release ~ Defra – Agricultural Tenancies ~ Agricultural Land Tribunal ~ Regulatory Reform (Agricultural Tenancies) (England and Wales) Order 2006 ~  Defra’s diversification / ERDP website ~ A Guide to Farm Diversification and Planning Permission in Scotland ~ Code of Practice for Agri-environment Schemes and Diversification Projects within Agricultural Tenancies ~ Regulatory Reform Committee report

EU legislation, initiatives, etc.

HM Treasury:  John Healey MP, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has announced that the UK has submitted its application to the European Commission to retain a derogation that allows for the use of 'red diesel' in private pleasure craft.  This derogation allows the UK to charge a reduced rate of fuel duty for 'red diesel'.


The UK has also submitted two further applications to the European Commission, to continue derogations for fuel used in private air navigation and for waste oil reused as fuel.  These derogations allow the UK to charge a lower rate of duty for fuel used in private planes and no duty for waste oils.

Press release ~ HMRC guides


Defra:  The Health Protection Agency and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency have hosted a conference to discuss the results of an EU-wide survey of salmonella in laying flocks.  The UK Zoonoses Report 2005 was also launched at the conference.


Technical experts from the HPA, VLA, Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), Food Standards Agency, European Commission and the British Egg Industry Council attended the meeting at the Centre for Infections in north London.


They discussed the initial results of the European Food Safety Authority's survey of salmonella in layer flock holdings, published in June and the results of an analysis of information collected at the time of the survey.


Other presentations at the conference provided information from research & surveillance in the layer flock sector in the UK and information on cases of Salmonella Enteritidis in humans.  The European Commission and Defra indicated how the EU are intending to control salmonella in laying flocks across the EU and how legislation in the UK will be implemented through the National Control Plan for laying flocks.

Press release ~ Veterinary Laboratories Agency ~ HPA Centre for Infections ~ European Food Safety Authority

EFSA: Initial results of its EU-wide survey of salmonella prevalence in layer flock holdings ~ National Control Plans for the reduction of Salmonella ~ UK Zoonoses Report 2005 ~ British Egg Information Service

Charity and Voluntary Sector

Cabinet Office:  Ed Miliband, Minister for the Third Sector, has marked National Giving Week by announcing plans to establish a new centre of excellence to lead research into philanthropy and charitable giving.  The Centre is being created by the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office, in partnership with the Carnegie UK Trust, the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Scottish Executive (SE).


The creation of a centre of excellence was a key recommendation of the Government's charitable giving strategy, A Generous Society, published in November 2005.

Press release ~ National Giving Week ~ Strategy: A Generous Society ~ HMRC - Charitable giving ~ Payroll giving grants ~ Charity Commission ~ Carnegie UK Trust  ~ Carnegie UK Trust report Stepping Up The Stairs ~ Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) ~ Scottish Executive (SE) ~ Volunteering and Charitable Giving Unit ~ National Council of Voluntary Organisations ~ Association of Charitable Foundations ~ Institute for Philanthropy


Cabinet Office:  The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of Campbell Robb to be Director General, Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office.  Working to ministers in the Cabinet Office, Campbell's role will include:

·         co-ordinating work on cross-government delivery programmes to help develop an effective third sector

·         working with third sector organisations to help the Government develop sustainable & prosperous communities

·         drawing on the strengths of the third sector in helping improve public services

·         taking forward the Government's agenda on encouraging the growth of social enterprise

Press release ~ Office of the Third Sector ~ Future Services Network ~ Care Services Efficiency Delivery (CSED) ~ Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) ~ 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) ~ Institute for Volunteering Research ~ Community Service Volunteers (CSV) ~ Volunteer Scotland ~ Volunteering England ~ Voluntary work in Wales ~ do-it.org.uk: volunteering opportunities

Business and other briefings

HM Treasury:  The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ed Balls, has announced that freight forwarders will be removed from the scope of FSA insurance regulation, in order to decrease regulation on the industry and help promote its international competitiveness.


HM Treasury will make the regulatory change through secondary legislation which will follow a public consultation later this year.

Press release ~ EU's Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) ~ Financial Services Authority (FSA) ~ BIFA (British International Freight Association) ~ Learn to be a FW


DTI:  Trade and Industry Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has laid regulations that will allow more companies to take advantage of accounting & auditing exemptions in the Companies Act 1985 and could save small financial services companies some £15.25m a year in total.


Many small companies do not have to have their accounts audited and are permitted to take advantage of less onerous accounting & reporting requirements.  However, many companies regulated by the Financial Services Authority are not exempt and a study by the FSA indicated that the cost of an audit for small regulated companies outweighed the benefits.  


As a result, the Government has concluded that the exemptions should be extended to small financial services companies, except where the audit requirement is based on a European directive.  The regulations will come into force on 8 November 2006 and will apply to financial years ending on or after 31 December 2006.

Press release ~ FSA Consultation Paper 06/6, Financial Services Authority Quarterly Consultation (No. 8), 7 April 2006


FSA:  Some firms selling payment protection insurance (PPI) are still failing to treat their customers fairly, an FSA review has concluded.

Key findings

·         Many firms are still not giving customers about the cost or that it is optional

·         Customers are not told that there may be parts of the policy under which they cannot claim.

·         A single premium policy is often sold when this is not the most suitable option.

Press release ~ The Sale of Payment Protection Insurance – results of follow-up thematic work  ~ The sale of Payment Protection Insurance – results of thematic work ~ Trade Association Proposals for the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) Market


HMRC:  VAT Business Brief 17/06


·         VAT - Partial Exemption - Bookmakers - Recovery of VAT on specialist televisions

·         VAT: Disposable Barbecues

·         Changes to the Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils (RDCO) Scheme: inclusion of Aviation Turbine Fuel (AVTUR)

·         Extension of the lower rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD)

Press release ~ Business Briefs 2006 (it sometimes takes time to appear here)

Industry News

Forthcoming Event

Editorial Content Statement

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.


Speed of download - Readers are reminded that some documents linked to can be large (VL) or even very, very large (VVL) and may take some time to download, even with a broadband link.  Readers are encouraged to be patient.


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