DWP: Office of Disability Issues - David Blunkett has announced that a new Office for Disability Issues will be established later this year. The government claims that this will ‘give real choice to people with disabilities over how services are delivered, ensuring they are suited to their needs and helping them achieve independence’.
Quite how this will mesh with the proposed new ‘super quango’ one-stop shop offered by the proposed Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) remains to be seen.
According to government estimates, there are around 10 million adults (22%) and 700,000 (5%) children in Great Britain likely to be covered by the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which defines disability as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
The Government is also publishing a Green Paper on welfare reform in the autumn.
Press release ~ SUCCESS ~ ’Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’ ~ Pathways to Work ~ DDA ~ Canadian Office for Disability Issues ~ New Zealand ODI ~ Submit an opinion on UK ODI (asap)
Defra: Fly Away Carbon - British Airways has launched a new scheme, backed by the government, where its customers can volunteer to help to offset the carbon dioxide emissions from their flight by making a contribution to an organisation called Climate Care to invest in sustainable energy projects that tackle global warming by reducing carbon dioxide levels. It would be nice to think that the ‘government backing’ included participation in the scheme for all Ministerial air travel.
Air travellers can choose to make a donation via a link from the airline’s website for the cost of the emissions created by their journey. For example, the donation on a return flight from London Heathrow to Madrid will cost £5 and a return flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg will cost £13.30.
The money raised will be used by an organisation called Climate Care to invest in sustainable energy projects, in countries such as South Africa and India that tackle global warming by reducing carbon dioxide levels.
The airline believes that emissions trading is the best long term mechanism for limiting aviation carbon dioxide emissions and supports aviation’s inclusion in the European Union emissions trading scheme from 2008.
Press release ~ BA Carbon Emissions web page ~ Defra Climate Change website ~ Climate Care ~ Sustainable Aviation website ~ A strategy towards sustainable development ~ Sustainable Travel International website ~ Aviation and the environment: Using economic instruments ~ Aircraft Emissions and their Impacts on the Atmosphere ~ GreenSkies website ~ CAA Environment web page ~ Skan-UK website
DfES: The Great Vegetable Challenge- As excitement builds for the 14 October cinema release of The Curse of the Were-rabbit, the first big screen adventure for triple Oscar winner Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit characters, the DfES’ ’Growing Schools’ programme has teamed up with Aardman Animations to encourage more primary schools to create an ’outdoor classroom’ to help their pupils learn about diet, nutrition and the natural environment.
The ’Great Vegetable Challenge’ competition will invite every primary school in the country to design its own growing area for a chance to win £2,500 to have their garden built, with four runners-up prizes of £500 to help them develop their playgrounds into a growing area.
This item provides the perfect excuse for readers to preview Wallace & Gromit in their latest outing, in which they have formed their own humane pest control company, ’Anti-pesto’ and are defending village allotments from the clutches of the Were-rabbit on the eve of the annual Giant Vegetable Competition.
Press release ~ ’Growing Schools’ programme ~ The ’Great Vegetable Challenge’ ~ The Curse of the Were-rabbit ~ Aardman Animations
Defra: The government has published a strategy for plant health, which is intended to bring together existing policy on preventing, containing and eradicating plant pests and diseases across Defra and look to the future.
Press release ~ Plant Health Strategy for England ~ NAO report - Protecting England and Wales from plant pests and diseases ~ Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food: Facing the Future, ~ Legislation and International procedures ~ Defra main Plant health website ~ Horticultural Code of Practice ~ Invasive non-native species ~ Review of Non-native Species Policy ~ England biodiversity strategy - Annual stock take 2003-2004
Defra: England’s farmers will be able to save themselves time, money and labour by plugging into a new web-based system which will ultimately ‘transform their partnership with Government’. The Whole Farm Approach, which will launched next year, could save the farming industry up to £28million a year, depending on uptake, by cutting red tape and delivering a quicker, simpler and more efficient way of doing business.
Press release ~ Whole Farm Approach ~ Animal Health and Welfare strategy ~ Farm Assurance schemes
Defra: Advice from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that Defra’s proposed new BSE testing system for older cattle should replace the Over Thirty Months (OTM) rule, has been accepted by the Government. The OTM rule currently imposes an automatic ban on all older cattle from entering the human food chain, while the new system will allow UK cattle born after 31 July 1996 to be slaughtered and sold for human consumption.
However, older UK cattle born before 1 August 1996 will continue to be excluded from the food chain and there will be a new legal offence of sending cattle born before August 1996 to abattoirs producing meat for human consumption. The new testing system is expected to replace the OTM rule on 7 November 2005. Changes in export restrictions are not expected to come into effect before early 2006.
Press release ~ Food Standards Agency (FSA) BSE website ~ FSA - Over Thirty Months (OTM) rule ~ Defra’s BSE website ~ National CJD surveillance unit ~ Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee ~ DH CJD website
DfES: Skills Minister Phil Hope has welcomed the start of the new college year with the launch of new teaching materials and techniques aimed at making Further Education more stimulating. Providers are invited to nominate Subject Learning Coaches who will get free professional training and membership of regional subject networks so that they can coach colleagues in their own organisations.
Press release ~ Success for All ~ Success for All – The Second Year 2004 ~ Learning and Skills Council
DH: A team from University College London and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne have been chosen to lead a £20 million initiative to speed up the development of new medical treatments for dementia and neurodegenerative diseases such as Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntingdon’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.
Press release ~ Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disease Research Network ~ Alzheimer’s Society ~ Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS) ~ UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN) ~ Scoping report for Wales Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network
MOD: All Armed Forces personnel and their families have been urged to register to vote by Defence Secretary, John Reid, as he launched MOD’s annual voter registration campaign. Distribution of 400,000 copies of ’Register to Vote’, a combined leaflet and registration form, to all members of the Armed Forces is underway and coincides with a publicity campaign across Service media.
Press release ~ ‘Don’t lose your right to vote’ ~ ‘About my vote’ ~ The Electoral Commission ~ The British Army website ~ Help Information Volunteer Exchanges (HIVEs)
DCMS: The Government has announced ‘reforms’ which it claims will dramatically streamline the way sport is organised, clarify the responsibilities of sporting bodies and greatly improve the chances of Britain’s medal hopefuls for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Press release ~ DCMS Sport website ~ Carter Report on Sport ~ Carter Report Supporting Evidence ~ UK Sport ~ Sport England ~ Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) ~ TASS 2012 Scholarships ~ Disability Sport England – TASS 2012 ~ English Institute of Sport (EIS) ~ SportsAid ~ National Coaching Foundation
Healthcare Commission: The results of a major national survey show users of mental health services are satisfied with the care they get. However, the mental health patient survey, published by the Healthcare Commission, also highlights a number of areas where care could be improved, including better emergency support and better information on the side effects of medication.
Press release ~ Survey of users of mental health services 2005 ~ Count Me In, the National Mental Health Ethnicity Census ~ Mental Health and Social Exclusion ~ DH – Choosing Talking therapies ~ User Led research on talking therapies ~ DH Mental health website ~ National Service Framework (NSF) for Mental Health – modern standards and service models ~ Care programme approach (CPA) ~ Effective care co-ordination in mental health services: modernising the care programme approach - A policy booklet ~ An audit pack for monitoring the care programme approach
DTI: Employment Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has launched a DTI-commissioned report into the characteristics of a High Performance Workplace, based on a comprehensive survey of almost 3,000 UK businesses, which shows that firms which have high performance practices outperform firms that do not by £1,600 per worker each year.
Press release ~ Work Foundation ~ People, Strategy and Performance ~ DTI employment relations website
DWP: Estimates of the levels of fraud & error occurring in claims for Pension Credit over the period October 2003 to September 2004 have been published on the Dept. for Work and Pensions website. The estimated overpayment was 4.9% of the benefit paid over the year, which is equivalent to an estimated overpayment of £280 million.
Press release ~ Fraud and Error in Pension Credit from October 2003 to September 2004 ~ Targeting Benefit Fraud website ~ Benefit Fraud Inspectorate ~ Benefit Fraud Reporting Form
Defra: England’s coastland, rivers, farms, and environmentally sensitive land are ‘reaping’ the results of action to safeguard and improve England’s wildlife and countryside, according to scientific data released by Defra. The new data show that 67.4% of ecologically-sensitive SSSI land is in favourable condition - up from 56.9% in March 2003.
Press release ~ Working with the grain of nature: a biodiversity strategy for England (see latest news for indicators) ~ Defra SSSI website ~ English Nature SSSI website
Acas: Acas has welcomed the publication of the final in a series of reports on part-time & flexible working by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).
Press release ~ Britain’s Hidden Brain Drain ~ The EOC’s investigation into flexible and part-time working website (see ‘related documents’ for previous reports) ~ Acas FW website ~ DTI FW website
CC: The Charity Commission has changed its main contact number and the new number - 0845 3000 218 - will charge customers at local rate, rather than national rate. Minicom users can contact the Commission on 0845 3000 219. Calls to the former number will be automatically redirected.
Press release ~ Charity Commission
For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE
Date: 3 - 5 October 2005
Venue: Earls Court One, London
Organiser: Neil Stewart Associates - Reinventing Accountability for the 21st Century
A two-day international event and training day which will explore innovative approaches to building accountable leadership and organisations in the 21st century.
Date: 4 October 2005
Organiser: Homeless Link - Making the link: opening up research into homelessness
Homeless Link supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, provide an opportunity for people both within and outside the homelessness sector to talk us about the wider issues affecting homeless people.
Date: 5 - 6 October 2005
Venue: Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, London
Organiser: Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply – Premier Conference
The central themes of this year’s Premier Conference examine the contribution that purchasing and supply management can make to the management of risk, whilst ensuring security of supply, and how procurement can drive innovation, both within organisations and with external suppliers.
Date: 6 October 2005
Venue: 4 Hamilton Place, London W1
Organiser: Local Government Chronicle – Improving policy design
A timely conference that will analyse the recent initiatives aimed at improving communication between central, regional and local government.
Date: 6 October 2005
Venue: Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London
Organiser: National School of Government - Is your HR function Fit for Business?
Feedback on a project involving a consortium of nine public sector organisations including government Departments and Agencies, and local authorities, who wanted to improve HR performance. All participants will receive a complimentary copy of the project report - ‘Fit for Business’.
Date: 9 October 2005
Venue: Newcastle race course
Organiser: Royal British Legion - Newcastle Raceday
Date: 13 October 2005
Venue: Inmarsat Conference centre, London EC1
Organiser: Neil Stewart Associates – Modernising Mental health services: Developing Leadership, Recruitment, Retention and training
An opportunity to discuss how best to develop a more diverse and coherent NHS Mental Health workforce, with structured career development programmes and a drive to recruit more service users as part of the workforce.
Date: 22 October 2005
Venue: Chepstow race course
Organiser: Royal British Legion - Chepstow Raceday
Date: 22 October 2005
Venue: Fairfield Halls, Croydon.
Organiser: Royal British Legion - Biennial gathering of the Massed Bands of the Royal British Legion Concert
Date: 26 – 28 October 2005
Venue: Sunningdale Park, Larch Avenue, Ascot, SL5 0QE
Organiser: National School of Government - Developing Tomorrows Manager 1
Equipping people to work at a level to provide top-quality support to their managers and developing their potential to be the leaders of tomorrow. Designed for administrative officers and their equivalent, on completion you should understand the basis of effective management
Date: 27 October 2005
Venue: London Hilton, Park lane, London
Organiser: Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply – CIPS Supply Management Awards 2005
The awards are run jointly by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) and its fortnightly magazine, Supply Management. For the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2005, the 10 team and two individual categories will be presented at a black-tie gala dinner at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Thursday 27th October.
Date: Up to 15 December
Organiser: Citizenship Foundation - Take a hands-on approach to politics, journalism and the legal system
Now in it’s 15th year, The National Youth Parliament Competition helps 11-18 year olds understand the democratic process and gives them the opportunity to video their own parliamentary debate.
The National Political Journalism competition, challenges young people (11-18 year olds) to experience first-hand the relationship between politics and the media. They are asked to tackle a local, national and international political issue of their choice, by taking on the roles of media professionals and create real news pieces in print, TV or radio.
In the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial competition students take on the roles of court staff, lawyers & witnesses and present the prosecution and defence of a specially written criminal case.
For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE
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