CLG: Bamboo ceiling still in place - Cohesion Minister Parmjit Dhanda has said that efforts to increase race equality and unlock the potential of people from ethnic minority backgrounds to progress in education and business need to be accelerated.
In his first announcement as Cohesion Minister, Parmjit Dhanda reflected on his own experience of growing up as a second generation Asian in Britain, and said a new focus is now needed to help more people - regardless of their race, faith or ethnic origin - fulfil their potential and play a fuller part in their communities.
The Second IOSS Annual Progress Report shows that the employment rate gap between Pakistani & Bangladeshi women and white women has changed very little since 1970.
He believes Government needs to do more to enable their voices to be heard and empower them to engage in their communities - bringing economic and social benefits to society.
NAO: ‘No pay - No play’ could upset plans to use Third Sector for service delivery - Evidence from 12 large national charities shows that their delivery of public services could be undermined & limited by the complexity of the arrangements by which they receive public funding.
A report by the National Audit Office found that charities' funding relationships with public bodies, including central government departments, local authorities and health trusts can often be highly fragmented, with many public bodies providing several streams of small amounts of funding to a single charity.
And the variations between funders in the timing, payment terms and monitoring requirements can impose unnecessary transaction costs on charities, reducing their value for money for the taxpayer.
The report examined the experiences of 12 of the largest UK charities, who together receive £742m in public funding from a range of public bodies including central government departments, agencies, local authorities and NHS primary care trusts.
They operate across a range of activities including care for disabled people, children’s services, advice and volunteering.
CLG: There is more to life than just rap, guns & drugs - A new generation of role models from within local communities is needed in order to tackle underachievement among Black boys & young men and counter a culture of low aspiration, according to a major report, written by 20 leading experts across the fields of education, youth justice, the voluntary and community sector, law enforcement and business.
The report says that a lack of positive role models is having a detrimental effect on the aspirations on young Black men and says a national role modelling programme is needed to raise expectations and counter negative portrayals of Black men.
Too often the role models for young Black men are celebrities and rappers - who can glamorise crime, guns or gangs.
New figures published in the report set-out the stark future economic costs of failure to promote equality of opportunity for Black boys. It makes clear that tackling underachievement among Black boys and young men could benefit the economy by £24bn over the next 50 years.
The REACH group were asked to look at how communities, local agencies, parents individuals, local and central Government can work together to raise aspirations, create more opportunities and improve life chances of young black men.
The report makes clear that tackling issues around underachievement is a shared responsibility. The Black community, community leaders and voluntary organisations, local and central government all have an important role to play if progress is going to be made.
DH: Will fewer reviewers mean better reviews? - Although existing patient forums have helped to improve health & social care services in some areas, the government claims that the new independent LINks will simplify & strengthen the current system because they will have the power to hold NHS and social care commissioners to account.
They will also be able to refer issues to local authority overview & scrutiny committees who can investigate and take action, such as summoning NHS managers for questioning, if required.
To help local authorities prepare for this change, two 'Getting ready for LINks' resources have been developed by the Department of Health.
The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill currently going through Parliament includes proposals to streamline & modernise the current system by replacing just under 400 patient forums with 150 LINks, which are expected to become operational from April 2008.
Home Office: Limiting crime by design - Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker has announced that four of the UK's most respected designers have joined the Government's new anti-crime Design and Technology Alliance, which is intended to raise the profile within industry of how innovative design can tackle crime.
They will work with the Home Office to embed the message that design can have a real impact on cutting crime by making it harder and less attractive for criminals - in turn making people and communities feel safer.
Cost-benefit analysis has shown that remedial design measures can deliver savings of up to five times the original investment, along with crime reductions of up to 70%. The benefit would be even greater if action were taken at the concept design stage.
There are numerous examples of how design interventions have helped to reduce crime, including:
· Chip & Pin slashed credit card fraud at UK retailers in 2006 by 46%
· Burglary has reduced by 37% in Liverpool since 5,000 gated alleys were introduced
· Houses that meet ACPO Secured By Design (SBD) standards experience a quarter less crime than non-SBD houses, and residents fear of crime is lower
More experts from the product and manufacturing, built environment and service design sectors are expected to join the Alliance before its first meeting in September 2007. Thereafter, the Alliance will meet formally each quarter whilst providing ad hoc advice to Government as required.
Independent test results showed this year that the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF) - made up of Government, industry and the police - made good its pledge to block 80% of mobile phones, across all networks, within 48 hours of them being reported stolen, making them less attractive to criminals.
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