BIGFrom little Acorns - A new Big Lottery Fund (BIG) scheme to help 6 rural villages across the UK to regenerate their communities through new business ventures has been launched in partnership with BBC1.  The search is also on for six enterprising & visionary individuals to become ‘Village Champions’ and work with the villages to help achieve their ambitions of starting a successful rural business.

BBC1 will be documenting the journey of the 6 villages and their Village Champions for a major prime time series in winter 2010.  The BIG scheme aims to fund 3 awards in England and 1 each in Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales in villages with a population of up to 3,000. Applications close on 14 August 2009.

18 villages will be shortlisted to receive a development grant of up to £10,000 and will choose a ‘Village Champion’ to work with to advance their ideas.  In May 2010 6 projects will be awarded Lottery funding of up to £400,000 and their respective Village Champions will move into the villages for a year to help them turn their business idea into a reality.

The Village Champions will be recruited through a nationwide search run by the BBC and Make Your Mark, part of the charity Enterprise Insight.  Champions could be anyone with a successful track record in business - banker, baker or builder - as long as they have the drive & charisma to launch a new venture and the desire to live & work in a rural village for a year.

Alongside the series will be a major learning campaign to help other villages use the learning & enthusiasm from the programme to take a step towards starting a new business that will regenerate their own communities.
Press release ~ Village SOS ~ Make Your Mark ~ BBC search for Village Champions ~ Enterprise Insight

CQCEnsuring a high standard of care - The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has launched a consultation (closes on 24 August 2009) on guidance outlining what health & adult social care services will need to do to meet new legally enforceable registration standards. 

From April 2010, the regulator will begin to put in place a registration system covering all health & adult social care services in, whether they are public or independent.

The CQC has now released guidance on what services must do to meet the 29 registration requirements set by the government. It focuses on what constitutes a positive outcome for a person receiving care and what services should be doing to achieve that outcome.  It will be used to decide whether a service should be registered, whether it should maintain registration and whether further action from CQC is needed.

The CQC wants feedback on whether the guidance appropriately reflects the registration requirements and if it reflects what should rightly be expected of a safe, quality health or adult social care service.

The DH has recently completed a consultation on registration requirements and will take final legislation through Parliament. It is expected that NHS providers will be the first to register under the new system.  They will be required to declare their compliance with the registration requirements & guidance in January 2010, with registration by 1 April 2010. 

All providers of adult social care services and independent providers of healthcare services will be registered under the new system by 1 October 2010.
Press release ~ Consultation on the Guidance for Registration ~ Consultation events on new registration standards ~ DH: Response to consultation on the framework for the registration of health and adult social care providers and consultation on draft Regulations

Newswire – JRFThrowing money at it is not the total answer - Approximately 21% of children in are living in poverty, according to a recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  Despite earlier progress over the last decade in reducing child poverty – reductions were greater in Scotland than in other UK regions – levels have stalled since 2004/05 and are now fairly similar to the rest of the UK.

The report - Child poverty in Scotland: taking the next steps - discusses progress made to end child poverty in Scotland.  It states that the Scottish government could do more to reduce child poverty in Scotland.  A wide range of policy measures are recommended to get progress back on track, from increasing the availability of affordable childcare, to encouraging ScotGov to look seriously at defining & paying a living wage.

 Specific measures that authors suggest the Scottish government should implement include:  
* encouraging employers to create more flexible jobs which allow parents to combine work & care responsibilities 
* increasing access to affordable, flexible childcare
* providing in-work support & advice to help parents remain in employment
* giving serious consideration to the concept of a Scottish living wage and what more public sector employers can do to tackle poverty among their employees

However, the authors acknowledge that some measures required to reduce child poverty in are beyond the current devolved powers of the Scottish Government.
Press release ~ Child poverty in Scotland: taking the next steps ~ Scottish Poverty Information Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University ~ DH – Infant mortality ~ Implementation plan for reducing health inequalities in infant mortality: a good practice guide ~ JRF – Child Poverty ~ End Child Poverty coalition ~ Child Poverty Action Group ~ Eradicating Child Poverty in Wales: Measuring Success ~ United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ~ Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland ~ IRISS - Severe Child Poverty in Scotland ~ Estimating the Cost of Child Poverty - Approaches and Evidence ~ Taking Forward The Government Economic Strategy: A Discussion Paper on Tackling Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in Scotland ~ Fairer Scotland Fund ~ WAG Joint agreement on child poverty ~ Children and Families Measure ~ WAG – Child poverty ~ Children in Wales ~ Children in severe poverty in Wales: an agenda for action ~ Eradicating Child Poverty in Wales: Measuring Success ~ ‘Child Poverty Solutions Wales’ website ~ Toolkits ~ JRF: Combating child poverty in Wales: are effective education strategies in place? ~ Child Poverty Solutions Wales- Briefing (3) ~ ‘Ending Child Poverty: Making it Happen’ ~ CRC response to the consultation

OSBlue Lights cannot afford to get stuck under a bridge - Ordnance Survey has completed a 2-year programme of quality control on its flagship transport dataset: OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer.  The programme has seen every road link in Britain checked by an Ordnance Survey data editor to ensure quality levels are maintained consistently across the country.

ITN Layer records the location of the nation’s roads & forms the foundation to many of the market-leading ‘satnavs’ and is relied on by the emergency services for route planning.  Maintaining a high level of currency & accuracy is therefore essential.

The programme covered 10,625 'tiles' of mapping and included checking the accuracy of road weight, width & height restrictions – information vital to help avoid misrouting heavy goods vehicles.  Routing through local streets was also verified to ensure it was appropriate & safe. 

For the first time many utility assets have been connected to the road network, including electrical substations, waterworks & wind turbines, to enable easier and more accurate routing.
Press release ~ OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer

BCSThe reality is that we don’t trust the government with our data - BCS, in partnership with the Information Security Awareness Forum (ISAF) has launched the Personal Data Guardianship Code in an effort to change the culture of organisations towards the handling of personal data.

The code follows on the success of the BCS petition objecting to the changes in the Coroners and Justice Bill which would have seen drastic changes to the way in which government departments could have used personal information.

The code identifies the principles & responsibilities of everyone involved in the collection, management & use of personal data, including guidelines outlining:
* the roles & responsibilities of the responsible person
* the roles & responsibilities of the data handler
* an overview of the rights & responsibilities of the data subject

BCS and the ISAF have produced the code in direct response to the number of high profile data breaches in recent years, including several in government offices.  It follows sustained activity by BCS on the topic of security and data protection.
Press release ~ Personal data guardianship code ~ Information Commissioner ~ Information Security Awareness Forum (ISAF) ~ BCS Video Debate: Data security and public confidence ~ Why ISO 27001 is not enough ~ BCS - Security ~ ISSA-UK ~ Data Handling Procedures in Government report

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