ScotGov: Do you “tak’ the High (on alcohol) Road” without realising? - To mark Alcohol Awareness Week 2010 last week, adults across Scotland were asked how their drinking habits measure up and encouraged to ‘make every day count’. The initiative aimed to raise awareness that, by making small changes to our drinking habits (to make sure we're drinking more responsibly) we can all get more out of our day, week & weekend.
Currently only 15% of Scots are able to correctly estimate the number of units in a normal strength bottle of wine. So, this year's AAW aimed to help explain how many units of alcohol drinks contain and highlight how positive lifestyle choices & sticking to the sensible drinking guidelines can help us enjoy alcohol responsibly.
Under this year's 'How do you Measure Up?' Unit Challenge theme, people can discover how many units of alcohol they're drinking on a regular basis and get useful tips on how they can stick within sensible drinking guidelines of not regularly drinking more than 3-4 units per day for men, or 2-3 units per day for women.
DfT: Will high speed be worth the high cost & amount of disruption? - Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond has announced which network option the Government prefers for taking high speed rail north of Birmingham. The Government will consult early in 2011 on building a ‘Y’ shaped high speed rail network with separate legs from the West Midlands to each of Manchester & Leeds. A Y shaped route would allow the East Midlands and South Yorkshire to be served by the high speed rail network, as well as Leeds, Manchester and the North West.
Mr Hammond has been considering advice from HS2 Ltd (the Government company set up to examine the case for high speed rail) on the relative benefits of the 'Y' route against a 'reverse S' shaped route from Birmingham to Manchester and then across the Pennines to Leeds. HS2 Ltd found that the Y network would deliver a total of £25bn more benefits than the reverse S.
HS2 Ltd published detailed route proposals for a high speed rail line from London to Birmingham earlier this year. Work is currently underway to refine the preferred route identified in that report and the Secretary of State will set out the Government’s final preferred route for consultation later in 2010.
DfE: Chances are that it will happen again as ‘well meaning’ is not the same as ‘comprehensive & effective’ - Professor Eileen Munro recently set out her initial analysis on the child protection system in England. She finds that processes & procedures (and the unintentional consequences of previous reforms) are getting in the way of social workers spending time with vulnerable children & families.
The early scoping review explains that, while previous reforms have been well-meaning & well-informed, they have not delivered positive long-lasting improvements at the front line. Changes during the past 40 years have been made in reaction to high-profile cases and have focused on parts of the system in isolation, rather than looking at the system as a whole.
Professor Munro wants to improve the serious case review (SCR) process so that lessons learned can be put into practice more effectively. The Government has published 2 research reports on SCRs, which have fed into Professor Munro’s review. Professor Munro is due to submit her final report in April 2011.
BIS / MoD: Giving their children a future is the least we can do for those who sacrificed their own futures - Families of servicemen & women killed on active duty will benefit from publicly funded higher education scholarships, the government has announced. The new scheme will apply to the children of servicemen & women killed on active military service since 1990, giving them the chance to take up university scholarships.
The government also announced the continuation & expansion of a scheme to pay tuition fees for service leavers undertaking level 3 further education or undergraduate higher education courses for their first time, funded by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Ministry of Defence.
In addition, Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox announced a new provision to help Service personnel who are suffering from mental health disorders following the publication of a report by Dr Andrew Murrison MP on mental health services for serving personnel & veterans - 'Fighting Fit - A Mental Health Plan For Servicemen and Veterans'.
PC: We can only afford to take out what we have put in - Lord Hutton of Furness has published the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission's Interim Report. It sets out the case for change in public service pensions: longer lives, the unfairness of a system that rewards high-flyers disproportionately, the imbalance of risk between taxpayers and employees and contribution rates that do not reflect the value of benefits received - all demonstrate the need for reform.
The Commission's final report, looking at long term structural reform options, will be delivered in time for the 2011 Budget.
OS: Explore your local neighbourhood for free - Ordnance Survey is urging schools to place their orders for free maps before this year’s offer closes on 15 October 2010. Over 8,000 schools across Scotland, England & Wales are able to order a free OS Explorer Map for the 11‑year-olds in their schools. A list showing the numbers of schools in each area yet to order is available HERE.
Free Webinar; Achieving CESG’s Good Practice Guide (GPG) 13 Compliance - There is no doubt that event logging is an important element of good security practice, but it is only one part of protective monitoring. Detecting anomalies and having the ability to quickly and easily ascertain their business impact is also key to identifying and taking appropriate action.
All too often however, the value of protective monitoring isn't recognised and where security budgets have been slashed in the wake of significant budgetary cuts, protective monitoring is often one of the first projects to be shelved. But the need to comply with GPG 13, which aims to protect sensitive data, is important and the public sector needs to raise awareness of protective monitoring as a means to cost-effectively manage their ICT environments by:
• Detecting unauthorised changes by authorised staff.
• SLA management - was the application available and working?
• Identifying non-compliance with build standards.
• Identifying users deploying unauthorised software.
• Listing and recording the attachment of external devices and new hardware.
• Identification of data change and alteration - who, what, when and how.
In this webinar, Ed Hamilton, Senior Manager of Analysys Mason, will outline practical, cost-effective actions that internal resources can undertake to improve the protective monitoring within your organisation.
Click here to find out more and download the GPG 13 Compliance webinar.