MoDCan the ‘political / financial crystal ball’ truly foresee what future ‘battles’ will actually need to be fought? - The outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which sets out how the government will deliver the priorities identified in the National Security Strategy, was published on 19 October 2010.
Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review, details how our Armed Forces will be reshaped to tackle emerging and future threats. There are 2 main priorities in the review:
* to ensure that our mission in Afghanistan is protected
* to make sure we emerge with a coherent Defence capability in 2020

A study will be undertaken by the leadership of the regular & Reserves into the future role & structure of the Reserves.  The MoD expect this study to take about 6 months.

Much effort will now be required to work through the detailed implications of the various SDSR decisions and their implementation. Part of this will be the work of the Defence Reform Unit, which is looking at the organisation of MOD and will report in July 2011.  This will ‘help ensure Defence is delivered as effectively & efficiently as possible.  Reforms will be implemented as the review progresses’.
Press release ~ Photos & related links ~ Related MoD press release ~ Chatham House: Strategy in Austerity: The Security and Defence of the United Kingdom ~ CH: Evaluating the 2010 Strategy Review ~ CH: The UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review project ~ Rethinking the UK's Global Ambitions and Choices ~ CH: Breaking the mould: the United Kingdom Strategic Defence Review 2010 ~ PX: Upgrading Our Armed Forces ~ Entente or Oblivion: Prospects and Pitfalls of France-British Co-operation on Defence ~ RUSI: Future Defence Review working Papers ~ IISS: Britain lowers its military sights ~ 'No strategic shrinkage'? The RAF might see it differently ~ Cuts cast doubts over UK navy's global reach ~ Intelligence assumes a front-line position in SDSR ~ UK Defence forum ~ UKDF: Tim Garden Archives  ~ HCDC Report on SDSR ~ PCS PR ~ Related ScotGov PR ~ Redeployment of defence Workers PR ~ Defence Green Paper: Adaptability and Partnership: Issues for a Strategic Defence Review ~ Joint Statement from PUS, CDS and Single Service Chiefs ~ Strategy for Acquisition Reform ~ The Defence Review of 2008 ~ Strategic Defence Review (SDR) 1998 ~  Defence Industry Strategy White Paper (2005) ~  Strategic Review of UK Reserve Forces ~  The Defence Command Paper - Delivering Security in a Changing World; Future Capabilities (2004) ~ UKNDA ~ UK Defence Standardization ~ ScotGov: RAF Lossiemouth Taskforce

No.10:  UK Security is much more than just ‘spooks’ - The Government has published its National Security Strategy: A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty which outlines the coalition’s reappraisal of 'Britain’s role in the world, the risks to our security and their implication for the UK'.  The strategy has been drawn up by the new National Security Council (NSC) as part of an assessment of Britain’s defence needs and the NSC will oversee its implementation.  

This Strategy describes how we need the structures in place to allow us to react quickly & effectively to new and evolving threats to our security. It highlights clear national security priorities
* counter terrorism
* cyber security
* international military crisis
* national disasters such as floods & pandemics
Press release ~ A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty  –  The National Security Strategy ~ Written Ministerial Statement on National Security Strategy ~ Fact sheet 1: Our Approach to the National Security Strategy ~ FS 2: National Security Risk Assessment ~ Establishment of a National Security Council ~ Related ippr NSS press release ~ PAC report: Who does UK National Strategy? ~ Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) ~ National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) ~ Project Argus ~ Crowded Places - Hotels and Restaurants ~ Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) ~ Responding to a terrorist incident ~ Watch a video about CONTEST ~  Securing the 2012 Games ~ MI5 ~ UK Resilience ~ CO: National Security ~ Cyber Security Challenge ~ DfT: Transport Security ~ Directgov: Flooding ~ Loss of Staff in an Emergency ~ NHS emergency planning guidance: planning for the development and deployment of Medical Emergency Response Incident Teams in the provision of advanced medical care at the scene of an incident ~ Strategic command arrangements for the NHS during a major incident ~ Building the evidence base in pre-hospital urgent and emergency care: a review of research evidence and priorities for future research ~ The edge of violence; a radical approach to extremism ~ CLG Committee report on ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’ ~ Prevent strategy ~ The Prevent strategy: a textbook example of how to alienate just about everybody ~ UK food security ~ EFRA Committee report on securing food supplies up to 2050 ~ Chatham House - UK Food Supply in the 21st Century: The New Dynamic ~ Food Security: The Role for the Scottish Government in Ensuring Continuity of Food Supply to And Within Scotland and Access to Affordable Food ~ ESRC funded: New Security Challenges ~ Working Together to Protect Crowded Places ~ The Intelligence and Security Committee ~ Yemen and Somalia: Terrorism, Shadow Networks and the Limitations of State-building ~ Investing for an Uncertain Future: Priorities for UK Energy and Climate Security ~ Understanding, Identifying and Measuring Risk ~ Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic Risks and Opportunities for Business ~ Playing to its Strengths: Rethinking the UK's Role in a Changing World ~ Organizing for Influence: UK Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty ~ The Security and Defence Environment ~ IISS: Terrorist threats in Europe: hype or reality? ~ IfG:  Shaping Up: A Whitehall for the future ~ Cyberspace Operations: Air Force Doctrine Document 3-12

No.10Only the future will show who was right and they probably won’t agree even then - Chancellor George Osborne has announced details of the Government’s 4-year public spending plans.  The Spending Review has allocated resources across all government departments according to the Government’s priorities and has ‘set firm & fixed spending budgets for each department’ from 2011-12 to 2014-15.
Press release ~ HM Treasury Spending Review 2010 ~ Full text of Chancellor’s speech ~ HMT: Spending Review press notices ~ Related PX PR ~ Related NHS Confederation PR ~ LGA PR ~ ScotGov PR ~ Related CIPD PR ~ Demos: Cuts should be slower PR ~ TUC: Child Benefit cuts PR ~ Spending review will hit the poorest 15 times harder than the rich, says TUC ~ EHRC PR ~ IFS PR ~ Draft Bank levy PR ~ Citizens Advice PR ~ WAG PR ~ Demos PR ~ TUC: Child tax Credit PR ~ Kings Fund PR ~ CBI PR ~ IfG PR ~ WAG: Budget Timeline ~ ScotGov: Olympic Consequentials ~ nef PR ~ NHS Confederation PR ~ PCS: Welfare cuts ~ ippr PR ~ JRF PR ~ iea PR ~ AS PR ~ WF PR ~ CfSJ PR ~ NLGN PR ~ PwC: Changes to Carbon Reduction Commitment EES ~ FDA PR ~ WAG: Further reaction to SR ~ PCS: Generation thrown on scrapheap ~ LGA: Further PR ~ CLG: Council Tax Freeze ~ CIPD: Impact on Public Sector jobs ~ CLG: Community Budgets ~ VSO PR

EU News:  If SMEs get paid on time perhaps they will be able to employ more people! - The standard deadline for paying bills will be 30 days under a deal with the Council endorsed by EU Parliament in plenary session last Wednesday.  The new rules are meant to ensure that small firms no longer face financial problems due to the late payment of bills by public authorities or companies and bolster solvency, innovation & jobs.

As a general rule, the deadline for both public & private sectors to pay a bill for goods or services will now be 30 days.  For over a year the Parliament has pushed to secure more stringent & clear-cut rules on payment periods.  Parliament's negotiators aimed to avoid loopholes and to ensure that any exceptions to the general deadline are restricted to special circumstances.

The agreement, presented to Parliament as a ‘consolidated amendment’ to the report by Parliament's rapporteur Barbara Weiler (S&D, DE), received broad backing from all political groups.  Sahe stressed that Member States should not wait up to 2 years to put the new rules into effect, but begin transposing them into their national laws as of January 2011.

For business-to-business payments the general deadline is 30 days unless otherwise stated in the contract.  If both parties agree, it is possible to go up to 60 days.  The payment period may be extended beyond 60 days only if ‘expressly agreed’ by the creditor and the debtor in the contract and provided that it is not ‘grossly unfair’ to the creditor. Parliament fought hard to ensure that under no circumstances may the deadline for public authorities to pay a bill exceed 60 days.
Press release ~ Adopted Text

DHBut it will take anywhere between 1 (F/T) and 3 (P/T) years for them to be trained - A national recruitment drive to create 4,200 new health visitors and build a rejuvenated profession is has been announced.  This means the numbers of health visitors working closely with families in the community will increase by almost 50%. The level of funding will be announced in due course.

To ensure the process of referrals is as easy & smooth as possible a new SAFER referral tool has been developed and was launched at the Unite Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association conference.

(Editor’s Note) Unite/CPHVA recommends that each health visitor has a maximum caseload of 250 children each – but many are having to cope with caseloads of more than 600. Unite/CPHVA is also campaigning for the implementation of the 2004 promise that each one of England’s 3,300 secondary schools and their cluster of primary schools should have a specialist school nurse.
DH press release ~ Health visitors and postnatal depression ~ The government response to Facing the Future: a review of the role of health visitors ~ Getting it right for children and families ~ FPI: Health visitors ~ Every family needs health visitors ~ Health visitors - an endangered species ~ Health visitors - a progress report
Recent White Paper:   Demonstrate that public spending is transparent, trackable and controlled - As public spending is facing an intensity of scrutiny not seen for a generation, the Comprehensive Spending Review brings a world where savings and efficiency are pivotal.
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