IPP&CR: Basic pay - Army private £17,014 rising to £26,404 – Police officer: £23,259 rising to £36,509, which is set at right level? - The first results of a review of police pay & conditions designed to improve service for the public & maximise value for money have been published by the Independent Police Pay and Conditions Review. The independent study is intended to ‘help bring modern management practices into policing and increase operational flexibility for the country's 43 territorial forces’.
The review found that police officers are comparatively well paid, 10-15% higher than some other emergency workers & the armed forces, as well as up to 60% higher than the average local earnings in regions such as Wales & the North East.
In the short term, Tom Winsor recommends that a power to make officers compulsorily redundant is not necessary. This makes police officers unique in the public sector and this protection comes at a price, namely:
* suspension of all chief officer & superintendent bonuses
* abolition of the £1,212 Competence-Related Threshold Payment (CRTP)
* abolition of the discredited Special Priority Payments (SPP), of up to £5,000
* freezing progression up the pay scale for two years for all officers & staff
* savings of up to £60m in the annual overtime budget
The projected savings & costs arising from this review suggest that, if implemented from September 2011, these recommendations will produce net savings of £485m over 3 years.
PSPC: Will this be ‘it’, or will they continue to ‘move the goalpost’ every couple of years? - Lord Hutton of Furness has set out his proposals for comprehensive, long-term structural reform of public service pension schemes. The final report of the Independent Public Services Pension Commission follows a comprehensive 9-month review.
It ‘sets out a number of detailed recommendations to the Government on how public service pensions can be made sustainable & affordable in the future, while providing an adequate level of retirement income’. The average pension paid to pensioner members is around £7,800p.a. – Around half of pensioners receive less than £5,600p.a.
The main recommendation of the report is that existing final salary public service pension schemes should be replaced by new schemes, where an employee's pension entitlement is still linked to their salary (a ‘defined benefit scheme’), but is related to their career average earnings, with appropriate adjustments in earlier years so that benefits maintain their value.
The report suggests that it should be possible to introduce these new schemes before the end of this Parliament, in 2015, while allowing a longer transition, if needed, for groups such as the armed forces & police. Other key recommendations in the report include:
* Linking Normal Pension Age (NPA) in most public service pension schemes to the State Pension Age
* Introducing a Normal Pension Age of 60 for those members of the uniformed services
* Setting a clear cost ceiling for public service pension
* Honouring, in full, the accrued rights already earned by scheme members
HO: Unacceptable behaviour by any measure - Plans to tackle violence against women & girls were launched by the Home Secretary last week. The 'Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls - Action Plan' was published alongside the ‘government's response to Baroness Stern's review into the handling of rape complaints’.
The action plan focuses on 4 key areas:
* the prevention of violence including reducing repeat victimisation
* the provision of support
* the bringing together of groups to work in partnership
* action to reduce risk by ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice
Baroness Stern said: "I welcome the government's response to the recommendations in my report. Particularly in a time of financial stringency it is good that the government recognises the importance of a specialist and supportive response to rape victims."
WAG: What does the Yes vote mean for Wales? - The vote on Friday 4 March 2011 means that the National Assembly will be able to make laws on subjects in all of the 20 areas for which it has powers, without first needing the UK Parliament's agreement to giving the Assembly the necessary powers. The Assembly will now be able to table its own Bills and vote to pass its own Acts.
CLG: Many legal requirements funded by central government’s best guess ‘average’ budgets - Councils are being asked for the bureaucratic burdens they wish to throw away in the first ever central review of their statutory duties. To date no Government has ever assessed the cumulative burden imposed by the hundreds of legal duties placed on local government.
The Review is intended to proactively identify unnecessary burdens & barriers preventing councils from getting on with their job. The Department of Communities and Local Government has published an initial list of more than 1,200 legal duties imposed mainly by primary legislation. The Localism Bill, currently going through Parliament, is already set to remove some of these duties.
For the time being, the review excludes duties stemming from Parts 1 & 2 of the Building Act 1984 as CLG are in the process of undertaking a separate review of these. There are also other reviews underway that are likely to impact on this work such as the Law Commission's review of adult social care.
STFC: Put your bid in now - The Science and Technology Facilities Council has announced a call for applications to the Projects Research & Development scheme (PRD). The applications should be submitted by 3 May 2011 and will be reviewed at a meeting of the PPRP Panel on 6/7 July 2011. STFC intends to allocate a total of around £1.5m, a large proportion of which will be for spend in the financial year 2011/12.
DH: We need solutions to help mitigate increasing demand for health services - Up to £775m is to be made available for translational research (research that is dedicated to deliver benefits to NHS patients) to help secure the UK as a world leader in life sciences. It will be made available over the next 5 years to NHS/university partnerships through the National Institute for Health Research.
Applications are encouraged to focus on improving health outcomes for patients in high priority disease areas such as dementia, cancer & heart disease. Further information about the call for proposals: Click HERE.
Forthcoming Event: Gartner CIO Leadership Forum: Creative Destruction: Radically Redefining IT | 4-6 April 2011 | London - This event is designed exclusively for CIOs by CIOs. Join forces with our executive analyst team, peer CIOs and high-profile industry achievers for collaborative dialog, debate and problem solving. You’ll see first-hand how others are resolving ground-breaking IT issues. And you’ll take away powerful new strategies that will position you as a leader in an IT environment where the pace of change is accelerating even faster. The forum will ask key questions including: * How do you meet high corporate expectations while adhering to lean budgets and limited resources? * How do you balance the drive for enterprise innovation with the need for efficiency and cost control?
Click here for the full agenda and more details.