EHRC:  In a period of reduced financial support, the least we can do is ensure that they can live without being harassed - Authorities need to take further steps to ensure that harassment of disabled people is taken more seriously and doesn't escalate into the situation Fiona Pilkington and her disabled daughter Francecca found themselves in 5 years ago, the Equality & Human Rights Commission said last week.

In 2011, the Commission carried out an inquiry into disability related harassment, which found that there was a ‘systemic failure by public authorities and transport operators to prevent disability related harassment’.

A follow-up report issued last week details the responses since then from government, authorities & transport operators.  It shows that many are taking significant steps, making progress, individually & collectively, towards making a real difference.  But the Commission's evidence shows that actions taken to prevent & tackle harassment are patchy with some authorities doing nothing or very little at all

In its report 'Out in the Open: a manifesto for change', the Commission makes recommendations in 7 strategic areas which need to be addressed if disability harassment is to be reduced.
Press release ~ 'Out in the Open: a manifesto for change' ~ EHRC inquiry webpage ~ The Home Office: Hate crimes England and Wales 2011/12 ~ Inquiry reveals systemic institutional failure to tackle harassment of disabled people ~ The UK government's formal response to the Hidden in Plain Sight recommendations ~ Fulfilling potential: disabled people asked to shape Government policy ~ Download IPCC Pilkington report ~ CAB response to EHRC disability-related harassment inquiry ~ Commission to investigate disability related harassment and role of public authorities ~ Voice UK ~ The Disability Hate Crime Network ~ Acas: Disability discrimination ~ NUT: What is Disability Harassment? Guidance for Members ~ Shelter Scotland: Harassment if you're disabled ~ Inquiry into Disability-related Harassment in Wales ~ EHRC NI: Strengthening Protection for Disabled People Proposals for Reform – March 2012

EU NewsWill FTT revenues prove to be ‘Fairy Gold’ to match the ‘Head in the Sand’ EU contempt for the financial cuts of National Governments? - The 10 Member States that wish to apply an EU financial transaction tax (FTT) through enhanced cooperation should be allowed to do so, because all the legal conditions for such a move are met.  This is the conclusion of the proposal for a Council Decision adopted by the Commission last week.

Once the minimum required number of Member States had signed up, the Commission immediately set about analysing these requests to ensure they met the conditions for enhanced cooperation laid down in the Treaties.  It claims it did this with ‘full impartiality’, looking at the impact on participating & non-participating Member States, as well as on the EU as a whole.
Press release & links ~ CBI welcomes Government decision on Financial Transaction Tax ~ Someone, somewhere, is either lying or ignorant about the Financial Transactions Tax ~ EU News:  Musical Ghost of Emperor Nero lives on in EU (3rd item) ~ Parliament adopts ambitious approach on financial transaction tax ~ European Union must show financial restraint to reflect age of austerity according to Lords EU Committee ~ The financial transaction tax will reduce Member States' GNI contributions to the EU budget by 50% ~ Lords Committee publishes report on proposals for a financial transaction tax ~ EU budget 2013: avoid payments shortfalls and invest in growth and jobs ~ Assessing the EU’s impact on the UK: a review of the balance of competences ~ Budget 2014-2020: "Put your money where your mouth is", MEPs tell member states ~ Parliament rejects Council accounts for 2010 but approves spending of agencies ~ Check your own EU funding request before complaining, MEPs advise ministers ~ Poverty: Commission proposes NEW €2.5bn Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

DCMSAt least they played some ‘glorious games’ at the Olympics without any histrionics - The Football Association (FA) has unveiled a 5-year strategy to drive forward women’s football at every level in England. 

The plan, entitled Game Changer, also aims to harness the momentum around London 2012 and the England Women’s team’s unbeaten qualification for Euro 2013.
Press release ~ Game Changer ~ Women’s Super League ~ More about the strategy on the FA’s website ~ BBC: Women’s football ~ Scottish Women’s football ~ England Seniors

DWPTough Love policy which matches the public mood?Jobseekers who repeatedly refuse to play by the rules face losing benefits for a much longer period.‪  The new rules are intended to send a clear message that ‘people receiving benefits have a responsibility to actively seek work in exchange for receiving Jobseekers Allowance’.  But some people refuse to play by the rules and last year alone jobcentre advisors were forced to sanction 495,000 claimants, including 72,000 who refused an offer of employment. ‪

Currently, those who fail to live up to their responsibilities can lose JSA for up to 3 months.  From last week repeat offenders who refuse to accept jobs or voluntarily leave a job without good reason will see that increase to up to 3 years.‪
Press release & links ~ Demos: Majority support government control of how people spend benefit payments ~ PX: Third of jobseekers back on the dole within 8 months

WAGA foretaste of what might happen to Scotland’s Barnett Formula funding? - A joint statement outlining new commitments on funding in Wales has been published by the UK Government and the Welsh Government.   Both Governments have established a common position on how English & Welsh funding per head has converged in the past and the likely trend in the future.

The 2 Governments have also agreed that, in principle, the Welsh Government should have access to capital borrowing powers on the condition an independent revenue stream, such as tax powers, is in place to support them – as currently being considered by the Silk Commission.
Press release ~ Silk Commission ~ Holtham Commission reports ~ House of Lords Barnett Formula Select Committee ~ Barnett Formula

DHOne can’t but feel that this extra funding is but a drop in the ocean compared to future funding requirements - Dedicated funding to create care environments for people with dementia, which aid treatment by helping avoid confusion & keeping patients calm, has been announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. 

Up to £50m will be available to NHS Trusts & local authorities working in partnership with social care providers to help tailor hospitals & care homes to the needs of those with dementia.
Press release & links ~ AS: Financial cost of dementia ~ DH:  The more we talk about it, the less there is to fear (1st item) ~ RCP:  Time to move on from primarily treating people in hospital? (4th item) ~ JRF: Dementia Challenge - York aspiring to be one of the UK’s dementia-friendly cities ~ WAG: Bespoke dementia information packs launched to reassure dementia sufferers

NICEDo you have any 'nice' examples to share? - NICE is calling on organisations to enter its 2013 Shared Learning Awards.  The awards recognise services & organisations that have put NICE guidance into practice through innovative & effective ways.

Submit an example to the shared learning database of using NICE guidance or quality standards to enter the NICE 2013 Shared Learning Award.   Nominations for entry close on 31 January 2013.
Press release & links

ACE:  With reduced funding around we need to recognise the efforts of unpaid supporters - Know of a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to an arts or culture project?  Nominate them for the first-ever British Volunteer Awards.  Millions of people volunteer in arts & culture in England on a regular basis. Their contribution is crucial and without them, many of our arts & culture organisations would not be able to survive.

If you know of a volunteer who has gone over & beyond what was expected, help get their efforts publicly recognised by nominating them for a BVA.  Winners receive £500 (courtesy of Waitrose) to donate to the organisation with whom they volunteered and will be featured in the Sunday Telegraph.  Applications close Today - Tuesday 30 October 2012
Press release & links

Advisory PaperInformation Management: To Outsource or Not to Outsource? -  ‘A Paperless NHS by 2015’, a highly ambitious commitment made on the 6th October by the NHS Commissioning Board, once again reflects the relentless drive for improvement and efficiencies in records management across all public services.
The key decision of whether to outsource information management must take into consideration all guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding an organisation’s responsibilities in terms of data protection compliance and legal obligations, as highlighted by the recent £250,000 penalty imposed upon the Scottish Borders Council after it ‘failed to properly manage a company it had employed to digitise pension records’.

A recent advisory paper on the outsourcing of information management looks into key issues such as:

*   Cost
*   Compliance
*   Chain of Custody
*   Security

Click Here to download this latest paper on outsourcing information management and find out how DEFRA have successfully outsourced 2 major projects, saving almost £1million and significant environmental benefits in the process.

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