WAG:  Scottish Devolution / Independence is ‘not the only game in town’ - The Welsh Government’s vision for Wales’ long term constitutional future within a devolved UK has been unveiled by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones.
In a submission to the UK Government’s Commission on Devolution in Wales (The Silk Commission), the First Minister is calling for Welsh devolution to be ‘enhanced & restructured through a new Government of Wales Act in order to strengthen accountability, and reduce the scope for conflict between the Welsh & UK Governments’.

The new settlement would replace the present ‘conferral model’ of devolution,  whereby powers are devolved to Wales on specific matters, with a ‘Reserved powers’ model,  where specific areas of responsibility such as constitutional affairs, defence, foreign affairs, social security & macro-economic policy would be ‘reserved’ to the UK Parliament, with remaining matters devolved to Wales.
Press release & links ~ Key financial reform discussions continue ~ The Future of the Union: Wales ~ Timeline ~ History of Devolved Government in Wales ~ UK Government welcomes report on Welsh fiscal devolution ~ Governments reach new agreement on Welsh funding ~ Welsh Devolution: The reluctant Dragon ~ Scottish independence: Wales and Northern Ireland make unity plea ~ Scottish Independence - Could Wales Be Next To Demand A Vote For Freedom From The English? ~ Welsh First Minister sets out his vision of a ‘new’ United Kingdom ~ IPPR: 79% of English voters want Scottish MPs barred from votes on English only laws ~ The dog that finally barked: England as an emerging political community  ~ Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons established ~ England in the Union ~ BBC Soothsayer: Devolution may signal end of union - poll ~ The English Question

JRFNo need to wait for Independence to tackle poverty & social exclusion - A new report, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that, in Scotland, the number of under-25s out of work has doubled in 5 years and that a boy born in a wealthy area will live 14 years longer than a boy born into poverty.

Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2013 is JRF’s sixth assessment of poverty in Scotland.  Built around a set of indicators and constructed using the latest, publicly available, official government data; the report assesses a wide range of indicators including unemployment, education & health.

Report author, Tom MacInnes said: “With the political debate dominated by the referendum on independence, it’s important to point out that the issues that are central to tackling poverty, such as health, childcare, schools and housing fall within current legislative powers of the Scottish Government”. …..
Press release ~ Monitoring poverty & social exclusion in Scotland 2013 (see also ‘Related Content’) ~ Voices of people experiencing poverty in Scotland ~ Child poverty in Scotland: taking the next steps ~ ScotGov: Health of mothers improving ~ Help for Scotland’s poorest families ~ CPAG: Scotland ~ Poverty Alliance Scotland ~ Tackling Poverty in Scotland ~ Scotland’s Health Improvement Agency ~ Inclusion Scotland ~ Scotland Institute ~ Audit Scotland - Resources need to be better targeted to help address Scotland’s long-standing health inequalities ~ Health inequaliti4es in Scotland (scroll down to third report) ~ Tackling fuel poverty ~ Government commits to £7.45 Scottish Living Wage ~ Rural healthcare ~ Early Years Collaborative  ~ Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012 ~ Scottish Health Survey report on equality ~ Demos: 24,000 Scottish families face severe disadvantage ~ ‘A Wider Lens’ report ~ Healthcare across the UK: A comparison of the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ~ Audit Scotland - Social care in Scotland needs to be better planned and organised  ~ Commissioning Social Care ~ IFS:  The better off can cut back on expensive luxuries, but for the poor that is often not an option
UKOCBasic maths can help ensure you get best value when shopping - As part of the Start something campaign, The Sunshine Centre, a UK online centre on Eldon Road, Banbury has been including household math skills in it’s regular Family Fun Day to show parents who might be nervous with numbers that its easier than they think to get their head around sums. 

From adding up the weights of different fruit & veg to looking at shapes & sizes to figure out the best way to pack their shopping, they’ve been finding that maths can help with lots of everyday tasks.  Sites like Learn my way and BBC Skillswise are perfect because you can practice at home until it sinks in. They’re really easy to use and you get instant feedback, so you know how you’re doing.
CO:  Investing in Society - A new report that presents perspectives on best practice in social investment was launched last week.  It arises from a symposium set up last year by Saїd Business School and the Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Impact Bonds.

Drawing together insights from over 10 countries, the report provides ‘a valuable snap-shot of the status of social investment innovation and highlights a range of issues in the development of the social investment market’.
Press release & links ~ Cabinet Office: Social Impact Bonds ~ Social Action Fund-backed project helps raise profile of philanthropy among young people ~ Social entrepreneurs win big Lottery backing ~ Promising social ventures to receive £1m in Government funding boost ~ £10 million social incubator fund launches ~ Social Enterprise Investment Fund to re-open for applications ~ Art bodies target social investment ~ £3.1m from dormant bank accounts invested in Big Society projects ~ EU News: New measures to stimulate funding for social businesses ~ Big Society Bank launched ~ Big Society Bank could back social ISAs for everyday savers ~ Maria Miller: Philanthropy will help secure the future of the arts

HMRC:  Money back from Taxman is usually ‘too good to be true’ - Taxpayers reported almost 80,000 tax rebate phishing emails last yearHM Revenue and Customs revealed recently, as they warned people not to fall victim to the email scams sent by fraudsters.  The emails promise a tax refund in exchange for personal, credit card or banking details.  

Emails often link to a clone of HMRC’s genuine website to trick unsuspecting taxpayers into handing over their details, but HMRC never sends emails about a genuine tax rebate.  

The scam email often begins with a sentence such as ‘we have reviewed your tax return according to our calculations of your last years accounts a tax refund of XXXX is due.’  Legitimate tax rebate forms (P800s) from HMRC will contain a payment order and will never ask for credit or debit card details.
MoD:  Help spread the celebrations across the UK - Communities across the UK are invited to apply for funding to host events to celebrate this year's Armed Forces Day on 29 June 2013, to be held in the city of Nottingham.
Forthcoming event: Gartner Business Process Management Summit, 13 – 14, March 2013, London - Aspire, Challenge, Transform: Driving Breakthrough Business Performance - Europe's premier gathering of Business and IT leaders charged with performance improvement and business transformation. Key topics include:


• Making BPM part of your strategic plan
• How BPM can enable transformational change
• The convergence of cloud, mobile, social and information with BPM
• How to establish process ownership and effective governance

• Process intelligence and the role of the iBPMS


This Summit will help you to advance your knowledge base and skills, show you the best practices and real world examples of how to overcome your challenges and most importantly, how to achieve dramatic business performance improvements.


Click here to view the full agenda and register by simply following the link below (Public sector pricing available)

Latest Case Study: Teachers' Pensions Passes Performance Management Exam - It was 2011 and despite being one of the UK’s largest public sector schemes, Teachers’ Pensions (Department of Education) was held back in delivering its promises for improvements to scheme administration by old-style operational behaviours and procedures.

The Challenge - The challenge was to streamline processes, introduce much-needed metrics, overhaul performance management and quality components, and fundamentally change the day-to-day operating models and working patterns within an area of the business employing 160 people that supports 1.6 million members. Measurable benefits include:

•   Significant capacity was created to free resource for other value-adding work including improved communication with scheme members and clients
•   Frameworks using consistent transparent management information, metrics and KPIs were introduced
•   Process redesign to remove non value-add activity
•   Increased amounts of enquiries are now completed within the contact centre, reducing avoidable contact and eradicating customer delays

Click here to receive the full case study to find out more.


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