Will these announcements ‘survive’ the election?
Chancellor George Osborne's Budget 2015 speech, related responses and contributions:
Researched Links:

HM Treasury:  Chancellor George Osborne's Budget 2015 speech

HMT:  Budget 2015: some of the things we've announced

GOV.UK:  Budget 2015

HMT:  Revolutionary plans for northern transport set out

Scottish Office:  Budget extends helping hand to Scottish families and firms

ScotGov:  Swinney condemns continued cuts

Jane Hutt responds to UK Government Budget

Wales Office Minister welcomes Budget boost for creative industries

WO:  Budget 2015 - Securing Wales' Future

WO:  UK government working for Wales

Time to get real on the Welsh Economy says IWA

DECC:  Commercial negotiations to start on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

JRF:  Budget 2015 - The UK cannot achieve full economic potential while poverty & disadvantage remain high

techUK:  Budget 2015 sees tech powering the UK's long-term economic success

Citizens Advice responds to the Budget

JRF responds to the Budget 2015

IEA reaction to Budget 2015

ACE:  Welcomed support for the arts & cultural sector in 2015 Budget

NLGN welcomes government commitment to extending digital ambition

LGA response to the 2015 Budget

LGA response to Budget announcement on children & young people's mental health services

LGA:  Councils respond to government digital service announcement in the budget

Land Registry Recruitment Case Study. Click for more info!
Land Registry Apprenticeship Scheme Hits 100% Success Rate

Managed Recruitment: Land Registry Case Study

The Challenge:  Following a period of significant downsizing arising from the property crash of 2007, Land Registry had not recruited in to their operations function for 7 years. With a workforce demographic which included 42% of their staff entering, or nearing retirement age and the launch of an organisation wide digitisation programme on the horizon, Land Registry found themselves with an urgent need to refresh its workforce and plan for the future.

The Solution:  In May 2014 they decided to launch a new apprenticeship scheme, the first in its 150 year history to begin to address these issues, and rejuvenate the workforce. As a Government Agency, Land Registry selected Jobsgopublic for this project, based on their established reputation for providing innovative recruitment and resourcing solutions within the public sector, delivering in excess of 1,000 applicants resulting in 60 appointments and 100% success rate!

Click here to discover more.

The more they ‘evade’ the bigger the cuts will have to be

Tax evaders and the professionals who enable tax evasion will face tough new sanctions, including 2 new criminal offences and higher penalties, under a new regime to crack down on offshore evaders.  The details on the new evasion regime & avoidance sanctions are outlined in a report published recently which sets out the government’s approach to tax avoidance & tax evasion.  The government will consult on the detail of the new evasion regime.

Over the course of this Parliament, as a result of actions taken to tackle evasion, avoidance & non-compliance, HMRC will have secured £100bn in additional revenue.  This includes more than £31bn from big businesses, and an extra £1.2bn from the UK’s 6,000 richest people, who each have a net worth of £20m or more.

Researched Links:

HMRC:  New criminal offences in clampdown on tax evasion

Tackling tax evasion and avoidance

Reducing tax evasion and avoidance

Looking back one can see that tax collection (in some cases) is just like trying to carry live eels

Guardian:  Tax officials call for more resources and better pay after HSBC scandal

Perhaps the Greek government should try and book some places?

It is not so much dying that worries us, as HOW we will die
In a report published last week, the Health Select Committee looks at the state of end of life care since the independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway, chaired by Baroness Neuberger, and found great variation in quality & practice across both acute & community settings.  It makes a number of recommendations for improvement, and in particular recommends that social care should be free at the end of life.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Social care should be free at the end of life

Dignity in death

Review of Liverpool Care Pathway for dying patients

DH:  Improving care for people at the end of their life

End of life care guide - NHS Choices

Telegraph:  How Hospices can save hospitals

Hospice UK

£800,000 for social action projects that support people at end of life

"Palliative care services in Wales are making an enormous difference to people’s quality of life"

Making the 'Mum Test' real: CQC sets out its new model for inspecting adult social care

£1m fund to support people at end of life

National Survey of Bereaved People (VOICES), 2013

DH:  Expanding choice & improving the quality of end of life care

Demos calls for action to prevent ‘hit and miss’ end of life care

Demos:  Ways & Means

Quality standard for end of life care for adults

ELCQuA | End Of Life Care Quality Assessment Tool

National End of Life Care Intelligence Network Home

SCIE: End of life care - Social Care Institute for Excellence

CQC:  Themed review of end of life care

End of life care - Alzheimer's Society

King’s Fund:  End of Life Care

DH:  Can nursing still be called the ‘Caring Profession’?

Hospitals are too expensive for anything but specialist ‘non-mobile’ treatment

The more they ‘look’ the more they find!
An assessment into the extent of child sexual exploitation in the West Midlands has been published to coincide with national CSE Awareness Day.  It sets out the latest understanding across the region of victims, offenders & locations, how the police, local authorities & partners are dealing with the issue and what happens next.
Researched Links:

Extent of child sexual exploitation in the West Midlands - latest figures released to coincide with national CSE Awareness Day

Report:  Assessment into the extent of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the West Midlands

Safeguarding Children & Young People from Child Sexual Exploitation: West Midlands Metropolitan Area Child Sexual Exploitation Procedures

NHS England:  Our vital stand against child sexual exploitation

While being ‘relentless in our search for the truth’, we must be careful to highlight any good practices

Somehow the term ‘The Great & the Good’ no longer seems to be appropriate for our ‘Civic Leaders’

But it must happen!
The active promotion of British values in all schools is welcome but the monitoring of how this is achieved in individual schools must be carried out with common sense & sensitivity, says the Education Committee in its extremism in schools report.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Common sense needed in tackling "extremism" in schools

£1m to help schools recruit high-calibre governors

Oral statement by Nicky Morgan on the 'Trojan Horse' letter

PM actions in response to allegations of extremism in schools

Is the promotion of mutual respect & tolerance incompatible with the faith ethos of some schools?

Report from the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation & Extremism

Can you help stamp out religious extremism in our schools?

18-year old recruits of 1939 will be 94!

William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, has announced 3 days of commemorations (8 – 10 May 2015) to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day 70) this summer.  The plans include events across the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.  Events will range from a parade, a service of thanksgiving and a star-studded concert in central London, to street parties around the UK.

In the coming weeks, the government will also announce plans to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, which will include a day of major events on 15 August 2015.

Researched Links:

Victory in Europe (VE) Day celebrations

Bringing the ‘Westminster Bubble’ to the electorate
Ofcom has published a statement on broadcasting rules ahead of the General Election, English local and mayoral elections on 7 May 2015.  Ofcom's role, under duties set by Parliament, is to set rules for a minimum allocation of short party election broadcasts.
Researched Links:

Ofcom statement on party election broadcasts

The ‘problem’ grows every day
techUK welcomes the education of the next cyber generation.  As business increasingly relies on digital technology to function, and awareness of cyber incidents continues to increase, demand for cyber security skills is far outstripping supply.  In light of this, BIS recently announced a number of cyber security skills initiatives, linked to broadening entry routes to the cyber security profession, and embedding cyber security in digital qualifications.
Researched Links:

techUK:  BIS announce initiatives aimed at closing the widening cyber security skills gap

CESG:  Cyber Security Challenge 2015

Paid to train, no student debt, good employment prospects for both women & men and vital for future UK economic success

This could really hurt (your organisation)

Government suppliers must be compliant

Do you know ‘where it has been and what it has linked too’?

However, the debate about if it is a ‘Living Wage’ goes on
The PM & the Deputy PM have announced that the National Minimum Wage will increase by 3% to a new rate of £6.70 per hour, effective from October 2015. This is the largest real-terms increase in the National Minimum Wage since 2008, and over 1.4m of Britain’s lowest-paid workers are set to benefit.
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM & DPM announce increase in the National Minimum Wage

Be honest – could you raise a family on the Minimum Wage?

More than a ‘Living Wage’!
People on minimum wage Judges in the country’s highest court have declared that the benefit cap is lawful.  The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge that the benefit cap was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The benefit cap limits the amount of benefits a household can receive to £500 a week for couples and £350 a week for households of a single adult.  A cap of £26,000 a year for out-of-work families is the equivalent of a salary of £34,000.
Researched Links:
DWP:  Supreme Court finds in favour of benefit cap
Just a tad OTT perhaps
Responding to the change to the Civil Service Code, which states that civil servants must ensure they have Ministerial authorisation for any contact with the media, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:  "The announcement of a blanket ban on media contact for civil servants …. is an unnecessary, unworkable and unjustified restriction on the work of the civil service.  …..  Guidance to regulate contact between civil servants and the media is already in place and we can see no justification for this sudden, drastic change, other than intimidating civil servants into silence."
Researched Links:
FDA:  Blanket ban on civil service media contact is ‘unnecessary, unworkable & unjustified’
One should at least get what one pays for as a minimum
The shift to longer contract lengths for mobile phones has left some consumers facing contract exit fees as high as £800, despite bad coverage or missing features, a new report from Citizens Advice on the state of the mobile phone market finds.  New research from the national charity examines what prompted the 21,500 mobile phone problems reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service last year. The report, Calling the shots?, reveals that there is widespread confusion over who is responsible when things go wrong with their mobile.  The report highlights the issues people face over faulty phones, shock bills run up by thieves, and people trapped into paying for poor service.
Researched Links:

CAB:  Mobile phone customers locked into longer contracts with bad service

We should be able to find out just how our taxes are spent and who with
In a report published last week, the ICO reports “a transparency gap has opened up in the provision of public service”, and sets out a range of solutions to tackle the issue.  In an ICO survey, 75% of people said it was important that private companies acting on behalf of public authorities should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Researched Links:

ICO calls for greater transparency around government outsourcing

Register to take part in the General Election!
The Electoral Commission has yesterday launched a major public awareness campaign to remind people they must register to vote by the 20 April 2015 deadline if they want to take part in the General Election.
Researched Links:

Electoral Commission has launched a major public awareness campaign to remind people they must register to vote by the April 20 deadline if they want to take part in the General Election – (Elections watchdog teams up with NUS and other youth organisations to say to students #RegAFriend)


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Still debate over Scotland’s future

ScotGov:  FM calls for modernisation of budget process

ScotGov:  Scotland must not be “dragged out” of EU


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

George Osborne delivered this government's final budget. But among the tax cuts and help-to-buy Isas in the headlines was a softening of the promised blow to public spending cuts – but only after 2019. We've rounded up all you need to know from the budget announcement here.

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News in Brief

• Whitehall is oblivious to effects of cuts, said the head of the NAO
• Civil servants have been gagged from talking to the media, a union claimed
• Almost 500 children were sexually assaulted (or at risk of it) in West Midlands,a report found
• West Midlands police officers to suffer staff cuts
• A police watchdog will investigate claims that the Met covered up child abuse