The collapse of Kids Company: ‘extraordinary catalogue of failures’
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee find that while ultimate responsibility lies with the charity’s ‘negligent’ trustees, Government and regulators such as the Charity Commission must also learn lessons from this failure.  The report re-iterates the core message of PACAC’s recent report into fundraising in the charitable sector,  that ultimate responsibility for every aspect of governance – including the financial and reputational stability of an organisation rests with Trustees.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  The collapse of Kids Company: "extraordinary catalogue of failures"

Charities cannot ‘outsource’ their governance responsibilities

NAO:  Investigation: the government’s funding of Kids Company

Kids Company: Committee calls for overhaul of grant-funding system

NAO:  Public funding of large national charities - 2007

NAO:  Follow-up on the Charity Commission

BBC iPlayer - Camila's Kids Company: The Inside Story

Charities only function properly with adequate funding

Funding for youth social action

Funding charitable work overseas

New support to improve strength of UK voluntary sector

ICO criticises “disappointing attitude” of dementia charity

Cash boost to help charities train budding volunteers

Dormant assets worth up to £1bn set to revolutionise charity funding

Giving Tuesday 2015: Rob Wilson speech

Homeless Link:  Small changes from government could make a big difference to charities

IPPR - New consultation asks: Are charities being taken for granted?

Charitable organisations given £20m boost by government

Big Potential to expand support and grants to VCSEs looking to raise social investment


Essex Online Partnership: Video Case Study
Over £1.76M Savings to Date

Secure Employee Authentication & Citizen Access to Public Services  

Essex Online Partnership (EOLP) is an amalgamation local district, borough and unitary councils, Essex County Council, Essex Police and Essex County Fire Services, all collaborating securely on ICT projects across Essex. EOLP was formed to work together to support the development of integrated and accessible local services to Essex citizens and businesses in ways that are convenient to them and to make each organisations become more efficient. Since the partnerships inception over £1.76M h as been saved across the enterprise .

This short video case study presented by Ray Ware, IT Manager, Maldon District Council and EOLP Project Lead details how EOLP overcame the major challenge of bringing together 14 individual, potentially non-resilient, expensive authentication solutions into a central resilient authentication solution that could be used by all authorities whilst providing built-in scalability to roll out to citizens.

Click here to access the full EOLP video case study.

Will this ‘power-up’ the northern economy?
The first-ever mayor of Greater Manchester will be elected on Thursday 4 May 2017, Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton has announced.  The Greater Manchester devolution deal was the first to be agreed with the government, and paves the way for significant powers to be passed to the area from Westminster – a key part of building the Northern Powerhouse.
Researched Links:

CLG:  Date proposed for Manchester mayoral elections

Local direction by local leaders to boost local economies & services

Beyond London: Fintech in Manchester

Digital Economy Minister's keynote on media and creative industries in the North

Manchester wins £10m prize to become world leader in ‘smart city’ technology

IPPR:  Northern Powerhouse needs proper fiscal devolution to match Scotland and Wales

IPPR North - George Osborne speech: Business rates devolution opens bold new frontier in Northern Powerhouse and decentralisation

IPPR:  From Powerhouse to pockets - Northerners have £2,300 less disposable income than the rest of the country

IPPR:  Northern Powerhouse offers business the greatest growth opportunity since Victorian era

New northern rail franchises: vital first step to creating a Northern Powerhouse - IPPR North

Devolution deal for West Midlands marks a step forward for social justice, not just economic growth – IPPR North

IPPR:  Powerhouse back on track – but we need to see radical investment and devolution

Demos Responds to the Autumn Statement & Comprehensive Spending Review

NLGN - Public knows little about the 'Devolution Revolution' – but supports local decision-making

CBI: Business North launches

Radical shake-up of power puts communities in control

Better journeys for rail customers as new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises confirmed

HS2 route from Birmingham to Crewe to open 6 years early - Chancellor confirms

Future of rail

Defence investment boost for Northern Powerhouse

New Blackpool Enterprise Zone to light up the Northern Powerhouse

Regions to be offered legal powers to transform transport

Chancellor opens book on more than £24bn of Northern Powerhouse investment opportunities in China

New plan to drive tourists beyond London

National Living Wage: women and those based outside London to be biggest winners

Northern powerhouse leads the way in business start-ups

More powers for northern authorities to manage rail services

Chancellor visits STFC Hartree Centre to see latest North West Big Data investment in action

The Hut Group plan to invest £100m over 3 years creating 2,000 new jobs in the north-west

‘Saving the Universe’ takes time and is very complicated
The Public Accounts Committee highlights concerns over the roll-out of Universal Credit concluding the programme still has ‘a long way to go’.  The Committee says it remains "disappointed by the persistent lack of clarity and evasive responses by the Department to our inquiries, particularly about the extent and impact of delays". The estimated completion date for the roll-out of the Universal Credit digital service is six months later compared to when the PAC examined the programme last year.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Universal Credit: New concerns over delays and lack of clarity

CAB:  Universal Credit ‘failing to live up to promise’

IFS:  Universal credit cuts support for working families, but helps make work pay where current system creates worst problems

An alternative option for the Chancellor to ‘think about’?

Facilitating a joined-up & cost effective welfare system

Getting there, but must learn from its mistakes

How some future savings can be made

But are all tenants capable of ‘financial management’?

Is it just Oxbridge?
The PM has announced plans to require universities to publish statistical data on admissions by gender, class and ethnic background (In 2014 just 27 black students entered Oxford out of 2,500 intake).  Under the proposal, all universities will have a new ‘transparency duty’, part of a drive to highlight those institutions failing to improve access.
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM: Time to tear down the barriers at elite universities

BIS:  Javid meets universities to discuss improving social mobility

Are there other & better alternatives than just ‘Bring back Grammar Schools’?

Helping people to achieve what they are capable of

Plan to end inequality in the public sector

CSFS - Early Diversity Internship Programme application window extended

Largest ever review reveals ‘winners and losers’ in progress towards equality in Great Britain

Demos:  Time to Tackle the Under-Representation of British Muslims in Top Professions

Race and academia: diversity among UK university students and leaders

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

‘Dry’ but critically important subject
The Investigatory Powers Bill risks undermining the UK’s strongly performing Tech sector because of uncertainty about the costs of complying with the new legislation, the Science and Technology Committee has warned.  UK businesses must not be placed at a relative commercial disadvantage to overseas competitors by the proposed measures, according to the MPs, and the costs of implementing the additional data storing measures in the draft Bill should be fully met by Government.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Cost of Investigatory Powers Bill could undermine UK Tech sector

Economist Leader Misrepresents Industry Concerns about IP Bill

techUK Submits Written Evidence to Joint Investigatory Powers Bill Committee

RUSI responds to the draft Investigatory Powers Bill

Draft Investigatory Powers Bill Requires Careful Scrutiny - A Detailed Response

techUK launches briefing papers on Investigatory Powers Bill

techUK Response to 'A Question of Trust' by David Anderson QC

Draft Investigatory Powers Bill - Computerworld UK

HMRC ‘clean bowled’ by a ‘Googly’
The UK's tax deal with Google has created headlines and led to accusations of large multinational companies getting away with paying little or no tax, while small UK-based businesses and ordinary taxpayers are being taxed at a much higher level.  A new paper from the ESRC-funded Institute for Fiscal Studies looks at how the current tax system seeks to tax corporate profits, and the problems that can arise.  The paper highlights several key challenges with the tax system.
Researched Links:

ESRC:  Fair tax for big business

IEA:  EC's tax proposals are a missed opportunity

FDA:  Any Google tax settlement concerns lie with lawmakers, not tax officials, says HMRC union

Forget the ‘Mansion Tax’; tax the big corporations where they sell goods

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

Who controls the capture & use of our data?

Following the recent Data Protection Day, it seems like the perfect opportunity to announce the publication of the ICO’s revised Privacy notices code of practice for consultation.  The ICO are very keen to get your feedback.  This code of practice has not been revised for several years and as we all know, this is a long time in the digital world.  The way personal data is used rapidly changes and the ICO has undertaken this review with that in mind.

Ensuring that individuals have a clear understanding of what is done with their personal data is a fundamental point of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. This code of practice has been written to show organisations how they can achieve this in a clear and engaging way.

ICO:  Revised code looks at privacy notices – (closes on 24 March 2016)

Explore this offer
Outdoors enthusiasts can build impressive collections of Ordnance Survey maps, but it often means they’re not using the most up-to-date maps to get outside & explore Britain.  Up until 20 March 2016, OS is offering avid explorers the chance to return their old maps and receive money off new map purchases in return.

OS encourages people to use up-to-date maps with their trade-in scheme – (offers ends 20 March 2016)

They have lived through it!

Severe flooding is now an expected feature of life in many parts of the UK and is the country’s most serious ‘natural’ hazard with more than 5m properties at risk.  At least 16,000 homes have been flooded so far during the winter of 2015/6 (costing £5bn+.  Children & young people are known to be acutely affected during & after floods. Understanding children’s perspectives is a vital part of the process of building resilience.  A better understanding of how flooding & other disasters affect children & young people can inform more effective policy, enhance resilience and reduce the impact of future emergencies.

The research project ‘Children, young people and flooding: recovery & resilience’ worked with 2 groups of flood-affected children & young people. The children developed Flood Manifestos and a 6 minute film, outlining their policy recommendations for more effective local & national flood prevention, mitigation & adaptation.

ESRC:  Flooding & resilience - the role of children and young people

Are you & your team ‘practicing’ the NHS of the future?
NHS England is calling on the healthcare science community to put forward nominations for this year’s annual Healthcare Science Awards.  Details of the categories, entry forms and guidance on nomination is available on the NHS Networks website. Completed nomination forms should be returned to england.cso@nhs.net no later than 17 February 2016.

NHS England call for 2016 Healthcare Science Award nominations

It must be the season for awards
The Social Investment Awards celebrate the businesses & people who are helping to solve problems in society.  The awards aim to highlight the impact that social investment is having on communities & celebrate the UK’s world-leading social investors & enterprises.  This is the 2nd year the awards have been held.  The awards are free to enter and applications are open until 18 March 2016.

Cabinet Office:  Nominations open for Social Investment Awards


 More contributions to the EU Referendum

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

Researched Links:

IPPR:  Many unanswered questions on emergency brake

PX:  Boston is the least integrated place in the country

Telegraph:  Migrant crisis to cost Germany €50bn by 2017

TUC: PM's renegotiation agenda misses the point

IPPR:  EU Renegotiation - More Hurdles for Cameron to Overcome

IEA: EU policies threaten to cost Britain £9,265 per household

10DS:  Prime Minister's statement on EU renegotiation: 3 February 2016

Reactions to Tusk's “UK in EU” proposal dominate pre-summit debate

NIESR: FOI response shows PM’s focus on migrants’ benefits misguided

CBI: UK will stand stronger with China from inside the EU


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

IFG:  How to make the 'devolution revolution' work

Wales Office:  Let's concentrate on delivery not powers, says Wales Office Minister

LGA responds to CLG committee devolution report

ScotGov:  Swinney – Billions in potential cuts are no 'molehill'

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

"Occasionally I drive over that bridge [where we recovered his body]. Sometimes I don’t even realise I have done it, and my day continues as normal. Other days I spot the sign for the small village as I approach, and I see that father and son once again."
The nation was invited to talk about mental health. Rob Norman, a fire officer with West Midlands fire service, writes about his flashbacks and intrusive memories – the brain's way of processing trauma – and calls for more emergency services staff to talk about mental health.

Also on the network
Manchester's grand ambition to turn a £7bn deficit into a surplus

Manchester's grand ambition to turn a £7bn deficit into a surplus
Jane Dudman interviews Trafford council’s chief executive Theresa Grant about making devolution work

Fixing the UK's mental health crisis will need both police and health

Fixing the UK's mental health crisis will need both police and health
Mary O'Hara: It’s time to fill the gaps in our over-stretched police and mental health services

I had to escape the town hall to see the people behind the statistics

I had to escape the town hall to see the people behind the statistics
Inara Khan: Those of us working on policy in local government are in danger of losing touch with the public

News in brief
• Ministers must explain why they 'overrode civil service' on Kids Company
• Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to close its Sheffield office
• No women among the soon-to-be elected mayors in English devolution deals
• Civil service fast stream to open assessment centres outside London
• Spending cuts put 25,000 council jobs at risk, GMB union warns
• Surrey crime commissioner under fire for criticising new NCA chief
Credit unions: turning goodwill into action. Register now for panel debate

Credit unions: turning goodwill into action. Register now for panel debate
We're looking for policymakers to join us to discuss wider access to low-cost borrowing