Evidently UK Government has ‘done nothing’ to address these issues and apparently parents have ‘no responsibility’ for the health & welfare of THEIR children!

The UK is lagging behind other rich countries in reducing inequality in child well-being, with concerning gaps in health, education, and income, according to a new report from Unicef.   Report Card 13 reveals just how far the most disadvantaged children in the UK are being left to fall behind.

One of the key areas of concern is the disparity in healthy behaviours among children. Of all the countries studied, the UK has the largest difference in the levels of healthy eating (consumption of fruit & vegetables) between children from low & high socio-economic status, along with one of the largest gaps in the levels of physical activity.

Researched Links:

Unicef:  UK risks leaving poorest children behind

Evidently it’s not just little girls that are made of ‘sugar & spice and all things nice’

Make children exercise at school?

Making it easier to eat healthily

Everyone should know the ‘basics’ after 10+ years of formal education

Reading this report, something doesn't add up

"Shocking fall" in GCSE performance for pupils on free school meals in Reading

LGA - 2,500 academies yet to sign up to healthy school meal standards

Furthering children’s rights

Young Start awards help young Scots reach their potential

New figures show school attendance at highest recorded level

Pupils from less well-off backgrounds are closing the gap with their class mates

One year of free school meals

More disadvantaged children staying in education after 18

North-South divide hits young children as early as 5 – IPPR North report

IFS - No magic bullet in London schools' success. Just years of steady improvements in quality

Funding for disadvantaged pupils

Nick Gibb: the social justice case for an academic curriculum

Childhood obesity demands bold Government action committee report finds

Editorial Note:  Perhaps we should divert some of the £bns of UK Foreign Aid to improve the lives of UK children if the situation is as bad as they say?  Pity they didn’t consult our database to see what UK government(s) have already done / tried before writing report!

Government Data is Under Siege:
Latest Industry Insight on Challenges Facing Public Sector

Government departments are under siege. As disparate and unwieldy databases grow, the landscape for effective data analytics becomes more challenging. Data is not only at risk of under analysis, but also creates fertile ground for cyber-attacks, both external and internal. Government’s data is fast becoming a prime and soft target for cyber criminals, intent on data theft.

As digital government is expected to become more agile, proactive, and informed, deficient data analysis and out-dated security is putting government at risk of decoupling from the digital citizen. Confidence in modern government is underpinned by their ability to both safeguard and interpret a citizen’s data.

Click here to get our latest industry outlook on the challenges government departments face, and what can be done about it.

Should those who have not / cannot ‘pay in’ show more individual initiative & personal responsibility?

Protecting free & equal access to healthcare for all is likely to require individuals to take greater responsibility for their own wellbeing and a more determined public policy focus on preventative medicine, a new Civitas book suggests.  The Health of the Nation: Averting the demise of universal healthcare, a collection of essays by leading health commentators, demonstrates there is a growing consensus about the need to look beyond clinical services for the answers to the difficulties facing the NHS.

This will need to involve initiatives to minimise ill health among the nation’s expanding, and ageing, population, including a much greater emphasis on public health & preventative medicine as well as a renewed drive for individual initiative & personal responsibility.

Health-enhancing objectives will need to be central to policy areas as diverse as urban planning, education and employment, for example, while there needs to be greater awareness of the extent to which some diseases are often the result of poor health choices.  But it will also require healthcare to become more individualised and more integrated into daily life, including widespread personal healthcare budgets.

Researched Links:

Civitas:  Future of the NHS depends on greater personal responsibility

NHS England:  Tens of £ms to be reinvested in patient care thanks to NHS devices deal

NHS England:  Your chance to shape our mandate for change

NHS England:  New Intelligence Packs offer early prevention opportunities

NHS England:  Gauging where we are with a paper-free NHS

NHS England:  New NHS centre recruits first patient to world leading genomics project

DH/PHE annual conference 2016: bookings open

Healthcare models of the future NHS

Are we prepared to ‘re-slice the revenue cake’ to pay for it

A matter of concern for most people (eventually)

NHS England: Realising ambitions - improving palliative & end of life care for all in 3 steps

NHS England:  New guide gives vital support to carers

NHS England:  New guide will change the lives of carers

‘After Care’ is as important as treatment in hospital

But which of the managers will ‘do the time’, as it is not the shareholders who make these decisions?

The UK will bring forward plans to introduce a criminal offence for corporations who fail to stop their staff facilitating tax evasion, the PM announced in a statement to the Commons, ahead of next month’s summit to tackle corruption in all its forms.

For the first time, companies will be held criminally liable if they fail to stop their employees from facilitating tax evasion.  At the March 2015 Budget the Chancellor said the government would be delivering on its pledge to introduce the measure in this Parliament.  The move is part of the government’s efforts to clamp down on corruption in all walks of life.  The government has already confirmed plans to create a cross-agency taskforce to investigate all evidence of illegality that has emerged from the so-called ‘Panama Papers’.

Researched Links:

10DS:  PM - Companies to be liable for employees who facilitate tax cheating

PC&PE:  New measures & greater clarity needed to fight tax fraud

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

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

Perhaps the Greek government should try and book some places?

Tackling tax fraud: how HMRC responds to tax evasion, the hidden economy and criminal attacks

EC concludes Belgian "Excess Profit" tax scheme illegal

Net closes in on offshore tax cheats

UK tax gap falls to 6.4%

Crackdown on tax cheats nets £109m in just 6 months

Greening: Tax generation key to ending poverty

New criminal offences in clampdown on tax evasion

PM’s Commons statement on Panama Papers: 11 April 2016

HMT:  UK leads European calls for G20 action on beneficial ownership

Anyone remember those original HIV/Aids Advertisements?
By 2050, antimicrobial resistance could reduce global GDP by up to 3.5% – a cumulative cost of $100 trillion and 10m people a year could die globally as a result – which is more than currently die from cancer each year.  Appearing in Washington, D.C. to discuss international action to tackle the growing problem of antibiotics becoming powerless against common infections, the Chancellor said the reimbursement models for antibiotics & diagnostics are ‘broken’ and called for a global overhaul.
Researched Links:

HMT:  Antimicrobial resistance a deadly threat, warns Chancellor

Helping guard against a return to pre-antibiotic medical care

Scary British AIDS PIF (Don't Die of Ignorance - 1987

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. 

People need people

Loneliness in the older generation can be combatted through better housing design, building ‘cities for all ages’, and encouraging ‘socialisers’ to motivate outliers into activity, according to a new Demos report. Over 1m older people always or often feel lonely and the report finds a ‘people & place’ strategy is central to tackling isolation, and that redesigning ‘cities for all ages’ could help prevent social disengagement. 

The report – Building Companionship: how better design can combat loneliness in later life – was undertaken to better understand how loneliness amongst older people can be tackled.  It comes amid growing concerns around isolation, with research for the report finding that those aged over 80 are almost twice as likely to report feeling lonely compared to their younger counterparts (14.8% of 16-64s report this, compared to 29.2% over the over 80s).

The report highlights wide regional variations in loneliness: Londoners aged 55+ report the highest levels, with four out of five (81%) feeling lonely at least some of the time, citing a lack of community spirit and support. In contrast, Yorkshire and Humberside emerged as the least lonely region, with 47% of over 55s saying they had not felt lonely at any point during the past 12 months, with local communities and neighbours playing a large role.

The impact of loneliness is significant and well documented – from poorer mental health to a greater risk of falling and hospitalisation. This, in turn, has obvious cost implications for the NHS, social care and the wider economy.  The report looked at the high levels of companionship found in retirement developments for lessons that could be learnt for how wider building design could address social isolation.

Researched Links:

Demos:  Designing housing to build companionship in later life

Life & work can be ‘great’ outside London
A new film showcasing how the North of England & Wales is ripe for investment is being promoted across the world.  The video highlights how the natural beauty & iconic sights of the Northern Powerhouse, combined with its skilled workforce & cutting edge, makes it the ideal investment hotspot.

CLG:  Gunning for growth: film promotes Northern Powerhouse to the world

Have you got a ‘success story’ to tell?
techUK is launching a new project to showcase the positive impact that their members are making on delivering better public services to citizens and helping Government to be more efficient through the use of innovative tech.  They want your examples on where you have delivered a successful project with a government department, agency and/or local authority and delivered a successful transformation to their business which put user needs at the heart of the project.  They are looking for examples across the public sector, in areas such as healthcare, emergency services, cyber security, etc.

techUK are Seeking Stories of Public Service Transformation Through Tech

Good foster care is critical for the emotional development & well-being of a child
Cllr Richard Watts responds to the Fostering Network's report looking at the impact of funding cuts on foster carers; "Looking after children is one of the most important jobs a council does, and the work of trusted foster parents to provide care and a loving family to vulnerable children is paramount”.
Researched Links:

LGA Responds to Fostering Network Report

Fostering Network

Adoption is ‘Challenging’ for all involved

Wales set for new fairer, stronger, sustainable social services system

Education Secretary unveils a new blueprint for adoption

Clear advice & guidance key to supporting young people leaving care

LGA Responds to Public Accounts Committee Report on Care Leavers' Transition to Adulthood

All options should be considered when protecting potentially vulnerable children, says Ombudsman

More support for kinship carers

Bright future for adoption & fostering services in Wales

LGA responds to legal challenge on councils prioritising in-house fostering services

LGA:  Unaccompanied child asylum seeker costs must be reimbursed

CSJ:  Nearly a thousand children in care repeatedly forced to move school

New rights for young people in foster care to stay with their foster families after 18

Edward Timpson and Lorraine Pascale mark Foster Care Fortnight

Scottish siblings reunited in latest communities & families awards

Audit Commission – 12% more children in council care at an overall cost of £3.4bn

Getting it right for children in care

New plan to help looked after children reach their potential

Reality TV stars join DfE to shine a spotlight on foster carers

Ofsted publishes state of the nation picture on foster care

Children in care can achieve & succeed

Weeding out dangerous domestic chemicals
MEPs have urged that ‘Given concerns about the carcinogenicity & endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, used in many farm & garden applications, the EC should renew its marketing approval for just 7 years, instead of 15, and for professional uses only, MEPs call for an independent review and the publication of all the scientific evidence that the EEFSA used to assess glyphosate.
Researched Links:

EU News:  Glyphosate: authorise for just 7 years and professional uses only, urge MEPs

Gardeners face 'lifetime of weeding' as MEPs demand weedkiller ban

MEPs object to 3 GM soybean authorisations

Glyphosate conclusion to be published next week

EFSA publishes initial review on GM maize and herbicide study

Séralini et al. study conclusions not supported by data, says EU risk assessment community

Glyphosate: Scientists urge caution over experts' claims

Weedkiller alert over cancer link - Telegraph

Over 60% of breads sold in the UK contain pesticide

GM Freeze | A hard look at glyphosate

Call to ban glyphosate on milling wheat - Farmers Weekly

The more the cheaper!
DfE is facilitating a further procurement to allow schools to buy tablets using ‘collective buying power’, after the pilot saved 12% on the price.  The procurement will be completed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).  Schools should register their initial interest by 6 May 2016 to buy tablet devices using collective buying power.

DfE:  Register to buy tablet devices for your school

If you don’t vote, don’t complain about the choice!
Home Secretary Theresa May on the local police & crime commissioner elections taking place on 5 May 2016.

Home Office:  Police & crime commissioners: the choice is yours

Well that appears to answer one main ‘What happens after we leave’ Question

EU membership has been made redundant by global regulators, according to a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute.  Published independently of both the major campaigns, the report reveals that the UK often has little say over EU regulation, as in reality so much of it originates at the global level.

The new paper Global Regulators: Stuck in the middle with EU, written by European Union expert and ASI fellow Roland Smith, lays out how the UK’s ability to influence global legislation would change for the better following an exit from the EU.

Rather than the expected ‘bonfire of regulations’ upon exit, or a situation where the UK is at the mercy of Single Market regulations without having any influence on them, the free-market think tank has highlighted that 80% of Single Market legislation falls within the ambit of existing international organisations and is consequently open to global regulation.  The EU itself originates very few market standards & rules, the study shows, despite its sprawling size, and it frequently outsources & copies global agreements verbatim.

Researched Links:

ASI:  Stuck in the middle with EU - Why it’s time we cut out the middle man and become global citizens


 More contributions to the EU Referendum

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

Researched Links:

Vote Leave - the campaign for a Leave vote in the EU referendum

Britain Stronger In Europe

Electoral Commission:  Media Statement - The official EU referendum campaign period opens

EU News:  Parliament advocates a centralised EU asylum system and legal ways to migrate

Relocation & Resettlement: EU Member States urgently need to deliver

PC&PE:  EU foreign & security policy: Commission responds to Committee's report

EC proposes public tax transparency rules for multinationals

CBI responds to EC proposals on country-by-country tax reporting

ASI:  Stuck in the middle with EU - Why it’s time we cut out the middle man and become global citizens

EP calls on Polish authorities to respect democratic principles and rule of law

Editor’s Note:  We suggest readers monitor the ‘News’ sections of the 2 campaign sites for the 2 differing views.  The WGPlus newsletter will mainly limit itself to highlighting ‘normal’ EU-related news, plus Think Tank items, PC&PE reports, etc.


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

IPPR Scotland: Fresh figures reveal how much tax parties' plans will raise


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:

With John Kingman's departure from the Treasury, David Walker laments the loss of yet more commercial talent from the upper echelons of the civil service. Public services urgently need insiders – Kingman was formerly of BP and the Financial Times – to help them deal with markets and global companies, and their armies of lawyers and accountants, he says. "A far-seeing Whitehall skills management agency would have moved heaven and earth to keep [Kingman] inside the tent." Alas, alarming gaps in civil service skills continue.

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News in brief
• Just one in four HMRC staff have confidence in senior managers – poll
• Culture spending by councils 'down 17% since 2010'
• BIS savings plan will require thousands of job cuts, leaked document shows
• Parish council near Bristol first to impose parkrun charge
• Sussex ambulance privatisation descends into 'total shambles'
• Negative prison report was toned down, leaked draft suggests