Why didn’t Labour complain about electoral bias when the electoral system favoured them?

The independent Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published its initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies. The publication marks the start of a consultation (closes on 5 December 2016), during which the BCE needs to hear from you to help shape the proposed new constituency boundaries.

Following a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal, the BCE has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of English constituencies should be. The BCE must report to Parliament in 2018 and, if agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.

Researched Links:

Boundary Commission for England:  2018 Boundary Review initial proposals launched

Cabinet Office:  Boundary reform is essential for modern democracy

CO:  Independent review to deliver fair & equal parliamentary boundaries

Electoral Commission calls on government to harness resources for voter registration

Electoral Bias - UK Polling Report

Guardian - Election 2015: How Labour gains from UK electoral system in a tight ...


G-Cloud Survey:
Share your views for a chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher!

in association with

With the 8th iteration of G-Cloud now live, we would greatly appreciate your participation in our G-Cloud survey.

This survey has been designed to measure the current thoughts, feelings and experiences of the G-Cloud (Digital Marketplace) across public sector organisations’ to determine where improvements (if any) can be made.

The survey should take less than 1 minute to complete and closes at 5pm tomorrow (20th September 2016).

Click here to offer your views plus a chance to win £100 worth of Amazon vouchers!

Fighting extremism must be a joint effort

The Home Office has launched a programme of support for frontline organisations working to challenge extremism in their communities,  They are encouraged to bid for support as part of the first wave of the Building a Stronger Britain Together programme.

This 4-year initiative delivers a key strand of the government’s counter-extremism strategy published last year and aims to promote & strengthen positive mainstream voices across Britain.

Researched Links:

Home Office announces support for groups tackling extremism

LGA:  Councils need more powers to protect children and tackle illegal schools

Understanding our differences: the importance of inter-faith dialogue

techUK responds to select committee report online extremism

Internet giants ‘consciously failing’ to tackle extremism on the web

Government sets out new measures to tackle extremism in prisons

Government must tackle inequalities faced by Muslim people in employment

Further education & skills providers falling short in protecting learners from risk of extremism

LGA:  Queen's Speech - Councils respond to Counter-Extremism & Safeguarding Bill

Shouldn’t everyone be ‘equal’ under the (same) laws in this country?

Time for a ’Paul on the road to Damascus’ moment for multi-culturalists

Millions of eyes monitoring will help keep us safe

Finding the way to ‘moderate’ the actions of extremists

Achieving the ‘right’ balance is a continual problem

Can you help stamp out religious extremism in our schools?

The ‘loner attack’ is the most difficult to prevent / protect against

Why should trials be an ordeal for victims?

Vulnerable victims & witnesses will no longer have to appear in court under new plans to roll out pre-trial evidence sessions.  The cross-examinations will be recorded & played during the trial - sparing both victims & witnesses the stress of re-living traumatic events in open court

The move follows 3 successful pilots which showed that victims felt less pressure with pre-trial evidence giving and witnesses were better able to recall events.

Researched Links:

MoJ:  Courts reform gives stronger protection for victims & witnesses

Transforming our justice system

Transforming our courts and tribunals: consultation

Citizens Advice response to government’s “Transforming Our Justice System” plans

The Justice Systems is Close to Breaking Point

Support for vulnerable witnesses

Victims & witnesses need clear communication, says Citizens Advice

CAB:  Consistent, high quality support “from start to finish” needed for victims & witnesses

New national service to help victims

New measures to support victims & witnesses

Courtroom communications experts to double

Child sexual abuse witnesses & victims let down by justice system

£24m grant to support witnesses at court

Two new rape support centres to help victims recover

£12m boost to local victims’ services

First victims spared harrowing court room under pre-recorded evidence pilot

Criminals paying more than ever to help victims

It is not just about new Grammar Schools
New proposals to create a 21st-century school system that works for everyone have been unveiled by Education Secretary Justine Greening.  The consultation closes on 12 December 2016.
Researched Links:

DfE:  Building a school system that works for everyone

JRF:  Bringing back grammar schools won’t increase opportunity for those who need it most

IFS:  Can grammar schools improve social mobility?

Grammar schools: What are they and why are they controversial? - BBC

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. 

Illustrating the potential cost of ‘open borders’ for refugees

The programme to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees in the UK was successfully expanded at speed in order to reach an interim target to resettle 1,000 people by Christmas 2015, according to the National Audit Office, but the programme team will need to resettle more people each quarter than they have done so far in order to meet the overall target to resettle 20,000 people by May 2020.

The report found that there is no estimate of the total cost of the programme to the UK. NAO estimates the programme could cost the UK up to £1.112bn to the end of 2019-20 and up to £1.734bn over its lifetime.

Researched Links:

NAO:  The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme

LGA responds to the NAO report on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme

Language boost for refugees

Refugees milestone

The tragedy of missing migrants in the Mediterranean

Priti Patel calls for fresh international push on education & jobs for Syrian refugees on visits to Jordan & Lebanon

Unicef: UN Agencies deliver Urgent Relief to people stranded at Syria-Jordan Border

Europe-wide failure to anticipate & tackle "colossal" migration crisis

LGA responds to Home Affairs Select Committee Report on Migration

Enhancing legal channels: EC proposes to create common EU Resettlement Framework

EC announces New Migration Partnership Framework

EESC views on refugees in Turkey: “irregular crossing will not stop”

Minister for Syrian Refugees visits Lebanon

UK leads new approach to prevent & respond to crises at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be resettled from Europe

Does anyone know the size of the problem over the next 5 years?

The alternative to helping them in their own countries could be even more refugees / asylum seekers coming to Europe / the UK

Desperation of young female Syrian refugees

Recycle or get ‘buried under it’
Innovative & ground-breaking schemes which have been set up by councils to boost recycling are being showcased as part of a nationwide campaign.
Researched Links:

LGA:  Councils showcase recycling schemes for national campaign

LGA:  Waste management

Ready, Set, Recycle

Recycling in Wales reaches record high

LGA:  Councils reveal fly-tippers' worst excuses as clear-up costs rise

LGA: High street coffee chains must go 'further & faster' in developing recyclable cups

Leeds businessman receives record jail sentence over £2.2m recycling fraud

Recycling gets a £5.75m boost

Green is the new black

Resource efficiency in Europe: benefits of doing more with less

LGA:  Fly-tipping: on-the-spot fines come into force

Green, healthy & happy

ECC:  56% increase in product sales when labelled ’Long-lasting’

Recycling ‘blueprint’ still the best option for waste collection

International trade deal on raw materials from waste

Make things last & save

First commitment to recycling charter

Finding council tip opening times easier than reporting a missed bin from a mobile phone

Racing start for carpet recycling centre

Communities Minister urges households to "treecycle" over the festive season

Deposit return consideration

Don’t allow recycling of plastics that contain toxic phthalate DEHP, warn MEPs

New enhanced enforcement powers to tackle waste crime in Wales

Married couple and company must pay £130,000 for waste crime

How did they manage before freezers?

Like pensions, most people don’t think about their care needs in old age

The care & support older people receive increasingly depends on where they live and how much money they have rather than their needs, according to a new report by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust.  

It highlights evidence that reductions in fees paid by local authorities and other cost pressures such as the National Living Wage are squeezing the incomes of residential and home care providers.  It warns that an increasing number are likely to leave the market or go out of business as a result, potentially leaving older people without the care they depend on.

Researched Links:

Kings Fund:  Older people are paying the price for cuts to social care

NHS England:  Staff engagement & reshaping the health & social care workforce

We need patients and the public to shape local health plans, say NHS leaders

NHS Confederation:   Phil McCarvill: Older people's social care urgently needs support

LGA responds to King's Fund Report on social care

Age UK:  New report reveals human realities of a social care system struggling to cope

Elements of care should not be provided in isolation

We have ‘known’ about the problem for decades, but little ever seems to be achieved

A healthier outcome which could be self-financing

But what about the digitally excluded?

Invitation to ‘tool-up’ for better care

Trouble is many of us stopped living healthily in middle-age!

That promised ‘cap on care‘ seems further away than ever

While some records are critical / important (child protection, immunisation, etc.)...

...others are used to just ‘pad out’ managerial reports to the detriment of service provision.

School nurses spend twice as much time on paperwork than on direct work with children in schools, research by the Children’s Commissioner for England has found. 

This could be reducing their ability to identify children at risk of neglect or abuse.  There was also evidence that time pressures meant their role in supporting & promoting children’s health & wellbeing, their mental health, healthy relationships and sex education – was being compromised.

Researched Links:

Children's Commissioner:  Vital role of school nurses threatened as paperwork eats into time with children

LGA responds to report by children's commissioner on school nurses

NICE to tackle falling child vaccination rates

LGA:  Mums & dads to see massive benefits for young children as health responsibilities transfer to councils

NHS England welcomes new plans for radical shake up of youth mental health care

Boost school nurse workforce to tackle FGM, says Unite

Joined-up care in early years

Equivalent to more than the whole population of Scotland
New data from PHE and its new Diabetes Prevalence Model reveals 3.8m people in England aged over 16 had diabetes in 2015, around 9% of the adult population.
Researched Links:

DH:  3.8m people in England now have diabetes

Emotional support required as well as medical

NICE:  Children & young people with suspected diabetes should be seen by a specialist immediately

ICT security costs money, but lack of it costs even more

The Cabinet Office has not yet established a clear role for itself in coordinating & leading departments’ efforts to protect their information, according to the National Audit Office.

The NAO report found that its ambition to undertake such a role is weakened by the limited information which departments collect on their security costs, performance and risks.  It also notes, however, that the UK Government has a strong international reputation in some areas of information security & digital government.

Protecting the information departments hold from unauthorised access or loss is a critical responsibility for departmental accounting officers.  Departments are, however, increasingly required to balance this responsibility with the need to make this information available to other public bodies, delivery partners, service users and citizens via new digital services.  And increasing dependencies between central government and the wider public sector mean that the traditional security boundaries have become blurred.

Researched Links:

NAO:  Protecting information across government

Unlock Economic Growth & Revenue Opportunities with Data

Lack of clarity encourages inconsistency

CQC launches an updated code of practice on confidential personal information

Not only could it cost you a fortune, your organisation could be crippled as well

Who are the heroes & villains regarding personal data?

Review of health & care data security and consent

Audit Scotland:  Data sharing uncovers nearly £17m of fraud and error

Two thirds of large UK businesses hit by cyber breach or attack in past year

Launch of new data sharing consultation

Sensible email security

Data sharing initiative enables action on 30,000 cyber crime threats

Alert to help cross border privacy enforcement

ICO:  Be wary of public Wi-Fi

Data revolution has created a ticking time bomb warns BCS

MOD hackathon to mine the Deep Web

Mapping the border as users see it

techUK Responds to Sir Nigel Sheinwald's Summary of Work to Date

Opportunities, but also Risks

10 ways Google is Transforming Public Sector Frontline Services

Bristol City Council “Collaborates” to Improve Front-Line Services and Citizen Access

NHS must care for patients AND their confidential medical records

Government trying to stop ‘re-inventing the wheel’

Data is a currency - are you giving a fair exchange rate?

After all, the babies grow up to be workers
The country’s biggest businesses are leading the fight against pregnancy & maternity discrimination that affects around 390,000 pregnant women & new mothers each year, by forming a new alliance to show employers how to attract, develop and retain women at work.
Researched Links:

ESRC:  Britain’s leading employers unite to end pregnancy discrimination in workplaces

Pregnancy is too often a significant ‘bump’ in a woman’s career path

Child abuse; pure & simple
The Home Affairs Committee says everyone involved in protecting children must be made aware of, and prevent, female genital mutilation (FGM), a form of child abuse when practiced on girls. The duty on frontline professionals to report incidences of FGM must be enforced with stronger sanctions.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Ongoing failure to tackle "national scandal" of female genital mutilation

LGA responds to FGM report by Home Affairs Committee

Crime Prevention Minister announces mandatory reporting of FGM

Even after the crime they hide behind ‘family honour’ to persuade the girls not to complain

We owe them a ‘Duty of care’

Often it’s a case of ‘Woman’s inhumanity to girls’

Supporting some of the most vulnerable
A new funding model for supported accommodation includes women’s refuges, homeless shelters and housing for those leaving care.

DWP:  New funding model for supported accommodation

LGA responds to supported housing announcement

Possible piercing pain resulting from use
Public Health England (PHE) is warning people who have recently had body piercings about an unsafe cleansing spray provided by piercing studios across the country for aftercare use, which may cause severe infection.  It is a 100ml bottled aftercare saline spray and is manufactured by Lion Care Products Ltd.

DH:  Warning over infection linked to an aftercare spray for piercings

A nice way to help developing countries

The NICE team working with low & middle income countries to develop & get value for money in their health systems is movng to Imperial College London. 

The International Decision Support Initiative, largely funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and DIFD, will leave, but NICE’s international work will continue.  The team will move to the Institute for Global Health Innovation under Lord Ara Darzi of Denham.

Researched Links:

NICE global care experts move to Imperial

iDSI:  Better decisions. Better health

Institute of Global Health Innovation | Imperial College London

Could you be a NICE Fellow?

NICE is a on the lookout for inspirational health & social care experts to act as ambassadors for high quality, evidence-based care

Applications to NICE’s prestigious Fellows & Scholars Programme are open.  They offer the chance to get involved in the work NICE does, and they support networking with like-minded advocates of evidence-based practice.  This year NICE is also looking for applications from lay members on NICE’s committees or from influential individuals working in the charitable and voluntary sector.  There are 10 NICE Fellowships available.

Researched Links:

NICE Fellows and Scholars Programme

Helping HMIC to understand the problem & map the way forward

A request to techUK members for their top priorities & questions for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

techUK has secured a meeting with HMIC to explore how the industry can support efforts to improve procurement & implementation of IT systems. techUK could support HMIC in investigations, helping document the situation, identifying the problems, framing questions, proposing strategies & providing guidance to forces within the scope of the HMIC inspection & audit regime.

So in advance of this meeting they are asking members to let us know their top 5 priorities for HMIC: what are the top issues members would like to see HMIC focussing on with regards to procurement and use of IT? Or, to put it another way, if you were HMIC, what would you be focussing on when inspecting forces?

Researched Links:
techUK:  Call for Input - Tech Priorities for HMIC – (closes on 23 September 2016)
Measuring the value of research
A new Forum for Responsible Metrics is being set up as a partnership between HEFCE, Research Councils UK, Wellcome, Universities UK and Jisc to advance the agenda set out in ‘The Metric Tide’, which highlighted growing pressure on higher education institutions, researchers, funders and policymakers to use metrics in managing & assessing research.

HEFCE:  New Forum for Responsible Research Metrics launched

Nothing fishy about this invitation
The Environment Agency in East Anglia is inviting applications for a share of £20,000 to help fund fish & fishing.  Do you know of a fisheries project that could benefit from some extra funding?  Money for projects to improve local facilities will be made available through the Fisheries Improvement Fund, which comes directly from rod licence sales.

EA:  Fisheries projects needed to improve the environment


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

Open Europe: Giving meaning to Brexit

WAG:  Free access to European single market ‘a must’ for Wales’ economic future – Carwyn Jones

CBI/CBRE: London firms want Mayor to play key Brexit role

PC&PE:  Parliament should 'play a central role' in triggering Article 50

Electoral Commission:  Voters say EU Referendum was well run; But lessons should still be learnt

EU News:  Letter from President Donald Tusk before the Bratislava summit

10DS:  PM phone call with Chancellor Merkel: 13 September 2016

techUK:  Europe's future must be underpinned by positive vision for digital and Brexit

ScotGov:  Ministers call on all parties to support Scotland’s place in EU

DExEU:  David Davis chairs business roundtable with the UK's leading retailers

New European travel document to ease return of non-EU nationals


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:

This week we announced the Guardian Public Service Awards shortlist; has your project or team made the cut? You can find out by clicking here. The winners, decided by our panel of esteemed judges, will be announced in November 2016.
In addition, five public servants have now been shortlisted for the Public Servant of the Year award and we'd like you to vote for your favourite. Read their stories and cast your vote at the bottom of the page. Choose wisely, you only get to do it once.
Join us in Cardiff on Wednesday 28 September, when the Guardian Public Leaders Network, supported by Eversheds and Public-i, will be hosting an interactive event to showcase some of the brightest and best approaches to public service delivery in a digital age.

Also on the network

Boundary reform: a missed opportunity to bring MPs and councils closer

Boundary reform: a missed opportunity to bring MPs and councils closer
Boundary commissions could have been considering how to bring together health and social care, or housing and transport

Small towns, big plans: how better transport can boost the local economy

Small towns, big plans: how better transport can boost the local economy
Our research shows there can be big benefits for small towns that focus on building homes near railway stations.

I joined the police to make a difference, but now I'm stuck in a call centre

I joined the police to make a difference, but now I'm stuck in a call centre
With desperate staff shortages, officers on the streets and answering calls are all feeling the pressure. I’m worried mistakes will be made

News in brief
• Care workers launch largest ever legal claim over minimum wage dispute
• Lack of schools and homes threatens Syrian refugee UK resettlement
• Government breached personal data security 9,000 times in a year
• Gladstone the cat is a a purrfect host for Treasury tour
• Public still ‘in the dark’ over HS2, MPs say