Preparing for ‘Global’ Trade

PM Theresa May used her first regional Cabinet meeting to launch proposals for a Modern Industrial Strategy to build on Britain’s strengths & tackle its underlying weaknesses to secure a future as a competitive, global nation.

At the heart of the Strategy green paper is an offer to businesses to strike new ‘Sector Deals’, driven by the interests of firms and the people they employ, to address sector-specific challenges & opportunities.  As part of the deals government will be prepared to offer a range of support, including addressing regulatory barriers to innovation & growth, looking at how we can use trade & investment deals to increase exports, or supporting the creation of new institutions to provide leadership, support innovation or boost skills.

The green paper also sets out technologies where Britain has strengths in R&D which could be supported through the government’s new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, including: smart energy technologies; robotics & artificial intelligence and 5G mobile network technology. This fund is part of £4.7bn of additional R&D funding announced by the PM in November, a bigger increase than in any parliament since 1979.

The approach outlined builds on what exists already in sectors like automotive and aerospace – with individual firms taking the initiative to organise their sectors, backed by institutions or organisations which enable vital partnership on research and development throughout the supply chain.

In aerospace, close collaboration between government and industry including through the Aerospace Growth Partnership has been instrumental in creating one of the world’s best business environments for advanced engineering, design and manufacture - with thousands of people employed in high-skilled jobs.
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM unveils plans for a Modern Industrial Strategy fit for Global Britain

10DS:  Technical education at heart of modern Industrial Strategy

BEIS:  Industrial Strategy will help unlock Northern Ireland's potential

BEIS:  Innovation to drive affordable energy and clean growth under Industrial Strategy

DIT:  New campaign highlights trade & investment opportunities in Global Britain

DIT:  Liam Fox welcomes industrial strategy commitment to UK trade

HM Treasury:  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - What it means and why it matters

LGA: Councils respond to publication of Industrial Strategy

Innovate UK:  Funding competition: design foundations 2017 round 1

Innovate UK:  Funding competition: open programme round 2 (2016)

Children’s Commissioner responds to the PM’s announcement on industrial strategy

CBI: 'A modern Industrial Strategy will be a landmark opportunity'

CBI: Optimism among manufacturers rises at highest pace for 2 years

TUC: Industrial strategy must give every part of UK better jobs & living standards after Brexit

TUC: Industrial strategy will only succeed with workers’ voices and more ambitious investment

STFC:  PM launches Industrial Strategy plans at STFC's Daresbury Laboratory

IPPR North:  Industrial strategy must boost North

JRF response to the industrial strategy

CIPD:  Industrial strategy is welcome, but risks being overly narrow

WWF:  UK comments on the Industrial Strategy


The recent £1.9 Billion allocated the National Cyber Security Strategy serves to underline the scale and pace of change required to stay ahead of the fast moving threat posed by hacking and cyber-crime.

The information in this latest paper draws on data and observations from cyber security experts, open source intelligence, and other industry reports as noted. Whether building in enterprise security or applying security intelligence and advanced analytics, we can use our understanding of the business of hacking and the threats to our specific organisations to ensure that we are investing in the most effective security strategy.

Key insights include Hacking Methods and Motivations, Guiding principles and culture and SWOT analysis.

Click here to download your free copy of ‘Disrupting The Business of Hacking’

More clarification of the Brexit process

In case anyone has been ‘stuck in a lift’ for the last few days.

Supreme Court Brexit Ruling ~ 10DS:  Supreme Court ruling on Article 50: statement ~ DExEU: Article 50 Bill process begins
Researched Links:

MoJ:  Lord Chancellor response to Supreme Court judgment

WAG:  Statement by the Welsh Government - Article 50 Supreme Court Judgment

TUC: Parliament must know details of May’s plans before voting to trigger Article 50

PC&PE:  Government response to Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny report

WWF-UK comments on the news that the Government will publish a white paper on leaving the EU

Meanwhile ‘Life’ goes on for the ‘everyday’ Government

Managing demand for health & social care services is one of the biggest policy challenges of the moment.  Sustained austerity, escalating demand and a set of profound system changes driven by Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are forcing big questions about the capacity of services to cope.

Short term survival is driving the national debate.  But over the longer term, we need new approaches that can better adapt to changing citizen needs and provide a more seamless route through different care settings.

This is why Collaborate and NHS England’s Horizons group have developed a new approach to support demand management within health & care systems.  Combining their expertise in demand management, collaborative innovation, flow science and organisational change, they have created ‘Collaborative Demand-Led Design’ — a new methodology to change systems, services and outcomes that they launch last week.

Please let them know what you think.  They want to hear from NHS, local government and health system partners who are interested in hearing more, or would like to be one of our test sites for 2017.
Researched Links:

Collaborate:  Managing Demand for Health & Social Care Services

Big ‘City’, Big Issues

Last week marked the start of a 100-day countdown until voters elect new mayors in several city regions. In its briefing for the candidates standing in May 2017’s elections, JRF says the new post gives Greater Manchester an opportunity to lead the country in delivering inclusive growth – growth that benefits everyone living in the city region.

With half a million people income deprived and 1 in 4 children living in poverty, the briefing provides recommendations for the Mayor to create an economy that helps solve poverty.  Greater Manchester performs relatively well compared to other major UK cities on job creation and private sector business growth. But JRF finds low pay and low skills continue to lock people out of the city region’s economic success.

The briefing also highlights how GM’s economic growth is not reaching all households.  Greater Manchester has a higher proportion of households with no-one in work (18.4%), a higher unemployment rate (6.5%), and higher proportion of working age adults who are economically inactive (24.5%) than England as a whole (14.9%, 5.1% and 21.9% respectively).
Researched Links:

JRF:  100-day countdown - Greater Manchester mayor must get to grips with regions in-work poverty problem

JRF:  100 days until new West Midlands mayor elected – New post must drive up jobs & skills

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. 

Hidden dangers on ‘still’ days
During periods of high air pollution adults & children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms.  People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.  Older people should also reduce physical exertion.  Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.
Researched Links:

Defra:  Air pollution advice to the public

An invisible ‘killer’

Breathing may endanger your health!

Will the ‘Sunday Roast’ survive?

Last week, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched a campaign to ‘Go for Gold’, helping people understand how to minimise exposure to a possible carcinogen called acrylamide when cooking at home.  Acrylamide is a chemical that is created when many foods, particularly starchy foods like potatoes & bread, are cooked for long periods at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting & roasting.  The scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans.

The FSA is launching the ‘Go for Gold’ campaign following findings from its Total Diet Study, published last week. The results confirm that people in the UK currently consume higher levels of the chemical than is desirable.  Majority of people are not aware that acrylamide exists, so to find out more on acrylamide and to watch our video visit: food.gov.uk/acrylamide.

Researched Links:

Food Standards Agency:  Families urged to 'Go for Gold' to reduce acrylamide consumption

Keep moving to ‘have a life’

Dr Amit Arora is a Consultant Physician and Geriatrician at University Hospital of North Midlands, Stoke on Trent and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at Keele University. In this blog he takes a look at the impact deconditioning can have on patients and what can be done to help tackle it.

Older people, whether in hospitals, care homes or at their own homes, who do not get enough opportunity to mobilise, can have an increased risk of reduced bone mass & muscle strength, reduced mobility, increased dependence, confusion and demotivation. These problems can be attributed to the phenomenon of what can be termed as ‘Deconditioning Syndrome’.

This affects well-being as well as physical function and could result in falls, constipation, incontinence, depression, swallowing problems, pneumonia and leads to demotivation, and general decline. Deconditioning Syndrome can happen in hospitals right from the time of entry, care homes and also patients’ own homes.

Preventing Deconditioning Syndrome requires a broader strategic approach that includes physical therapy, maintenance of nutrition, medical management, and psychological support including addressing loneliness; essentially addressing elements of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Time to move: Get up, get dressed, keep moving

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment - British Geriatrics Society

The spirit of Captain Oates lives on!
The Civilian Gallantry list names people who have received The George Medal, The Queen's Gallantry Medal and The Queen's Commendation for Bravery.
10DS:  Civilian Gallantry List: 2017 ~ Antarctic mission: Who was Captain Lawrence Oates? - BBC News
Action required!
Innovate UK will be closing its _connect networking groups on 1 February 2017 to focus on building bigger, stronger innovation communities on LinkedIn.  If you are a member of any _connect groups you will have until 1 February to move your documents.

Innovate UK:  New ways of networking: changes for _connect users

Editorial Commentary: ‘Equality’ works both ways

So the SNP want the UK to support them in gaining membership of the EEA EFTA, so Scotland can remain in the EU’s Single Market (Scotland's Place in Europe). 

However, one wonders if they have factored in the cost of that membership (which will be several hundred £million annually (Norway's financial contribution - The Norwegian Mission to the EU) and would presumably have to come out of their Barnett formula grant, as there would be no reason for rUK to pay for something they didn’t ‘benefit’ from!  It could also put their Tariff free trade with rUK at risk.  (In 2015, International exports to countries within the EU were estimated at £12.3bn, while Scottish exports to the rest of the UK (excluding oil & gas) were estimated at £49.8bn).

ScotGov:  (Scotland’s Exports Increase ~ 'Norway-style' deal would erect hard border between Scotland & UK

In reality though, it looks as though it is not a real option following comments from EEA member Norway as to access the ‘Norway model’ Scotland would have to be independent country.

Norwegian minister warns Scotland cannot pursue Nicola Sturgeon ‘Norway Plan to stay in Single Market’

Even if they managed to stay part of UK, it would probably annul the Scottish Fiscal Settlement (SFS) and the principle of ‘no detriment’ to Scotland’s financial position.  Just as SNP claim the Independence referendum did not foresee Brexit, the SFS agreement did not foresee Scotland having different international trading arrangements to the rUK.  This would remove the safety net from Scotland’s current partial fiscal devolution, with possibly severe financial consequences.

IFS:  Scotland’s Fiscal Framework does not satisfy Smith’s “Taxpayer fairness” principle

It is generally acknowledged that ScotGov managed to achieve most of what they wanted with the SFS negotiations, due to the pressure on the UK government to get a deal done on the Smith Commission’s recommendations, so that the Scotland Act 2016 could be enacted.

With Brexit (especially after the latest Supreme Court ruling, which means approval by ScotGov is not essential – ‘Sewel Convention’; this also applies to the Wales Assembly), time is not on their side as the timetable will be down to the UK Government / Westminster Parliament to decide.

What's a Sewel Convention and why did it feature in the Brexit court ~ Brexit: Ministers 'not legally compelled' to consult AMs - BBC News

As for Scotland being an ‘equal partner’ why should the English taxpayer subsidise a higher level of services (including social care) in Scotland for an ‘equal partner’?  True equality should mean cutting back their public sector expenditure grants to the same level as found in England.  Saving over £1,400p.a. X 5.3m people would go a long way towards finding the extra £bns needed to resolve England’s current NHS / Social care funding ‘black hole’, even after giving Scotland back 8.3% as their population’s share of the savings ‘pot’ (under the Barnett formula).  A clear case of ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’.

ScotGov:  Brexit negotiations - Scotland must be equal partner ~ Telegraph:  Scots enjoy £1,460 more public spending each despite oil crash ~ Scotland's social care services 'unsustainable' - BBC News

As for ‘threatening’ another Independence Referendum, perhaps that is a good reason for not allowing them to have any ‘control’ of the UK’s Brexit negotiations, as they clearly have no interest in rUK’s future ‘well-being’ and are only thinking about Scotland’s!

Independence for Scotland just doesn't add up ~ IFS:  Scotland’s fiscal position: an updated assessment ~ Editorial Commentary: Is the SNP threat of another Referendum realistic?


 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:

Supreme Court Brexit Ruling

10DS:  Supreme Court ruling on Article 50: statement

DExEU: Article 50 Bill process begins

MoJ:  Lord Chancellor response to Supreme Court judgment

PC&PE:  Government response to Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny report

DCMS:  Backing the ad industry as we make a success of Brexit

TUC: Industrial strategy must give every part of UK better jobs & living standards after Brexit

ScotGov:  Brexit, food & farming

ScotGov:  Migrants welcome

TUC: Parliament must know details of May’s plans before voting to trigger Article 50

ScotGov:  European links under threat

ScotGov:  Brexit meeting with Secretary of State for Scotland

WAG:  Securing Wales’ Future: First Minister Carwyn Jones & leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood set out Wales’ post-referendum plan

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales:  Welsh Secretary launches series of Brexit discussions

techUK:  Priorities for European Exit Negotiations

techUK:  The UK Digital Sectors After Brexit

techUK:  Tech companies discuss priorities with influential Brexit Committee

2017 EU Citizenship Report: EC promotes rights, values & democracy

WWF-UK comments on the news that the Government will publish a white paper on leaving the EU

The European Pillar of Social Rights must be a positive project for all, says EESC



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:

Finding out how well the civil service is performing is an extremely difficult question, wrote editor Jane Dudman last week. The Institute for Government thinktank admits this in its fourth annual assessment, but with Brexit looming, it’s a question that urgently needs answering for everyone involved in all the other public services for which government departments are responsible.
From education to social care, from prisons to the police, the assessment hits home that all public services face a huge challenge.
As Dudman writes: "The Institute for Government’s report is a useful checklist - but also makes it clear that the challenges remain acute, not just for civil servants but for all those they serve."
Meanwhile, we are looking for new contributors to our Public Servant: My Letter to the Public series. The series aims to give a voice to the staff behind the public services that are hit by mounting cuts and rising demand. If you would like to contribute please get in touch at kirstie.brewer@theguardian.com

Also on the network
The UK’s deadly air pollution can be cured: here's how

The UK’s deadly air pollution can be cured: here's how
Tens of thousands of people die every year from breathing polluted air. The cost of doing nothing far outweighs the price of solving the problem

Seven successful government apps from around the world

Seven successful government apps from around the world
From Hong Kong to Hungary, here are the publicly-funded apps helping to streamline services, save money and make citizens’ lives easier

Parking tickets are an emotive issue - my job is to make things easier for drivers

Parking tickets are an emotive issue - my job is to make things easier for drivers
I have a love-hate relationship with my job in the council’s parking department. We’re scoring little victories and slowly dragging the service into the 21st century

News in brief
• GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan quits
• Number of rough sleeps in England rises for sixth successive year
• Calls to exempt building councils from rent reduction
• Public service delivery should be ‘local by default’, argues community group
Serco chief: government saw it as “badge of pride” to transfer “massive” risk to outsourcers