2017 Spring Budget

One Speech – a multitude of comments;

HMT:  Spring Budget 2017: 21 things you need to know ~ Spring Budget 2017: Philip Hammond's speech ~ HMT:  Spring Budget 2017: support for women unveiled by Chancellor

Post-speech comments:

CLG:  Midlands Engine to roar ahead with ambitious new strategy ~ ScotGov:  £2.9bn of cuts to Scotland over 10 years confirmed ~ WAG:  Mark Drakeford responds to the UK Government’s Spring Budget ~ LGA:  Councils respond to £215m funding for children with special educational needs & disabilities ~ Budget 2017: LGA responds to social care funding ~ LGA:  Councils respond to education funding announcement ~ Budget 2017: LGA responds to 5G & broadband announcement ~ LGA:  Councils respond to business rates announcement ~ LGA: Councils respond to £690m competition to tackle urban congestion ~ NCFE Budget 2017: what were the key points for education? ~ Chair of the NIC responds to announcements made in the Spring Budget ~ NHS Confederation response to the Spring Budget ~ The Patients Association’s Budget Statement ~ IPPR:  Delays leaving hospital due to social care have doubled in 5 years ~ techUK responds to the 2017 Budget ~ techUK Roundup of key Budget 2017 Announcement ~ techUK:  New Funding for Social Care Announced ~ Innovate UK:  UK’s research & innovation bodies welcome budget ~ FDA:  Budget fails to back public servants and seeks to deliver Brexit on the cheap ~ CBI: Our full reaction to the Budget ~ CBI: "Firms will welcome the funding announced for a new Midlands Engine Strategy" ~ TUC: Chancellor missed opportunity to get Britain fit for Brexit and failed to make workers better-off ~ Citizens Advice responds to Budget 2017 ~ WWF:  UK Budget – a missed opportunity to revolutionise our economy and our environment ~ Age UK response to Spring Budget and Chancellor's announcement of Green Paper ~ BCS welcomes Chancellor's investment in technology infrastructure, training & apprenticeships ~ The King’s Fund responds to the Spring Budget ~ JRF:  Spring Budget Response ~ IEA:  A sensible but unambitious Budget ~ The ASI Spring Budget response ~ NEF:  “Now is not the time to just wait and see” – Budget response ~ Demos responds to the Budget ~ IPPR Scotland:  new analysis reveals UK Budget leaves £1bn of cuts still to come

NIESR Researchers react to the Spring Budget announcement

Pre-speech comments:

DfE:  Why I'm giving education a huge boost: article by Theresa May ~ LGA:  Majority of MPs say more money should go to councils' social care budgets ~ LGA:  Housing shortage forces councils to spend £2m a day on temporary accommodation ~ LGA responds to CLG committee report on social care ~ The Guardian:  Council job cuts have finally caught up with me – but I'm relieved ~ ScotGov:  Bedroom tax mitigation ~ ScotGov:  Budget reassurances needed ~ WAG:  Finance Secretary urges Treasury to abandon austerity and boost investment for vital public services & the economy ~ PC&PE:  Government must commit to closing social care funding gap ~ techUK:  Budget 2017 - how the Chancellor can back tech ~ CBI: Economic growth picks up pace ~ TUC: Chancellor’s first budget must deliver on PM’s promise to working people ~ Unite:  Councils are ‘the forgotten cousins’ of public expenditure, as social care funding crisis gathers pace ~ Kings Fund:  ‘The social care system is on its knees’ ~ IFS:  Councils across England increasingly dependent on payments from London businesses ~ IPPR:  Treasury may drop budget protections for many areas ~ IEA:  Scrap or overhaul several UK taxes to boost efficiency ~ JRF:  RSA Inclusive Growth Commission - Time for mayors, city leaders and Government to ensure everyone benefits from growth ~ WWF:  The Chancellor must use his Budget to unlock the UK’s green growth


NHS 2020 Case Study: 
Delivering on the Digital Agenda Whilst Repelling IT Attacks

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the NHS accounts for more than half of all data security breaches in the UK.


3 of the key data security challenges for digitising all patient records and making the NHS paperless by 2020 are: 

  • Healthcare data fetches higher prices, as much as 60 times that of stolen credit card data, ensuring it remains a hot target for hackers.
  • A growing number of connected instruments and life support systems means there are countless endpoints in any single hospital, increasing the potential for intrusion.
  • Cost: With budgets under severe pressure, how do hospitals fund all necessary cyber security measures to avoid data breach?

Click here for this latest case study which details how a major US hospital regained control of its network in the face of 10,000 malicious log-on attempts each day.

Carefully calculate the project budget and then triple it for an under-estimation!

Public Accounts Committee report says that ‘the Government must learn from serious failings in the design, planning and cost-estimating of the Great Western route modernisation programme’.

In the report, the Committee warns the significant flaws identified in the project raise concerns about the ability of the DfT and Network Rail to manage similar projects in future (HS2?????).  These include the planned electrification schemes on Midland Main Line and TransPennine routes.   The Committee makes a series of recommendations to Government intended to safeguard taxpayers’ money and support the timely delivery of passenger benefits on future rail schemes.

Editor’s note: One should also remember the example of the NHS National Programme for IT, which was originally budgeted at £2.3bn before being ‘killed off’ after spending £12.3bn.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Failings on Great Western upgrade raise concerns over future rail projects

Forget HS2; HS3 would be better value and it would help restore the North/South balance

Modernising the Great Western railway

Minister submits case for electrification of the North Wales main line

Timing is everything when it comes to successful projects

Project management is not an ‘optional extra’ for successful delivery

AXELOS:  The universal value of project & programme management skills

AXELOS:  How agile grows up into a programme method

Audit Scotland  Failed i6 project leaves urgent need to deliver police IT requirements

Infrastructure and Projects Authority

NAO:  Assurance for major projects

Timing is everything when it comes to successful projects (hover mouse over text in first & fifth paras. For links)

Project management apprenticeships - GOV.UK

Convenient but not necessarily appropriate/safe care

CQC inspections of some companies providing online primary care have found significant concerns about patient safety.

Well-run services can offer a convenient & effective form of treatment, but inspectors found services that were putting patients at risk of harm by selling medicines without doing enough to check they were appropriate. They have published reports from two urgent inspections recently- in both cases the providers have stopped providing services in England.

Following a review of all online services registered with us they have brought forward their inspection programme and have prioritised inspections of services they think may present a significant risk to patients.
Researched Links:

CQC:  Online healthcare services

ICO Blog about ‘GDPR’ posted by Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy & Engagement

Back in January, I wrote about our plans for GDPR guidance in 2017 and our commitment to help organisations improve their practices and prepare for the GDPR.

I’m pleased to announce that our first piece of detailed topic-specific GDPR guidance has been published for public consultation. This new guidance is about consent in the GDPR and we are interested to gain your feedback on it through a short consultation which is running from now until 31 March 2017.

The basic concept of consent, and its main role as one lawful basis (or condition) for processing, is not new. However the GDPR does set a high standard for consent. It builds on the Data Protection Act (DPA) standard of consent in a number of areas, and it contains significantly more detail on both the standard & processes for consent.
Researched Links:

ICO guidance for consent in the GDPR

ICO:  Data Protection Practitioners' Conference 2017

Brexit planning will not stop implementation of EU’s GDPR

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. 

Two important news items courtesy of techUK

The British Retail Consortium has published a ‘cyber security toolkit’ that will provide retail businesses of all sizes with a practical, step-by-step guide to prevent & manage cyber security threats and protect the customers they serve.

Secondly; To celebrate International Women’s Day, techUK has launched a brand new hub for returners and for tech companies to learn more about starting their own returners.

Estimates suggest almost 2m women in the UK are currently economically inactive due to caring commitments, and 76% of professional women on career breaks want to return to work. That’s why techUK, in partnership with everywoman, launched the Back to Work Programme in 2016.

Following the successful programme pilot, techUK identified a gap in the market for a central hub of information for tech returners. This was for both individuals looking to return to the tech sector and for tech companies to find out more about running their own returner programmes.

To address this issue, techUK teamed up with members & partners to create a centralised Returners Hub for the tech sector.  Launching on International Women’s Day, this hub features 4 sections:

  1. Tech companies currently running returner programmes;
  2. Tech companies who do not run specific returners programmes, but are open to receiving applications from people who have had a career break;
  3. Resources for returners, including free courses, training materials, books, and mentorship programmes;
  4. Training organisations that can assist tech companies with the diversity agenda and creating a returners programme.
Researched Links:

techUK:  British Retail Consortium launches cyber security toolkit

techUK Launches Flagship Returners Hub

Not if, but when

Speak up to protect others
Last week marked the launch of the CQC’s 'Worked up? Speak up' campaign about care for older people.  They want more people aged 60 & over, and their friends & families, to share their experiences of health & social care with them.  By telling them about your experiences, you could stop poor care happening to someone else.
Researched Links:

CQC:  Care for older people campaign launches

What is the state of ‘God’s waiting rooms’?

No excuse for not maintaining their dignity

Despite the ‘cheers’, there are real fears

When it’s your own care it gets very personal

Most of us will all be ‘old’ someday

They should hide their ‘Faces’ in shame
Responding to a BBC investigation into Facebook's failure to remove inappropriate images of children, Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield said:  “It is totally unacceptable that Facebook does not remove sexualised imagery of children immediately. They, like other social media companies and internet providers, have a duty to protect children from harm and must make sure that they do so”.
Researched Links:

Children’s Commissioner:  Facebook & other social media providers must act responsibly & protect children

Anne Longfield responds to reports about decriminalising viewing of indecent images of children

Children's Commissioner welcomes findings that 75% of people think impact of sexting and pornography should be taught in schools

Local MP joins fight against child sexual abuse

Man with 4,265 indecent images of children told officers “you stop being a child at 12”

Keep children safe online this Christmas - Top tips

New blocking powers to protect children online

Children's Commissioner responds to NSPCC report stating that more than half a million men in the UK may have viewed child sex abuse images on the internet

Thank God the technology didn’t exist when my own children were vulnerable! (Editor)

A unique opportunity

Female healthcare scientists are invited to apply for NHS England’s prestigious fellowship scheme, aimed at providing career support for women working in this field.

Led by NHS England’s Chief Scientific Officer, the Woman in Science and Engineering Fellowship scheme aims to support 4 healthcare scientists over 12 months through a career development programme that includes mentoring alongside communication and leadership skills training.  In addition, fellows will attend both the WISE and Chief Scientific Officer conferences.  The selection process will include an application form and an interview.  The closing date for applications is 19 May 2017.
Researched Links:

NHS England calls for applications from female healthcare scientists to apply for fellowship scheme

Woman in Science & Engineering Fellowship scheme

Editorial Commentary:  Who would take the blame if UK citizens not given same treatment

‘The Government should now make a unilateral decision to safeguard the rights of EU nationals living in the UK’, the cross-party Exiting the European Union Committee has unanimously agreed in its report.  The MPs are also calling on the Government to seek to ensure that UK nationals already resident in other EU countries – and EU citizens already living here – do not lose their rights to healthcare & pensions after Brexit.

Hilary Benn MP, Exiting the EU Committee Chair, said:  ….  “Although the Government has said it wants EU citizens to be able to remain, this has not offered sufficient reassurance that the rights and status that they have enjoyed will be guaranteed. It should now do so." (No mention of failure of EU to offer reassurance to UK citizens one notes!).

Just supposing the government is ‘forced’ to agree an amendment unilaterally agreeing to give EU citizens those rights.  Who would get the blame if the 27 other EU countries eventually only offered say a ‘right of residence’, without any agreement on pensions health benefits, etc. to UK citizens living abroad, unless we gave them an overly generous ‘divorce settlement’ and/or a preferential agreement on future migration without any other ‘quid pro quo?

After all it won’t be the fault of the UK government if their negotiating ‘hand’ is ‘fatally weakened’ by parliamentary votes, because they have already warned about the danger of such votes!   

As the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, who voted against the amendment (on the Rights of EU citizens in the UK) put it (quoted in the Church times):  He did not believe that the Lords could “handcuff the negotiating hand of the Prime Minister when she triggers Article 50, by predetermining the outcome of one area of the negotiation before we start”.

Will LibDem Peers resign in those circumstances (they cannot be un-elected) to show their remorse or is it their ‘game plan’ (and that of other ‘Remoaners’) to just say ‘the solution is for us not to leave the EU’ and thus frustrate the majority democratic ‘will’ of UK voters? 

The HoL could be seen at their best during the 8 March debate on the Higher Education & Research Bill debate, which sought to improve the proposed legislation.

However, the recent ‘Article 50 Brexit Bill’, saw many of them ‘crossing the line’ from ‘proposing amendments to improve’ to ‘amending to decide policy’, which had already been approved by a large majority of elected MPs to implement the ‘will of the people’.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government must act now to safeguard rights of EU citizens in UK

Hypocrisy of EU as it blames UK for its own ‘intransigence to negotiate’

PC&PE:  UK payments to EU budget could end but political consequences would be profound

PC&PE:  Government should pursue preferential agreement with EU on future migration

PC&PE:  'Great Repeal Bill' should not be used to avoid parliamentary scrutiny

Call Chancellor Merkel's bluff, says Archbishop of York - Church Times


 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:

DExEU:  Maintaining our close ties with Slovakia

DExEU:  Lord Bridges addresses Midlands business leaders

PC&PE:  Government response to Brexit: the options for trade report

PC&PE:  Government should pursue preferential agreement with EU on future migration

PC&PE:  UK payments to EU budget could end but political consequences would be profound

PC&PE:  Government must act now to safeguard rights of EU citizens in UK

PC&PE:  'Great Repeal Bill' should not be used to avoid parliamentary scrutiny

PC&PE:  Government still unclear on trade after Brexit

TUC: MPs’ report should warn PM against complacency over ‘no deal’ with the EU

PC&PE:  Access to European broadcasting market post-Brexit questioned

DIT:  Commonwealth trade ministers meeting - towards a free trading future

Liam Fox looks forward to ‘strengthening foundations’ at first ever Commonwealth trade ministers’ meeting

ScotGov:  Protecting Scottish farmers

ScotGov:  Safeguarding German investment


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

IPPR Scotland:  new analysis reveals UK Budget leaves £1bn of cuts still to come


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:

Last week, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first - and last - spring budget. For people working in public services, it brought few surprises and little clarity, writes David Walker in his budget analysis.
He writes: "Public service providers will take confirmation from this budget, as if they needed it, that it’s an era of freeze but no strategy. Hammond evidently did not listen to the Institute for Government in its critique of the hand-to-mouth nature of the budget, whether it comes in spring or autumn."
Local government did get an extra £2bn in the next three years for social care -but this is widely seen as too little, too late. Social care too needs a long-term strategy.
The budget also coincided with International Women's Day. These videos of the dynamic women leading in local government are definitely worth a watch.

Also on the network
'It's always so varied': an apprentice's view of joining the civil service

'It's always so varied': an apprentice's view of joining the civil service
For national apprenticeship week, a civil service apprentice talks about working on nuclear policy and not missing going to uni

International Women's Day: the women leading local government – video

International Women's Day: the women leading local government – video
Female council bosses on how councils are becoming open, supportive places where women can thrive – at all levels

News in brief
• Flocking hell: council plans to ban swearing in Rochdale
• Surrey council leader 'had gentleman's agreement' with ministers
• Report highlights lack of diversity in top council jobs in Wales
• Councils criticise amendment calling for safeguarding and welfare capacity register
• Key Blair adviser picked to lead "serious" civil service efficiency review