It’s like an ‘perpetual state of war’ where individual ‘battles’ may be won but one knows there will always be others to be ‘fought’

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 reveals nearly 7 in 10 large businesses identified a breach or attack, with the average cost to large businesses of all breaches over the period being £20,000 and in some cases reaching £ms. The survey also shows businesses holding electronic personal data on customers were much more likely to suffer cyber breaches than those that do not (51% compared to 37%).

The most common breaches or attacks were via fraudulent emails - for example coaxing staff into revealing passwords or financial information, or opening dangerous attachments - followed by viruses & malware, such as people impersonating the organisation online and ransomware.

Businesses also identified these common breaches as their single most disruptive breach, and the vast majority of them could have been prevented using the Government-backed, industry supported Cyber Essentials scheme, a source of expert guidance showing how to protect against these threats.

Small businesses can also be hit particularly hard by attacks, with nearly 1 in 5 taking a day or more to recover from their most disruptive breach.  Cyber Essentials, technical advice on CiSP and regularly updated guidance on the NCSC website offers companies, big & small, simple steps that can significantly reduce the risk of a successful attack.

All businesses which hold personal data will have to make sure they are compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation from May 2018.  This will strengthen the right to data protection, which is a fundamental right, and allow individuals to have trust when they give their personal data.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Almost half of UK firms hit by cyber breach or attack in the past year

DCMS Releases Cyber Breach Survey Findings – techUK response

Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) - NCSC Site

NCSC publishes new report on criminal online activity

NCA:  Young cyber criminals motivated by peer respect & accomplishment

Home Office:  Baroness Shields' speech at the National Security Agency

techUK:  Building Trust In The Security of Cloud

New Quality & Assurance framework open now

Advice on managing enterprise security published after major cyber campaign detected

Universities of Edinburgh and Warwick become academic centres of cyber excellence

Garages, new homes & old offices: the records management mistakes that put health records at risk

Phishing awareness training can thwart cyber-attacks

NCSC and NCA threat report provides in-depth analysis of evolving threat

Many more than 23 Apprentices will be required to meet the UK’s need for cyber security experts

Two important news items courtesy of techUK

The Hacker Hardened Public Sector Enterprise: Practical Steps to Real Cyber Security

Big muscles not required!

Need to take action?

Trying to avoid being in a situation of playing ‘catch-up’

Less physical violence but emotionally the damage is just as great and can ‘ruin’ retirement plans, etc.

Not just GDPR to worry about; Blog posted by: Jo Pedder, Interim Head of Policy & Engagement at ICO, 06 April 2017

Still much more to be done by LAs to comply with Best Practice / Legal Requirements

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

Simplifying GDPR Compliance: How to mitigate risk and derive value as you take on the new regulation



The one constant across most Government organisations today is financial pressure.

Increasing demand for services, rising service quality expectations and extra scrutiny and regulation on spend all has to be balanced with the backdrop of ongoing budgetary cut backs.

Now procurement teams are being tasked to find new ways to ease these pressures by delivering cost savings, spend compliance and staff productivity benefits across the entire purchasing lifecycle.

Both Durham University and County Durham & Darlington Foundation NHS Trust have recently transformed their entire purchasing processes and saved £millions.

Click here to find out more and access both case studies.

The foundation of our future economy

The Digital Economy Bill 2016-17 has received Royal Assent.

The Bill introduces measures to modernise the UK for enterprise.  The measures have been designed to:

  • empower consumers and ensure everyone has access to broadband wherever they live
  • build a better infrastructure fit for the digital future
  • enable better public services using digital technologies
  • provide important protections for citizens from spam email & nuisance calls and protect children from online pornography
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Digital Economy Bill receives Royal Assent

techUK Welcomes Digital Economy Act

‘HAL’ graduates from rogue space computer to ‘2017; A Global Trade Odyssey’

Opening up BT’s infrastructure for new fibre broadband

A catalogue of missed skills opportunities?

New employment measures must work for not against future of UK digital economy

Secretary of State Karen Bradley: Tech Nation 2017 report launch speech

BCS welcomes publication of the Government's Digital Strategy

Spectrum in the UK Digital Strategy

CBI: Is Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business?

techUK urges G20 countries to prioritise digital technologies and innovation

Lord Adonis, Chair of the NIC, responds to announcements made in the Spring Budget

UK's future success outside the EU underpinned by choices on major digital issues - BCS Brexit Report

National Infrastructure Commission:  Our Connected Future

Innovation Driven by Investment in World Class Digital Comms Infrastructure

techUK welcomes Fourth Industrial Revolution report

Hopefully more joined-up working will help reduce this problem

A new set of inspections will examine how local partner agencies - including local authorities, health & probation services and the police - are working together to protect children living with, or at risk of, neglect.  The series of 6 joint targeted area inspections (JTAI) involving Ofsted, Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation will begin in May 2017.

JTAI assess how effectively agencies are working together in their local area to help and protect children.  Each set of joint inspections also evaluates the multi-agency response to a particular issue or theme.  Guidance published last week sets out how the inspections will work in practice.  Uniquely for this JTAI, inspectors will also speak with school leaders & staff to get a wider picture of how neglect is identified and referred.

Researched Links:

Ofsted:  Series of inspections to focus on children living with neglect

Children’s Commissioner:  New research shows victims of child sexual abuse within families face differential access to support with many failing to receive the help they need

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

Impacts on all parts of UK

More proactive monitoring required to ensure timely action

New law to protect children

NICE guidelines aim to improve how children at risk of abuse or neglect are helped & supported

Anne Longfield comments on production of new child abuse & neglect guidelines by NICE

New world class research commissioned to find out what works to help children get back on track after abuse

Focus on children in need’ – Children’s Commissioner at National Children & Adults Services Conference 2016

Anne Longfield comments on NAO's report on Children in Need of Care or Protection

Nicky Morgan’s vision for children’s social care and social work

LGA responds to Ofsted social care annual report

LGA:  Positive progress for children in care

Keeping children safe

LGA responds to launch of inquiry into children's social care

£22m awarded to projects to support vulnerable children, adults and older people in Wales

Vulnerable children turned away from mental health treatment report finds

Highlighting one particular related issue

A new report launched by the Children’s Commissioner for England shines a light on the difficulties faced by thousands of children each year bouncing around the social care system.

  • 2,000 children had a change of care placement, school and social worker in a single year
  • 25% of children in care experienced multiple changes in their social worker over the same period
  • 10% of children in care moved school in the middle of the academic year – 3 times the national rate for all children
The Stability Index is a new measure of stability for looked after children. It brings together data on care placements, schools and social workers, in order to understand for the first time the type and scale of instability experienced by these children.
Researched Links:

Children’s Commissioner shines a light on children in care ‘pinging’ between schools, homes & social workers

Good foster care is critical for the emotional development & well-being of a child

Innovative projects to get £36 million funding boost

£1m St David’s Day fund for children who have experienced care

LGA responds to Fostering Network report

LGA responds to research on early years provision for children in care

Children in care control the corridors of power in Whitehall

Improving the lives of looked after children

ScotGov:  1,000 Voices

LGA responds to Barnardo's report on independent visitors for children in care

Strong leadership vital for children’s services improvement

LGA:  Positive progress for children in care

YJB response to Laming Review

Education Secretary unveils a new blueprint for adoption

Mentors for children in care

New plan to help looked after children reach their potential

What ‘training’ have they had in coping with running a home (that’s if they even get given accommodation)

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. 

Will it free up resources to deal with genuine asylum seekers?

The government has set out plans for a new fast-track process for detained foreign nationals appealing a Home Office decision to remove them from the country.  The new rules, which if accepted would apply to detained foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers, could speed up about 2,000 cases every year and save the taxpayer an estimated £2.7m.

The proposals would mean the time between an initial decision & conclusion of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal would be capped at between 25 & 28 working days – shaving around a third off current average timeframes.
Researched Links:

MoJ:  New fast-track immigration appeal rules proposed

Home Office fails to remove equivalent of 'small town' of foreign offenders

Ombudsman upholds 3 in 4 complaints about the Home Office, report reveals

Courts & Tribunals update

Just when the media reports school budgets are going to be cut!!!
DfE recommends a deal that makes buying printers easier and saves schools money.  The first schools to use the new buying framework saved more than 40% on their previous contract prices.  The deal is one of many in the schools’ buying strategy that aim to make buying easier and offer the best value for schools.

DfE:  Money saving deal for schools' printers

Help provide cleaner energy for the future
Businesses can apply for a share of £13m for innovative projects that address the issues of cost, emissions and security of supply.  This is the fifth round of the Energy Catalyst.  More than 200 projects with a total value of £200m have already been funded in the previous 4 rounds.  This round opens on 24 April 2017, and the deadline for registration is midday on 21 June 2017.

Innovate UK:  Making energy clean, affordable & secure: apply for funding

Can you help the nation walk/cycle to better health?
Up to £470,000 is available for organisations with innovative projects that lead to people walking and cycling more. Innovations may include technology, infrastructure, manufacturing or behavioural change.  This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition.  It has 2 phases. Up to £170,000 is available for phase 1, and up to £300,000 for phase 2.  This competition opens on Wednesday 19 April 2017, and the deadline for registration is midday on 7 June 2017.
Researched Links:

DfT:  Encouraging cycling & walking - apply for business funding

Also helps one prepare for tube strikes

90% ‘off’ local sustainable projects

Making city cycling safer

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

‘Appy’ cycling

Challenging app designers to utilise cycling data

The Daily Mile’ officially launched in Wales

Minister puts segregated cycling on road to success

New roads targeted in updated Safer Junctions programme

New THINK! campaign to improve cyclists’ safety

Cycling grants up for grabs

London’s first Quietway route now open

Could Brexit & its limitation on free movement of labour, ‘force’ the UK’s employers to start training again?

In its report – From ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’: making the UK’s skills system world class - the CIPD warns that the UK is sleepwalking into a low-value, low-skills economy.

New analysis from the CIPD, shows that two decades of under-investment and failed policy on skills in the UK has contributed to the country lagging well behind its competitors in Europe and most of the OECD on at least 4 key measures, including literacy & numeracy, learning & development, and digital skills.

In its report the CIPD warns that the UK is sleepwalking into a low-value, low-skills economy which leaves the nation ill-prepared for its post-Brexit future, particularly if the UK is to face restrictions on accessing talent from outside of the UK.
Researched Links:

CIPD:  UK’s skills crisis laid bare as new report shows nation is bottom of international class on key measures

UK Faces Tech Talent Cliff Edge Without Urgent Government Action, Warns techUK

We need a skilled ‘home-grown‘ workforce to trade successfully worldwide after Brexit

‘Potential’ needs nurturing and may take years of the right encouragement!

Enabling a Digital UK

Reducing confusion of route to gaining technical skills

Some of the ‘brightest & best’ choose an alternative to university

Don’t you sometimes wish the national media could be the subject of a pre-election ‘purdah’ as well?
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Ben Gummer, has laid a statement in Parliament on guidance for civil servants during the pre-election period.
Researched Links:

Cabinet Office:  Conduct guidance for 8 June 2017 general election: written ministerial statement

Boundary Commission for England:  Statement on the General Election

Electoral Commission statement on the UK Parliamentary General Election scheduled for 8 June

GDS:  The pre-election period

PC&PE:  General election: opportunity for parties to commit to gender equality

Information Commissioner warns political groups to campaign within the law

Getting ready for holidays abroad
End of roaming charges for travellers in the EU in 2017;  Updated Questions & Answers

EU News:  End of roaming charges for travellers in the EU in 2017

All that ‘TV Money’ and yet they cannot make the improvements!
Premier League clubs have made only limited progress on stadia accessibility for disabled fans, broken Premier League rules and failed to provide sufficient information when questioned, a review published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has revealed.

EHRC:  Premier League clubs' progress on disabled access revealed

4 News items relating to 'Access for the Disabled'


 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:

10DS:  PM meeting with EC: 27 April 2017

FCO:  UK Foreign Policy After Brexit: Engaging Africa

DfE:  Government confirms funding for EU students for 2018 to 2019

MoD:  Armed Forces Minister attends EU meeting

PC&PE:  Address staffing, immigration and research concerns to protect UK universities

PC&PE:  Updates on negotiating positions of wide range of dossiers published

PC&PE:  Brexit and health & social care

MI5 named as a leader in gender equality

EC launches the reflection on the social dimension of Europe by 2025

EU News:  EC presents the European Pillar of Social Rights

CBI: Businesses across Europe want the closest possible economic relationship post-Brexit

TUC: All party leaders must pledge to keep up with EU progress on workers’ rights

ESRC:  New Brexit research announced

techUK:  Leaving the Customs Union Must not Leave UK Tech Firms Tied up in Red Tape

RUSI:  France’s First-Round Presidential Vote: A Badly Baked Political Soufflé Collapses

CSJ:  ‘Taking back control’ is not a Brexit agenda, it’s a social justice one

IEA:  Capitalise on Brexit to free UK from damaging EU Common Fisheries Policy

JRF:  Industrial Strategy must improve prospects of poorest places post Brexit


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

Scotland Office:  UK Market Supports Half A Million Scottish Jobs


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:

In the run-up to June’s general election, almost every aspect of our public services and social policy feels at breaking point. While the election will be dominated by Brexit, domestic policies are equally vital – and must not be swept under the rug. It will be up to all those professionals working for and with the public to make that case. So we’d like to know what you want to see from all the parties as top election priorities. Share your thoughts by filling in the encrypted form on this page – anonymously if you wish.

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News in brief
• NAO calls for 'stock take' of government property plans
• DfE property firm ‘to pay staff above civil service rates’
• Mayor to subsidise 'naked' homes solution to London housing crisis
• Council spending on 'neighbourhood' services falls by £3bn since 2011
• Food banks report record demand amid universal credit chaos
• Emergency services face 'potentially catastrophic' communication gap