The Queen’s Speech may appear to be ‘Thin Gruel’, but any delivery of its contents promises many ‘Twists’

In the words of a (slightly adapted) ancient Chinese curse and the many related press releases from last week, it looks like ‘(PM) May will live in interesting times’. 

Researched Links:

10DS:  PM statement following Queen's Speech: 21 June 2017

Cabinet Office:  Queen's Speech 2017

techUK CEO Comments On Queen's Speech

Scotland Office - Queen's Speech 2017: What it means for Scotland

LGA responds to Queen's Speech

ScotGov:  Queen’s Speech – more Brexit clarity needed

NHS Confed.:  We welcome Government commitment to prioritising mental health

Adam Smith Inst:  Queen's Speech - A missed opportunity?

IEA:  Queen’s Speech - Fiscal rhetoric doesn’t match up to track record

JRF:  Threadbare Queen’s Speech means injustices will be left untouched

Patients Association:  Queen’s Speech shows a government in denial of the looming NHS crisis

The CBI has given its full response to the Queen’s Speech

Citizens Advice responds to Queen’s Speech 2017

LC: Logbook loans set for scrapheap

WWF responds to Queen’s Speech

techUK CEO Comments On Queen's Speech

techUK:  A Deeper Dive Into The Queen's Speech

Open Europe:  What does the Queen’s Speech mean for Brexit?

Portsmouth City Council finds Complete Peace of Mind
with NCSC Certified Mobile Security Solution

Portsmouth City Council (PCC) urgently needed to replace their old and limiting mobile devices whilst overhauling their security systems to comply with the government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC formerly CESG), which independently evaluates and certifies IT security features.

Following 18 months of research, devices which had been specially configured with Samsung Secure Mobility Suite for Government to provide the highest levels of security for government usage fully complying with NCSC guidance, came out on top.

Key Points Include:

  • Most cost effective, NCSC certified mobile solution currently available
  • Selected after 18 months research as best solution for sensitive Government data
  • Also supports Apple iOS and Windows Mobile

Click here to access this latest case study.

A shocking tragedy not helped by the actions of a few ‘so called’ activists
Let us hope that something ‘good’ will come out of something so terrible, as ‘things start to happen’: Editor
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM Commons statement on Grenfell Tower: 22 June 2017

Telegraph:  ‘Tory councillor' beaten by Grenfell Tower protesters revealed to be volunteer who helped the victims

Guardian:  Grenfell Tower fire: army of volunteers join relief effort

10DS:  Support for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster

10DS:  Details of Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund

10DS:  PM chairs third meeting of the Grenfell Tower Recovery Taskforce

CLG:  Communities Secretary statement: safety checks following the Grenfell Tower fire

10DS:  Cabinet meeting statement: 20 June 2017

CLG:  First new homes secured for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster

DCMS:  Government and utility companies announce package of support for Grenfell victims

BEIS:  Department responds to police identification of Hotpoint fridge freezer involved in Grenfell Tower fire

ScotGov:  Comment on cladding & high rise buildings

WAG:  Carl Sargeant outlines steps being taken following Grenfell Tower fire

Charity Commission:  Charitable grants for people directly impacted by the Grenfell Fire

Editorial Commentary:  BBC sinks to new low in politically partisan news reporting

With all the UK’s Fire Safety experts, Chartered Building Engineers, Architects, Fire Service investigators, Materials Scientists, Housing Charities & Housing Associations, etc. available to provide expert & informative opinions on the Grenfell Tower tragedy, is it really true that the best the BBC2 ‘Newsnight’ programme could come up with as a proposed ‘guest’ recently was Labour-supporting, ‘media personality’ Lily Allen?

Frankly, I don’t really care why she was ‘dropped’ from the schedule.  The big question is why she was even selected in the first place!   After all, Newsnight is still (one supposes) meant to be a News-Based programme, that provides reasoned, informative & reflective debate on current topics/stories.  Not (unless they are a politician) politically biased ‘ramblings’ (Daily Telegraph:  Lily Allen pulled from Newsnight after controversial Grenfell Tower ...).

In addition, one does wonder how much their ‘guests’ get paid to provide an irrelevant & biased ‘contribution’!
An opportunity to learn from experienced ‘wheelwrights’

The King’s Fund, Comic Relief, and the Big Lottery Fund have opened the application process for a ‘unique support programme enabling charity leaders to help each other through sharing expertise and developing skills’.

Following a successful pilot, they have agreed to support the roll-out of the Cascading Leadership programme so that more charities can benefit.  The programme is designed to improve access to support & development opportunities for charity & voluntary sector leaders.  There are 80 places initially available on the programme, which is free to attend and managed by The King’s Fund.  Charities applying for places, worth up to an estimated £3,000, must show how their work improves health & wellbeing.

The programme’s distinctive approach involves charity leaders providing support to less-experienced peers, meaning support comes from those who understand and are familiar with the sector’s challenges & potential. Leadership experts at TKF also provide training & guidance to develop the skills & capabilities of both those receiving and providing the support.

As well as launching the application process, TKF has also published a report sharing the assessment of an independent evaluation of the Cascading Leadership pilot.  This found that ‘without exception, participants view Cascading Leadership as a success in terms of the benefits they have gained both individually and organisationally.’
Researched Links:

Kings Fund:  New £250,000 leadership programme for charities launched

Small, local charities set to benefit from fundraising skills training

Charities are the eyes, ears and conscience of society, says Committee

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. 

The key to successful ICT projects is to ensure a VERY SENIOR manager is given ‘Ownership’ so as to drive the project(s) to a successful conclusion

Published by the Institute for Government, Improving the management of digital government says that appointing a minister responsible for digital government would help drive change & advance standards.  Digital improvements would make government cheaper, more effective and more secure.

The report points to the recent NHS cyber-attack as an example of the fragility in some systems being used in the public sector.  The report also warns that the Government Digital Service (GDS), the Cabinet Office unit responsible for leading digital transformation of government, faces resistance from many corners of Whitehall.
Researched Links:

IFG:  Progress on digital government 'painfully slow'

GDS:  Breaking in a new generation of public speakers

Could online identity verification help solve the health tourism issue?

Data-Driven Government: Brexit Brings New Opportunities for Public Sector Bodies

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

techUK response to Conservative Manifesto 2017

Put the brakes on Making Tax Digital for businesses, urges Committee

Digital Strategy to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business

How we’re making GOV.UK work harder for users

Government Backs Digital Transformation for Public Services

Growing technical writing across government

Action needed on digital skills crisis

Government Digital Service announces plans to run a national digital academy

The GDS mission: support, enable and assure

UK government appoints first National Technology Adviser

Digital transformation in government and blockchain technology

Put aside speculation on Transition costs; Use ‘hindsight’ to foresee the ‘real’ issues

NHS continues to ‘ride the waves’ towards a successful outcome

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has announced 13 new areas are now live & ready to offer a leading NHS prevention programme to patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.  Wave 2 of the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is part of a wider package of measures to support people with diabetes and those on the cusp of it, to stay fit, well and prevent further deterioration.

The programme was officially launched last year with 27 areas covering 26m people – almost half of the country. The latest figures reveal the programme is making good progress, with just under 50,000 people referred in Wave 1 and more than 18,000 on the programme at the end of April.  This exceeds the original target set in the NHS Mandate of 10,000 referrals during 2017/18.

Wave 2 areas will cover another 25% of the population, with an estimated 130,000 referrals and up to 50,000 additional places made available thanks to the expansion. Funding has also been agreed for another 12 months in the 27 sites currently up and running.  The ambition is for the programme to eventually cover the whole of the country and these figures could rise to as many as 200,000 referrals and more than 80,000 people on
Researched Links:

NHS England:  New parts of the country set to benefit from expansion of diabetes prevention programme

Delicious food can also be healthy

Emotional support required as well as medical

What will we see by the NHS’s 100th ‘Birthday’?

A state of the art proton beam therapy machine, the ‘cyclotron’, has been installed at the specialist cancer hospital The Christie in Manchester.  Proton beam therapy has been offered overseas to NHS patients who are eligible for treatment in England since 2008 in a programme that has to date supported approximately 1,000 patients. Together with the DH, NHS England is funding the development of two world class centres in Manchester and London for NHS patients to be treated in the UK.

Proton beam therapy is a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets certain cancers very precisely, increasing success rates & reducing side-effects.  It targets tumours with less damage to surrounding healthy tissue and is particularly appropriate for certain cancers in children who are at risk of lasting damage to organs that are still growing.  The first patients are due to be treated from summer 2018, with UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust following in summer 2020.  When complete they will each treat up to 750 patients every year.

Until then, eligible NHS patients will continue to be funded to travel overseas for treatment with NHS England’s established partner centres in America and Switzerland.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  State of the art cancer-treating cyclotron arrives at UK’s first high energy proton beam centre at The Christie

Your views / comments are important
Ofsted has issued its annual online ‘point-in-time’ questionnaires to children’s social services.  The questionnaires are about children’s homes, fostering services, adoption agencies, adoption support agencies and residential family centres.  Ofsted inspectors want to hear what children & young people, staff, social workers and other professionals have to say about these services. Their responses will help inform future inspections.

Ofsted launches point-in-time questionnaires

One can end up with more than just a ‘slightly upset tummy’

Over 20m people in the UK (40%) plan to get out into the great outdoors for a picnic this summer, but al fresco dining doesn’t come without worry for some.  That’s according to a snapshot survey* from the FSA which shows that 23% of people are concerned about picnic food hygiene.

With more than 1m cases of food poisoning every year in the UK and cases of food poisoning from Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella rising in the summer months, they are right to be concerned.  To help everyone enjoy their summer picnics without worry the FSA has provided some easy tips to keep your family safe.
Researched Links:

Food Standards Agency launches Safe Summer Food guide as UK picnickers head out in the sun

3-year time bar to seeking justice lifted
The Scottish Parliament has voted to remove the 3-year limit on survivors of childhood abuse seeking civil damages in court.  The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill will mean that cases arising from childhood abuse on or after 26 September 1964 will no longer face the barrier of the limitation period.

ScotGov:  Civil action in childhood abuse cases

Have a great time, BUT reduce the risks
Public Health England is urging gay & bisexual men to take extra precautions against infection of hepatitis A, as cases are increasingly reported in the community.  Those attending World Pride in Madrid are encouraged to visit their genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic to request the vaccine.  Those not travelling to World Pride are advised to ask about vaccination at their next sexual health check-up.

DH:  Hepatitis A among gay & bisexual men

It’s bad enough with just ‘Westminster’, but if we also get religion in the mix …..!
While much focus has been paid to the divisions in the Conservative Party which have re-emerged since the shock election result, similar divisions & confusion are evident on the Labour front bench, indicative of how the election has not healed the discord which was evident in the Article 50 vote where a fifth of Labour MPs defied a three-line whip.
Researched Links:

Open Europe:  As the Labour Party’s influence grows, it must clarify its Brexit strategy

Open Europe:  Deloitte study finds that the German car industry would be severely hit by a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Yanis Varoufakis on Brexit: 'How can these smart people be so deluded' - BBC Newsnight

Brexit commission needed to draw poison from debate, says Archbishop

Brainyquote.com:  If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it. Charles Kettering ~ A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing, but who, as a group, can meet and decide that nothing can be done.  Fred Allen

EU moves to ‘take over’ from ‘The City of London’
The Governing Council of the ECB has decided to develop a new service for the settlement of instant payments.  The new service, TARGET instant payment settlement (TIPS), will enable citizens & firms to transfer money between each other in real time and will be available around the clock, 365 days a year.

ECB to develop a service for the settlement of instant payments

Knowing when action is needed for your personal safety
Guidance on how to check latest recalls, register your appliance and who to contact for more information on product safety.

BEIS:  Product recalls

Given that most probably have smart phones, no wonder they feel ‘embarrassed & guilty’. for not checking

49% of people across the UK now consider themselves ‘outdoor enthusiasts’ according to new research released by the Met Office.  However, many are still getting caught out by the weather, leading to potentially dangerous situations.

When asked about their approach to checking the weather, a savvy 38% of outdoor enthusiasts use a weather forecast which is specifically tailored to the activity they are taking part in. This is all-important when taking part in any activity in hilly or mountainous regions – as weather conditions can vary dramatically at different altitudes. For example, temperatures can drop by several degrees Celsius with just a 100m rise in elevation.
Researched Links:

Met Office:  Don't put yourself in weather danger: check out our updated regional mountain forecasts

One wonders what MPs will be feeling this week!
NCSC guidance following the renewed press interest in the historic hack of LinkedIn.

NCSC:  Guidance on the historic LinkedIn incident (2012)

Editor looks back at previous 'crystal ball' security items published in WGPlus

Parliament hit by 'sustained' cyber-attack - BBC News

Not just the ‘usual suspects’
The HEFCE has published the first set of ratings for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).  It has revealed that the majority of UK universities are offering quality teaching to their students - 59 providers were rated ‘gold’, 116 rated ‘silver’ and 56 rated ‘bronze’.  The ratings will help students decide which university or college to apply to and encourage teaching & learning excellence across the UK.

DfE:  Universities rated in Teaching Excellence Framework


 More contributions to the Brexit process

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

Researched Links:


10DS:  European Council June 2017: PM's press statement

10DS:  Government to confirm 2-year Parliament to deliver Brexit & beyond

10DS:  PM press conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: 19 June 2017

HM Treasury:  Mansion House 2017 - Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer

DExEU:  David Davis' opening remarks at the start of EU exit negotiations in Brussels

DExEU:   Secretary of State David Davis' statement following the opening of EU exit negotiations

Defra:  Environment Secretary Michael Gove sets out new approach for UK fishing

ScotGov:  Call for clarity over EU citizens’ future

ScotGov:  Queen’s Speech – more Brexit clarity needed

Scotland Office - Queen's Speech 2017: What it means for Scotland

WAG:  Focus of Brexit negotiations must be on securing transitional deal

EU News:  First round of Article 50 negotiations with the UK

ECB to develop a service for the settlement of instant payments

CBI: Redefining the UK's relationship with the EU

CBI: EU negotiations - supportive statement from Business Europe

CIPD:  Businesses sound the alarm over immigration as Brexit negotiations begin

CIPD:  Brexit must not overshadow fundamental challenges facing UK businesses

Unicef UK & Save the Children: Brexit risks leaving refugee children stranded from family

techUK CEO Comments on PM’s Speech on EU Citizens

CAB:  Two thirds of online shoppers suffer problems with parcel delivery

WWF:  Rio Anniversary: Wales must use global links to protect planet beyond Brexit

Think Tanks:

Open Europe:  Macron’s crushing victory in the French parliamentary election means he has no excuses for failure

Open Europe:  As the Labour Party’s influence grows, it must clarify its Brexit strategy

Open Europe:  What does the Queen’s Speech mean for Brexit?

Legatum Institute:  Developing a True Transatlantic Partnership

ASI:  Medical monoliths can be smashed after Brexit

NIESR: Businesses sound the alarm over immigration as Brexit negotiations begin

Chatham House: Prince Harry Opens the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Floor

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

Since the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower there has been mounting criticism of the government’s response and support for survivors, which has appeared haphazard, poorly coordinated and singularly lacking in leadership, writes social care consultant Melanie Henwood, who compares the response to that of the 7/7 London bombings.
Meanwhile last weeks Queen's Speech provided few answers for those in local government. As LGiU's chief executive, Jonathan Carr-West, said: “Local government finds itself dragged into the uncertainty that is afflicting parliament. Councils can and will continue to deliver the local services that people depend upon. But if local government is to plan effectively for the future, it desperately needs more clarity on the big issues than is promised by this Queen’s speech.”
Now is the time to champion innovation in local government - last Tuesday The Guardian launched the 2017 Public Service Awards, with entries now open in 10 categories. For more information on how to enter, click here.

Also on the network
The Guardian Public Service Awards 2017: now open for nominations

The Guardian Public Service Awards 2017: now open for nominations
Judges, former winners and sponsors joined Guardian public services editor David Brindle at the launch of this year’s awards

Architects like me know Grenfell Tower fire was an avoidable tragedy

Architects like me know Grenfell Tower fire was an avoidable tragedy
Building control departments in councils have been left toothless and eviscerated while the authority of fire officers and architects has been weakened in favour of profit. Look where that has got us.

News in brief
• Queen’s Speech: Eight bills proposed to prepare Whitehall for Brexit as union slams government's failure to end pay cap
• At least 750 Whitehall policy experts to relocate to Brexit departments
• The Guardian view on public sector pay : time for a rise
• Council sidelined in Grenfell Tower response as leader refuses to quit
• Stretched police shelving other inquiries to focus on terrorism, says Met chief
• Met to increase number of officers with Taser electronic weapons
• Over 80% of civil servants unhappy with pay, FDA poll finds