It sounds more like a TV Mini Series than real life

Stolen freedom - The policing response to modern slavery and human trafficking.

Despite the number of modern slavery and human trafficking cases increasing, police forces are failing to recognise these crimes and protect victims adequately, as set out in a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The report concluded that there were signs of progress in the policing response to modern slavery.  However in too many cases, police work was reactive and showed little understanding of the nature and scale of modern slavery and human trafficking.
Researched Links:

HMICFRS:  Call for concerted & concentrated response to modern slavery

HO:  Modern slavery victims to receive longer period of support

Anti-Slavery Day 2017

Modern Slavery Taskforce agrees new measures to support victims

Modern slavery: The UK makes common cause with the Holy See

Leading businesses unite to tackle slavery

"Trafficking is a development issue, it’s a human rights issue, and it’s a security issue.  It needs a coherent UN response."

International Development Secretary welcomes Call to Action on modern slavery

Priti Patel: Modern Slavery

Suspected trafficking ringleader held by NCA in modern slavery investigation

UK cracks down on modern slavery in Nigeria

Law enforcement steps up response to modern slavery

Two arrested and 5 men safeguarded in modern slavery operation

International human trafficking arrests in UK

LGA:  Public needs greater awareness of modern slavery, say councils and fire & rescue authorities

UK gives £6m boost to global slavery battle

Code of Practice for Ethical Employment launched

An ‘old issue’ that has never ‘gone away’

Unlike Ebola we can do something about this, at least in the UK

The Future of Cloud Roundtable Event: Are you paying more for your Cloud than you would like?

How to reduce your cloud costs by 80% without re-architecting.

Join us for this free informative and inspiring "Future of Cloud" roundtable event. With IT-enabled innovation being a competitive differentiator for almost all organisations; agility in delivering IT systems and running them reliably and cost-effectively is critical.


  • Bring AI to your Public Cloud - making it smarter and 80% cheaper
  • Reliably run your mission-critical applications at a fraction of the cost
  • Achieve better predictability and high-availability 

When & Where: 4pm – 6pm, Wed 15 Nov: WeWork Spitalfields, 1 Primrose St, London

Click here to discover more.

Regulation not subsidy

The way to bring British childcare costs down - Remove the regulatory barriers that make childcare unaffordable.

Recently, the TUC released a report showing that childcare costs are rising faster than wages and called for further public subsidy of childcare by the government.

Matthew Kilcoyne, Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute, agrees that the cost of childcare is a pressing issue but is one that is best fixed by a free market approach.  Evidence from the USA suggests that adding 1 child per carer more cuts costs by between 9% & 20%.  If we relaxed our rules on childcare to Norwegian or French levels we could end up halving childcare costs.

High staff to child ratios aren't just expensive, they can harm the quality of care too.  Studies show that looser mandated child to carer ratios encourage higher qualified staff to enter the industry at higher wages.
Researched Links:

Adam Smith Inst:  Subsidies & regulations on childcare are costing us all

TUC: Cost of childcare has risen four times faster than wages since 2008

Childcare recruitment campaign begins

NEF:  Revealed - How government’s 30hr childcare scheme could force nursery workers' wages down

30 hours free childcare launches

Over £100,000 to support the childcare sector in Wales

Parents get involved in Stay, Play & Learn

Childcare service opens for parents with children under five

NEF:  Revealed - The £2.75bn childcare bill facing parents this summer

LGA:  Response to family & childcare trust survey on holiday childcare costs

Benefits of 30 hours confirmed as free childcare places soar

LGA responds to NDNA research into funding to nurseries

Giving children space to grow

‘Keep Antibiotics Working’

5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

Public Health England’s ESPAUR report reveals that as antibiotic resistance grows, the options for treatment decrease.  Worryingly, 4 in 10 patients with an E.coli bloodstream infection in England cannot be treated with the most commonly used antibiotic in hospitals.

Researched Links:

DH:  Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you at risk

Vital to minimise antibiotic use in children

A healthier statistic!

Simple things are sometimes the most (cost) effective

Unforeseen ‘Horror’ on Halloween

Parents urged to ensure they are shopping with responsible retailers for Halloween costumes.

The potential danger of children’s Halloween costumes was in the spotlight following the horror suffered by Claudia Winkleman and her daughter Matilda in 2014, when the little girl’s costume caught fire after it came into contact with a naked flame.

RoSPA has been working with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and its members to develop a new testing standard for the flammability of children’s dress-up costumes, which goes beyond the current legal level.

Following testing in UK laboratories, the new stringent, voluntary standard means costumes should have a burn rate of 10mm per minute – 300% slower than the current 30mm per minute standard.
Researched Links:

RoSPA:  Parents urged to buy their children’s Halloween costumes from responsible retailers

RoSPA:  Avoid a Halloween fright night by keeping kids safe from fireworks and sparklers

RoSPA:  UK adults need to do more to keep children safe at Halloween, as survey finds that only 1 in 3 adults who celebrate “fright night” check the safety of costumes

Intertek and RoSPA reveal the tricks to keep Halloween a treat instead of a tragedy

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.

Recent arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service include:

Palladium Training & Consultancy Limited
Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Will you be polluting the environment on the 5th

The Environment Agency is reminding people it’s illegal to burn many types of waste.

Burning certain types of waste and setting fire to treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber & oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment.  People face a fine of up to £50,000 for illegally managing waste. 
Researched Links:

Environment Agency:  Are you aware of what you're burning this Guy Fawkes night?

Time to plan

New plans mean people struggling with serious debt may soon benefit from a ‘breathing space’ from their bills.

The government is seeking views as it develops a way to provide individuals in debt with up to six weeks free from further interest, charges and enforcement action.  This period would give those affected time to take action by seeking financial advice about how to manage and relieve their debt burden.

Debt advice is key in helping people access a range of solutions, including informal repayment plans and debt write-off options, in order to help people get back on their feet.

Researched Links:

HM Treasury:  Those suffering from problem debt to get vital ‘Breathing Space’

Citizens Advice responds to Government announcement to provide six weeks’ “breathing space” for people in debt

Citizens Advice responds to BrightHouse compensating customers for not carrying out proper affordability checks

They need help more than most

No option but to pay!

Unfortunately some families find it difficult / impossible to overcome the drivers of poverty

Suppliers must do more to help those in debt, as report shows customers accrue more than £600 on average in unpaid bills

High cost credit first option for many

Credit card firms pushing people into long term debt, warns Citizens Advice

FCA sets out agenda & priorities for consumer credit

Alcohol often cheaper than water in shops!

A new law will introduce a minimum price for the sale of alcohol in Wales.

The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill, will address longstanding & specific health concerns around the effects of excess alcohol consumption, which is estimated to lead to 50,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions a year, costing the Welsh NHS £120m annually.  In 2015, there were 463 alcohol-related deaths in Wales.

The Bill proposes to introduce a minimum price for alcohol supplied in Wales, and to make it an offence for alcohol to be supplied below that price.  The Bill proposes that the level of the minimum unit price (MUP) for this purpose would be specified in regulations made by the Welsh Ministers.
Researched Links:

WAG:  New law to introduce minimum price for alcohol in Wales

Time to ‘call time’ on cheap booze

Alcohol minimum pricing appeal begins at Supreme Court - BBC News

Alcohol: minimum pricing - Commons Library briefing - UK Parliament

Should minimum unit pricing be introduced in the UK? | Drinkaware

Why does it cost so much?

Reduce costs in the power system in the long-term whilst ensuring the UK meets its climate change targets.

An independent review into reducing costs in each element of the electricity supply chain has been published.  Building on the government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Professor Dieter Helm CBE was asked in August to consider the whole electricity supply chain of generation, transmission, distribution and supply.

The review follows the plan set out in July by government and Ofgem to upgrade our network to a smarter energy system, and the publication of draft legislation on an energy price cap to keep families’ energy bills as low as possible.
Researched Links:

BEIS:  Independent review on cost of energy published

Saga continues

Launch of consultation on the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement & response to the airspace consultation.

DfT:  Aviation update 24 October 2017

DfT:  Government outlines next steps for delivering airport expansion

More ‘worries’

Families of children with SE Needs sometimes face a ‘disproportionate burden’ to ensure they get the support they need.

A report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman looks at the common issues seen by the Ombudsman in its first 100 investigations into complaints about the new Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans, which were introduced in 2014 to replace Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The new system was designed as a more holistic way of providing SEN support for children.  It is supposed to make it easier.  But in reality, for some families it is not.

Researched Links:

NO:  ‘A disproportionate burden’- families struggling with new special educational needs system when councils get it wrong

LGA responds to LGO report on Education, Health & Care Plans

They deserve ‘special’ care

Take it home!

Litter fines rise to £150 from April 2018, plus new fines introduced for owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown.

Defra:  New steps to tackle littering announced
Pay full local rate for job

TUC say Government should vote to close EU loopholes that allow wage undercutting.

TUC: Government should vote to close EU loopholes that allow wage undercutting

EU News:  Posting of Workers Directive

OE:  Clash over the reform of the Posted Workers Directive points to wider divisions in EU

Migrating to Europe?

Africa’s child population is projected to increase by 170m before 2030. taking the continent’s under-18s to 750m.

The projected expansion in Africa’s child population will necessitate an increase of more than 11m skilled education & health personnel by 2030, if it is to keep pace with the continent’s unprecedented demographic transition, according to UNICEF.

This is according to Generation 2030 Africa 2.0: Prioritizing investment in children to reap the demographic dividend, a new report released by UNICEF on child demographics in Africa and their implications for the continent, and the world.

The UNICEF report states that almost half of the continent’s population is under 18 years old, and children comprise the majority of the population in around one third of the 55 African Union member states.  On current projections, the number of Africa’s children will top 1bn by 2055.
Researched Links:

Dividend or Disaster: UNICEF’s new report into population growth in Africa

Human tide: the real migration crisis - Christian Aid

Securing the basics of life for all

Less & less ‘Water, Water Everywhere’


Fund helping develop new ways of detecting explosive devices concealed in electrical items will revolutionise aviation screening.

DfT:  Government announces fund to revolutionise airport screening
Honour their lonely end

The UK gifts the wrecks from Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin’s historic expedition to the Canadian Government.

FCO:  Defence Secretary announces exceptional gift to Canada
Action Fraud Warning

Fraudsters are setting up fake job adverts online in order to lure in unsuspecting jobseekers.

Action Fraud:  How Online Marketplace Fraudsters could be targeting jobseekers
Never mind ghouls & ghost

It only takes the sight of a water bill to give someone a scare if they are struggling to make ends meet.

That’s why the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is reminding cash-strapped households that it has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to take the fear factor out of bills and help customers save hundreds of pounds.

About 1 in 8 households are bewitched by water bills and say they are unaffordable.  But there is now more support available than ever before to slash charges.
Researched Links:

CCW:  Take the fear factor out of water bills this Halloween

Editorial Comment; Is ‘Health tourism’ significant?

It depends on how you analyse the statistics.

The NHS is now required to make sure patients in England are eligible for free care - and to charge them up front if not.  The measures apply to planned, non-urgent care - A&E, general practice and infectious disease treatment remain free to all.

‘Opponents’ of the policy claim it ‘costs just 0.3% of England’s health budget’ and is therefore insignificant at just approximately£360m.  But the fallacy of their argument becomes apparent when you consider the fact that the ‘bill’ is mainly picked up by only a relatively small number of hospitals – mostly in London.

So one might reasonably consider the proposition that around 100 hospitals ‘account for’ £300m of those costs and that £3m each on average would go some way to offsetting their budget overspends!
Researched Links:

Health tourism charges come into force in England - BBC News

What is the NHS budget? - Full Fact


 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:

Brexit microsite

10DS:  PM's statement on October European Council: 23 October 2017

EU News:  Donald Tusk - October European Council meetings

State aid: EC opens in-depth investigation into UK tax scheme for multinationals

PC&PE:  Government responds to Brexit: the EU data protection package report

ScotGov:  FM letter to Prime Minister on EU withdrawal

WAG:  ‘No deal’ cannot be an option – First Minister Carwyn Jones

OSSW:  Alun Cairns: “Welsh manufacturing firms should be at the forefront of innovation as we leave the EU” – (OSSW:  Alun Cairns in future Welsh trade meeting with International Trade Secretary

NCSC:  UK provides world leading cyber security insight to EU delegates

NCSC:  Ciaran Martin's cyber security summit speech

CBI: 'For firms across Europe, warm words are not enough'

Open Europe:  EU27 tell UK no ‘sufficient progress’ on Brexit: Europe reacts

Open Europe responds to the October European Council summit

OE:  Austria: coalition talks with the far right begin

OE:  Clash over the reform of the Posted Workers Directive points to wider divisions in EU

TUC: Government should vote to close EU loopholes that allow wage undercutting

Posting of Workers Directive


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