We need it to succeed for a ‘Good’ Brexit

Business Secretary Greg Clark has launched the government’s Industrial Strategy.

It sets out a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change & boost the earning power of people across the UK.

With the aim of making the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030, the government has committed to investing a further £725m over the next 3 years in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to respond to some of the greatest global challenges & the opportunities faced by the UK.  This will include £170m to transform our construction sector and help create affordable places to live & work that are safer, healthier & use less energy, and up to £210m to improve early diagnosis of illnesses and develop precision medicine for patients across the UK.

The government has previously committed £1bn to the first wave of ISCF projects, including investing £246m in next generation battery technology and £86m in robotics hubs across the UK.

Recently the PM announced an ambition to increase the level of investment in R&D, rising from 1.7% to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.  The White Paper also confirms government will be pressing ahead with a series of Sector Deals, with construction, life sciences, automotive & AI the first to benefit from these new strategic & long-term partnerships with government, backed by private sector co-investment. 
Researched Links:

BEIS:  Government unveils Industrial Strategy to boost productivity & earning power of people across the UK

BEIS:  Modern Industrial Strategy to boost business support for Scotland

BEIS:  New Industrial Strategy to boost NI earning power & innovation

OSSW:  Industrial Strategy set to get Wales’ economy firing on all cylinders

OSSW:  Wales to get boost from UK Government's Modern Industrial Strategy

BEIS:  Major pharma leader MSD first to endorse government’s Industrial Strategy as it announces major investment in the UK

BEIS:  Government & industry cement deal to give UK construction the edge

BEIS:  Government investment into Faraday scale-up facility to make UK a world leader in battery innovation

IPPR:  Firms providing ‘good jobs’ should get tax cut

LGA responds to Industrial Strategy White Paper

STFC:  Landmark agreement between research & industry to harness high performance computing

WWF comments on the Industrial Strategy

DCMS:  Better Broadband Scheme extended for another year

techUK:  A perfect marriage: Industrial Strategy wedded to AI & tech

techUK:  Strategic success

FCO:  International Trade Secretary announces new roles to boost trade around the globe

NIC:  Future infrastructure pioneers sought to shape UK’s future

DCMS:  Government launches review into future telecoms infrastructure investment

Innovate UK:  Future manufacturing & infrastructure systems: apply for funds

CBI: Industrial Strategy must be the beginning of a strategic race, not a tactical sprint

Transforming Public Sector Stakeholder Engagement: Effective Digital Channels and Strategies

Public sector organisations thrive when they engage effectively with their stakeholders. But before they can do so, they need to know who those stakeholders are:

“A person such as an employee, customer or citizen who is involved with an organisation, society, etc. and therefore has responsibilities towards it and an interest in its success.” (Cambridge Dictionaries Online)

A quick glance at any public sector organisation reveals that most have a huge number of potential stakeholders, both internally and externally.

This latest guide created for all Public Sector Managers and Directors outlines:

  • How organisations classify stakeholders
  • Why traditional stakeholder engagement methods are not enough
  • How to transform stakeholder  engagement using digital channels.

Click here to access the latest must-have guide to Stakeholder Engagement.

Beeching cuts to go into reverse?

The Strategic vision for rail sets out a vision for our railways, including a new way of operating train & track and changes to the franchising system.

  • the next phase for rail with a new way of operating train & track – bringing them closer together
  • a railway fit for the 21st century and the huge volumes of passengers it now carries
  • government to explore opportunities to increase railway capacity to drive economic & housing growth
  • modernising the railway by bringing forward digital technologies to dramatically improve services for passengers
The Strategic vision for rail also commits to explore opportunities to restore capacity lost under the Beeching and British Rail cuts of the 1960s & 1970s by identifying new schemes that unlock new housing or economic growth and offer good value for money.
Researched Links:

DfT:  Strategic vision for rail ~ DfT:  The future of the Great Western franchise

DfT:  Better journeys for South Eastern rail passengers

Update on the Thameslink Programme

The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc: Responses to the NIC’s report

Community rail stations of the future to be shaped by new blueprint for success

Challenges & opportunities facing the UK rail supply chain

All aboard the new Intercity Express trains that will transform journeys across South Wales

All aboard the new Intercity Express trains that will transform journeys across Britain

New £48bn funding for Britain’s railways

Government plans £80m smart ticketing rail revolution

Multi-£bn boost for Scotland’s railways

Government invests in northern digital railway plans to improve trans-Pennine journeys

Elizabeth line on the right track

More seats for rail passengers as nearly £1bn is invested in Midlands services

NIC: New measure will bring innovation to our rail network

New station boost for passengers thanks to £16m government investment

Rail infrastructure funding: 2019 to 2024

Huge economic boost for the north of England as Transport Secretary confirms HS2 routes

Who funds it?

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

But which government will pay for it – perhaps ScotGov should pay for it out of the overgenerous Fiscal Framework?

Did Dr Beeching get it wrong with his railway cuts 50 years ago? - BBC

Beeching Closures

Showing more ‘savvy’ than many adults

Older children are less trusting of news on social media than from other sources, and employ a range of measures to separate fact from fiction, Ofcom research has found.

Just 32% of 12 to 15-year-olds who say social media is one of their top news sources believe news accessed through these sites is always, or mostly, reported truthfully, compared to 59% who say this about TV and 59% about radio.

73% of online tweens are aware of the concept of ‘fake news’ and 39% say they have seen a fake news story online or on social media.
Researched Links:

Ofcom:  Older children are getting wise to fake news

POST:  Online Information & Fake News

Fake news - UK Parliament

Next steps against fake news: EC sets up High-Level Expert Group and launches public consultation

Stepping up the EU's efforts to tackle illegal content online

MoD:  Coping with Russia

nesta:  Fake News is a Problem - How Can We Address It?

Fake news: What exactly is it – and can it really swing an election?

Facebook to expose Russian fake news pages - BBC News

Fake news worries 'are growing' suggests BBC poll - BBC News

Fake news: Universities offer tips on how to spot it - BBC News

5 ways to spot fake news | LearnEnglish Teens - British Council

Living longer is something we ‘dream’ of, but the reality may not be what we anticipated

Small changes to homes can improve quality of life and relieve pressure on NHS & social care.  

Also; the CMA has published its final findings following an extensive review of whether the residential care homes sector is working well for older people & their families.

Researched Links:

Aging Better report

LGA responds to Ageing Better report on home adaptions

LGA responds to Which? Care home market investigation

Which? article

CMA:  Urgent action needed across the UK care home market

NO:  Ombudsman responds to CMA care home report

EU News:  Care homes: cost of increased private provision could become barrier to user access unless subsidies rise

More difficult than trying to find ‘Good’ local school

This problem is not going to be solved by taxing a few people a lot more

Care at home is not only preferred, its more cost effective as well

Can your design skills help others to help themselves?

'Residential revolution' needed for England's ageing population, says LGA

£4m to improve support for elderly and disabled people

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. 

Evidently the NHS heard WiredGov’s plea!
Is it time for the NHS to stop writing prescriptions for ‘over the counter’ medicines such as aspirin?
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Prescription curbs to free up hundreds of millions of pounds for frontline care

Need to curb patients expectations for ‘magic’ pills

Pleas in for Budget Day! (see Editorial commentary)

We are still not there yet

NHS Scotland staff who are not satisfied with internal investigations will soon be able to enlist the help of an Independent National Whistleblowing Officer (INWO).

Legislation will be introduced to Parliament in 2018 to bring the INWO role under the auspices of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.  This would provide statutory powers to help whistleblowers.  The INWO will also examine health boards’ culture and approach to whistleblowing – particularly where a whistleblower claims to have been unfairly treated as a result of raising a concern.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Freedom to speak up for NHS Scotland staff

Not all problems / mistakes occur in hospitals

This is not a P/T post, given all that has gone wrong before!

Should have been done years ago

Cover-ups in ‘bad practice’ lead to repeated mistakes in NHS treatments

Duty of Care to ‘client/patient’ NOT irresponsible managers

It might help take some of the emotional pain away!

The government has announced a new maternity strategy to reduce the number of stillbirths as part of plans to make the NHS the safest place in the world to give birth.

Families who suffer stillbirth or life-changing injuries to their babies will be offered an independent investigation to find out what went wrong & why.  Full-term stillbirths will be investigated by coroners.

Under the plans, hundreds of stillbirth, early neonatal death and severe brain injury cases each year will be referred to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, the new NHS safety investigator led by safety experts.
Researched Links:

DH:  New maternity strategy to reduce the number of stillbirths

The sad loss of babies / children still happens for some on a daily basis

Don’t hold your breath waiting for anyone to be held responsible and being ‘Made to Pay’?

New meaning to ‘Xmas Giving’
Changes to the rules on blood donation in England came into force on 28 November 2017.  The new rules will allow more people to donate blood, without affecting the safety of the blood supply.
Researched Links:

DH:  New rules on blood donation come into force

One doesn’t need to be an Olympic athlete (although some may be!)

Minority groups, women, people aged 50+ and those with disabilities are all vastly underrepresented in the IT profession.

This is according to a new report on diversity published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Researched Links:

BCS:  Sue Black, founder of BCS Women calls for IT sector be more representative of society at launch of BCS Inclusion and Diversity Report

They have enough emotional stress without dealing with protesters

The Home Secretary has ordered an in-depth assessment of protests outside abortion clinics following concerns about the tactics of some protesters.

Home Office:  Review into harassment & intimidation near abortion clinics
Improper use could potentially kill hundreds near airports

Police are set to be given powers to prevent the unsafe or criminal use of drones as part of a new package of legislation.

The measures are intended to allow drone users to continue flying safely & legally, helping to place the UK at the forefront of the fast-growing drone industry.  This will also pave the way for the devices to be harnessed for a range of uses by businesses and public services.
Researched Links:

DfT:  New powers for police to address illegal and unsafe use of drones

DfT:  Drones update, 27 November 2017

Not just a toy!

Have a healthy Xmas

The NHS has appealed to parents to take up the free flu vaccination for children to curb infection over Xmas when family get-togethers spread the infection, putting grandparents & other relatives at risk.

Health officials say that without the flu vaccination children are more likely to contract the flu at nursery or school and then spread the virus at a rapid rate, posing a particular risk to the elderly & other people at higher risk.

Researched Links:

NHS England:  Health experts say “super-spreader” children should get flu vaccination to protect grandparents at Christmas

Not what one wants for Xmas
Public Health England (PHE) issues advice for the public to ensure they have had the MMR vaccine after outbreaks of measles are confirmed in 3 areas of England.
Researched Links:

DH:  Measles outbreaks confirmed in Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham

Measles, mumps & rubella vaccination target for 5 year olds in England has been met for the first time

NICE to tackle falling child vaccination rates

Measles vaccination advice for young adults

Think measles: patient leaflet for young people

PHE urges parents to vaccinate against measles, mumps and rubella

MMR vaccination call following recent measles cases

Rubella susceptibility screening in pregnancy to end in England

They are certainly needed

Applications opened recently for NHS digital leaders of the future to train at the NHS Digital Academy.

NHS England:  Applications now open for NHS Digital Academy
Picture the scene

The National Archives has created new classroom resources of photographs for descriptive & creative writing prompts. They are designed for the teaching of GCSE English Language but can be of use for other age groups.

National Archives:  New classroom resources for GCSE English Language: People & Places
About time!
The CMA has announced that it will take enforcement action against secondary ticketing websites suspected of breaking consumer protection law.
Researched Links:

CMA to take enforcement action on secondary ticketing sites

CMA launches enforcement investigation into online secondary ticketing

Independent secondary ticketing review published recently

Ticket buyers benefit from CMA action

Fancy building a bridge?

Future infrastructure pioneers sought to shape UK’s future.

Britain’s up-and-coming engineers, architects, designers & planners will get the chance to have their say over meeting the country’s future infrastructure needs, under a new initiative launched by Lord Adonis.

Researched Links:

National Infrastructure Commission:  Future infrastructure pioneers sought to shape UK’s future

Actually, just a return to normality!

The NIESR’s Associate Research Director Dr Heather Rolfe has commented on the latest ONS Long Term Migration Estimates.

Dr Heather Rolfe said: “The latest immigration statistics ……, show a fall in net migration to 230,000 in the year ending 2017.  This continues a downward trend since June 2016…….  Fewer EU migrants are coming to the UK to look for work, although the number coming with a job offer has remained broadly similar”.

According to Think Tank Open Europe’s latest report:  “The overall figure for net migration to the UK over the past year remains in line with mid-2014 levels. …… Recent labour market data also shows a record 2.38m EU nationals working in the UK, up 112,000 on a year earlier”.
Researched Links:

NIESR reacts to the latest ONS Long Term Migration Estimates

Open Europe:  Does the record fall in net migration point to a sustained reduction?

Xmas reading for Mr Corbyn et al, as they keep praising Venezuela’s government!
Academic study of Soviet economy & society details how poorly Soviets ate and the gruelling difficulty of everyday life in the postwar USSR.
Researched Links:

Adam Smith Inst:  100 Years on from revolution - new book reveals poverty of Soviet diet

Venezuela crisis: Retirements ruined and families pulled apart - BBC ...

Venezuela crisis: All the latest updates | News | Al Jazeera

TfL services over Xmas

From Saturday 23/12 2017 to Monday 01/01/2018 there will be service changes & essential improvement work on the transport & road network as people make their way home on New Year's Eve.

Transport for London (TfL) is encouraging both Londoners and visitors to the Capital to make the most of the city over the Christmas & New Year period by planning their journeys in advance.  The majority of TfL services will continue to run, with some service changes necessary to allow essential improvement work to be carried out.

Festive travel information & advice is available on TfL's website (tfl.gov.uk/Christmas-travel) and contains daily travel information about all forms of public transport, as well as Victoria Coach Station and the Congestion Charge.
Researched Links:

TfL:  Plan ahead to make the most of the Capital over Christmas & New Year

Blog post; Anne Longfield, 28/11/17
In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s more important than ever that parents & carers feel equipped to help children develop the resilience, information & power they need to thrive online.
Researched Links:

Children’s Commissioner:  How parents & carers can support their children to manage their rights & privacy online

Be honest, do you read T&Cs?

They should hide their ‘Faces’ in shame

Tackling the ‘Dark Side’ of social media in schools

They know ‘How to’, but many lack judgement/knowledge of the risk & dangers

It always seems to come around again so quickly

HMRC reminds Self-Assessment customers to do their return ahead of the 31 January 2018 deadline.

HMRC:  Do your Self-Assessment online, don’t miss the deadline
They should have been free from the beginning!

All DWP Universal Credit phone lines are now free and nobody will be charged when they need to call to get help with their Universal Credit claim.

DWP:  Free helplines for Universal Credit claimants
No thanks to any action by Uber!

An update to the official statement from the National Cyber Security Centre on the Uber data breach.

National Cyber Security Centre - Update: Uber Data Breach

Fit to run a ‘fair’ business?


 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

Cabinet Office:  Real progress on Brexit talks says First Secretary

DIT:  Liam Fox celebrates UK - New Zealand trading relationship

ScotGov:  Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop writes to the EC and UK Government on 2023 European Capital of Culture

ScotGov:  Call for full Brexit analysis

WAG:  We will work with our farmers to help them meet the challenges of Brexit,” says Lesley Griffiths

WAG expands overseas operations to boost trade post-Brexit

OSSW:  UK & Welsh Governments meet to advance Brexit talks

WAG:  FM meets with First Secretary

OSSW:  First Secretary encouraged by constructive Cardiff talks

EU News:  Guidance to help pharma companies prepare for Brexit

Future EU Security

Speech by Michel Barnier

President of EU's local & regional politicians: a hard border after Brexit will have hard consequences

NAO:  Implementing the UK’s Exit from the EU: DExEU

techUK:  Rapid Action Needed to Safeguard UK & EU Businesses & Consumers Following Brexit

IEA:  UK should attach conditions to any ‘divorce bill’

IEA :  Divorce Bill must be conditional on a good deal

Open Europe:  Is Germany heading for another ‘Grand Coalition’?

PX:  Challenges & opportunities for the UK trade in waste

Open Europe:  Does the record fall in net migration point to a sustained reduction?

NIESR reacts to the latest ONS Long Term Migration Estimates

The 2017 Legatum Institute Prosperity Index™


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