Welcome to WiredGov Plus

WiredGov Plus provides a weekly roundup of news from the UK Government and Public Sector. To save your time, we research & validate the links to websites / documents and selectively add additional background links as appropriate.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive

OS & HMLR map out the future for ‘Digital land’

Lord Prior has announced a new strategic partnership between HM Land Registry (HMLR) and Ordnance Survey (OS) to help propel the UK towards becoming a global leader in the land & property market.

The pilot partnership will see HMLR join OS at its Geovation Hub to encourage & support innovation and property technology (PropTech) businesses.  Geovation is based at a dedicated location-data lab in London that supports & enables open innovation and collaboration across many sectors.

Business Minister Lord Prior says:  “The Geovation Hub is already making important contributions to a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, energy, transport and water management.  Location-based data has a crucial role in future technology development & innovation from driverless cars to the Internet of Things. …….

It also provides a platform to promote the use of data from both Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry to deliver the Government’s housebuilding agenda as part of our Industrial Strategy”.

Participants in the new pilot programme will receive up to £20,000 in grant funding and a range of resources & services that will help them develop their businesses. Geovation provides the support that participants need, including access to experienced software developers, geospatial expertise from OS and property expertise from HMLR.  Business mentors are also available to assist with business proposals and investor relationships.
Researched Links:

OS:  Partners in Innovation – HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey

OS:  Foula: the “missing place” in Great Britain

Ordnance Survey to map out greener communities at NWG Innovation Festival

Opening the doors to innovation in Manchester’s corridor

Are you building the next Pokemon Go? Apply to Geovation now to secure funding for your GeoTech start-up

Geographic data leads the way to better healthcare – 2,500 organisations signed up to PSMA

The ‘lungs’ of our ‘urban society’

OS expands the Geovation Programme

The ultimate in visual presentation!

The future will be based on data

They cannot be helped if they cannot be located

It’s all ‘mapped out’

Map your way to photographic fame

 

All public sector organisations (with the exception of the courts) that process the personal information of data subjects must appoint a DPO to oversee processing activities prior to The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018.

Even if your organisation is not required to formally appoint a DPO, that doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by the new regulations. You will still be required to comply, and a suitably qualified individual will need to be in place to ensure that your organisation is meeting the demands of the GDPR.

This simple, quick and helpful guide sets out:

  • What to look for in appointing your DPO
  • What will your DPO do?
  • what qualifications and experience does your DPO need?

Click here to download your copy of our guide on What to Look for in a DPO now

 
Helping to make care affordable

Councils have been awarded funding for projects which use digital technology to transform & improve social care.  As part of the LGA’s Local Investment Programme, which is funded by NHS Digital, 16 councils will each receive up to £50,000 towards their projects.

The application process was based around 5 themes:-

  • Sharing information & integrating services
  • Enabling people to interact with care services through digital channels
  • Promoting independence & wellbeing through the use of digital services & technology
  • Integrating commissioning through the improved use of information and analysis
  • Enabling care professionals to work from any base at any time
Researched Links:

LGA:  Using digital technology to improve social care

LGA responds to MENCAP care crisis warning

Patients Association calls for decisive government action to head off social care back-pay crisis

LGA responds to Ipsos MORI report on unmet needs in social care

With medical staff costs continually rising, we need other alternatives

But what about the digitally excluded?

A healthier outcome which could be self-financing

 
We are really just starting to appreciate the size of the problem

The CQC have published a new report detailing the findings from their comprehensive inspections of specialist mental health services over the last 3 years.

State of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017 captures learning from their inspections & findings from their role monitoring use of the Mental Health Act, as well as analysis of data from other sources. This rich resource of information means CQC now know more about the quality of mental health care than ever before.
Researched Links:

CQC reports on the quality of specialist mental health care in England

NHS Confed:  Mental Health Network response to CQC State of care in mental health services report

National Ombudsmen responds to CQC's Mental Health Services report

Cash boost call for mental health nursing by Unite

Facing a lifetime with mental health issues!

Prevention requires real action not just action plans

The ‘caseload may be bigger than we think’

For so long the ‘Cinderella’ service of the NHS

Hope the funding is there to facilitate the implementation

 
But will it be sufficient?

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England boss Simon Stevens have announced £325m of capital investment for local projects that will help the NHS to modernise & transform care for patients.

Speaking at the King’s Fund, Mr Hunt and Mr Stevens gave the green light to local capital investment schemes in 15 areas of the country, with the largest sums being used for urgent care in Dorset, surgery in Greater Manchester and cancer care in Cumbria.

Patients will see this investment deliver faster diagnosis for conditions like cancer, easier access to mental health care, expansion of A&Es, shorter waits for operations, and more services in GPs surgeries.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Patients to benefit from £325m investment in NHS transformation projects

NHS Confed:  £325m for STPs "a small step in the right direction"

When they need Media Consultants to ‘sell’ the concept, one wonders as to the merits of the proposals

More (but essential) changes for the NHS

IPPR:  New law needed to make a success of STPs

Health Select Committee launches inquiry into Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs)

IPPR:  NHS change must be funded properly & championed by ministers to make service fit for the 21st Century

Common sense changes will prepare NHS for future, says NHS top doctor

Innovation in rural health and social care

NHS Confederation:  Response to STP footprints and leaders

NHS Confed: New report lays out central role for independent sector in NHS STPs

NHS England statement on STPs

 
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. 

 
We lose our ability to ‘bounce’ as we get older

RoSPA is supporting a new resource pack aimed at helping local health commissioners & practitioners develop strategies for falls prevention.

The Falls and fracture consensus statement: resource pack was published by Public Health England (PHE) in July 2017.  It complements the previously published statement produced by member organisations of the National Falls Prevention Coordination Group (NFPCG), which includes RoSPA and is hosted by PHE.

Aimed at local commissioners & strategic leads with a remit for falls & bone health, the resource pack builds on the original statement, including by providing extra information on costs & clinical effectiveness and links to commissioning support resources.
Researched Links:

RoSPA welcomes new falls prevention resource pack

Keep moving to ‘have a life’

‘Frailty’ may be inevitable with age, but its ‘management’ can still allow an ‘active’ lifestyle

Tripping & falling is no joke as your bones get frailer in later years

Falls prevention on the agenda for RoSPA Home Safety Congress

Why is diagnosing frailty important? – Professor Martin Vernon

 
Still a ‘National Treasure’

The UK was rated first out of 11 countries in a report on international healthcare systems published recently by the Commonwealth Fund.

NHS England:  UK health system comes out on top in new report
 
Making us safer in the home
The Working Group on Product Recalls & Safety has set out its recommendations for improving the UK’s product safety system.
Researched Links:

BEIS:  Working group report demonstrates progress on product safety

LGA responds to Which? report on product safety & recall system

 
HS2; still ‘in the station’ but some activity
Announcing bidders who have won contracts to design & construct bridges, tunnels, embankments and viaducts for HS2 Phase One.
Researched Links:

DfT:  Main civil engineering works contracts for Stage 1 of HS2 Phase One

DfT:  First big HS2 contracts to build Britain’s new railway will support 16,000 jobs

Huge economic boost for Scotland as Transport Secretary confirms new HS2 routes

NIC:  Adonis welcomes significant step forward in the delivery of HS2 from London to the North of England

Huge economic boost for the north of England:  Confirming high speed rail lines between Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands

DfT:  Rail infrastructure funding: 2019 to 2024

DfT:  New improvements for rail passengers in Wales, the midlands and the north

With all the other demands, where will the funding come from?

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

An independent Scotland could require more than the ‘benefits of £24bn’ to both pay for the extension of HS2 and the subsidies of the existing railway(s)

HS2: assessing the costs & benefits - Centre for Economic ...

STOP HS2 | Cost-benefit Analysis

 
Whither the UK space industry post-Brexit?

A UK-built satellite which will be part of Europe’s world-leading environmental monitoring programme – Copernicus – is ready for launch.

Sentinel-5 Precursor, part of a joint EC–ESA undertaking which aims to supply geo-information products & services based on the use of data from space, is set to leave Airbus’s site in Stevenage.

The satellite will provide essential atmospheric chemistry data to the Copernicus programme before the Sentinel-5 instrument becomes operational in 2021 on the MetOp Second Generation satellite.
Researched Links:

UK Space Agency:  Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite ready for launch

£100m boost for UK space sector to ensure UK is equipped to stay ahead of the competition

Introduction of Space Industry Bill shows UK’s commitment to commercial spaceflight

UK Space Agency - Plato mission brings opportunities for UK space sector

UK Space Conference 2017 is a huge success

£50m for satellite solutions to help developing countries

Funding awarded to schemes to support space entrepreneurs

Launch UK brings together UK commercial space sector

UK Space Agency: UK company delivers first Euclid flight hardware

UK Space Agency - UK at the forefront of NASA's CYGNSS mission

Satellite technology protects cyclists from large vehicle black spots

 
Follow the money
The new Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) will tackle potential weaknesses in the supervisory system that criminals & terrorists may be trying to exploit.  The watchdog will raise standards across the supervisory regime and ensure supervisors & law enforcement work together more effectively to help identify & tackle criminals.
Researched Links:

HMT:  New watchdog to close money laundering & terrorist financing loopholes

One suspects much of the money is sent abroad asap!

Talk is Cheap: Action Needed on Tackling Organised Crime’s Finances

ESAs publish AML/CFT Guidelines

FRC launches proposed updates to Money Laundering Guidance

Crack down on terrorist & criminal financing

Almost £120,000 clawed back from money launderer

Parliament again rejects blacklist of states at risk of money laundering

UK FinTech Working Together to Combat Financial Crime

Fight against terrorism financing requires wider measures

Traffickers jailed after rucksack handover, fake IDs & money laundering

HMRC launch criminal investigation into global financial institution

NCA statement on the Laundromat money laundering scheme

UK tightens defences against money laundering

New RUSI programme to support public/private intelligence sharing to fight financial crime across major markets

FCA fines Deutsche Bank £163m for serious anti-money laundering controls failings

New crackdown on corporate economic crime

Security Union: EC adopts stronger rules to fight terrorism financing

 
The price will be the cost

The government is unveiling new rules that will mean card-charging in Britain - where people can be charged 20% extra for purchases like a flight just for paying with a credit card - will come to an end in January 2018.

‘Surcharging’ is common practice across the country - with businesses ranging from takeaway apps to global airlines charging people to make card payments or for other services such as Paypal.  While many industries have acted to absorb the cost and not pass these on to consumers, these rules will bring an end to the practice entirely.
Researched Links:

HMT:  Rip-off card charges to be outlawed

 
A new home for research

An interim website has been launched by UK Research & Innovationwww.ukri.org, which site will be a source of news & information about the development of UKRI ahead of its formal creation in April 2018.

Please continue to visit the websites of the 9 Councils that will form UKRI and Research Councils UK for the latest news, announcements and funding opportunities from each organisation.
Researched Links:

ESRC:  UK Research & Innovation launches interim website

 
Reduces the ‘bullying’!

Small Business Minister Margot James has welcomed a positive relationship change between supermarkets and their suppliers, as she published the first statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

BEIS:  Groceries Code review notes significant cultural change in supermarket industry
 
Don’t be caught out!

Fraudsters are sending out messages claiming to be from WhatsApp in order to steal banking & personal information.

Action Fraud:  Why these fake WhatsApp emails and texts will catch people out

 
With more females than males going to University!

Meet 5 women leading the way for diversity within the National Cyber Security Centre.

NCSC:  Fighting for diversity from the NCSC front line

Big muscles not required!

 
With recent complaints over funding they will need to find savings

DfE to offer schools the chance to save on tablets, laptops & desktop devices.  100 schools took up the previous deal, buying over 2,000 devices.  Some schools saved thousands of pounds, with average savings of 8%.

DfE:  New deal to help schools save cash on computer equipment
 
Parents must ‘survive’ the summer holidays first

Parents with a child under 5 years old can now apply for a 30 hours free childcare place for September 2017.

DfE:  Childcare service opens for parents with children under five

DfE:  Benefits of 30 hours confirmed as free childcare places soar

 
Become more efficient

Charities can sign up for a range of free & low cost training opportunities through our small charities fundraising training programme.

DCMS:  Fundraising training programme for small charities now open

 
They have tried before

Ofcom recently announced a new initiative to make it easier for communications customers to get better deals.

Ofcom:  Helping people to shop around and secure the right deal

 
Not everybody can ‘navigate the system’ in time of need

Extra protections are being put in place for people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) who have a mental health condition or are homeless and had their benefits reduced because of a sanction.

DWP:  Immediate access to hardship payments extended to help mental health and homelessness

 
Do cows really lie down when it’s about to rain?

Over 60% believe it’s true.  But, is it? 75% of the British public have used folklore such as ‘red sky at night, shepherd’s delight’ to predict the weather.  Half have been caught out by the weather when they relied on folklore methods.

Met Office:  Do cows really lie down when it’s about to rain?
 
Despite side effects we cannot do without them

The CQC’s annual report on managing controlled drugs highlights their controlled drug responsibilities.  It includes their role with controlled drug intelligence networks (CD LINs), the National Group on Controlled Drugs and the Cross-Border Group for safer management of controlled drugs.

The report sets out key changes to legislation and gives an overview of prescribing data & prescribing trends for controlled drugs across England in the primary care sector.  It also makes recommendations to strengthen existing arrangements.
Researched Links:
CQC:  Our annual report on managing controlled drugs
 
It ‘takes your breath away’

Swimming & classroom lessons should teach children about the dangers of cold water shock, as new figures show a 25% rise in the number of young people drowning accidentally, council leaders have urged.

LGA:  Cold water shock dangers need including in swimming & classroom lessons, say councils
 
Grenfell Tower tragedy spurs councils into action

The Local Government Association is calling on government to launch an “urgent & immediate” review of building regulations.

LGA calls for ‘urgent & immediate’ building regulation review

 
But the digitally excluded may not benefit

Consumers will have greater control over their bank data and financial decisions thanks to new laws coming into force in January 2018.

HM Treasury:  Consumers put at the heart of financial services revolution

TUC says the financial sector isn’t delivering for working people

 
Time to grieve

Employed parents who have lost a child will for the first time get statutory paid leave to grieve under a proposed new law announced last week.

BEIS:  Parental Bereavement (Pay & Leave) Bill introduced
 
Just how united would a United States of Europe be in practice?

Brexit has revived a series of plans for EU defence integration that had long been considered impossible because of the UK’s opposition.

Open Europe:  Has Brexit catalysed EU defence integration?

 
Editorial Comment:  High salaries for BBC presenters

Pandora’s Box is now well & truly opened:

  • Many people think that one of the main reasons they are paid so much is that their salaries are used to justify the even greater over-payment of BBC managers
  • There is effectively no real limit in the supply of people who could (want to) do a main presenter’s job, given training & experience in off-peak programmes and in regional broadcasting.
  • There is, however a limit on the number of national ‘top rank’ job opportunities among all national UK broadcasting companies and no presenter is ‘irreplaceable’, which should keep salaries at a much lower level than they are.  Keep in mind that junior doctors start at sub-£27k after 5 years training (unpaid) and consultants start at sub-£77k basic and reach sub-£104k basic after 19 years and there are shortages at both levels.
  • As for female presenters, what about the Equal Pay Act?  One thought that it was a law that compelled employers to pay men & women the same pay for doing the same (or equivalent) job (Equal pay - advice and guidance | Acas).
  • It is not really that the excellent female presenters are so under-paid, but rather that their male equivalents are so over-paid!  Perhaps the BBC could ‘encourage’ the males to move to other broadcasters and replace them at the present ‘female’ rate, as it appears that there are many qualified applicants ‘in waiting’.
Finally, isn’t it about time the BBC ‘let go’ expensive contracted presenters like David Dimbleby (80 next year) and got some ‘new blood’ in, rather than continue with their rather ‘stale & repetitive’ approach to presenting?  Do we have to wait for them to literally ‘drop dead’ on screen/radio before replacements are brought in?
Researched Links:
IEA:  Publication of BBC salaries calls into question their role as a broadcaster
 

 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:

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

DExEU:  David Davis' closing remarks at the end of the second round of EU exit negotiations in Brussels

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

Defra:  The Unfrozen Moment - Delivering A Green Brexit

DfE:  £16m drive to boost maths skills for post Brexit Britain

PC&PE:  Lords debate report on UK-EU movement of people after Brexit

PC&PE:  Brexit - Trade in goods report debated by Lords

PC&PE:  Barrier to Trade and Security if Data Transfers are hindered after Brexit

PC&PE:  Brexit 'a fundamental challenge' to the future of the UK say Lords

Open Europe:  Has Brexit catalysed EU defence integration?

Open Europe:  The view from Brussels: How negotiations between the UK and the EU on Brexit financial settlement are slowly making progress

techUK Supports House of Lords Call for Data Adequacy

ScotGov:  EU Bill ‘doesn’t reflect reality of devolution’

ScotGov:  Rights of EU citizens

ScotGov:  Extension to ferries policy review

CBI: Brexit affecting investment decisions now - survey

 

 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  UK Government/DUP deal

WAG:  Formal dispute resolution process underway over fair share of Barnett consequentials from UK Government’s DUP deal

 

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:

There will be no gender equality in local government until 2065, if progress continues at its current glacial pace, says a new report from the Fawcett Society.
It has been nearly ten years since Jane Roberts oversaw a similar report, as chair of the Councillors Commission - she finds it deeply depressing that so little has changed. In some ways, things have got worse, she writes.
"If truth be told, those in the senior ranks of local government have been happy with how things are," Roberts says. "If new and more diverse people come in as councillors, some have to go – and this is unpalatable for many. Identity, status, social networks, structure and even income might be lost."
With gender inequality in mind, we'd like to encourage as diverse a pool of entries for our Public Service Awards. The deadline has been extended to 24 July so please do get your entries in. For more details on how to enter, click here.

Also on the network
Why so few female councillors? Good old-fashioned sexism, for starters

Why so few female councillors? Good old-fashioned sexism, for starters
Men tell me councils were more honourable when councillors worked for free. I’m pretty sure councils were whiter, older and more male then too. Funny that

News in brief
• Civil servants profiting from roles in private sector, report finds
• Court rules civil service redundancy payment cuts unlawful
• Brexit: former civil service head warns Theresa May of chaos
• Police missing terrorist tip-offs because of cuts, says former Met chief
• Rail firms that fail on disability should lose franchise – thinktank
• Philip Hammond urges caution over moves to lift public-sector pay cap
• Vulnerable adults let down by ‘poor’ social work, ombudsman says
• Councils to be banned from adding credit card fees