Annual Reports

PC&PELocal Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are key drivers of strong regional economic growth, says the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee in a Report published recently.  The Report welcomes the Government’s commitment to providing core funding for LEPs for the next 2 financial years, but argues that the timescale is too short to allow LEPs to take long-term investments. 
 
It urges the Government to provide the certainty & security that LEPs need to drive long-term growth by setting now the levels of their core funding for the 5 years from 2015. 
Press release & links
 
NO: An independent external evaluation of the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) was published last week.  It confirms that the LGO is independent & accountable; and it provides clear evidence that the public have access to a fair & effective route to redress when they have complaints about local public services and social care providers.
 
The report makes a number of recommendations about how the LGO can develop further and also calls for a review of the legislative framework that governs the operation of the Ombudsman scheme.
Press release & links
 
DWP: The percentage of people entitled to Employment & Support Allowance is at its highest level with over half of people completing a Work Capability Assessment eligible for the benefit.  Just under half were found fit for work and will be given help to find a job which is suitable for them.
 
The new figures show that nearly 3 in 10 people completing a Work Capability Assessment between June & August 2012 were awarded unconditional support through.  This compares to just 1 person in every 10 completing an assessment 3 years ago.
Press release & links
 
NICELess than 5% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who are eligible to receive NICE-approved drugs are being offered them, according to new research. Poland & Romania are the only countries in Europe which fare worse in this area. The report also revealed that across England, the NHS has been slow in adopting clinical & cost-effective new MS medicines approved by NICE.
Press release & links
 
Ofsted: Ofsted has published ‘Not yet good enough’, a report which evaluates the strengths & weaknesses of personal, social, health & economic (PSHE) education and makes recommendations on how the subject can be taught well in English schools.
 
The report, which was based on evidence from 50 maintained schools and an online survey of 178 young people, found PSHE education was good or better in 60% of schools, but required improvement or was inadequate in 40%.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The House of Lords Constitution Committee has published a report which says that the Government should do more to inform Parliament when ministers propose to take action before Parliament has passed the legislation that would make that action legal.
 
The Committee says that when ministers want to act in anticipation of legislation, known as ‘pre-empting Parliament’, they should set out what they want to do, why & under what powers in a statement made to Parliament. 

The Committee also says the Government should publish a full list of instances where they pre-empted Parliament at the end of each parliamentary session
Press release & links
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