Defra: Fifteen local authorities taking part in the 2008 Chewing Gum Action Group campaign have successfully reduced chewing gum litter in their areas by 43%. To build on this success and to continue tackling chewing gum litter, the group is calling for new partners to come forward for the next campaign.
Anyone interested can apply to take part in the campaign by visiting a new dedicated website, which provides information on how to tackle gum litter effectively.
Defra: Minister for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Lord Hunt, has called for the public & local authorities to step up the fight against litter as the latest Local Environment Quality Survey shows that streets around the country are still in an unsatisfactory condition.
This annual report surveys 19,000 sites across England looking at environmental problems like litter, fly-posting and graffiti. It aims to give an objective & independent analysis of the cleanliness of our streets & neighbourhoods and identify key trends.
HEFCE: The first national analysis of the Aimhigher summer school programme was launched recently at the Action on Access Summer Schools Conference in Birmingham. These summer schools aim to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds a real taste of what life in higher education might be like.
The HEFCE report found that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are around twice as likely as other groups to attend an Aimhigher summer school.
Press release ~ Aimhigher summer schools: Analysis of provision and participation 2004 to 2008' ~ Aimhigher Practitioner ~ Aim High – Reach for a dream ~ Action on Access
HC: The Healthcare Commission has published its report on the impact of NHS regulation on healthcare and identified areas where lessons can be learned. The report considers how independent regulation has contributed to better outcomes and quality of care for people since 2004, as well as highlighting lessons for both regulation and the healthcare system as a whole.
A new integrated regulator of health, mental health and adult social care, the Care Quality Commission, will take over from the HC on 1 April 2009.
Press release ~ The Healthcare Commission 20042009: Regulating healthcare experience and lessons ~ Care Quality Commission
HA: The Highways Agency has published its annual Business Plan for 2009-10, describing in detail how it plans to continue to improve England's strategic road network. This financial year the Agency aims to start construction work on six major road schemes: M25 widening junctions 16-23 and also junctions 27-30, Hard Shoulder Running on M6 junction 8-10a, A14 Felixstowe to M1 traffic management technology improvements, Hard Shoulder Running on M1 junction 10-13, and also on M4 junction 19-10 and M5 junction 15-17.
Recently, the Agency announced the Midnight Switch-Off lighting strategy to reduce carbon emissions by up to 40% on six motorway stretches as part of the Sustainable Development Action Plan. This year's Business Plan includes the Agency's first carbon reduction targets, which have been set using data gathered during 2008-09.