DCMS: The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games remain on time & within budget, new official data published by the Government & Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) confirms. Figures from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Quarterly Economic Report show a small rise in the Anticipated Final Cost (AFC) of the construction programme being delivered by the ODA – up by £7m to £7.241bn during the last quarter, equivalent to an increase of less than 0.1%.
But no contingency has had to be released to cover these potential increases as it is anticipated that they will be covered, either wholly or in part, by savings made in other parts of the building programme. The majority (£1.27bn) of contingency remains unreleased and the ODA continues to make good progress in preparing the venues and infrastructure in the Olympic Park, with construction on all major venues underway.
Press release ~ London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Quarterly Economic Report November 2009 ~ Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)
GEO: New research commissioned by the Government Equality Office show that women are deterred from applying to sit on boards because corporate boards are dominated by ‘old boys’ networks’. The research found that women continue to be under-represented at board level despite having the right education & experience they need to succeed.
It also found that board room cultures were often inhospitable to under-represented groups and that the small number of female board directors was not down to a lack of aspiration or competence on the part of women, but a failure by companies to identify their talent.
However the report singled out the positive action provision in the Government’s Equality Bill as being particularly helpful for women in the future, allowing businesses to employ a person from an under represented group when all the candidates are equally qualified.
Press release ~ Canfield’s annual Female FTSE 100 Report – press release & report ~ FTSE100 Cross-Company Mentoring Scheme ~ United Kingdom Resource Centre (UKRC) ~ Government Equalities Office ~ PROWESS
ScotGov: Scotland's Chief Statistician has published Free Personal and Nursing Care, Scotland 2007 - 08. This statistics release presents information on the number of people benefiting from free personal care & free nursing care in Scotland and how much Local Authorities spend on personal care services. See also related DH item in ‘In the News’ section.
Ofsted: A picture of overall improvement in care, education & skills in England is revealed in Ofsted’s Annual Report, launched last week by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert. Bringing together evidence from almost 40,000 inspections carried out during 2008/9, the report acknowledges overall progress and many successes, but also focuses on where improvements must still be made.
It highlights the continuing gap between the best & worst provision for children, young people & adult learners, and challenges those who deliver services that are mediocre or inadequate. Using evidence from Ofsted’s inspection findings, the report considers 3 matters of national importance & interest, the:
* first focuses on what works for one of the most vulnerable groups in society: looked after children
* second looks at an issue at the heart of school & college effectiveness: teaching & learning
* third tackles head on the challenges faced by the skills sector at a time of economic change and uncertainty
ScotGov: National statistics published recently - based on information from police forces across Scotland for 2008-09 - show a 5 percentage point increase in incidents of domestic abuse being recorded as crimes or offences. This means that the figure now stands at 55%, up from 50% of incidents in 2007-08 and over the previous five years. The police also referred 35% of incidents to the procurator fiscal - up three percentage points on the previous year.
MoD: As at 1 October 2009, the full time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 174, 890 against a target of 178,490. This comprises 170,050 UK Regular Forces, 1,320 full time reserve service personnel and 3,520 Gurkhas.
CLG: One year on from the launch of the ‘No One Left Out’ strategy to end rough sleeping, further action to stem the flow of new rough sleepers coming onto the street and reach entrenched rough sleepers is well underway, according to a progress report published last week.
Funding has been provided to help hundreds of rough sleepers find homes in the private rented sector through the Small Grants programme. Through this, councils can help provide deposits so that rough sleepers are able to secure privately rented accommodation. A mentoring & befriending scheme has also been established for vulnerable housed rough sleepers to help the stay in their accommodation and begin to make friends & new social support networks in their community.
Press release ~
One year progress report ~ CLG – Rough Sleeping ~ Homeless Link ~ National Rough Sleeping Estimate ~ Homeless Link: Action Plan to End Homelessness ~ HL: Unlocking Solutions - Developing Move On Plans ~ National Alliance to End Homelessness ~ WAG - Homelessness
Defra: The 13th edition of The environment in your pocket has been published by Defra. This is an annual publication containing material on various environmental themes including waste & recycling, sustainable consumption, climate change, air quality, land, coastal & marine waters, radioactivity, wildlife and inland water.
The main themes of this year’s publication are waste, recycling & sustainable consumption and larger sections have been devoted to these topics. It covers almost 60 key data series and focuses on providing trends over time, including performance against quantified targets & commitments set at the national & international level. It includes several environmental indicators of sustainable development.