General News

NICE: NICE will develop innovative new ways of considering how the costs & benefits of informal care can be taken into account when developing social care guidance & quality standards. This follows a series of recommendations made by NICE's Citizens Council who were asked at their last meeting to consider whether NICE needed to take into account any additional factors when looking at social care.
Press release & links
 
MoD: A thought-provoking exhibition on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) opened recently at the National Army Museum in London. In an instant they can change lives, causing confusion & destruction. Over the last decade the improvised explosive device has become the insurgents’ weapon of choice and entered our lexicon of evil.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The pristine marine environment at Sound of Barra is to be given international recognition following a decision to make the Western Isles site a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The new SAC will be managed using an innovative majority community-led approach utilising local knowledge.
Press release & links
 
HO: A new pilot allowing top business migrants to continue travelling whilst waiting for their visa to be processed launched last week. Applicants re-applying for a visa under the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) route will now receive their passport back within 7 - 10 days, after applying for their visa, but before it has been approved.
 
It forms part of the Home Office focus to make the visa application easier for businesses & their employees.  Recent figures show that our reforms to the immigration system have not deterred the brightest & the best from coming to the UK as visas for skilled migrants increased by 5% in the year up to March 2013.
Press release & links
 
UNICEF:  Sports fans signing up for seats at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will have the chance to donate to UNICEF’s life-changing work with children when they buy their tickets. This will be the first opportunity for the general public to actively support this exciting new partnership for children announced by UNICEF, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Glasgow 2014 back in April 2013.
 
As part of their ticket application every person will be given the opportunity to include a donation of £1, £3 or £5 to UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.  The money raised will go towards helping improve the lives of babies & children in Scotland and in Commonwealth countries across the world through the many transformative projects UNICEF delivers every day. 
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, has been found in an apiary in the Stranraer area. The disease was confirmed last week following laboratory diagnosis by Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).  

The AFB infected hive has been destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.  There are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality & safety of honey. The movement of bees & related equipment into or out of the affected apiary are under specific controls.
Press release & links
 
HO: Vans displaying large adverts encouraging illegal migrants to return home voluntarily have been driving around London in a one week pilot.  The vans, as well as leaflets, posters & messages in local newspapers will be used to highlight the advantages of returning home voluntarily – while making clear enforcement action will be taken if they do not.
Press release
 
OfcomA correction has been made to reflect changes in the news release regarding news minutage in Wales.
 
Ofcom has set out the terms that will apply to new public service broadcasting licences for ITV, STV, UTV and Channel 5. This forms part of Ofcom’s work to issue new 10-year licences when the current ones expire at the end of 2014.
Press release & links
 
DECCNational Grid have announced that T-pylon, the winner of the Pylon Design Competition, is being offered for the first time in the UK for a new electricity connection in Somerset. 

The new design has a single pole and T shaped cross arms which hold the conductors and wires in a diamond ‘earring’ shape.  Because of this innovative layout, the pylon can stand at a height of just 35 metres, 10 to 15 metres shorter than the traditional lattice towers.
Press release & links
 
TUC: Responding to last Wednesday’s announcement by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), that (from October 2013) it is to stop carrying out automatic inspections of all companies applying for a new GLA licence, the TUC has warned the decision could lead to an increase in rogue employment agencies.
Press release & links
 
ACE: A new application process for organisations wishing to apply for Arts Council National portfolio and Major partner museum funding from 2015 to 2018 will open in January 2014.  The overall budget for National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums is anticipated to be reduced by 5% in real terms in 2015/16.
 
Organisations will be invited to submit applications during a 3 month window from early January 2014, with further information about the process, timeline and the criteria for making funding applications being made available in late autumn.
Press release & links
 
TfL: New figures from London Underground's workplace violence unit show that 10 years of using DNA spit kits to identify perpetrators of spit attacks on Tube staff has contributed to a reduction in such behaviour by 75%.
Press release & links
2020 Vulnerability Roundtables