General Reports and Other Publications

FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has outlined how its successor body charged with conduct & markets regulation will be ‘tougher, bolder and more engaged with consumers’. The approach document sets out how the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which will assume responsibility for protecting consumers and markets’ regulation from the end of 2012, will deliver its objectives.
Press release & links
 
Newswire - TUC: As learning becomes increasingly a core role of unions, a new report shows that it can act as a powerful recruitment sergeant, bringing new people into the movement and encouraging members into greater activism.
 
Learning Journeys: trade union learners in their own words, by academics from London Metropolitan University's Working Lives Institute, found that Union Learning Fund projects and union-led learning were successful because union learning reps (ULRs) reach the most disadvantaged and those older workers who thought they would never have a second chance.
 
The model of learning - either in workplace learning centres or by access to on-line courses - was popular, because it fitted in with workers' other commitments and was unlike their bad memories of school. And it showed that union learning - now believed to be 10% of all union activity - is persuading people to join up.
Press release & links
 
Newswire – CIPD: The key to preventing escalating strike action will be for Government and public sector employers to communicate to employees the benefits of being employed by the public sector compared to the private sector, even after any reforms to pensions.
Press release & links
 
CEOPUK National Centre for Child Protection publishes outcome of 6 month assessment into "on street grooming" and child sexual exploitation.
Press release ~ Out of Mind, Out of Sight ~ Coalition for the Removal of Pimping (CROP)
 
PC&PE: The Health Committee has found that the role of the Health Service Ombudsman needs a complete overhaul if it is to provide an effective appeals process for the complaints system.  The Ombudsman's current terms of reference prevent her from launching a formal investigation unless she is satisfied in advance that there will be a 'worthwhile outcome'.
Press release & links
 
IfG: The Institute for Government has published its interim evaluation of the Ministry of Justice's 'Transforming Justice' programme: Transformation in the Ministry of Justice: 2011 Interim Evaluation Report
Press release & links
 
Reform: According to the latest report from the Reform think tank, the UK faces a bleak future of rising taxes & rising deficitsTwo forces will defeat the Government’s attempts to reduce the deficit:
* the ageing population
* the Government’s own policies to increase spending on the basic state pension and the NHS
Press release & links
 
JRF: A new report published last week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) highlights the challenges facing community organisations who wish to own or manage assets, such as buildings & land

As the transfer of community assets has been given new impetus by the recent Localism Bill (which proposes to give local communities more control, including community rights to buy, to challenge & to build), JRF commissioned research into a range of community-based organisations who own & manage assets across the UK.
 
The report warns that without the right conditions in place, asset ownership/management can struggle to achieve benefits.  Throughout 2010 & 2011 JRF has run a series of seminars looking at different issues relating to Community Assets.
Press release & links
 
TWFOnly the knowledge economy can provide the jobs & balanced growth needed to secure the UK’s future prosperity, according to a plan for growth published last week by The Work Foundation.  The report sets out a vision of what a balanced & sustainable economy could look like in 2020 and provides a detailed picture of the measures needed to secure this future.
Press release ~ A Plan for Growth in the Knowledge Economy ~ Britain's Quiet Success Story: Business Services in the Knowledge Economy ~ Knowledge Economy Strategy 2020 ~ Shaping Up For Innovation: Are we delivering the right skills for the 2020 knowledge economy?
 
CSJ: Specialist local teams should be established immediately in order to fight the epidemic of poverty & isolation in later life, according to a report published by the Centre for Social Justice.  Expert units made up of local community leaders, police officers, older people’s charities & council officers should be set up to find & support the estimated 1m pensioners who report feeling lonely or trapped in their homes.
Press release & links
 
NAO: There are major risks the Department of Energy & Climate Change must address to achieve value for money from its £11.3bn national programme to install ‘smart’ electricity & gas meters in all homes and smaller non-domestic premises in Great Britain from 2014 to 2019, according to a report by the National Audit Office.
Press release & links
 
Newswire – CABPeople with disabilities face unnecessary extra difficulties when trying to sort out their debt problems as creditors fail to recognise specific needs or make reasonable adjustments in a consistent way according to Citizens Advice.  The charity’s report (Double Disadvantage) highlights that many clients would not have engaged with their creditors without the help of specialised debt advice, but warned that ongoing funding for this valued community based support is uncertain.
 
Around 1 in 5 people seeking advice about debt problems from CABs in England & Wales are disabled or have a long term health problem.  Last year bureaux helped over 72,000 disabled people with debt problems. The charity warns that compliance with the Equality Act and sector specific rules is far from embedded in the day-to-day business practices of all creditors and practices that fail to account for the needs of disabled people are not being challenged.
Press release & links
 
CCC: The Committee on Climate Change’s progress report finds that emissions increased by 3% in 2010, mainly as a result of the colder winter months.  After adjusting for weather impacts, emissions were broadly flat.  This is incompatible with the 3% annual average emissions reduction required to meet the first 4 carbon budgets.  A significant acceleration in the pace of emissions reductions is therefore required.
Press release & links ~ WWF comment ~ CBI comment
 
NAO: The project to replace the 46 Fire and Rescue Services' local control rooms across England with 9 purpose-built regional control centres linked by a new IT system has been a comprehensive failure, according to the National Audit Office.
 
The Department for Communities and Local Government acted to cut its losses by terminating the contract in December 2010, 7 years after it had begun, but at least £469m will have been wasted, with no IT system delivered and 8 of the 9 new regional control centres remaining empty & costly to maintain.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE:  MPs published a report on Friday 1 July criticising the government’s plans for winding down the Forensic Science Service, saying the current deadline for closure is unlikely to ensure an orderly transition and urging the government to extend the deadline by at least 6 months.  The report highlights concerns over the shrinking forensics market - driven by police in-sourcing of forensic science - and a failure by the government to consider enough evidence in its decision-making.  
Press release & links
 
Newswire – TUC: A part-time nurse earning £17,000 a year will suffer an 8.5% real terms pay cut by 2012/13 - almost £100 a month - as a result of planned pension increases, the public sector pay freeze & tax changes, according to new TUC research published last week. While ministers say their proposals would protect low-paid public sector staff from pension increases, this does not include those who, if they worked full-time, would earn more than the government's £18,000 cut off.
 
The switch to linking the indexation of pensions in payment to the CPI measure reduces the value of pensions by 15%.  The NAO estimate this is a saving of £67bn.  A number of unions are currently taking legal action to challenge the decision to cut the value of pensions in this way.
Press release & links
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