General Reports and Other Publications
IISS: The latest Strategic Comment from the International Institute for Strategic Studies comments on Japan's decision to purchase & nationalise 3 islands in the East China Sea, which has caused protests to erupt in more than 100 Chinese cities.
NHS Confed: Mike Farrar of the NHS Confederation has commented on the Reform report 'Takeover'. Hesays a redesign of the way services are provided, not just mergers & takeovers, is needed to address the problems of financially troubled trusts.
APCC: The Association of Police Authorities has issued a statement in response to the publication of HMIC’s report into Police Authorities’ preparedness for the transition to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) this November.
Demos: New polling released by the think tank Demos shows the majority of people believe the government should start controlling how welfare recipients spend their money. This survey forms part of a wider piece of research supported by MasterCard, exploring the role that prepaid cards might play in the delivery of direct payments and benefits. It comes at a crucial time as the Government prepares to launch a new ‘Universal Credit’ in autumn 2013 that will replace existing income-based benefits and tax credits.
The results also build upon the findings of the recent British Social Attitudes Survey, which found the percentage of people who believe governments have a responsibility to the unemployed to have enough to live on has plummeted from 85% of voters in 2001 to just 59% in 2011.
PX: A new report, Welfare Reform 2.0, by Policy Exchange says politicians need to be more honest about how successful JobCentre Plus is at reducing the number of people claiming benefits. While they talk of 75% of all benefit claimants moving off JSA within 6 months, in fact, less than half of claimants will enter paid employment of over 16 hours. 30% of claimants leaving JSA are back on benefits again within 8 months.
It also suggests that we should expect more of those claiming benefits. The public’s attitude towards welfare has toughened over the past few years. A poll for Policy Exchange found that 21% of the public thought that claimants should lose all of their benefits regardless of the hardship it would cause if they failed to comply with their jobseekers agreement.
JRF: A new report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation outlines how York and other cities can become truly dementia-friendly communities. It follows the launch earlier this year of the Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge.
The York Dementia Without Walls project looked at what is needed to make the city 'dementia friendly' - meaning a good place to live for people with dementia and their carers. The practical ideas in the report were shaped by local people affected by dementia. The most difficult things for people with dementia are everyday activities that most take for granted, such as withdrawing money at the bank, paying bills, shopping and using public transport.
NO: Leicestershire County Council’s assessment of the safety of school walking routes was flawed, finds Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin. In her report, she says, “I believe the Council’s decisions were the result of a fundamentally flawed decision-making process, and this was maladministration.”
The Council only considered the width of the roads, crossing points and existence of pavements. It did not consider street lighting or the condition of one of the routes at different times of the year; nor did it consider most of the factors as set out in the Department for Education & Skills’ (DfES) Home to School Travel and Transport Guidance. It also failed to consider the complainants’ representations.
ESRC: According to latest research, social scientists with PhDs working in central government make valuable contributions to policy, and report that holding a PhD can enhance their credibility with senior officials. It also shows that they are more likely to have climbed the career ladder and progressed into leadership roles.
Ofgem: Analysis by Ofgem published for the Department of Energy and Climate Change as required by the Energy Act (2011) forecasts a reduction in electricity generation margins over the next 4 years.
The report shows that electricity margins, the amount of spare generation capacity on the system, could fall from 14% to 4% in 2015/16. Coal fired-generation is likely to close earlier than expected under EU environmental legislation and the risk of a shortfall in electricity is highest in 2015/16.
DFID: A DFID spokesperson has responded to Oxfam's report on land grabbing in poor nations.
Press release & links ~ Oxfam warns that modern day land rush is forcing thousands into greater poverty
HEFCE: A new report published by the Higher Education Funding Council England looks at how the chances of young people entering higher education (HE) vary according to where they live. ‘POLAR3: Young participation rates in higher education’ outlines the latest version of the participation of local areas (POLAR) measure, which classifies small areas from across the UK according to their rates of participation by young people in higher education (HE).
NHS Confed: Commenting on the report 'Ward rounds in medicine', NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: "This report provides a number of useful recommendations for how we can overcome the barriers that prevent staff working collectively on some wards. We should listen to what staff say and their ideas about how services can best work”.