General Reports and Other Publications
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) welcomes the recent report of the Public Accounts Committee on the operation of the Government’s Warm Front Scheme, which recognises that many rural properties are hard to heat & to insulate, but points out that nearly 75% of households helped by Warm Front are not in fuel poverty. In addition, although 28% of those in fuel poverty live in rural communities, Warm Front is only reaching 15% of rural fuel poor households.
Crispin Moor Executive Director at the CRC said: “……, we are calling on DECC to introduce (statutory) social tariffs for the rural fuel poor, and to widen measures available under Warm Front to include secondary glazing.
Press release ~ Warm Front Scheme ~ ‘Public Accounts Committee - Thirty-Ninth Report The Warm Front Scheme’ ~ Commission for Rural Communities
ACE: Arts Council England has published findings from 2 new pieces of digital research. The research is part of the first phase of the organisation’s 3 year programme to help the arts world seize the digital opportunity:
* The first study explores the public’s understanding of & engagement with art in the digital space
* The second study assessed the online offer of all the ACE’s regularly funded organisations (RFOs) to produce a ‘snapshot’ of the digital presence of arts organisations across the country
ACE is currently developing the next phase of its digital research programme and all findings will inform the digital elements of the organisation’s future strategy.
Press release ~ Digital opportunities research programme reports (scroll down) ~ ACE’s response to the Digital Britain report
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities’ inquiry into the future for England's upland communities has been gathering evidence on how these areas can best be equipped to secure their economic prosperity, and provide sustainable benefits for all. To supplement their findings they commissioned research to build & extend on the responses they gathered. It was designed to engage with a wide range of people, particularly those who might not otherwise participate in the Inquiry.
Press release ~ Research report: 'The Views of the Communities' ~
CRC inquiry into the future of England's upland communities
ScotGov: First Minister Alex Salmond has published the report of the Ministerial Code Inquiry into a complaint from Iain Gray MSP regarding exchanges at First Minister's Questions. The report is the second to be carried out by the Rt Hon Lord Steel of Aikwood and the Rt Hon George Reid, Independent Advisers to the First Minister. Lord Steel had lead responsibility for inquiring into this referral.
DECC: The UK is on track to meet the challenge of securing energy supplies both internationally & domestically, a new report commissioned by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown claims. The report - ‘Energy Security: a national challenge in a changing world’ complements the actions set out in the recently published UK Low Carbon Transition Plan. It finds that many of the actions being taken to reduce climate risk also need to be sustained to tackle energy security.
Press release ~ Energy Security: A national challenge in a changing world ~ UK Low Carbon Transition Plan ~ DECC: Security and resilience of domestic energy supply ~ Britain's Energy Security in a Multipolar World ~ 'Modelling a resilient UK energy system' ~ ~ The Energy Markets Outlook ~
Security Of Energy Supply - BIS ~ Joint Energy Security of Supply (JESS) working group report ~ National Grid ~ Energy Intensive Users Group ~ Ofgem ~ Oxford Institute for Energy Studies ~ Association of Electricity Producers ~ The Politics of plants
Defra: A poorly developed demand for veterinary services rather than a shortage of farm animal veterinarians has been identified by a personal report published by Professor Philip Lowe. The report was commissioned by Defra on behalf of a Government/Industry Steering Group which has been considering whether there is a shortage of farm animal veterinarians in Great Britain.
The report concluded that there was no such shortage, nor a lack of interest in veterinary graduates pursuing a career in farm animal veterinary work. The report identified the potential for veterinarians to increase their role as providers of expert advice to the farming & food industries.
A recurring theme in the report is the need to better align farm animal veterinary services to meet the changing needs of the livestock industries. Professor Lowe recommends the creation of a Veterinary Development Council as an appropriate forum for bring the suppliers & customers of farm animals veterinary services together.
Press release ~ Unlocking Potential - A report on veterinary expertise in food animal production by Professor Philip Lowe
CLG: Communities and Local Government Secretary John Denham has welcomed the publication of Sir Ken Knight’s report into issues emerging from the Camberwell fire. Sir Ken’s Terms of Reference for his report included the fire safety matters applicable to this building and consideration of operational procedures at this incident in relation to the appropriateness of current national guidance, training and procedures.
Press release ~
Report by the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser on emerging issues arising from the fire at Lakanal House, Camberwell ~ CLG – Camberwell Fire
HO: A new report by ippr - Shall we stay or Shall we Go: Re-migration trends among Britain's immigrants - claims that more & more immigrants to the United Kingdom are staying for a short time and then leaving. The outflow in the last couple of years is close to 400,000.
Research in 5 countries showed that migrants tend to come to the United Kingdom for economic reasons, but leave for personal reasons. The migrants who are most likely to leave are those with high skills, good education and low barriers to movement. These people are becoming increasingly 'super mobile'.
Press release ~
Shall we stay or Shall we Go: Re-migration trends among Britain's immigrants ~ Balanced Migration press release ~ Migration Watch UK
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities have responded to CLG’s consultation on Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Prosperous Economies (PPS4). CRC have welcomed this step to reflect changes in policy, specifically relating to sustainable development and addressing the challenges of the current recession and of climate change.
It has also welcomed the fact that some of the recommendations from Matthew Taylor's 'Living Working Countryside' report and the Rural Advocate’s report 'England’s rural areas: steps to release their economic potential' have been taken forward.
There are 2 key areas where CRC believe PPS4 should be strengthened to help overcome rural economic disadvantage & release the economic potential of rural areas:
* reflect & promote a stronger evidence based understanding of how local rural economies work
* replace the notion of blanket protection with criteria which should be applied at the local level
Press release ~ Full response ~ CLG closed consultation: Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Prosperous Economies (PPS4) ~ Living Working Countryside ~ England’s rural areas: steps to release their economic potential
HEFCE: The scale of the funding adjustments to London Metropolitan University (LMU) and the public interest it has generated, including many Freedom of Information requests, are exceptional & unprecedented. The HEFCE have decided therefore to release information relating to their dealings with the University.
The information includes an overview of the events, a timeline and supporting information. The Information also includes an externally commissioned report, following an independent review by KPMG, of the lessons they have learned or need to learn from this exceptional case. The University is also commissioning a lessons learned review for its own purposes. A further report on an independent audit of student records at the University by BDO Stoy Hayward cannot be released at this time for legal reasons.
Newswire – SfE: The public feels local councillors are more likely to be truthful than local MPs, according to recent research carried out for Standards for England. The research, which repeated questions asked previously in 2007, was carried out in June, at a time when press coverage about MPs’ expenses was hitting the headlines.
ESRC: Giving people a sense of being in control is an important element in health messages, according to researchers at Nottingham and De Montfort universities. The research, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), looked at how language used in policy messages & media coverage affects the public perception of health threats.
The report warns that lyrical & over-emotional language may be counter-productive when issuing warnings & advice about pandemics and hospital infections. Professor Brigitte Nerlich, who led the research said: “During the SARS and bird flu scare scientists & health organisations used disaster metaphors, such as ‘tsunami’, ‘perfect storm’ and ‘bio-terrorism’ to mobilise the media, governments, and individuals to prepare for a pandemic in waiting.
Such terms can make people sit up & listen, but they can also lead to panic or cynicism. Recent advice on swine flu has centred on basic hygiene, which makes people feel they can do something practical, instead of being mere victims of so-called ‘superbugs’ or ‘killer viruses’. But obviously this is easier to do when a disease is relatively benign”.