General Reports and Other Publications

NAO: The National Audit Office has published a report on the pathfinders housing market renewal programme thathas been running for five years and to which the government has committed £2.2bn to it up to 2011.
 
Low demand for housing is now less severe in pathfinder areas and the gap between these areas and surrounding regions has started to close.  However, it is not possible to identify a causal link between pathfinder activity and these changes in housing markets, as there are many other factors involved.
 
While there have been physical improvements in some neighbourhoods, it is unclear whether intervention itself has led to improvement in the problems of low demand. And in some cases intervention has exacerbated problems in the short-term.
Press release ~ NAO: Housing Market renewal ~ Executive Summary ~ Housing Market Renewal programme ~ Pathfinders ~ Audit Commission Strategic reviews of pathfinder scheme updates
 
Defra: Defra and the horticultural & agricultural industries have published a new study into plant health threats to the UK, which will provide an evidence base against which future policy can be considered. The study looks at responsibility & cost sharing options for dealing with plant health threats.
 
The report also looks to the future and identifies that the risk of new plant pests & diseases being introduced to the country is likely to increase with the impacts of climate change, globalisation of trade & travel and the evolution of new diseases.
Press release ~ Plant Health: Responsibility and cost sharing study ~ ScotGov: Plant Health, Seeds and Potatoes ~ WAG: Plant health ~ Defra - Non-native species ~ Imperial Consulting Ltd ~ National Farmers' Union ~ Horticultural Trades Association ~ Horticultural Development Council ~ Home Grown Cereals Authority ~ Royal Horticultural Society ~ British Potato Council
 
ScotGovLothian and Borders Police has demonstrated positive progress in its efforts to improve service delivery, according to a report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

The review inspection report focuses on the current activities undertaken by Lothian and Borders Police, including action taken in response to the recommendations & suggestions made in HMIC's primary force inspection in 2003 and the subsequent review inspection in 2005.

A new inspection process is currently being developed by HMIC which will replace the previous process and as such this review inspection is the last carried out under the previous process.
Press release ~ Lothian and Borders Second Review Inspection 2007 ~ Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) ~ ScotGov - Police ~ Lothian and Borders Police
 
ACE: The public and the arts community believe Arts Council England should give more priority to innovation in the arts, according to - ‘Public value and the arts in England - a report detailing findings of the Arts Debate, the Arts Council’s first-ever public value inquiry, which has just been published.

The report finds that many people really are passionate about art - feeling that it helps them to express themselves and better understand the world, challenging their assumptions and broadening their horizons.  The arts are also seen as a source of beauty & enjoyment and as an important emotional outlet.

It also shows widespread support for public funding of the arts but, at the same time, there are people from all walks of life who feel to some extent excluded from what the arts have to offer.
Press release ~ Public value and the arts in England ~ Arts Council England
 
NAO: The National Audit Office has produced a report on the £28m expenditure involved in abortive Home Office plans to create a purpose-built asylum centre in Bicester, Oxfordshire, following its announcement in 2001 of a major overhaul of the asylum system to speed up the processing of applications from asylum-seekers.
 
The NAO report makes a number of recommendations for departments planning similar projects and Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, said: "Bicester highlights the need for Departments to identify, for schemes that require planning permission, the impact of planning delays on cost and delivery using a range of scenarios”.
Press release ~ The Cancellation of the Bicester Asylum Centre ~ Executive Summary
 
NSG: The Civil Service should be moving towards a culture of 'dynamic capability' with Capability Reviews more tailored to individual departments and more resources devoted to ensuring that they deliver change, according to an evaluation of the Civil Service Capability Review (CR) programme by the National School of Government's Sunningdale Institute.
 
The report was commissioned by the Civil Service Steering Board (CSSB) - the cross-cutting governing body of the Civil Service – to evaluate what went well, what did not, and to suggest what the future direction for the CR programme should be.
Press release ~ Take-off or Tail-off? - An evaluation of the Capability Reviews programme ~ Civil Service Capability Reviews ~ National School of Government - Sunningdale Institute ~ Civil Service Steering Board (CSSB)
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