General Reports and Other Publications

ScotGov: Commenting on the Consumer Focus 'Green to the Core' report, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "We are particularly keen that retailers do more to recognise the value of local seasonal produce and sustainably sourced fish.  Over half of all Scottish fisheries by value are currently accredited by the MSC - and many more are on track to achieve the gold standard of sustainability.
 
This year Scotland has led the way by working with retailers to virtually halve the number of carrier bags handed out and was the first country in the UK to introduce the 50% target.  Through 'Recipe For Success' we've successfully worked with supermarkets to encourage more sourcing of Scottish produce which can help cut food miles”.
Press release ~ Consumer Focus - Green to the Core Report ~ Consumer Focus - Scotland ~ Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy ~ Retailers' Charter
 
ScotGov: Rural land makes up 97% of the country, accounts for 1 in every 6 jobs and generates over £17bn a year for the economy. Those key findings were among many to be found in new research published recently at Scotland's first-ever Land Use SummitT he Summit promoted the development of Scotland's first integrated Land Use Strategy to help meet 21st century challenges, such as food security, energy production and tackling climate change.
 
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act requires the Scottish Government to lay a Land Use Strategy before Parliament by March 2011 and to review it at intervals of no more than 5 years.  All land, both urban & rural, falls within the scope of the strategy.  However, Scotland's second National Planning Framework, published in June, sets out a long-term spatial strategy for development and will provide the foundation for the urban & built environment component of the strategy.
 
The Rural Land Use Study and Summit will help inform further policy development including the Land Use Strategy, the Pack Inquiry on the Future of Agricultural Support for Scotland and further research.
Press release ~ Changing Land Use in Rural Scotland - Drivers and Decision-Making ~ Realising the Potential Contributions of Scotland's Rural Land to Delivering Sustainable Economic Growth ~ The Role of the Public Sector in Realising the Benefits of Scotland's Rural Land - Research ~ Scotland's second National Planning Framework ~ Pack Inquiry on the Future of Agricultural Support for Scotland - Also see following two items.
 
NENatural England has launched Vital Uplands - a 2060 Vision for England’s uplands - which examines how the uplands could be sustainably managed over the next 50 years to secure the food production role that they have played in recent decades, while delivering a wide range of other public benefits.
 
The report – and the detailed description of environmental services that goes with it - describes how the Uplands might look & be managed in 50 years’ time. NE is looking to explore how upland communities can be better supported by focusing land management on critical food & environmental services.
 
Accompanying the Vision, NE also announced 3 pilot projects – in Cumbria, the South West uplands and Yorkshire – which will explore how the provision of a broader range of environmental services can be turned into genuine business opportunities for farmers & land managers.  The pilots will go live in 2010 and will trial ways in which local upland management can be geared to the delivery of multiple public benefits.
Press release ~ Vital Uplands - a 2060 Vision for England’s uplands (scroll down) - Also see preceding & following 2 items.
 
CRC: A report written to inform the Commission for Rural Communities’ inquiry into the future for England’s upland communities says; “the greatest threat to the future of upland communities is the ambiguity regarding the significance, value and role of upland communities themselves.” 
 
The report goes on to say that there is a risk that upland communities will continue to be characterised by disadvantage unless we see a shift in people’s perceptions of the uplands, including those who live & work there, from ‘less favoured’ to ‘highly favoured’ places. The report explains why there is the need for upland communities to be much more closely involved in the policy decisions that affect them and considers how this might be achieved.  The final report of the inquiry is scheduled for completion in February 2010.
Press release ~ Developing the English Uplands - Also see preceding two items.
 
HO: In April 2009 the Home Office published a consultation, ‘Protecting the Public in a Changing Communications Environment’, which set out the importance of communications data in helping to protect & safeguard the public; how the rapidly changing communications environment means the existing capability of the police, the security & intelligence agencies and other public authorities is declining and why change is necessary.

The consultation paper sought views on options for maintaining our vital communications data capabilities and the government has now published a Summary of Responses to that consultation.
Press release ~ Summary of Responses 
 
OFT: The Office of Fair Trading has published 4 research reports undertaken as part of its market study into home buying & selling.  These comprise a survey of estate agents, a survey of trading standard services and both qualitative & quantitative consumer research.
 
Evidence from the research suggests that consumers are increasingly open to alternative methods of buying or selling a home.  The OFT’s final report will look at, among other things, how new ways of buying & selling a home may develop in the future, whether there is scope to improve consumer protection enforcement, consumer awareness of potential pitfalls in the process & ancillary services sold by estate agents.  The OFT intends to publish the study in early 2010.
Press release ~ OFT: Home buying and selling market study page
 
NAO: The delivery of the Government’s programme to control chlamydia infection in young people to date has not demonstrated value for money, a report by the National Audit Office has found.  The Department of Health implemented the Programme in 3 phases.

In 2008-09, 6 years after the Programme’s launch, testing levels were only just beginning to reach the point where they are likely to significantly reduce the prevalence of chlamydia.  The devolved delivery, through Primary Care Trusts, has resulted in duplication & inefficiency, with, for example, 45 different brands developed for the Programme in different parts of England
Press release ~ NAO: Department of Health - Young people’s sexual health: the National Chlamydia Screening Programme ~ DH: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV ~ DH: Review of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme
 
Dstl: In response to the recommendation of the RCUK (Research councils UK) Review of Physics, EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and STFC have carried out a review of nuclear physics & nuclear engineering in the UK which was chaired by Dr Sue Ion.
 
The review panel sought input from a variety of stakeholders.  The panel met in July 2009 and their report is now available.  EPSRC & STFC welcome comments on the report and its recommendations from members of the research community and other stakeholders.  Feedback will be integrated in to the Action Plan for the Review report, which EPSRC & STFC will prepare.  Please email any comments by 7 December 2009.
 
STFC will hold a discussion of the report with the Nuclear Physics community at 3pm on 25 November 2009, in the Merrison Lecture Theatre at Daresbury Laboratory.  This discussion will follow on directly from the Nuclear Physics Forum meeting.
Press release ~  EPSRC/STFC Review of Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Engineering ~ RCUK (Research councils UK) Review of Physics ~ EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) ~ STFC ~ Nuclear Physics Forum
 
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities has welcomed Action with Communities in Rural England’s (ACRE's) latest national survey of rural community buildings.  Village halls & other community buildings are part of the essential fabric of rural localities and play an increasingly important part in the provision of vital services & facilities for the wider community.
 
The specific recommendations in ACRE’s report raise important issues about the future sustainability of community-owned & run buildings and highlights the increasing role government, at all levels, can play in supporting & nurturing this vital asset.
Press release ~ Action with Communities in Rural England’s ~ ACRE: National survey of rural community buildings ~ CRC: Future sustainability of community-owned and run buildings ~ Rural Community Action Network
Build Back Better: Location Intelligence in Healthcare