General Reports and Other Publications

EHRC: The Equality and Human Rights Commission recently issued its first response to the government’s consultation on the Commission's powers & duties. The Commission warns that some of the proposed changes are likely to lead to greater uncertainty and increased costs for public bodies & businesses; more litigation & less conciliation in discrimination cases; and the undermining of the government's own new equality strategy.
Press release & links
 
EHEnglish Heritage has launched The National Heritage List for England, a significant milestone towards achieving better understanding & protection for heritage in this country by opening up information which until now has not been easily accessible to the public.
 
The National Heritage List for England is a new online database of the country's 400,000 listed buildings, registered parks, gardens & battlefields, protected shipwrecks and scheduled monuments.  For the first time ever, separate registers and lists for different types of heritage are combined in one and the public can now go online to search for heritage by postcode, by date, by grade or by any category from listed building to listed lamp-post, from scheduled coal mines to castles.
Press release & links
 
IISS: In its latest Strategic Comment, the International Institute for Strategic Studies asks; Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence?  Countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine & heroin. 
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, recently said: "The Department of Health needs to be clear how, when trusts are independent of its control, it will achieve the essential savings it should enjoy from the joint, bulk buying of medical supplies and other consumables in NHS hospitals.

When resources are so tight it is simply unacceptable that money is being wasted by paying more than necessary on everyday products, from paper to surgical gloves. The Department should specifically spell out how, in the new NHS landscape in which Foundation Trusts act independently, trusts will be motivated to deliver collectively the £1.2 billion savings which could be secured - and who will be accountable”.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: In a report released recently on the BBC’s Licence Fee Settlement and Annual Report, the Culture Media & Sport Committee says that the main outcomes of the BBC Trust’s strategic review "do not move the BBC on" to the extent required by current circumstances, and that the incoming Chairman will have "much to get grips with".
Press release & links
 
PC&PE‘The Implications of Cuts to the BBC World Service’ report findings were the subject of a Commons Debate last week.  This was the first debate in the House on a substantive motion by a departmental select committee relating to a major issue of public concern since the introduction of the new arrangements for backbench business.
 
The debate took place in the Chamber on Thursday 19 May.  The debate focused on the findings of a report by the Foreign Affairs Committee into the cuts to the BBC World Service imposed as part of the Government's Spending Review.
Press release & links 
 
PXConditions on benefit claimants should be increased so that they have to spend more time each week looking for a job, says a new report from think tank Policy Exchange.  The study recommends that current work search requirements should be expanded to make sure that claimants can stay in - or get into - the habits of a normal working lifestyle.  According to research from the Department for Work and Pensions, the average jobseeker currently spends just 1 hour a day looking for work.
 
The report - No rights without responsibility: rebalancing the welfare state - also proposes ways to start reintroducing the contributory principle into the benefit system.  This would mean those who have paid in National Insurance Contributions for longer would get treated more generously than those who have not.
Press release & links
 
CH: Within a short time, India has evolved from a country with a marginal role to a key participant in global decision-making.  But many agree that India's ability to play a greater global role would evolve more naturally were the country's domestic development challenges met.
 
A new Chatham House report, For the Global Good: India's Developing International Role, explores India's growing influence on international affairs, trade & investments, security & democracy, and the environment, including climate change.
Press release & links
 
NLGN: In a new research paper, the NLGN warns that the decision to increase the cost to councils of borrowing from government could threaten local authorities’ ability to boost local economic growth. Localism think tank The New Local Government Network (NLGN) also suggests that much-needed investment in community development & regeneration could suffer unless councils are able to access vital investment through new sources of borrowing.
 
NLGN will lead a high-level taskforce consisting of local government & financial sector leaders to map out a new capital financing landscape for councils.  The group will look for new means to ensure that councils can source the necessary investment to help deliver the infrastructure required for local economic growth as well as the provision of essential social infrastructure such as high-quality schools and housing.
Press release ~ Localist Capital Finance: The challenges ahead
 
CfSJ: Britain is failing to harness the power of sport to divert young people from a life of anti-social behaviour & crime, according to a new report from the Centre for Social Justice published this week.  Despite spending nearly £500m over 4 years on encouraging more people to play sport, ministers are failing to reach thousands of disaffected & underprivileged youths.
 
Participation targets in the general population have been badly missed and at classroom level results have been weakest among schools with high proportions of poor pupils or situated in run-down areas.
Press release & links
 
CIPD: A new analysis of the economics of employment regulation this week concludes that the knee-jerk opposition of much of the business lobby to many employment rights – for example their opposition to last week’s (Monday 16 May) government consultation paper on Modern Workplaces, which proposed changes to parental leave entitlements and extension of the right to flexible working to all employees – ‘betrays an underlying bias against employment regulation, which at times flies in the face of economic evidence’.

The analysis comes in - The economic rights and wrongs of employment regulation– a new Work Horizons report published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Press release & links
NEW RESEARCH: THE CEO IN GOVERNMENT - LEADING ALBs WELL