General Reports and Other Publications

PC&PE: MPs on the Commons Science & Technology Committee have warned that a decision to discontinue the census would have a negative impact on the Government's social science analysis, as well as social science research in the UK, and that alternative systems for collecting population data may not prove to be any cheaper.
Press release & links
PC&PE: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee is has published a Report on Olympics security. The Committee concludes that the blame for G4S's failure to come up with the required venue security staff rests firmly & solely with the company itself.
A combination of flawed management information and poor communication with applicants & staff mean that G4S senior management had no idea how badly wrong their operation was going until it was too late to retrieve it.  G4S continued to give false reassurances, based on poor-quality data, to LOCOG, the Home Office and other partners involved in the operation until a very late stage in the process.
Press release & links
CBI: A new CBI report on public services reform identifies how to maintain high quality public services and achieve £22.6bn or more of taxpayer savings by further opening up public service delivery to independent providers.
Press release & links ~ LGA comment
NHS Confed: The NHS Confederation has issued a stark warning to the Government about the £2bn gap in long-term social care funding, saying that a failure to resolve the issue will have a severe impact on patients. Publishing a report called Papering over the cracks, the NHS Confederation analyses the demographic & financial trends in social care, assesses the impact on the NHS, and proposes a way forward.
Press release & links
ESRC: If approached in the right way, citizens are willing to change their behaviour and do more to help themselves & others, according to research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council.  The project, carried out jointly at the universities of Manchester & Southampton, experimented with different intervention techniques which encourage citizen participation and explored people’s motivations for community involvement.
The researchers focused on comparing the effectiveness of 'nudge' techniques, where people are offered incentives to change their behaviour, and 'think' techniques, which takes a planned approach where people are given information, the opportunity to discuss & debate a subject, and then opportunity to act.  Overall, they found that, while the nudge interventions yielded better results, these were not always sustained in the long term.
Press release & links
Civitas: A new book, Boxing Clever, describes how the London Boxing Academy Community Project (LBACP), in partnership with Westminster social policy think-tank Civitas, combined boxing, close personal relationships, respect for rules & high aspirations to re-engage teenagers in education.
The aim of the LBACP was to make use of the strong relationships that boxing coaches have traditionally held with wayward young men.  It was an alternative education project in Tottenham, North London, where the summer riots of 2011 began. 

The LBACP specialised in working with 14-16 year old boys with aggression problems, many of whom were already known to the criminal justice system.  The project encouraged the students 'to take control of and better their own lives using education'.
Press release & links
IISS: The latest Strategic Comment from the International Institute for Strategic Studies examines how Russia's approach towards the crisis in has attracted much criticism in Western and some Arab capitals. 

However, statements that is simply 'protecting its ally' or 'protecting its arms market' are unwarranted.  Its stance on Syria is informed by a number of considerations and interests, at both an international and a regional level, as well as in itself.
Press release & links
PX: New research shows that the majority of people support tagging criminals.  72% of the public support tagging prisoners out on parole until the end of their sentence, while 64% support the use of ankle tags for those serving a community sentence.

The report, Future of Corrections, by think tank Policy Exchange says that the current system of tagging is in desperate need of reform.  A more effective use of tagging, where police & probation officers are directly involved in keeping track of offenders and recommending to prison governors & the courts which criminals should be tagged, could save hundreds of £ms of taxpayer money and help the Coalition achieve its goal of stabilising the prison population by 2015.
Press release ~ Future of Corrections
NOPlymouth City Council’s delay in fulfilling a settlement remedy it had agreed with the Local Government Ombudsman demonstrated “a lack of appropriate commitment to customer service”, said Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin.
In her report, she says “I can agree remedial action with a council during an investigation to enable complainants to receive a remedy more quickly.  This demonstrates a willingness by a council to make amends. It relies on councils providing accurate and well-researched information.” But in this case, the remedy was not fulfilled, and information provided was inaccurate.
Press release & links
TPA: Patients want to be more involved in their care but feel GPs are currently not delivering good communication or shared decision making, according to a snapshot of opinion published by The Patients Association.

Patients too often feel disempowered & disengaged from their care, report feeling patronised by their clinicians and want to be more involved in planning their care, more involved in decisions about their treatment and better supported to manage their conditions independently
Press release & links
IoE: A blog from the Institute of Education claims that the ‘EBacc is a throwback’.   It has been compared to O level, but its lineage is older.  Its closer cousins are O level’s pre-1951 predecessors, the School Certificate and Matriculation.
Unlike O levels, the School Certificate required passes in a range of subjects ­– drawn from the broad areas of English studies, languages, and mathematics/science.  For Matriculation, which was a condition of university entrance, a higher level of pass was necessary across a range of School Certificate subjects, including Latin. Press release & links
NO: Residents of a newly-constructed housing estate complained that the District & County Councils failed to secure completion & adoption of the road serving their homes.  The construction of the road has still not been completed and residents wishing to sell their homes have faced significant difficulty.
Although the Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, only upheld part of the complaint, the 2 Councils involved have nevertheless now agreed to take action with a view to securing the completion of the necessary works and adoption of the road outside the complainants’ homes.  The Ombudsman says this provides a satisfactory settlement of the complaint.
Press release & links
PC&PE: The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its report - 'Preventing fraud in contracted employment programmes'.
Press release & links
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