General Reports and Other Publications
ScotGov: All agencies dealing with drug addiction and its underlying causes need to refocus their talents & energies on helping addicts into recovery according to Minister for Community Safety, Fergus Ewing. Responding to the publication of the Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse (SACDM) Sub-Group's 'Essential Care' Report, Mr Ewing confirmed that the ‘path to recovery’ would be at the centre of Scotland's new national drugs strategy which will be published before the summer.
Some of the main findings of the SACDM Sub-Group's Essential Care Report are:
* There is a need for a major change in the philosophy of care for people with problem substance use
* Substance users are people with aspirations
* Policy makers, commissioners and services need to consider how they can help them recover
* Substance users have the right to the same quality of care as the rest of us
Press release ~ Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse (SACDM) ~ Essential Care: A Report on the Approach Required to Maximise Opportunity for Recovery from Problem Substance Use in Scotland ~ Scottish Drugs forum ~ Scottish Recovery Network ~ Turning Point Scotland ~ Co-morbid Mental Health and Substance Misuse in Scotland
DCSF: Ed Balls has accepted recommendations from a top behaviour expert that all secondary schools should join behaviour partnerships and announced new plans for a White Paper to ‘transform the alternative provision for pupils who have been excluded from school’ and announced plans to tackle cyber bullying of teachers.
In his initial report Sir Alan Steer looks at the many complex issues that can affect behaviour in & out of school. Some of these he will consider in depth over the next few months as he works towards his final report, including the role of learning & teaching policies and looking at the right balance of parental responsibilities and school powers.
However, following Sir Alan's latest advice, there are three areas where Ed Balls now plans to go further:
* all schools should be required to be part of behaviour partnerships
* making sure that the additional £109.5m for Parent Support Advisers is targeted at schools with the highest need, and
* plans for a White Paper to see a transformation in the quality of alternative provision, including plans for more voluntary and private sector provision such as high quality vocational training and studio schools
Press release ~ Sir Alan Steer review ~ DCSF: Behaviour and Attendance ~ Teachernet, Cyberbullying ~ 2005 Report of the Practitioners' Group on School Behaviour and Discipline ~ Parent Support Advisers
MoD: Commenting on the report by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee into Defence Equipment 2008, the Minister for Defence Equipment & Support, Baroness Taylor, said:
"The size and complexity of the MoD's equipment programmes with their challenges in delivery and technology must not be underestimated……. We note the Committee's observations and constructive criticism regarding other aspects of the equipment procurement process and these will be carefully considered as part of the Department's full response to the Report."
Press release ~ The House of Commons – Defence Equipment 2008 ~ Previous NAO press release ~ Previous MoD press release ~ Major Projects Report 2007 ~ Volume II: Project Summary Sheets ~ Volume III: The Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) Project ~ Executive Summary ~ Defence Industrial Strategy ~ Previous PAC press release ~ Public Accounts Committee: Ministry of Defence Major Projects Report 2006 ~ MoD – Defence equipment & support
Defra: Two thirds of households recycle their food waste when councils provide a weekly collection, along with fortnightly residual waste collection, research has found. The reasons householders do or don't take part in food waste recycling are outlined in a Defra-funded study led by consultants Brook Lyndhurst. The full report, was discussed at a conference for local authorities last week and it will be published later this spring.
Working with the Resource Recovery Forum and Waste Watch, Brook Lyndhurst's project Enhancing participation in kitchen waste collection schemes - household behaviour and motivations, highlights the real scope for environmental and economic benefits of separate weekly food waste collection services for householders.
Defra is also funding work by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to trial household food waste collection systems. WRAP is supporting 19 councils to conduct weekly food waste collection trials, to develop good practice guidance in the design and operation of food waste collection schemes.
Press release ~ Consumer Views on Recycling Food Waste ~ Resource Recovery Forum ~ Other papers ~ Waste Watch ~ Waste & Resources Evidence Programme (WREP) ~ Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) ~ Defra: Enhancing Participation in Kitchen Waste Collection - WR0209 ~ Love Food Hate Waste campaign ~ Brook Lyndhurst
NAO: According to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO), by being able to switch suppliers, customers have put competitive pressures on telecom, electricity, gas, and postal providers following the removal of pricing controls. Around half of energy and fixed line telecoms customers have switched supplier and 90% of people doing so found it easy.
However, problems such as complex tariffs and a lack of information mean that some consumers, particularly those classified as vulnerable, are still unable to take full advantage of the competitive market. In addition, the suppliers that in the past had monopolies continue to have a strong position in their original markets (46% of revenue in gas, just under 50% of revenue in electricity, and 48% by volume in telecoms).
ScotGov: Two new reports on homelessness assess evidence on local authorities' capacity to meet the Scottish Government's 2012 homelessness target. Together the reports - the Homelessness Monitoring Group and the 2012 Homelessness Support Project - help inform strategic planning for delivery of the 2012 target.
Following their publication, Stewart Maxwell, Minister for Communities said that no one should be homeless in a modern and prosperous Scotland.