Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

HCA: People responsible for organising place-making training workshops have access to a new FREE flexible electronic toolkitTrain&Sustain - which provides trainers with all the materials they need to give their audiences a good understanding of place-making & practical examples of how to make communities more sustainable.
 
The resource enables trainers to construct a variety of learning activities, lasting from just a few minutes up to a comprehensive full-day workshop and tailor the contents & structure to suit different audiences. The material can easily be adapted to reflect different localities by adding local case studies, information about specific organisations or other relevant resources.
Press release ~ Train&Sustain
 
COI: A new 5 step process for behaviour change communications planning is at the heart of new guidance from the Central Office of Information (COI).  It also recommends a practical behavioural model to be defined at the start of any new behaviour change initiative and refined throughout the life of the campaign.  These measures will help maximise the effectiveness of - and define the role for - government marketing activity on integrated behaviour change campaigns.
 
COI is now in the process of setting up an approved suppliers list of behaviour change experts that Government can call upon to help solve behaviour change challenges.  It is expected to be available for use by the end of 2009.  COI is also currently developing a new best practice approach to the holistic evaluation of all government communications, which will take account of the findings made in this report.
Press release ~ COI: Communications and behaviour change
 
Newswire – HCA: The HCA’s approach to co-ordinating investment decisions with planning policy obligations to help unlock many more developments across the country is set out in a Good Practice Note.  The publication - HCA investment & planning obligations: responding to the downturn - has been produced for staff & partners of the national housing & regeneration agency.  
 
Based on existing policy guidance, it suggests recommendations for maintaining more affordable housing from planning permissions & associated S106 obligations alongside HCA investment, in the current housing market downturn.
 
The purpose of the document is to set out the approach the HCA will take to help local authorities meet immediate housing need & ensure that, when the upturn begins, a recovering market is not hampered by a proliferation of lapsed consents, or delays due to a glut of re-applications.
 
Working with Local Planning Authorities through the HCA’s Single Conversation (a place-based approach to investment), the Agency will support housing & regeneration priorities for an area by investing in ways that unlock schemes that are currently unviable, using public investment alongside private investment, to help make best possible use of developer contributions through planning permissions and planning obligations.
Press release ~ HCA investment & planning obligations: responding to the downturn ~ HCA’s Single Conversation
 
DH: An extension of the Government’s Change4Life campaign, which helps families ‘eat well, move more and live longer’, has been announced by Health Secretary, Andy Burnham. The Start4Life campaign, will support front line staff to deliver the Healthy Child Programme, supporting pregnant women & parents of babies to establish good feeding & activity habits for their babies, to help them reduce the risk of becoming obese in later life. The campaign centres around 6 top tip topics for families, focusing on breastfeeding, active play and introducing of solid foods when the baby is ready.
Press release ~ Start4Life campaign ~ Change4lLife ~ Healthy Child Programme
 
LSIS: The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) and The University and College Union (UCU) is launching the first guide for FE college staff governors. UCU sees the guide as a catalyst to boost the input & quality of staff governors on FE college governing boards.
 
Each further education college is required to have up to 3 staff governors on the governing board.  The union hopes the new guide will help staff governors contribute more effectively at the top level of decision making.  Staff governors are full members of the governing body and allowed to speak & vote on most issues - something the guide makes clear; although it also identifies when & where the role is restricted.
Press release ~ Guide for FE college staff governors ~ Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) ~ The University and College Union (UCU)
 
Defra: Pigs on a farm in Norfolk have been confirmed as having a strain of influenza commonly known as ‘swine flu’ in people.  This follows earlier cases in Northern Ireland.  Routine scanning surveillance has confirmed that the strain of the virus found is virtually identical to strains currently circulating in humans.  It is not uncommon for pigs to be affected by influenza.  Influenza in pigs is not a notifiable disease.
 
Voluntary measures set out in a new Code of Practice on influenza in pigs drawn up by the pig industry, Defra, Devolved Administrations and other government bodies, are in place on the farm.  There is no food safety risk, pandemic H1N1 2009 has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and cooked pork or pork products.
Press release ~ Latest information on swine flu ~ Advice to pig keepers (including the Code of Practice)
 
Newswire – EC: Those who run & police elections need to do all they can to ensure they are well prepared to prevent electoral fraud at the UK Parliamentary general election in 2010, according to the independent elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission.
 
At a seminar on preventing & detecting electoral fraud organised by the EC and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Commission Chief Executive Peter Wardle launched joint EC & ACPO guidance on tackling electoral fraud, setting out what everyone involved in elections needs to do, to ensure voters can be confident their vote is safe.
 
The law requires returning officers to check at least 20% of postal vote identifiers, but most returning officers follow the Commission’s guidance & check 100%. The EC has called on the Government to make 100% checking mandatory.
Press release ~ Electoral Commission Guidance on preventing & detecting electoral malpractice ~ Allegations of electoral malpractice at the May 2008 elections in England & Wales
 
CLG: Housing Minister, John Healey, claims to have given councils more flexibility in how they manage their housing waiting lists.  He has also called on councils to do more to tackle the myths & misunderstandings about housing waiting lists, so local people can have confidence that the system is fair.
 
Published last week, new statutory guidance makes clear that those in greatest housing need must be given priority, but it also gives councils more freedom to allocate their homes according to needs specific to their local area. Councils have said they will use this extra flexibility to prioritise:
* families with local connections
* those seeking local employment
* overcrowding & under-occupation in their communities
See also ‘In the News’ section for related CLG Tenancy item
Press release ~ Fair and flexible: statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England ~ CLG: Housing Allocation
 
HO: Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, announced last week that offenders’ crimes & their punishments will be shared more frequently with local communities under new government guidelines, which encourage the police and other criminal justice agencies to make this information more widely available. It follows a government poll that showed more than two thirds of people think it is important for the public to be told about the sentences handed out to offenders, but only a quarter currently feel well informed. 
 
The announcement included publication of guidance for public authorities on publicising information (including via the internet) about individual sentencing outcomes within the current legal framework.  The government’s crime & justice advisor, Louise Casey, has also published a report outlining why this information should be shared with communities
Press release ~ Local communities to be informed of criminal convictions (see downloads) ~ Louise Casey's report
 
DCSF: Schools Minister Iain Wright launched revised statutory guidance to local authorities on assessments relating to people with learning difficulties.  This follows a public consultation on the draft guidance earlier this year and a commitment made in the IAG Strategy - See ‘Charities / Voluntary Organisations / Third Sector’ section for more information.
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