Policy Statements and Initiatives
ScotGov: First Minister Alex Salmond recently opened the White Space learning and knowledge creation centre, which will be at heart of Abertay University's computer games technology & computer arts teaching and knowledge-creation activities.
During the ceremony he announced a £56,800 sponsorship for a 'Dare to be Digital' competition during the summer, which sees teams of five students (usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio) assemble in a regional hosting centre for 10 weeks to develop a prototype video game, receiving daily support and weekly training sessions from industry specialists. Prototypes are displayed at a special talent showcasing event in Edinburgh, Dare ProtoPlay, alongside the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival in August.
Press release ~ Abertay University, Dundee ~ Dare to be Digital ~ Dare ProtoPlay ~ White Space learning and knowledge creation centre
MoD: A brand new centre fostering new technologies for the frontline has officially opened its doors. The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) is a new initiative to help bring bright ideas that could aid current operations to fruition. Situated in the Oxford-London-Cambridge 'Golden Triangle', the Centre is intended to bring together inventors, investors, entrepreneurs and academics who together will incubate new technologies and turn ideas to cutting edge reality.
Building on the success of the Grand Challenge and Competition of Ideas, the CDE will look for innovative proposals, the best of which will be taken forward as research contracts to produce the next generation of military equipment & technology. It also seeks to stimulate wider entrepreneurial interest in the defence sector.
Cabinet Office: Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, joined volunteers at Newark Mind last week to help prepare lunch for people attending the charities' resource centre. Newark Mind provides a range of social and educational services to people who have, or once had, mental health problems. Trained volunteers offer advice, support and information.
Nationally, some 73% of all adults volunteered in the last 12 months and the government claims to be committed to supporting more people in high quality volunteering opportunities. It has invested £117m in the youth volunteering charity 'v' and £12m into the 'Goldstar' and 'Volunteering for All' programmes, which encourage people who are less likely to volunteer. Volunteers week 2008 runs from 1 to 7 June 2008.
Press release ~ Newark Mind ~ Office of the Third Sector ~ V ~ The GoldStar Exemplar Programme ~ Volunteering For All ~ Volunteers' Week (1-7 June)
DH: Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis has announced a new National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research, which will be part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and will receive £3m funding a year, for five years in the first instance. It comes after the successful establishment of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research in 2006.
Social care affects the lives of about 1.25m people and their families in England. The School will reflect the profile of modern social care, which is provided by a range of different agencies in a variety of contexts. Its work will help to improve the quality of care services for all those who use them.
Press release ~
National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research ~ National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) ~ NIHR School for Primary Care Research ~ Transforming Health Research the first two years ~ Care, Support, Independence debate
MoJ: Ministerial Champion for Women in the Criminal Justice System, Maria Eagle MP, has launched a framework setting out the national strategy for delivering services to female offenders. The National Service Framework for Women Offenders lays out the Government's strategy for addressing the specific needs of female offenders and claims to represent a significant step forward in the commitments made in the Government's response to Baroness Corston's report last year.
The Framework is intended to deliver the Government's high-level vision for how services should be delivered to female offenders and will be used by all commissioners and providers who have a responsibility for delivering these services. It will be used as the basis for specifying the exact size, cost and nature of provision in order to deliver upon these priorities.
The Framework will be supported by the publication of an updated version of the National Probation Service 'Good Practice Guide on Delivering Effective Services for Women Offenders in the Community.' This guide, along with the recently published Prison Service Gender Specific Standards, provides more detailed operational guidance for prison and probation staff delivering services for women on the ground.
Press release ~ Baroness Corston's Report on Women with Particular Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System ~ National Service Framework for Women Offenders ~ Offender Management Guide to Working with Women ~ Prison Service Gender Specific Standards
Ofgem: Energy regulator Ofgem has published a Fuel Poverty Action Programme which includes proposals from the Government, industry and Ofgem to help low income customers. The programme emerged from the Ofgem–led Fuel Poverty Summit held in April. The measures that were agreed are intended to improve the targeting of help to the fuel poor.
ScotGov: The first national drugs strategy since devolution was launched recently, which will see promoting recovery from drug problems forming the focus of efforts to tackle drug use. Ministers believe the strategy will help cut the estimated annual £2.6bn financial burden of problem drug use to the Scottish economy and society.
Other key measures include:
*A recognition tackling problem drug use will only be done through effective policies on the economy, tackling poverty and supporting families & children
* A fresh approach to drugs education, including the provision of factual information on drugs to every household with parents or grandparents in Scotland
* The tracking of investment in drug services and the outcomes they deliver
* A commitment to strengthen existing powers to seize assets from drug dealers
* A new approach to achieve better quality of drug treatment across all prisons
Press release ~ The Road to Recovery: A New Approach to Tackling Scotland's Drug Problem ~ ScotGov - National Drugs Strategy ~ Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management ~ Curriculum for Excellence ~ Scottish Association of Alcohol and Drug Action Teams (SADAAT) ~ Scottish Prison Service ~ 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 Recovery Network ~ Turning Point Scotland ~ Co-morbid Mental Health and Substance Misuse in Scotland