Policy Statements and Initiatives
Newswire – 10DS: The Prime Minister has announced new plans to hand power to the public with every department publishing a plan that sets clear priorities and measurable milestones. These Structural Reform Plans (SRPs) mean anyone can check that departments meet their commitments.
The plans are published in draft until the results of the Spending Review are known. When finalised, they will become part of each department’s business plan and will be updated annually.
Press release ~
Cabinet Office SRPs ~ Department for Communities and Local Government SRPs ~ Department for Education SRPs ~ PM’s speech at Civil Service Live ~ Related CLG press release
HMT: George Osborne has ‘called on the public to send him their very best ideas on how to get more for less from our public services’. Anyone can go to the new Spending Challenge Public engagement website and submit their ideas.
The Chancellor launched the Spending Challenge website on 24 June 2010. The first phase was aimed at the public sector and had received 61,888 ideas (as of 08 July).
CLG: A ‘radical plan to banish nonsense red tape and repeal unnecessary laws’ has been unveiled by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles. In a speech to a local government audience, Mr Pickles invited council workers & sector experts to suggest CLG sponsored statutory guidance, secondary legislation or regulations they think should be removed so councils can get on with their job. 240 Councils have coming forward already. All ideas should be sent to: email@example.com.
Examples include; the 1919 law that required the Secretary of State's consent if councils wanted to buy new land for allotments; 3 different sets of regulation governing tree protection; and guidance on the duty to carry out an economic assessment.
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has refreshed its plan for engagement with Scotland's single largest overseas market for exports, inward investment and tourism - the USA. On American Independence Day, External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop published the Scottish Government's Plan for Engagement in the USA.
ScotGov: Over 5,000 NHS staff in Scotland will now be trained to encourage victims to 'open up' about domestic abuse. Scotland will become the first country in the UK to tackle domestic abuse through the NHS, with a co-ordinated national strategy to identify & help more victims.
Frontline NHS staff in Scotland will become skilled at how to initiate conversations in a sensitive way that will give people the chance to open up about abuse behind closed doors. Midwives, mental health workers, substance misuse & sexual health professionals, A&E staff and health visitors will be trained over the next 18 months.
WAG: The Welsh Assembly Government has announced that it is going to ‘radically transform the way it supports the Welsh economy’. The Deputy First Minister and Minister for the Economy & Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, outlined a vision (Economic Renewal: A New Direction) of making Wales ‘one of the best places in the world to live, to work and to thrive’.
In future government resources will be targeted at tackling wide systemic issues within the Welsh Economy - investing in infrastructure, research & development and improving the conditions within which businesses operate. Economic Renewal will see a fundamental shift away from direct & generic support for companies, to a focus on creating the right environment for businesses to succeed.
ScotGov: Buses in Scotland will be helped to go green thanks to a new £3.4m Scottish Green Bus Fund launched last week. Bus Operators, local authorities and regional transport partnerships are being invited to apply for funding to help with the additional up front costs of buying a low carbon bus.
ScotGov: Hundreds of 'hard-to-reach' care leavers & young carers are having their life prospects turned around thanks to a groundbreaking new initiative that takes them out of their comfort zone and into the Scottish wilderness.
Organised by the Edinburgh-based charity Venture Trust, the 'Inspiring Young Futures' (IYF) programme helps 16 - 19-year-olds build confidence by taking them through a series of challenging outdoors activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, hill walking & abseiling. They are inspired to make positive changes and develop the confidence & motivation they need for the difficult transition to adulthood.
NICE: More needs to be done to restrict the advertising of alcohol to children & young people and to regulate the growing problem of online adverts, experts have said. There are now around 1,900 groups dedicated to one alcoholic product alone on the Bebo social networking site, which is popular among school-age children, said Mr Tobias Paul, a commissioner from the Scottish Youth Commission on Alcohol.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of Public Health at NICE, agreed that the advertising of alcohol to children needs to be looked at and pointed to the recent NICE guidance on preventing hazardous and harmful drinking, which contains a number of recommendations to tackle the problem of alcohol advertising & children.
Press release ~ NICE: Preventing hazardous and harmful drinking ~ Scottish Youth Commission on Alcohol
DWP: Around 250,000 pensioners will start getting £80 off their next electricity bill from this month, thanks to a deal by the Government and the leading energy suppliers announced earlier this year. Up to £20m will be paid out by the largest energy companies in a one-off rebate to some of the pensioners who need the most help with their fuel costs.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is writing to all those who are eligible to let them know either that their rebate will be paid automatically, or asking people to call the Helpline and confirm their entitlement. The DWP shared some of its customer data securely with the energy companies so they could identify the poorest pensioners.