Policy Statements and Initiatives

WAG: Social Justice & Local Government Minister, Carl Sargeant, kicked off a Wales-wide ‘Your Service Your Say’ tour last week to hear from public service users & providers how to protect services in the challenging times ahead
Press release ~ WAG: Improving public services ~ WAG: Local government
ScotGov: Ministers have asked the General Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and Registers of Scotland to explore the benefits of amalgamation. A merger of the 3 bodies has the potential to deliver savings for the taxpayer while maintaining the high level of services provided.
Press release ~ General Register Office for Scotland ~ National Archives of Scotland ~ Registers of Scotland
ScotGov: The first of a series of nationwide meetings to listen to views on Scotland's budget got underway last week in Livingston. Further meetings will take place in September & October in Aberdeen, Galashiels, Glasgow, Kirkintilloch and Kirkcudbright (dates will be confirmed in due course).
Press release ~ Independent Budget Review ~ Have your say on public spending in Scotland
BIS: Following the closing day for submitting local enterprise partnership proposals the Government has confirmed that it has received 56 proposals from across the country.  

Over the coming weeks Ministers will consider the proposals in detail, looking at how they will support economic growth, before providing feedback to partnerships ahead of the publication of the White Paper on sub-national economic growth and the introduction of the Localism Bill.
Press release ~ Previous related press release ~ Joint letter to Councils
HO: Damian Green says the coalition government will make sure that Britain maximises from the benefits of immigration. Speaking to the Royal Commonwealth Society last week, the minister said that Britain has always benefited from immigration, 'but it will only continue to do so if it is properly controlled…… This means that the unsustainable levels of net migration seen in recent years must be brought down'.
He said the government is determined to make decisions based on evidence – which is why it has just released new research called The Migrant Journey, which gives evidence about the behaviour of immigrants coming to the UK through all managed routes (apart from the visitors' routes). It reveals that the largest group in the study were students, with around 186,000 granted visas in 2004.  Over 20% of those were still in the UK 5 years later.
Press release ~ Speech to the Royal Commonwealth Society ~ The Migrant Journey
MoD: Lord Levene, a former Chief of Defence Procurement and now Chairman of Lloyd's of London, last week chaired the inaugural meeting of the steering group overseeing the Defence Reform Review. The full steering group will meet again next month.  In the meantime, the group will break into 3 teams, each of which will look in more detail at key areas of Departmental activity.
Press release ~ Photos and related links
DH: The Department of Health review of the National Programme for IT has concluded that a centralised, national approach is no longer required, and that ‘a more locally-led plural system of procurement should operate, whilst continuing with national applications already procured’.

A new approach to implementation will take a modular approach, allowing NHS organisations to introduce smaller, more manageable change, in line with their business requirements & capacity.  NHS services will be the customers of a more plural system of IT embodying the core assumption of ‘connect all’, rather than ‘replace all’ systems.  This reflects the coalition government’s commitment to ending top-down government and enabling localised decision-making.
Press release ~ National Programme for IT ~ Statement on the National Programme for IT ~ The case for the National Programme for IT
ScotGov: First Minister, Alex Salmond has set out the Scottish Government's priorities for the final year of the parliamentary term & beyond. In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister outlined a programme of legislative & non-legislative action including a Water Bill to transform Scottish Water from a successful utility into one of the largest generators of renewable electricity in this land, and a Double Jeopardy Bill to overturn the centuries-old law which prevents a person from being tried twice for the same offence.
Press release ~ Programme for Government 2010-11 ~ Summaries of Bills ~ Read the First Minister's speech
DfE: Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has announced a major independent review of vocational education for 14- to 19-year-olds, to be led by Professor Alison Wolf, of King’s College London. Prof Wolf will look at the organisation of vocational education and its responsiveness to a changing labour market, and will consider ways to increase incentives for young people to participate.  The review will also take explicit account of good practice in a selection of developed economies.
Press release ~ Written Ministerial Statement about the Wolf Review
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