Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGov: A second phase of activity to raise awareness of the dangers of airguns, including a new internet ad, has started. The campaign, which uses MSN adverts, internet virals, posters and leaflets, is restarting for the summer - as police advice indicates this is when airgun incidents are most likely to occur.
 
It comes as figures revealed the first phase of the campaign saw over 130,000 plays of the internet viral and almost 15,000 visits to the campaign web site.
Press release ~ ScotGov: Firearms campaign
 
WAG: Holidaymakers can combine a personal challenge with a low carbon trip of discovery in 2009, with two maps highlighting the National Cycle Network through Wales thanks to funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.
 
Two maps from Sustrans cover the 251-mile National Cycle Route that runs from Holyhead to Cardiff.  The maps are of the north & south sections of Lôn Las Cymru and detail how to undertake the entire tour, as well as providing several options for day rides. The revised maps – which include local transport information & gradients – allow users to see the route in its geographical context and provide more detail on the surrounding areas than previous maps.
Press release ~ Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales ~ Free your Bike ~ Sustrans – National Cycle Network ~ Lôn Las Cymru ~ New Horizons
 
HMT: The Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has published 'Reforming Financial Markets', a document setting out the Government’s proposals for the reform of the financial system.  The proposals focus on reform of the way banks are regulated, with more emphasis put on the risks financial firms can present to the economy and greater protections for consumers. 
Press release ~ 'Reforming financial markets'
 
WiredGov-DCSF: Iain Wright, Minister for Children, Schools and Families, has launched a revised version of a course for male adult prisoners.  The course, entitled Family Man, teaches prisoners how to work within a family, how to reflect & act on their responsibilities as a family member and how to articulate their own ambitions.
 
The revised Family Man course features two principal new developments:
* The course now enables prisons to involve a ‘family supporter’ (e.g. a prisoner’s adult relative or significant other, in the sentence planning process).  Their joint Plan of Action is shared through the education department with the Prison Service’s Offender Management.
* There is now more integrated follow-through when the course is complete, because the prisoner and his supporter are exposed to a range of other interventions associated with the prison.
Press release ~ Reducing Re-offending Pathways ~ Fathers Inside ~ Safe Ground ~ National Open College Network
 
DCLG: A £70m Migration Impacts Fund, financed by a levy on migrants, will be used to tackle illegal working practices and reduce local pressure on public services. The money will be made available to local services across the country, including police, schools, hospitals and voluntary organisations. 
 
Frontline services have already identified projects in their area that will make the biggest difference to insulating them and local people against the impact of migration. Every region of England will benefit, with the amount each receives being weighted towards the areas where international migration has had the greatest short-term impact.
Press release ~ Managing the Impacts of Migration: A Cross-Government Approach
 
WAG: Environment Minster Jane Davidson announced £5m of new funding to help businesses & the public sector to become more energy efficient and tackle climate change.  The money will support initiatives to promote energy efficiency and low carbon technology in businesses & the public sector.  
 
This includes working with Carbon Trust to provide loans for ‘spend and save’ projects that will reduce energy costs & contribute to reductions in greenhouse gasses. The move supports the Welsh Assembly Government’s recently published consultation on its Climate Change Strategy – Programme of Action which includes advice and support for businesses to go green.
 
The Assembly Government’s Climate Change Strategy phase 2 consultation sets out how the Ministers will cut carbon emissions.  The proposals are supported by £300m from across government.
Press release ~ Climate Change Strategy – Programme of Action consultation (closes on 2 October 2009) ~ WAG - Climate change ~ Energy Saving Wales
 
ScotGov: New affordable housing projects in North Lanarkshire, backed by £8.5m of Scottish Government funding, are safeguarding more than 100 jobs in the construction industry. Local housing associations - Cumbernauld Housing Partnership Ltd and Lanarkshire Housing Association Ltd - who are jointly contributing £4m, are building 99 new homes securing jobs for joiners, plumbers, electricians and bricklayers.
 
The two projects - in Cumbernauld and Bellshill - are benefiting from £1.5bn being invested in affordable housing by the Scottish Government over the next three years. Across Scotland, £675m will be spent to approve over 8,100 affordable homes for rent in 2009-10.
Press release ~ Cumbernauld Housing Partnership ~ Lanarkshire Housing AssociationScotGov - housing ~  ScotGov - Economic Recovery
 
Defra/NE: An agreement between the farming industry and Government means farmers will take action to ensure their farms support & protect wildlife and biodiversity. The new agreement will see the National Farmers Union, the Country Land & Business Association and other industry partners work with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the RSPB to get more farmers into Environmental Stewardship and expand voluntary action to help protect water quality and the farmland birds, plants & animals typical of the local landscape.
 
This commitment by the farming industry has enabled the Government to avoid having to regulate to recapture the environmental benefits of set-aside, which was abolished last year. 
Press release ~ NE press release ~ NE - Environmental Stewardship ~ National Farmers Union ~ Country Land and Business Association
 
HO: The Vigilance programme includes the provision of pre-emptive support, training & additional resources for areas across the country that have started to see rises in burglary & robbery over the last 12 months.  It also includes a crackdown on known offenders in those areas with more proactive methods including;
* surprise home visits by police officers
* text messages reminding them to turn up to meetings with probation officers & job interviews
* targeting of prisoners released from short term sentences who might be more likely to reoffend
 
35 areas were invited to be part of the scheme, which is designed to be a pre-emptive approach to preventing early signs of rises in burglary & robbery over the last six months.  In the majority of areas the rises are relatively modest and overall crime remains low.  The programme of support will last for one year and will then be reviewed.
Press release ~ Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) ~ Safer Homes fund ~  Securing Homes initiative ~ HO – Secure your home ~ HO - Burglary ~ British Crime Survey ~ Victim Support ~ Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (England and Wales) ~ Tackling Burglary mini-site
 
WAG: Two new specialist teams will be set up to improve diagnosis, care & support for people with eating disorders in Wales.  The new teams – for North Wales & South Wales – will comprise of specialist clinicians and work closely with existing services such as GPs surgeries, social services, child & adolescent mental health services and community mental health teams.
 
An additional £0.5m will be available this year for the recruitment of additional staff and extra training.  After that, £1m will be available every year to sustain & develop services.
Press release ~ Eating Disorders: A Framework for Wales ~ NHS Choices – Eating Disorders
Virtual Workforce Winning the Battle Against Missed Appointments