Policy Statements and Initiatives

CO: The Foreign Secretary has announced that the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building is to be based in Oxford Martin School at University of Oxford. The Centre will become a leading global resource for understanding how to achieve effective cyber security, and will work with the UK and other countries to deliver a safer cyber space.
 
The UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy aims to build the capacity we need in the UK to tackle cyber-threats, ensure resilience and cooperate internationally. The government is dedicating £500,000 per year to this centre to ‘be a beacon of expertise and put the UK at the forefront of cyber policy development’.
Press release & links
 
HMT: The Government has agreed with France, Germany, Italy & Spain to develop & pilot multilateral tax information exchange.  Under the agreement, a wide range of financial information will be automatically exchanged between the 5 countries.  This will help catch & deter tax evaders as well as provide a template for wider multilateral automatic tax information exchange.
Press release & links
 
BIS: SMEs struggling to access finance receive a boost as the first phase of the new business bank is launched. £300m will be co-invested alongside private sector investment
Press release & links
 
DWP: New funding has been awarded to 7 voluntary & third-sector organisations to give around 280,000 separated families creative & targeted help to collaborate in their children’s interests.  This is the first of 2 rounds of funding awards, as part of £20m dedicated to supporting separated families, and represents a substantial increase in funding for out-of-court support for separated parents by the government.
 
The schemes include a national ‘virtual’ internet-based mediation service hosted by Relate, together with more localised face-to-face mediation to help parents reach amicable agreements.  

Also announced are plans for parenting classes for the hardest-to-reach teenage mums & dads, counselling & therapy projects, and specialist support to help those who fear their ex-partners.
Press release & links
 
TfL: 1m bus journeys in London have now been paid for using a ‘contactless’ debit, credit or charge card (CPC). Up to 10,000 people a day are using their CPC to pay their bus fare. The option of paying a bus fare using a CPC means that instead of fumbling for change or finding their Oyster card has run out of credit, bus passengers are able to use the CPC they already have in their pocket to pay their fare.
 
Daily price capping does not apply to current bus users of CPCs, but once the technology is rolled out to the wider transport network daily & weekly price capping will be introduced.
Press release & links
 
DfE: Committed & talented people who want to work with young children will be able to train to teach with Teach First, the Government announced last week.  Teach First’s reach will be extended so that young children get better quality early education and the early years profession gets the respect it deserves.
 
The charity’s primary provision currently only reaches children aged 5 & over. This will be extended so that children aged 3 & 4 will also be covered.  From September 2013, 20 recruits will begin working with younger children.  There will be another roll-out in September 2014.
Press release & links
 
HO: A government plan to tackle hate crime was launched recently with the key message to 'challenge it, report it, stop it'. The plan sets out the government’s role in supporting local areas to tackle the hatred that divides communities and ruins the lives of victims, often with tragic consequences.
 
It also highlights a drive to encourage more victims to come forward and report incidents, which will provide the government and agencies with a clearer understanding of the problem so that further support can be targeted where it is most needed.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: 6 projects are to receive a share of almost £7.7m to establish a national network of mentoring schemes to tackle Scotland’s high re-offending rates. The funding, to be invested during the next 2 years, will be targeted towards prolific male offenders & women offenders who are at risk of re-offending.
 
They will be given one-to-one support, provided by around 130 mentors, to deal with their problems, including practical support to get their lives back on track, help to access public services and encouragement to comply with court orders and community sentences.
Press release & links
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