Policy Statements and Initiatives
BIS: A pilot scheme that will give local people a real say in decisions about their local adult learning courses and bring better value for money for taxpayers has been announced. The Government is planning to select between 10 & 15 Community Learning Trust Pilots, which will begin work in August 2012. Interested organisations have just over 6 weeks to develop & submit their applications.
Organisations such as adult education services & FE colleges that are funded from the Skills Funding Agency’s £210m annual Community Learning budget are invited to prepare their applications in collaboration with local community organisations, businesses and services. NIACE (the National Institute of Adult Continuing Learning) will support the pilot trusts.
ScotGov: 100 Dementia Champions have started work across Scotland to help drive up standards of care for people with dementia. Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Specialist Nurses are also being appointed in every health board across the country.
In addition, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has made a personal commitment for 2013 to introduce a new national post-diagnostic support target to ensure people with dementia receive the help they need following diagnosis.
BIS: New proposals to make the Citizens Advice service a champion for consumer information across a range of sectors and a new National Trading Standards Board were announced last week by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Consumers need to know who to go to when they have a problem which is why Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland will take on responsibilities & resources from the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) and Consumer Focus. The process has already started, and a new advice line succeeding Consumer Direct was launched by the Citizens Advice service on 2 April 2012.
DFID: The UK Government will fund a range of innovative projects to save more lives in emergencies such as earthquakes, floods & famines. Smart phone 'apps', super buckets and satellite technology could soon be helping people survive major disasters as part of a British Government scheme that will champion breakthroughs in innovation & science over the next 3 years.
CLG: The new 2012-2013 list of the information councils are expected to report to central government, published last week, shows a reduction in demands from 193 data collections last year to 156 this year.
ScotGov: The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has confirmed that the UK Government intends to legislate for an automatic link between normal pension age and state pension age, and also set the normal pension age for police officers and firefighters at 60. The moves cut across negotiations already happening in Scotland between Scottish Ministers and employer groups & trades unions on police, fire, local government, NHS and teachers pensions schemes.
WAG: A pilot fund providing digitalmedia companies in Wales with grant aid to develop newcreative products and applications is to be increased & extended. The fund will now run until the end of March 2013 and an additional £1.5m has been allocated, bringing the total funding to £2m.
OCUK: As of 1 April 2012, Online Centre UK’s two new specialist networks are now live and are already working in their communities to help get people online. These networks will provide specialist help & support to two groups;
* People who are unemployed
* Those who have a disability, learning difficulties or health problems