Policy Statements and Initiatives
DH: Health Secretary Alan Johnson has launched the End of Life Care Strategy, backed with £286m to provide high quality care for all adults approaching the end of their life. It should mean better quality care for patients by making it easier for individuals to bring about their own preferences around end of life care; promoting dignity and respect, properly co-ordinating services and supporting carers.
The new ten year strategy is intended to build on the progress made in developing end of life care services since 2000. Areas it will particularly focus on include:
* Improved community
* Workforce training and
* Development of specialist palliative care outreach
* Setting up a national End of Life Research
* Quality Standards
Press release ~ End of Life Care Strategy - promoting high quality care for all adults at the end of life ~ The National End of Life Care Programme ~ Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme ~ Other related information ~ DH - End of Life Care ~ Marie Curie Nursing Services ~ Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme ~ Marie Curie Cancer Care ~ Campaigning - Supporting the choice to die at home ~ Economic case study for expanding choice to die at home
MoD: The Ministry of Defence has published the Service Personnel Command Paper, which outlines a package of measures to improve the lives of our Service Personnel, their families and our veterans. The Nation's Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans is the first such cross-Government strategy issued and it sets the standard for the level & scope of support our Service personnel can expect.
Key changes include:
* The Ministry of Defence doubling Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments for the most serious injuries from £285,000 to £570,000. All injured personnel will receive an increase of between 10 & 100%
* The Department of Health improving access to NHS dentists for Service families
* The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills offering free A-Level equivalent or first Degree-level education for Service leavers with six years service
* The Department for Transport offering free bus travel for seriously injured Service Personnel and veterans
* The Department for Communities and Local Government helping Service leavers get on the property ladder by extending their Key Worker status for 12 months after leaving the Armed Forces
* The Department for Children, Schools and Families making it easier for Service families with frequent & short notice postings to get their children into local schools
Press release ~ The Nation's Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans ~ About the Service Personnel Command Paper ~ Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
CLG: This week, seven groups of councils and local partners have sealed their commitment to boost economic prosperity, in recognition that they can ‘each achieve more than the sum of their parts’ - in the first set of Multi-Area Agreements (MAAs).
In a contract with Government, councils working together with local agencies - from Greater Manchester to the South Coast - will get more freedoms from Whitehall in return for pledging a local, partnership approach to boost economic growth and tackle deprivation and financial inequalities.
Press release ~ Sub National Review (SNR) ~ I&DEA - Multi-Area Agreements (MAAs) ~ LGA - MAAs ~ Jobcentre Plus ~ Learning and Skills Council ~ Implementing the sub-national review
CLG: A major national search to recruit Black male role models has got underway as Communities Secretary Hazel Blears called for motivational Black & mixed heritage men to take a lead in inspiring the next generation of Black boys to achieve & succeed. The recruitment campaign will run until 2 September 3008 and panel members will unveil their final selection in the autumn, when the role models will begin their activity.
The creation of the Black Boys' National Role Model programme is part of a package of measures intended to help raise the aspirations & attainment of some of today's young Black men. The national role modelling programme will seek to challenge stereotypes, shine a light on positive images of Black male achievement - from businessmen to doctors, lawyers, artists and community workers.
Press release ~ Black Boys' National Role Model programme - REACH ~ An Independent Report to Government on Raising the Aspirations and Attainment of Black boys and Young Black Men ~
Government response to report ~ Business in the Community - MERLIN ~ Top 100 Black role models ~ The Mens Room
CLG: Plans for a sustainable social & economic renaissance in the North East have been set out by Communities Minister Baroness Andrews. A new vision to deliver jobs, homes and infrastructure to the region up to 2021 was unveiled in the North East of England Plan, the revised Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS).
In addition to mainstream infrastructure funding the Government is making millions more available through the Community Infrastructure Fund and Housing and Planning Delivery Grants, which will incentivise councils to increase housing supply sustainably. The Second Round of New Growth Point areas to be announced shortly will include the North of England for the first time.
Press release ~ North East of England Plan, the revised Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) ~ Community Infrastructure Fund ~ Housing and Planning Delivery Grants ~ New Growth Point areas ~ One NorthEast
HO: Getting young people off the streets late at night, intensive support for the most problematic families and tougher, more visible Community Payback sentences for young people have been announced by Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, Justice Secretary, Jack Straw and Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, as they unveiled the Government's new Youth Crime Action Plan.
The £100m Youth Crime Action Plan will support families with the most entrenched and complex problems in all areas of England and will also offer an intensive programme of action for priority areas where the problem of youth crime is greatest.
Press release ~ Youth Crime Action Plan ~ CLG - Family Intervention Projects ~ Respect - FIPs ~ Safer Schools Partnerships ~ Family Nurse Partnerships ~ The Offending, Crime and Justice Survey Youth Offending Survey 2006
DfT: Ruth Kelly, Transport Secretary, has announced a £6bn investment package to improve & make better use of England's motorways and other key roads. She also published the Command Paper 'Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability' setting out more detail on her plans to tackle congestion, both on strategic routes and in our towns & cities.
This will fund a mix of techniques to get the most out of the existing network, such as opening the hard shoulder to traffic, taking forward the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study which identified almost 500 lane miles of motorway with the potential for hard shoulder running.
New funding has also been announced for our biggest towns and cities, recognising that 80% of congestion is currently in urban areas. This sees eight areas - Bristol, Greater Manchester, Leicester, London, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands - benefiting from the first allocation of the performance-based £60m Urban Congestion Performance Fund.
Press release ~ 'Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability' ~ HA major projects – Vision for the future ~ Find out more about the Programme of Major Schemes ~
Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study ~ Urban Congestion Performance Fund
DFID: Up to a million lives in Nigeria could be saved as a result of a new £50m project to tackle malaria announced by International Development Minister, Gillian Merron. The aid will help provide up to 4m mosquito bed nets and 10m anti-malaria drug treatments alongside a wide-range of additional health measures. This will be targeted at those most at risk from malaria including pregnant mothers, babies and children.
Malaria is one of the biggest killers in Nigeria. The latest statistics show that it causes nearly a third of all childhood deaths and a tenth of all deaths during pregnancy. At least 50% of the population suffer from one or more episodes of malaria every year, making Nigeria one of the worst affected countries in the world.
Press release ~ Nigeria's 5-year National Malaria Programme ~ Malaria Consortium ~ Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria ~ DFID – malaria factsheet ~ World Malaria Day 2008
Defra: Fifty senior industry and NGO executives met Defra ministers last week to discuss multi-million pound plans to make greater use of anaerobic digestion - the technology which produces energy from organic material like food waste and manure. The meeting heard that the process could produce enough electricity to power two million homes.
Anaerobic digestion breaks down organic matter to produce biogas which can be used as a renewable energy source for heat and power, and as a transport fuel. It produces a nutrient-rich digestate which can be used as fertiliser and, importantly, it keeps organic waste out of landfill, which cuts greenhouse gas emissions.
Press release ~ Environmental Transformation Fund - Anaerobic Digestion ~ FoE Briefing document ~ The European Anaerobic Digestion Network ~ UK Biomass Strategy 2007: Working paper 3. Anaerobic Digestion
HO: New plans to cut red tape and give the police more freedom to get on with the job of reducing crime, combined with new measures to increase public confidence in the police and give the public a greater say about how their communities are policed, have been outlined by the Government tin the Policing Green Paper: 'From the neighbourhood to the national'.
The key measures announced include:
* A new Policing Pledge setting out what local people can expect from their local police team
* A stronger voice for local people including crime maps, meetings to discuss priorities and a directly elected Policing Representatives.
* Removing all but one top down target that impacts on police forces
Press release ~ Policing Green Paper: 'From the neighbourhood to the national' ~ Policing Pledge ~
Sir Ronnie Flanagan's Independent Review of Policing ~ National Policing Improvement Agency ~ Louise Casey 'Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime' ~ Tripartite review of PCSOs - Neighbourhood Policing Programme: PCSO review ~ Home Office Research Report - Analysis of Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Activity Based Costing (ABC) data: results from an initial review
Cabinet Office: Under a plan announced by Cabinet Office Minister, Tom Watson, the Government aims to make energy consumption of ICT carbon neutral within four years. Currently information & communication technology (ICT) is responsible for up to 20% of carbon emissions generated by Government offices - around 460,000 tonnes a year.
Departments will be asked to take 18 key steps, including:
* Automatically switching off desktop computers outside working hours
* Reusing as much computer equipment as possible
* Auditing our data centres and server use to make sure they are running at maximum efficiency
Press release ~ Greening Government ICT - Efficient, Sustainable, Responsible ~ Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) ~ Sustainable Development in Government Report '07 ~ Computer industry trade body Intellect
Cabinet Office: The Government has launched a new strategy - Promoting equality, valuing diversity: a strategy for the civil service – which builds upon learning derived from the existing 10-Point Plan on Delivering a Diverse Civil Service, the first Civil Service strategy aimed at improving diversity launched in 2005.
The new strategy is also a framework of commitments that will help the Civil Service prepare to fulfil its duties under the Government's new 'Framework for a Fairer Future - the Equality Bill' which for the first time includes age, sexual orientation and religion and belief. The strategy will be driven forward with the help of the Diversity Champions' Network and will focus on:
* Culture change and behaviours
* Leadership and accountability
* Talent management
* A diverse workforce at all levels
Press release ~ Promoting equality, valuing diversity: a strategy for the civil service ~ 'Framework for a Fairer Future - the Equality Bill' ~ Civil Service Diversity Networks ~ Diversity Champions' Network ~ Minority Ethnic Talent Association (META) ~ Leaders UnLtd ~ Delivering a Diverse Civil Service - A 10-Point Plan