Policy Statements and Initiatives
Defra: Double Olympic gold medal-winning rower James Cracknell and Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon have urged the public to show their support for the ‘Love Your River’ campaign, which encourages people to value their local river and shows the relationship between water in a river and the water used in the home.
CLG: Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, recently joined Britain's leading Indian chefs & restaurateurs to launch a new scholarship programme for students to develop their careers in 'high-end' Asian cuisine & restaurant management.
Led by the University of West London - 1 of 5 Centres of Excellence in Asian & Oriental cuisine - with the backing of the Department for Communities and Local Government and the financial support of Lord Noon, the programme underlines the importance of South Asian cuisine to the British economy and the need to develop highly-skilled British talent in a sector that has depended traditionally on attracting chefs from abroad.
DCMS: Tens of thousands of students in further education are set to benefit from improved opportunities to play sport thanks to new National Lottery funding. Sport England has announced that £17m will be used to fund 150 new jobs for sports professionals to act as College Sport Makers, helping students get involved in sport.
HMT: The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to reforming the submission & administration of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark by accepting the recommendations of Martin Wheatley’s independent review of LIBOR in full and the Government will amend the Financial Services Bill, which is currently before Parliament:
WAG: The Welsh Government’s flagship Jobs Growth Wales programme is on course to meet its target of creating 4,000 job opportunities a year for unemployed young people in Wales.
FCO: The new Crisis Centre has been created to ‘ensure the Foreign Office continues to provide one of the most complete and advanced consular services in the world’.
During early 2011, the Foreign Office experienced a series of international incidents that required a crisis response, including the earthquake in New Zealand, tsunami in Japan and the events of the Arab Spring. Following the launch of the new Centre, the FCO is now better equipped to cope with the significant demands that such events place on it, and offer the best possible service to British nationals in trouble overseas.
MoD: Armed Forces personnel will ‘continue to receive one of the best and most valuable public service pensions’ under a new scheme announced last week. In July 2012, the Ministry of Defence published an outline design of the new Armed Forces Pension Scheme and invited further comments. The consultation has resulted in a key change - Service personnel will now have more flexibility over the money they receive if they qualify for an early payment at age 40.
HO: Statement by Home Secretary Theresa May on extradition made on 16 October 2012:
“With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the case of Gary McKinnon and the government's response to Sir Scott Baker's review of our extradition arrangements…….”
WAG: Credit unions are helping to tackle poverty by offering a low cost way to borrow money and ensuring that people have a convenient alternative to the extremely high interest rates of doorstep & payday lenders, Local Government & Communities Minister, Carl Sargeant said last week.
The Minister marked International Credit Union Day by highlighting research that showed growing awareness of the benefits of credit union membership in the South Wales Valleys – up from 14% to 45%.
FCO: Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds has welcomed the launch of the new Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund, which brings together funds from the FCO, Defra and DFID. It will disburse around £2m per year dedicated to environmental & conservation projects in the UK’s Overseas Territories.
WAG: A new Welsh Government publicity campaign aimed at highlighting the signs & symptoms of domestic abuse has been launched by Local Government & Communities Minister Carl Sargeant. The campaign builds on work undertaken in the 10,000 Safer Lives project which is about ensuring that all relevant service providers & organisations are able to identify the signs of domestic abuse and are able to effectively support individuals who experience domestic abuse.
DWP: 33,000 extra jobseekers will be given help to set up their own business under a scheme aimed at unlocking the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs, Prime Minister David Cameron announced last week. The New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which provides expert coaching & financial support, will be extended & made far easier, in a bid to get behind those who have the determination to start up their own business.
People will now have instant access to support when they claim Jobseekers Allowance, ending the 6 month long wait people have to currently spend on benefits before they qualify for start-up money. The scheme will be expanded so 70,000 people can now get help from a mentor, following a strong uptake in the first year that has seen more than 8,000 businesses set up by jobseekers across the country, including a mobile dog grooming business, a fine chocolate company and a tapas restaurant.
FCO: Foreign Secretary William Hague has launched a new drive to find & nurture the next generation of code-breakers and computer scientists. Visiting the spiritual home of code-breaking, Bletchley Park, the Foreign Secretary announced a £480,000 donation to help secure the Park’s future and set out details of a new Apprenticeship scheme to recruit Britain’s most talented young people into GCHQ and the intelligence agencies.
Press release & links
Press release & links
ScotGov: Funding has been awarded by the Scottish Government to 23 organisations working across Scotland to help break the cycle of re-offending. In a shift towards preventative spending, the Reducing Re-offending Change Fund was one of three change funds created by the Scottish Government to invest in prevention.