Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
Gangs and Serious Youth Violence – “A debate on a motion relating to gangs and serious youth violence has been scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following a successful bid by Mr Chuka Umunna for Tuesday 23 February 2016
Following a successful bid by Mr Chuka Umunna, the Backbench Business Committee have scheduled a debate for Tuesday 23 February 2016 in the Chamber. Mr Umunna will be leading the debate. The proceedings of the debate in Parliament may be watched on parliamentlive.tv.”
Additional reading: Gangs: a select bibliography – “This note provides a bibliography of recent research on gangs and youth crime.”
Devolution of financial powers to the Scottish Parliament: recent developments – “This paper discusses the proposals made by the Smith Commission – in its report published in November 2014 – for further devolution of power to the Scottish Government, in relation to taxation, funding and borrowing, and the Government’s plans for their implementation.”
International Women’s Day 2016 – “This House of Lords Library briefing provides background reading in advance of International Women’s Day, held on 8 March each year, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2016 is ‘Pledge For Parity’, which aims to accelerate gender parity worldwide. The United Nations, which marks International Women’s Day with its own theme each year, has designated its theme for 2016 as ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’.“
The European Union
Threat landscape and good practice: Guide for software defined networks/5G – “5G represents the next major phase of mobile telecommunication systems and network architectures beyond the current 4G standards, aiming at extreme broadband and ultra-robust, low latency connectivity, to enable the programmable connectivity for the Internet of Everything. Despite the significant debate on the technical specifications and the technological maturity of 5G, which are under discussion in various fora, 5G is expected to affect positively and significantly several industry sectors ranging from ICT to industry sectors such as car and other manufacturing, health and agriculture in the period up to and beyond 2020.”
The European Union and the African Union – A statistical portrait – 2015 edition – “This ‘statistical portrait’ presents, in 100 pages, a broad comparison between the situation of the European Union, including EFTA members and Candidate Countries, and the African Union and its member states. The publication is jointly produced by Eurostat and the Statistics Division of the African Union Commission (AUSTAT) on the basis of data from both organisations. With data up to and including the year 2014, this ‘portrait’ includes various domains such as demography, health, education, national accounts, trade, and more. Tables in the eight chapters help the user to gain a detailed view on different aspects, such as mobile phone subscriptions, number of teachers, life expectancy, GDP, tourism, etc. An overview chapter presenting statistical comparisons with the rest of the world is also included.”
The knowledge future: Intelligent Policy Choices for Europe 2050 – “The report ‘The knowledge future: intelligent policy choices for Europe 2050’ elaborates on challenges and opportunities that three ‘megatrends’ — globalization, demographic change and technological change — represent for Europe’s research, innovation and higher education system, and suggests a number of ideas that could find a place in EU policy for research and innovation.“
The Scottish Parliament and Government
New Psychoactive substances (NPS): results of a questionnaire on the definition of NPS, proposals to establish a forensic centre for excellence, and improving data collection and information sharing – “This report presents the results of a questionnaire on new psychoactive substances, issued by the Scottish Government in September 2015. The aim of the questionnaire was to gather views on three key areas: a definition of NPS, proposals to establish a forensic centre for excellence, and options for improving data collection and information sharing. The results will be used to further develop the Scottish Government’s policy programme on NPS.”
A National Clinical Strategy for Scotland – “The Strategy sets out a framework for the development of health services across Scotland for the next 10-15 years. It gives an evidence-based high level perspective of why change is needed and what direction that change should take. The Strategy sets out the case for: planning and delivery of primary care services around individuals and their communities; planning hospital networks at a national, regional or local level based on a population paradigm; providing high value, proportionate, effective and sustainable healthcare; transformational change supported by investment in e-health and technological advances.”
Scottish Government Policy Paper on BBC Charter Renewal – “This paper sets out the Scottish Government’s policy position on the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter, following the agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding between Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, BBC and UK Government, which gives Scotland a formal role throughout the process of Charter Review, implementing the recommendations of the Smith Commission in this area.
The Scottish Government’s policy is founded on the following three objectives:
• To empower BBC Scotland to address the concerns of audiences and deliver better outcomes from audiences, including more representative content across all outputs.
• To ensure that the governance and structure of the BBC is more responsive, and that, by reflecting the changing political structures of the UK, is able to deliver similarly decentralised decision making.
• That through these structures the BBC is not only able to deliver better outcomes for audiences in Scotland but also implement commissioning and editorial practices which will support Scotland’s creative industries.”
Office for National Statistics
International comparisons of productivity – final estimates, 2014 – “An international comparison of productivity across the G7 nations, in terms of the level of and growth in GDP per hour and GDP per worker.
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.“
Adult smoking habits in Great Britain, 2014 – “…this report highlights some of the characteristics of adult (16 years old and over) smokers in 2014 and e-cigarette users in 2015.
- 19% of adults in Great Britain currently smoke, down from a peak of 46% in 1974 when the series began. Among smokers, the average consumption was 11.4 cigarettes a day – the lowest daily cigarette consumption since the series began, the peak being in 1976 at 16.8 cigarettes a day.
- 20% of men currently smoke – the lowest value since the series began in the 1970s. In 1974, half (51%) of men smoked.
- 17% of women smoke – a slight increase on the previous year. The peak for women was in 1974 at 41%.
- Those aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to smoke but smoke the lowest amount per day at 9.6 cigarettes while smokers aged 50 to 59 smoke the most at 13.4 cigarettes a day.
- In 2014, 55% of people who had previously smoked had quit.
- 23% of those with personal annual income up to £9,999 are current smokers, compared with 11% of those whose annual income is £40,000 or more.
- Just over 1 in 10 babies were born to mothers who smoke.
- There are an estimated 2.2 million current e-cigarette users in Great Britain, 4% of the population.
- 74% of former e-cigarette users smoke cigarettes.
- 53% of e-cigarettes users vape as an aid to quit smoking.
- 76% of e-cigarettes users think exposure to non-users has no health impact.”
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