Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
Pre-election period of sensitivity – “Restrictions on the use of public resources are in place during the pre-election period before elections and referendums. The Cabinet Office issues guidance for civil servants on their conduct during this period.
In the period immediately before an election or referendum there are restrictions on the use of public resources and activities of civil servants. This pre-election period is also known as the ‘period of sensitivity’ and has often been referred to in the past as ‘purdah’.
During a general election Ministers remain in office and in charge of their departments but it is customary for them to observe discretion in announcing initiatives that are new or of a long-term character in their capacity as a minister. It does not prevent ministers from campaigning on their party manifesto in their role as politicians seeking election.
The general principle for ministers, as outlined in the Ministerial Code of Conduct, is that departmental resources and facilities are provided at Government expense to enable them to carry out their official duties. These facilities should not generally be used for party or constituency activities.”
The European Union
Working time in 2017–2018 – “This biennial review charts developments in a range of working time issues in the EU and Norway in 2017–2018. It finds that while the average collectively agreed working week across the EU remains unchanged since 2016 – at 38 hours – there was a slight decrease in the past two years in the 15 Member States that joined the EU before 2004 (the EU15). The banking sector continues to have the shortest average agreed normal working week, and the retail sector the longest. In 2018, collectively agreed paid annual leave entitlement stood at an average of 23.8 days across the EU – slightly higher in the EU15 and considerably lower in the rest of the EU. From an annual perspective, according to collectively agreed, normal annual working hours, full-time workers in the EU28 worked, on average, 1,714 hours in 2018: 1,687 hours in the EU15 and 1,803 hours in the other Member States.”
Rule of law [What Think Tanks are thinking] – “The European Union is a community of law, with the rule of law being a basic value since the Union’s inception. The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has confirmed a strong commitment to uphold the rule of law, which remains a shared responsibility for all EU institutions and all Member States. However, developments in several EU Member States – for example Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Malta – have raised concerns over how far this commitment is actualy being observed in practice, sparking a lively debate across the EU and action in the EU institutions themselves. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the rule of law debate.”
Open metadata of scholarly publications – “This report first provides an overview of the drivers of and barriers to open metadata of scholarly publications. It then demonstrates the impact of open metadata. Finally, lessons learnt and policy conclusions are discussed. The focus of this report is on metadata of scholarly publications. Metadata of other types of scholarly outputs (e.g., data sets and software) falls outside the scope of this report.”
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Report on STEM in early years education – “The report explores the need to improve teacher and early years practitioner confidence especially in relation to technology and engineering and the need to improve internet connectivity in schools. Disadvantages in receiving STEM learning experiences for young children as a result of their gender, social deprivation, or remoteness and rurality are also explored in this report.”
Empty Homes in Scotland – “A report on the Local Government and Communities Committee’s inquiry into empty homes in Scotland.
Empty homes are a significant problem in Scotland and they are worse in some places than others. Rural locations and deprived areas have a particular problem with empty homes.”
Living with flooding: action plan – “Over 280,000 properties are currently estimated to be at risk of flooding in Scotland. The Scottish Government is committed to managing flood risk and we make at least £42m available each year for a range of actions to help lower flood risk for communities. Thousands of properties will benefit from these actions but there will be many which don’t and it is important that we work together to ensure that we can make our properties more resilient to flooding. Even minor adaptations can help reduce flood damage and potentially the amount of time spent in temporary accommodation.”
The Office for National Statistics
Families and households in the UK: 2019 – “Trends in living arrangements including families (with and without dependent children), people living alone and people in shared accommodation, broken down by size and type of household.”
How our internet activity has influenced the way we shop: October 2019 – “Comparing the trends and emerging patterns between retail sales data and internet access data, looking specifically at the growth in online sales.”
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