Policy News E-Bulletin April 2018

Austerity will have cast an extra 1.5m children into poverty by 2021 – The Guardian, March 2018

Lone-parents, disabled children and ethnic minorities will be among worst-hit, says EHRC

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Cancer Research bans unpaid internships to preserve public's trust – The Guardian, March 2018

Cancer Research UK is to ban unpaid internships in a move understood to be the first by a big charity as it attempts to improve the diversity of its workforce.

The health charity has historically recruited up to 180 unpaid interns a year, benefiting from rules that say “genuine volunteers” are not entitled to the minimum wage.

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Charities missing out on £600m in unclaimed Gift Aid, government warns – Civil Society, March 2018

Charities are missing out on £600m because people are not enabling them to claim Gift Aid on donations, according to government research.  The government will today launch a campaign encouraging the public to tick the Gift Aid box, and the Charity Finance Group has announced a new awareness day, to take place later this year. 

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Council funding for women's refuges cut by nearly £7m since 2010 – The Guardian, March 2018

Funding is down at two-thirds of local authorities across England, Wales and Scotland, data reveals.

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Fair Funding Review – Overview – London Councils, March 2018

Central government funding for local authorities is based on an assessment of its relative needs and resources. The overarching methodology that determines how much funding each authority receives each year was introduced over ten years ago and has not been updated since funding baselines were set at the start of the 50 per cent business rates retention scheme in 2013/14.

The methodology is very complex and involves 15 relative need formulas and several tailored distributions for services previously supported by specific grants. These formulas involve over 120 indicators of ‘need’, reflecting factors previously identified as driving the costs of service delivery. It is widely agreed across the sector that the formulae are overly complex, lack transparency and, as they have not been updated for a long time, are now out of date.

The government is therefore undertaking the Fair Funding Review to update the needs formula and set new funding baselines for the start of the new 75 per cent business rates retention scheme, from April 2020.

For further context, London Councils has created a tool to show how the existing funding system has developed since 2013/14, available here

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Funders see potential of open data for the whole sector – 360 Giving, March 2018

A push for transparency and a desire to improve grantmaking for the sector continues to drive funders to join our #greatergrantsdata movement by publishing their data to the 360Giving Standard. In the last two months, four more funders have published more than £13m worth of grants across a range of causes, taking the total value of open data to almost £18bn and more than 280,000 grants.

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How charities help to keep the country well – Health Foundation, March 2018

Say ‘health’ in the UK and the average person thinks of the NHS: of doctors and nurses and beds and medicine. Elections are fought and won more on ‘NHS policy’ than they are on ‘health policy’ more broadly.

Yet research shows that well under half, and maybe as little as 10%, of what makes us healthy is related to health care services. As a recent publication by the Health Foundation explains, there are many factors outside of health care services that make us healthy. These include social factors like our family life, our living standards, the quality of our work and financial circumstances. Health is as much about staying well as it is about accessing treatment when you’re ill.

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Is there a future for employment and skills in local government? – Rocket Science, March 2018

We think councils need to invest in a local employment and skills strategy now more than ever, Caroline Masundire reflects on our work with councils and what we have learnt.

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Keep the pennies – they are worth millions of pounds, charities say – The Guardian, March 2018

Scrapping 1p and 2p coins will damage fundraising for smaller charities, sector warns


No safety net for UK’s worst paid women – Living Wage Foundation, March 2018

Millions of working women face financial insecurity, according to new research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation and the Fawcett Society for International Women's Day.

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New London integration strategy must truly be about ‘All of us’ – British Future, March 2018

Sometimes, writes Sunder Katwala, names are important. The title of the social integration strategy launched today by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is ‘All of Us’. That send a strong signal that the strategy, to be delivered by Deputy Mayor Matthew Ryder, will seek to avoid falling into the familiar trap of the integration debate, which is too often about ‘us and them’, so that integration sounds like it is a question of ‘migrant and minority affairs’ with the occasional nod at the responsibilities of a white British ‘host community’ too.

That won’t make much sense in London. A successful integration strategy for the capital has to be about everybody, or it isn’t really about integration at all. It needs to work for born-and-bred Londoners, who’ve lived here all their lives –  white British, black and Asian – as well as newer arrivals to the capital, with different ideas about how they will fit in, depending on whether they have come from Sunderland or Syria. There are a million European nationals in London too, often still discombobulated by Brexit, but maybe more  at home in a capital city where many other Londoners seem to be finding it tricky to adjust to that shock too.

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Michael Sheen launches campaign against high-cost lenders – The Guardian, March 2018

Michael Sheen has decided to scale back his acting career to devote himself to campaigning against high-interest credit providers, like Wonga and BrightHouse, and working to find fairer alternative sources of credit.

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Poverty and low pay in the UK: the state of play and the challenges ahead – The IFS, March 2018

The nature of low income in the UK has changed radically. This is due to a combination of good and bad news. In the past the great problems were the number of workless households and the prevalence of poverty in old age. Both of those problems still exist, but are now considerably smaller. In 1994-95 22% of children and 18% of all non-pensioners lived in households where no adult was in paid work, and most of these were in poverty. The latest figures are 13% and 12% respectively. As is now well known, the prevalence of poverty among pensioners has also fallen dramatically. But earnings growth for those in work has been historically weak.

All this means that today the big issue is the number of people who live in working households who are in poverty.

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Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2017 – Kings Fund, March 2017

Since 1983, NatCen Social Research’s British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey has asked members of the public about their views on, and feelings towards, the NHS and health and care issues generally. The latest survey was carried out between July and October 2017 and asked a nationally representative sample of 3,004 adults in England, Scotland and Wales about their satisfaction with the NHS overall, and 1,002 people about their satisfaction with individual NHS and social care services.

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Spring Statement 2018: What should charities be looking out for? – CFG, March 2018

Everyone is expecting a relatively quiet day with few announcements of note, but charities will still be impacted by the statement made by the Chancellor. So what should charities look out for?

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Steps towards progress (does local government work for women?) – Barrow Cadbury Trust, March 2018

Andrew Bazeley,  Policy and Insight Manager at Fawcett Society, updates us on the progress of the ‘Does Local Government Work for Women?’ Commission.

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Using incentives to improve the private rented sector: three costed proposals – Joseph Rowntree Foundation, March 2018 

This report sets out three possible policy options for using incentives to improve the private rented sector in England for people in poverty.

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Want more houses, Mrs May? Then fund council planning properly – The Guardian, March 2017

Don’t blame local authorities. In London alone, more than £110m has been stripped from planning and development.

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What’s the sexiest job in local government? NLGN, March 2018

I know what you’re thinking. Where to start, right? The sector is full of glamour. There’s the high-flying chief executive, at the pinnacle of a local government career – a figurehead of the staff, working closely with politicians, negotiating hard with civil servants – that’s all pretty cool stuff. Or there are the whizzy strategists, buzzing with ideas to reach new frontiers of transformation, full of systems thinking and change narratives – they’re often more agile than a ballerina.

But I have another answer, which may surprise you: the sexiest job in local government right now is in procurement.

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Why female leadership matters – Pioneers Post, March 2018

Sade Brown has always been surrounded by strong female mentors, but not everyone has been so lucky. She has set up a project to inspire a new generation of social leaders – people who have actually experienced the problems that they aim to solve.

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Volunteering is social integration’s silver bullet – New Statesman, March 2018

When it comes to fostering integration in London, volunteering works wonders. Luckily, the Mayor understands this.

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