A special welcome to Paul Kloss and Linda Christian-Booth who have recently joined the Unit. Both Paul and Linda are FOD inspectors, so please treat them kindly. Paul’s work will include the LAC 67/1 review, the competency framework and activity taken forward by the HELA Task and Finish Groups (e.g. on incident selection criteria), whilst Linda will manage communications and stakeholder engagement for the Partnership together with work on the Large Organisations Programme Pilot. Both Linda and Paul will add a great deal to the work of LAU and I know that they are looking forward to meeting local authority officers over the coming months including this month’s LACORS Policy Forum meeting and the LACORS/CIEH Year Ahead conference.
Another area where we will soon see change is on the merger of the HSC and HSE. The draft legal order was laid on 29 January for Parliamentary scrutiny. It is estimated that Parliamentary approval is likely to be given at some point in April.
Finally, a heads up on one or two issues that we are looking at over the coming months. Following a couple of very useful meetings with the Institute of Public Finance and HSE’s statisticians, we will be looking at ways to rationalise and simplify the burdens of data collection and reporting. A pilot is being taken forward with local authorities in Wales and the North West to look at direct data feeds from local authority premise databases into HSE systems. The conclusions from this pilot will feed into a wider review of local authority reporting systems such as the LAE1 and prosecutions returns.