On Tuesday afternoon I attended mandatory training for senior management of Newham Council on the Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into force at the beginning of April, this year.

It applies to both the public and private sectors and, hence, Socitm, so we'll need to ensure we consider implications for us. I got permission to copy the hand-outs.

An e-Mail arrived from BT's Dr. Joe Walsh.

"I thought I should bring to your attention the announcement we have just made about a major investment in very high speed broadband. Full details are in the press notice attached, but in brief we will be spending around £1.5 billion bringing a range of fibre based broadband services with top speeds of up to 100Mb/sec (and the prospect of speeds of more than 1,000 Mb/sec in the future) within reach of up to ten million homes.
"The effect will be to maintain and advance the leadership role the UK has already built in the availability and use of broadband services.

"We still have work to do in relation to agreeing an appropriate regulatory framework with our regulator and in developing our detailed deployment plans. In addition, we are in contact with the GLA Group, including the LDA, and the Regional Minister to take on board their views to inform our roll-out plans.
"We are very keen to work with the London Boroughs, and would welcome any input to our planning that you may wish to contribute."

I replied, saying we should talk.

Meantime, we are setting-up meeting to plan Programme Management of the full Newham Infrastructure Convergence project and procurement of the network, the Public Sector Mobile Portal project is proceeding apace, and we are considering a proposal for a Newham WiMax pilot.

Socitm is planning a response to the Communities in control: real people, real power White Paper, which is about passing power to communities and giving real control and influence to more people.

As one of the means of achieving this, the White Paper encourages the use of web 2.0, email and SMS as accepted petition methods. The paper contains an annex which gives an indication of plans for implementation.

Some elements of the White Paper will be subject to formal consultation in the coming months. Some of the policies within the White Paper will require legislation and will feature in the Community Empowerment, Housing and Economic Regeneration Bill, which forms part of the draft 2008/2009 legislative programme.

Feedback can be registered by sending an email to [email protected] You can also make a posting on the Communities in Control discussion forum here.

However you respond, please send Socitm a copy, to help us collate a corporate response on behalf of our members.

Get your entries in to Innovate08 – supported by Socitm

Innovate 08 is a Microsoft initiative supported by Socitm that will showcase and develop ground-breaking ideas in local government that may have a technology element.

The competition will identify and support teams with innovative approaches to tackling some of the biggest issues facing Councils today, including social inclusion, place-shaping, community engagement and environment. The competition is being run with LGC, and further information about entry criteria and how to enter can be found on the LGC website. The closing date is 24 July and the winner will have the opportunity to present their solution at Socitm 2008.