Archives for October 1998

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM EIGHT YEARS AWAY

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 October, 1998

The Government says it wants to launch a major national debate, following the receipt of Lord Jenkins’ report into Britain’s voting system.Responding to the report, Home Secretary Jack Straw said: “The Government wants to study the report in detail. It is also keen to encourage a wide debate in Parliament, in political parties and across the country as a whole.

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SINGLE GATEWAY MEANS CLAIMANTS CAN’T MISS

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 October, 1998

Reforms by the Government to the benefits system aim to be effective by using a customer-focussed approach.Its ‘single gateway’ into the benefits system should mean people are less likely to miss out on what help is on offer due to bureaucracy. It also appears to make avoiding receipt of help back into work that bit more difficult. The system will be piloted in four areas of the UK from June next year.

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CIVIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Book News, PublicNet: 30 October, 1998

By Sue Goss and Charles LeadbeaterPublic sector managers are under increasing pressure to deliver better services but, despite government reforms of recent years, they still encounter significant barriers. The public sector is still slow to learn the lessons both of good practice and of service barriers. It is often too concerned about outputs rather than outcomes.

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CONSULTATION TO MAKE CONSUMER PRODUCTS MORE FRIENDLYCONSULTATION TO MAKE CONSUMER PRODUCTS MORE FRIENDLY

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 October, 1998

The Government says that manufacturers must reduce the environmental impacts of the consumer goods they produce.Environment Minister Michael Meacher has launched a consultation paper setting how the Government will work with business to help consumers choose, use and dispose of products in a sustainable way.

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REPORTBACK ON IMPROVED BREASTCARE

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 October, 1998

Big improvements have been seen in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer across the country, according to the Department of Health.It follows the allocation of 20 million pounds of extra funding given to breast cancer services by the Government since May last year.

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LETTING GO OR HOLDING ON – DEVOLVING PERSONNEL ACTIVITIES

Abstracts, PublicNet: 28 October, 1998

Hall L, Torrington DHuman Resource Management Journal, (UK), Vol 8 No 1 98

Start page: 41 No of pages: 15

Investigates if the rhetoric surrounding the devolution of day-to-day personnel matters to line managers in the UK is being translated into action on the ground, and if this is happening, the form this takes. Reviews the literature on devolution and human resource management and the critiques that have been made of it. Reports research which asked just over 200 senior human resource managers about their organizations’ intentions to devolve personnel activities to line managers, the reasons for doing so and the progress made with these plans. Concludes that there is a conscious effort to devolve these activities to line managers and that this is being resisted in only a few cases. However finds that progress in devolving the activities is uneven and suggests that line managers may need more support from their organizations than they currently receive if they are to be able to carry out some of the personnel functions being devolved to them Considers the implications of devolution for the role of personnel managers and the way the personnel issues are handled within the organization. Argues that this still needs to be thought through by many organizations.

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SCHOOL INSPECTORS IMPROVE PUBLIC ACCESS

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 October, 1998

Parents who increasingly want to use comparative information about schools to help them choose what is best for their child have seen their task made easier by OFSTED.OFSTED, the government department with responsibility for the inspection of all schools in England, has redesigned and expanded its Internet website.

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JOINED-UP PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFORMATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 October, 1998

Nationwide access for travellers to co-ordinated information about all public transport took a major step forward with the first industry-wide Public Transport Information Conference in London.Transport Minister Glenda Jackson said the conference was an excellent example of transport operators, local authorities and technology specialists working in partnership.

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GIVE US THE POWER TO MAKE SPACE

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 October, 1998

Local councils are calling for more power to help them eliver the Government’s target of 4.4 million new houses by 2011.A report by the Local Government Association calls for a package of financial and planning measures from central government to help councils provide quality housing for all in the future, and stresses in particular the need for a far more flexible approach over building on green or brownfield sites.The ‘Accommodating the Future’ report also says decisions over where to build are best made at the local level and councils should use consumer surveys and capacity studies to inform their local plans.

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BIG SPEND VARIATIONS IN SOCIAL SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 October, 1998

New information from the Department of Health has highlighted big differences in spending on social service provision, from one council to another.They also show that children in social service care will experience a different form of care, depending on where they live, with only 47 per cent receiving foster care in some towns and cities, and up to 86 per cent being fostered in others.

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