Archives for May 1999

CS COLLEGE RESPONDS TO DEVOLUTION

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 May, 1999

The Civil Service College has announced a new portfolio of training and development titles that address issues faced by all public sector managers following the introduction of the Scottish parliament. The college has helped the governments of many countries round the world to manage change and it is now applying this experience on its doorstep at its centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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MINISTER CLARIFIES E-COMMERCE PARTNERSHIP

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 May, 1999

Public Service Minister Peter Kilfoyle has clarified the Government’s approach to using e-commerce in delivering public services.

He said that the Government would work with public, private and voluntary organisations that are expert in dealing with the public. The aim is to allow people to access public services in the course of their everyday lives in such places as a supermarket, library, council office, Post Office, bank or high street outlet. There would be no restriction on the type of service that could be accessed in such places and it would include submitting forms, making payments, speaking to advisers about jobs, education, health or benefits.

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COUNCILS AHEAD OF MODERNISATION AGENDA

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 May, 1999

Sir Jeremy Beecham, Chairman of the Local Government Association, has claimed that local councils are ahead of the Government’s modernisation agenda. His claim is based on a survey of local authorities which showed that 96% have adopted measures to give the public a greater say in decision making. Legislation requiring consultation is likely to reach the Statute Book shortly.

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HEALTH ACTION ZONES PIONEER CROSS BORDER WORKING

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 May, 1999

The first wave of 11 Health Action Zones launched in April 1998 are showing how joined up working across professional boundaries can deliver results.

Ill health has many causes beyond the remit of the health service. The projects in the Zones include a scheme for prioritising home repair grants for elderly people who are disabled or have a low income for adaptations and improvements; providing information to patients who would benefit from one to one energy advice to support their health care and helping parents to improve knowledge and skills and supporting them in the parenting role. The 11 zones have been allocated a further 78 million pounds to fund activities in the current year.

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LEADING COMMUNITIES

Book News, PublicNet: 27 May, 1999

By Jean Hartley and Anthony Lawton

Community leadership is becoming a key role for local authorities. This report examines the competencies which are being developed to support community leadership. It highlights a number of emerging institutional developments and assesses the competencies necessary to support these new forms.

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SINGLE WORK GATEWAY GETS NEW NAME

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 May, 1999

The Single Work Focused Gateway, official speak for a one stop benefits and job shop, is being renamed ONE. It will have the strapline Helping You Help Yourself.

ONE is the response to the Government’s commitment set out in the Modernising government White Paper to provide a more responsive service to the so called life episodes of birth, marriage, job loss etc. The name has been changed to get across the radical change of breaking down red tape and giving a better and swifter access to benefits, opportunities for work and training through a one-stop shop.

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RADICAL SHIFT IN ANTI-DRUGS STRATEGY

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 May, 1999

Cabinet Office Minister Dr Jack Cunningham has signalled a major change in the strategy to counter drug use. “More young people are experimenting with drugs” he told the Commons. The strategy would concentrate on reducing misuse by young people, reducing their access to drugs – particularly heroin and cocaine which cause the most harm, halving re-offending by drugs offenders and doubling drug users participation in treatment programmes. This represents a radical shift from punishment to promoting treatment. The Strategy is set out the first annual report and national plan on drug misuse in England and Wales by “drugs czar” Keith Hellawell.

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POST OFFICE COMPUTERISATION GOES AHEAD

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 May, 1999

The government has confirmed that it will go ahead with controversial plans to install computers in local post offices to beat benefit fraud. The £1.5bn plan, initially proposed by the previous government, involves the installation of computer terminals in 19,000 local offices. There were fears that the government would abandon the plan after it went over budget, and rural post offices would lose much of their business and be forced to close.

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SEMI OPEN GOVERNMENT COMES CLOSER

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 May, 1999

The right to information held by public sector bodies will be given to all UK citizens, Home Secretary Jack Straw has told the House of Commons. Mr Straw said the move would benefit patients who wanted to know why they had to wait for treatment, parents who sought information on schools’ selection procedures and citizens concerned with the conduct of police inquiries.

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MINISTER’S OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLAIN CHANNELS POLICY

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 May, 1999

Cabinet Office Minister Peter Kilfoyle will have an opportunity to explain the intention and implications of the Channels policy when he speaks to the Best Value and Quality Forum conference in London on 27 May 1999. Conflicting interpretations have followed publication of the papers by the Central IT Unit in the Cabinet Office.

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