Archives for July 14th, 2000

COURSE SET FOR EQUALITY IN FIRE SERVICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 July, 2000

More than nine months after a damning report into the lack of equality in the Fire Service, (see Publicnet, September 20,1999) a plan of action has been agreed which sets out a timetable for measurable and sustained improvement. A review then showed how black and ethnic minority and women officers each represented about only one per cent of the workforce, which was clearly not representative of the population.’Toward Diversity – Promoting Cultural Change’, has been developed by the Home Office in consultation with representatives of local government, chief fire officers and the Fire Brigades Union. It gives the service 12 months to provide evidence of change, such as:

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BEST PRACTICE AND JOINED-UP WORKING EXAMPLES

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 July, 2000

The argument about the level of ‘froth’ in the Government’s third Annual Report may go on, but for those in the public sector it offers some useful examples of best practice, modernised working practices and joined-up working. The annual report, available in the high street and on the internet, attempts to hand the glory of the achievements recorded in it to the front line staff delivering change.These include staff members of Pensions Direct in Newcastle, a service which allows OAPs to sort out queries over the phone rather than having to write to or visit a benefits office. It also records the principles behind the ONE centre in Milton Keynes, which integrates benefit and employment advice to provide a faster, more convenient service to clients, including a single claim form and one personal adviser. ONE pilots around the country are paving the way for the merger of the Employment Service and parts of the Benefits Agency next year.

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