Archives for June 21st, 2001

MONEY TALKS: CREATING A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TAXPAYERS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 21 June, 2001

By Gerry StokerThis report from the New Local Government Network plots a new course between utopian demands for autonomous local government and the centralisation that has characterised the policies of UK national governments towards local government finance since the 1970s. It proposes an expansion in the freedom and flexibility of options open to councils to fund local services and needs, identifying a variety of measures to enable greater local discretion. Some of these are already in place – e.g. congestion charging and workplace car parking taxes – but others, such as lane rental and tourist taxes, would be novel to the UK.

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UK ONLINE SUPPORT FOR CARERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 21 June, 2001

The Government’s web portal, UK Online, has launched a new area for people who look after someone without payment. ‘Looking after someone’ is aimed at the 6 million people providing support for a friend, relative or partner with physical or mental health problems, learning disabilities or illness.UK Online now provides access to information on services offered by central government, statutory service providers and key organizations in the voluntary and charitable sector. It divides into three key elements: Taking a Caring Role, for those who are new to caring or considering caring; Help In Looking After Someone, for those already in a caring role; and When Your Caring Role Ends.

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PUBLIC SECTOR INVESTMENT AND REFORM AT CENTRE OF QUEEN’S SPEECH

Headlines, PublicNet: 21 June, 2001

Investment coupled with reform in public services is the principal objective of the Government in this session of Parliament, which will last until October 2002. The Queen’s speech promised new opportunities, more options and greater freedom for delivering better education, more power for health service staff and greater influence for patients to improve health care and a police modernization programme to tackle crime.There will be new opportunities for school sponsorship, with businesses, religious and voluntary organisations being encouraged to sponsor secondary schools. There will be an Education Bill to deregulate the school system, remove legislative barriers to change and introduce new ways for private, voluntary and faith organisations to become involved in supporting schools to improve. There will be greater freedom for successful headteachers and governors, which in the light of earlier statements by Education Minister Estelle Morris, means that private sector companies will be invited to run successful and well as unsuccessful schools. There will be more diversity and more choice with a large increase in the number of specialist schools.

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