Archives for December 7th, 2001

STRIKE THREATENS BENEFITS PAYMENTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 December, 2001

Workers in 1600 Job Centres and Benefit Offices have voted to take five days unpaid leave each month to protest about the removal of security screens in the new Job Centre Plus offices. The action is in support 3,000 staff already on strike in the 57 Jobcentre Plus pilot offices. This latest development could affect 100,000 benefit claimants.The Public and Commercial Services Union is concerned about the rise in the number of cases where staff have been assaulted. Security screens are viewed by the union not only as a protection for staff but also as a deterrent to would be assailants. For many years Benefit Offices have been equipped with screens.

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REGENERATION FUNDING ALMOST JOINED UP

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 December, 2001

Whitehall Departments are vying to put money into regeneration. The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit in the DTLR has announced a 21.6 million pounds skills and knowledge programme. At the same time the Active Community Unit in the Home Office announced a 13.5 million pounds programme to provide training and salaries for people in the most deprived areas where neighbourhood renewal is in progress.The skills and knowledge programme is an attempt to remedy the failure of many local regeneration initiatives to deliver change. A report by the Social Exclusion Unit revealed that that many local initiatives fail to bring about change because community leaders lack support, while policy-makers and professionals lack understanding of deprived neighbourhoods. Residents of deprived areas and regeneration practitioners are to receive the cash boost to improve their skills and knowledge. Grants of up to 5,000 pounds will be payable to individuals or organisations to gain extra skills and training in regeneration.

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