Archives for March 2003

JOINED UP STRATEGY FOR TACKLING LONDON SKILLS SHORTAGES

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 March, 2003

The London Skills Council today launches a major new programme of action to tackle London’s chronic skills shortages in the public and private sectors. It has set up the London Framework for Regional Employment and Skills Action (FRESA) with the aim of ensuring that employment and skills programmes better serve the needs of Londoners and businesses in the capital. There are critical shortages of nurses and teachers throughout London.The NHS estimates it will need an extra 45,000 people over the next five years to fill job vacancies to meet London’s rising demand for services. A scheme jointly delivered by the NHS and the London Skills Commission aims to address this shortage through recruitment, training and retention programmes for health workers across Greater London.

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FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES LAUNCHED

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 March, 2003

A framework of measures to promote sustainable communities has been announced by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescot. Funding in total will amount to 22 billion pounds. The framework brings together a number of measures to tackle the housing provision mis-match between the South-East and parts of the North and the Midlands and to provide affordable houses for key workers such as nurses, teachers and police.For areas of low housing demand in the older urban areas, such as the North West, a housing market renewal fund will allow local councils to operate homeswap schemes. The council will buy a rundown property and the homeowner will be re-housed in a refurbished house in a nearby street. The existing mortgage will be carried to the new property.

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COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN RURAL REGENERATION PARTNERSHIPS

Features, PublicNet: 25 March, 2003

By Stephen P Osborne, Rona S Beattie and Arthur P Williamson. To function successfully regeneration partnerships must involve local communities. The authors found that views about the level of involvement in rural areas are too optimistic. They set out the barriers to involvement and outline the components of good practice that would enhance community learning and promote the sustainability of community involvement in rural regeneration partnerships.

MANAGING HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE KNOWLEDGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 March, 2003

A health and social care knowledge management project will be launched next month. The National Knowledge Service is viewed by the Department of Health as a significant tool in delivering the ten year NHS Plan. Its aim is to exploit the different types of knowledge available from a variety of sources to fight disease and improve patient care. The key tasks of the Service will be to bring consistency to the sources of knowledge, provide better access and integrate the knowledge streams.The NKS, which will meet the needs of professionals and the public, will bring together all organizations that currently provide knowledge. The partnership will also include the NHS Library Service and the National Patient Safety Agency.

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ONE STOP SHOP FOR RURAL COMMUNITY LAUNCHED

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 March, 2003

A new model of one stop shop has been launched in the village of Waters Upton in Shropshire. It is housed in a custom built building designed to link people, services, facilities and activities. The building incorporates a post office, village shop and community office in which regular police surgeries will be held as well as other activities. On line facilities will give access to a growing range of public services, as well as to the full range of Internet sites. There is also an ATM cash machine.The project was initiated through a partnership between Waters Upton Parish Council and Telford and Wrekin Council. It was supported by the Countryside Agency, which provided a government grant of 250,000 pounds to develop the centre as its first “National Demonstration Project”. The building is owned by the local community, through the parish council.

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INNOVATIVE SCHEMES TO SHARE INVEST TO SAVE FUNDS

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2003

Initiatives to improve the delivery of services across the public and voluntary sectors are to receive a total of 25 million pounds under the Invest to Save Budget. The successful schemes, announced by Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, include helping refugees with health qualifications to re-qualify in this country and measures to pilot joined up ways of preventing ex-prisoners from offending again.In all 47 innovative projects will be rewarded. Others highlighted by the Treasury include a scheme to detect and deter illegal working by reducing passport fraud and an initiative for the rapid detection of the hospital infection, MRSA.

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PRAISE FOR TEACHERS AS CURRICULUM SCHEME FALLS SHORT

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2003

A government scheme designed to widen the range of subjects studied by sixth-form and college students has failed to make any real impact. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools says it has delivered “at best modest” results for students.The Office for Standards in Education has been looking into the implementation of the flagship project, Curriculum 2000, which aimed to broaden post-16 study and found it has had only marginal impact on the curriculum of individual students. The Chief Inspector, David Bell, said there was still too rigid a division between the academic world and the world of work.

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TRADITIONS OF GOVERNANCE: INTERPRETING THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Abstracts, PublicNet: 24 March, 2003

By Mark Bevir, R. A. W. Rhodes and Patrick WellerThis article has three aims. It provides a brief review of the existing literature on public sector reform to show that our approach is distinctive. It argues that the existing literature does not explore the ways in which governmental traditions shape reform. Second, it outlines an interpretive approach to the analysis of public sector reform built on the notions of beliefs, traditions, dilemmas and narratives. It also provides brief illustrations of these ideas drawn from the individual country articles.

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DELIVERY, DELIVERY, DELIVERY – WHAT DO CITIZENS THINK?

Features, PublicNet: 21 March, 2003

By Brian Gosschalk Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. Measuring the satisfaction of citizens with public services is an inexact science. Brian Gosschalk, Chief Executive of MORI, analyses the conflicting picture from attitude surveys. He concludes that because perception rather than reality determines public reaction, communicating success is crucially important.

SCOTTISH AUTHORITIES WANT MORE FUNDING FOR FLOOD PREVENTION ROLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 21 March, 2003

Scottish local councils should continue to deliver flood prevention and fulfill coast protection duties, but a report says strategic support needs to be improved and full funding must be provided to allow them to carry out the tasks properly. It also urges the Scottish Parliament to confirm that responsibility for existing Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems lies with Scottish Water.The recommendations are made in the final report from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ Flooding Task Group. Other key suggestions are that the Scottish Executive should take a proactive strategic leadership role in flooding issues to support and work in partnership with local authorities and other bodies.

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