Archives for November 24th, 2003

DEVELOPING FREEDOMS AND FLEXIBILITIES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 24 November, 2003

This report summarises the outcome of a New Local Government Network Policy Summit. It contains many seeds of ideas and proposals which offer the beginnings of a coherent view about the future role of local government and its partners. The reality is that a world of true Freedoms and Flexibilities raises enormous challenges to the local government community that it must face up to. Local government has to do more to convince the centre – and the public – that it recognises the challenges that a new localism involves and is up to meeting them. They include issues of risk management, of how to move into new areas without losing focus on the core, how to create the new skills and capacity which are necessary, about the need to shoulder true blame and take responsibility for decisions in a way that has been avoided by the centralised system.The Network believes that there are clear wins to be had if a more dynamic local governance can be kick-started. It also expresses confidence that there are enormous gains to be made as a consequence of joint-working across different public sector bodies at the local level. Some of the biggest blockages to joint working stem more from the inability of local bodies – Police, hospitals and Primary Care Trusts, Learning and Skills Councils etc.- to deliver commitment to real joined-up working and carry it through in the face of their command and control hierarchies, than it is to the limitations of local government.

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WEEK OF EVENTS SET TO BOOST USE OF NHS e-LIBRARY

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 November, 2003

The record-breaking level of use of the National Health Service e-Library seems certain to rise even further with the start today of the library’s second annual awareness week. The event coincides with the library’s third anniversary.Latest figures show a record number of people are finding help in making decisions about healthcare by consulting the e-library. Visits to the site rose by more than a third in October, reaching more than 200,000 compared with 150,000 in September.

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