Archives for December 15th, 2004

MORE MONEY FOR LOCAL COUNCILS IN WALES

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 December, 2004

Local councils in Wales are to share a further 27 million pounds on top of the 3.2 billion pound settlement announced for local government there last month. Assembly Local Government Minister, Sue Essex, said that on average local authorities in Wales would receive a funding increase of more than six per cent.She said the increase, more than twice the rate of inflation, would allow them to meet pressure from pay, prices and pensions as well as increasing support in school classrooms and paying for extra social care for people in their own homes.

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GOVERNMENT BACKS JOINT APPROACH TO GETTING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 December, 2004

More areas of the country are to be covered by the Pathways to Work initiative, which has been running in pilot areas since last year. The extension is part of the government’s intention to base its policy on the best practice of doctors and employers to shape the strategy to help sick and disabled people back to work.The Minister for Work, Jane Kennedy, said joint working through the initiative had shown a doubling in the number of recorded job entries in the pilot areas compared to other parts of the country. About six times as many people are taking up further help to get back to work compared to the national average. The initiative combines job help by specially trained personal advisors, health advice from the NHS and better links with local GPs and employers.

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FIRM FOUNDATIONS

Book News, PublicNet: 15 December, 2004

This report from the Home Office sets out a framework for community capacity building. It identifies six underlying principles and puts forward priority areas for action to bring about change. It stresses that the Government will only achieve many of its objectives if it fully involves citizens and communities. This means investing in successful efforts to build the skills, abilities, knowledge and confidence of people and community groups, to enable them to take effective action and play leading roles in the development of their communities. It also means expanding learning and development within public services, so that professionals, practitioners and policy-makers are better equipped to engage with citizens and communities. The report highlights the need to recognise both geographical communities – neighbourhoods, parishes – and communities of people with a common interest or identity.It sees the way forward as targeting of efforts to build strong, sustainable community anchor organisations which can provide a crucial focus and support for community development and change in their neighbourhood or community, and for the building up of the community sector. It will also promote local action-planning as a vital tool for involving citizens and community groups and giving them the confidence to influence their quality of life, shape the services that affect them and contribute to achieving sustainable development in the wider world. Stronger collaboration and co-ordination at local, regional and national levels is also required.

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