Archives for January 19th, 2005

PROJECT TO HELP PARENTS INTO WORK TO BE ROLLED OUT ACROSS WALES

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 January, 2005

A project that has been helping parents in part of Wales to improve their chances of finding employment is to be rolled out across the rest of the country. The Genesis project was set up in Rhondda Cynon Taff in May 2002 and now local authorities throughout Wales will be invited to run the project in their own areas.The original scheme was established with financial support from European Objective 1 funding. It was designed to provide advice, guidance, support and childcare for people wanting to get back into work, training or other learning opportunities. The overall aim of Genesis is to remove barriers to people finding employment as a means to improve the economic activity of people in Wales.

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E-AUCTIONS CUTTING COSTS OF PROCUREMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 January, 2005

A group of local authorities in north-west England have been nominated for a prestigious award for organising a series of reverse e-auctions to keep down the costs of procuring goods and services for the councils. Meanwhile an initiative in Wales has saved more than five million pounds in public spending through a countrywide e-auction.The East Lancashire e-Partnership has been nominated in the Procurement Section of the 2005 Local Government Awards, sponsored by several organisations, including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Zurich Municipal. The partnership, made up of the borough councils of Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale, has been behind a series of reverse e-auctions. They are on course to cut the councils’ procurement costs by up to 250,000 pounds.

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RETHINKING CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 19 January, 2005

This report finds that a comprehensive and constructive new approach to crime is needed. A positive agenda, based on prevention and treatment of causes, alongside much greater public involvement in alternatives to prison, would enjoy widespread support. It argues that payback should be central to punishment. Alternatives to prison should do more to benefit victims and communities, with restorative justice schemes introduced in every magistrates’ and crown court. An element of community payback should normally form part of all sentences in prison and the community. Panels of local people should help decide what form unpaid community work by offenders should take in their areas.The report also advocates more visible and constructive alternatives to prison. A major public education campaign about alternatives to prison is needed and sentencers should be more involved in the implementation of community-based sentences. Research revealed that prison is not popular, with five times more people favouring better parenting (57 per cent) than more offenders in prison (11 per cent) as the best way to reduce crime. Much more should be done to prevent ‘at risk’ children from being drawn into crime. Schools and health services should take more responsibility for preventing offending by young people with much greater support offered to the parents of teenagers.

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