Archives for December 5th, 2005

INTO THE MAINSTREAM

Abstracts, PublicNet: 5 December, 2005

This paper reviews the relevance of the principles of local public service boards, examines the issues and sets out a way forward. Proposals for boards were put forward last year by the Innovation Forum, which brings together top performing councils. The paper acknowledges that little progress on developing local public service boards has been made in the last year, but argues that the need for closer collaboration between local organisations will increase over the next ten years.Local area agreements, which have the weight of government behind them, are fostering joined-up working across organisational boundaries. Experience with the agreements has re-enforced the importance of improving the effectiveness of local partnership working. For details of conference on local area agreements go to http://www.publicnet.co.uk/publicnet/fevents.htm

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHAKE UP EMERGING FROM STOCK-TAKE

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 December, 2005

The stock-take of local government by David Miliband, Minister of Communities and Local Government, is prompting discussion on re-shaping the structure of councils in the English counties. The stock-take has revealed relationship issues between the county and district councils, inconsistencies in the way local councillors represent electors and wide variations in administration costs.As the focus moves towards neighbourhoods the allocation of responsibility between county, district, town and parish councils is being challenged. District councils are too small to be strategic and yet too big to be local. An alternative to the current structure may be to give strategic responsibility to the county council with much of the service delivery handled at the local neighbourhood level. Bottom-up accountability is also being explored and this could result in a new role for ward councillors.

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PROBATION OFFICERS VOICE FEARS OVER PLANNED CHANGES TO SERVICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 December, 2005

The National Association of Probation Officers is warning that proposals to replace local Probation Boards with trusts and for a mixed economy of providers from the private and not for profit sectors, will neither reduce re-offending nor protect the public.In its response today to the Home Office consultation paper, “Restructuring Probation to Reduce Re-Offending” Napo says fragmentation of the service will lead to less information sharing.

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