Archives for January 17th, 2006

THE DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY HANDBOOK

Book News, PublicNet: 17 January, 2006

Edited by John Gastil and Peter LevineThe Deliberative Democracy Handbook is a resource for democratic practitioners and theorists alike. It sets out strategies for effective civic engagement in the Twenty-first Century. The book combines rich case material from many cities and types of institutional settings with careful reflection on core principles. It generates hope for a renewed democracy, tempered with critical scholarship and political realism. Most important, this handbook opens a spacious window on the innovativeness of citizens around the world and shows how the varied practices of deliberative democracy are part of a larger civic renewal movement.

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GETTING EMPTY HOUSING BACK INTO USE

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 January, 2006

The Empty Housing project, launched in 2004, is helping to get properties back into use through its website Empro.co.uk. The pilot project was adopted by seven local authorities in West London to help tackle the problem of empty housing in their district. The website provides an on-line market place which brings together prospective landlords and developers with long-term empty properties to acquire and renovate, and ultimately provide new homes.The issue of empty housing gained publicity from a BBC TV series, “How to Rescue a House” and the accompanying book. This is reflected in the growing interest in Empro.co.uk where over 10,000 people have registered to use the on-line service. Birmingham City Council later signed up to the service to help bring some of the 15,000 empty properties in the City back into use and this brought substantial early interest in the service across the Midlands.

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TOUGH YEAR AHEAD FOR PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 January, 2006

Growth in public sector jobs and pay is set to slow down and discontent is likely to rise as job cuts and pay curbs begin to bite. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show a slowdown in job growth from 1.7% in 2004 to 1.3% in 2005. This compares with a 1.1 per cent growth in private sector jobs.There were 72,000 more jobs in the public sector in the twelve months to the third quarter 2005, compared to an increase of 115,000 in the previous year. Public sector employment now stands at 5.8 million. The largest increases in 2005 were in health and social work and education, up by 45,000 and 25,000 respectively. The number of civil servants fell by 3000 and this is be the first substantive sign of the impact of the Gershon efficiency drive on staffing levels in the Civil Service.

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