Archives for April 5th, 2006

ARE ELECTED MAYORS MAKING A DIFFERENCE?

Abstracts, PublicNet: 5 April, 2006

A new collection of essays published by the independent think tank, the New Local Government Network, concludes that elected mayors are improving local democratic engagement with the local media and the public, and are a stronger focal point for business and inward investors, acting as decision-makers for the whole community and not simply for council services. The publication reveals how elected Mayors are demonstrating leadership and communicating with the electorate.Quicker decision-making and taking a strategic view across the locality are identified as the key areas of success. In Lewisham recognition of the Mayor is at an all time high – at 38% in November 2005, compared to 16% two years previously. Some 69% of residents think the Council is doing a good job – the third consecutive year this figure has increased and one which is now 5% above the London average.

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CAMPAIGN TO GET SMARTER WORKING

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 April, 2006

Organisations and employees across the UK are being invited to take part in Work Wise Week starting on 3rd May to help create a ‘smarter’ working Britain. Staff and employers alike are being asked to spend the week trying out smarter working practices, such as flexible working, mobile working, remote working and working from home, so they can see for themselves the benefits and practicalities of this modern day approach to working.Work Wise Week, which is organized by the IT Forum Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, marks the start of Work Wise UK, a major three-year initiative with broad government, business and union support, which will encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working practices across the UK. The aim is to revolutionise the way people work and lead to increased productivity, reduced transport congestion and pollution, improved health, assist disadvantaged groups, and harmonise work and family commitments.

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COUNCIL WATCHDOG RE-THINKS ROLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 April, 2006

The Deal for Devolution, which is now under discussion, will move power down from Whitehall to the Townhall and on to local communities and it will result in the scrapping of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment regime by 2008. The Audit Commission has published a paper to open up a debate about how regulation might be achieved beyond CPA and how it might fulfil its role of ensuring that public money is well spent,.The Commission plans to use the CPA in 2008 as a baseline assessment from which it will be possible to differentiate between individual local councils. It believes that a number of high-performing councils will by then have demonstrated their ability to sustain this performance over a period of several years, while the direction of travel of councils not yet performing at the highest levels will be clear. This should then make it possible to exclude a large number of councils from its more onerous provisions. This approach will depend on finding ways of spotting councils where performance starts to deteriorate.

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