Archives for June 13th, 2006

A NEW RURAL AGENDA

Book News, PublicNet: 13 June, 2006

By Jane MidgleyThe author argues that there is much to do to achieve a progressive, fair and equal society in Britain’s rural areas. Levels of pensioner poverty remain stubbornly high, a lack of access to public services can have disastrous consequences on the most vulnerable, and local communities have little power to address social problems in their midst.

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CALL FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTORAL COLLEGE IN LORDS REFORM

Headlines, PublicNet: 13 June, 2006

A think tank is suggesting that the House of Lords should be reformed on a regional basis through the creation of a local government electoral college. This, says the New Local Government Network, would make the House second chamber more accountable to the public. The idea has come in a new pamphlet, “Lords reform for a purpose”, which advocates the majority of the new Second Chamber being made up of regional representatives reflecting the political parties share of the vote at a General Election.In detail the pamphlet suggests a large proportion – possibly two-thirds – of the members of the new chamber being regional representatives, selected by an electoral college of elected local councillors in each region. It says the primacy of the House of Commons would be maintained but the Second Chamber would be made more relevant by giving it a devolved dimension.

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E-GOVERNMENT TAKE UP CAMPAIGN BRANDED A WASTE OF MONEY

Headlines, PublicNet: 13 June, 2006

Leading figures in local government say the Government’s five-million-pound advertising campaign to promote local authority e-services has been a waste of public money. Research by Public Sector Forums, the independent network of e-Government professionals, shows only one in ten of council managers regarded the ‘Connect to Your Council’ campaign as “money well spent”.Many of the more than 280 local government staff who took part in the survey, which was carried out two weeks into the Government’s campaign, felt the budget would have been better spent on giving councils cash to market their own websites to local people rather than advertising the Directgov portal nationally. More than two thirds thought Whitehall should fund councils to promote their online services, which does not happen currently.

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