Archives for July 26th, 2006

DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT – NEW NAME – NEW TASK

Abstracts, PublicNet: 26 July, 2006

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published plans for transforming the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister into the re-badged DCLG. The focus of the Department will be to support stronger communities and places in which people feel proud to live; to challenge extremism and intolerance, and to build cohesion. It will also seek to narrow inequalities so that the most disadvantaged share opportunities to build a stake in society for themselves and their families.The new structure will be in place by October. This will include the creation of a new Board with significant changes in role and function. There will be external recruitment to bring new talent into the organization and to strengthen capacity.

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PROPOSAL FOR NEW INCENTIVES FOR COUNCILS TO BOOST HOUSE BUILDING

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 July, 2006

Consultations have begun on planning and housing incentives designed to help local authorities to respond to the need for new homes in their communities. The new ideas have been announced by the Minister for Housing and Planning, Yvette Cooper, as the Government wants councils to benefit when they respond to local demand.Under the current framework local authorities get only limited and short-term incentives. Official figures show more than 200,000 new households are being formed each year. This is because Britain’s growing and ageing population means more people now live alone. Alongside that statistic stands the fact that only about 160,000 additional homes are being built each year. Ministers believe one reason for the short fall is that local councils do not have sufficient incentives to meet local need.

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CALL FOR REFORM OF CARE BUDGETS COMES AS COMMISSION URGES CHANGES IN NHS FINANCES

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 July, 2006

Leading figures from local government have joined colleagues from the National Health Service to call for reform of the health and social care system so further cuts can be avoided. This follows a study which shows that councils are being affected by budget deficits in NHS trusts.Meanwhile the Audit Commission is recommending major changes in the financial management and accounting regime of the NHS to help improve financial performance and lessen financial risks for individual bodies. The details are set out in a report being sent today to the Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt. Key recommendations include a move away from Resource Accounting and Budgeting towards a regime offering sharper and more appropriate incentives for good financial performance.

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