Archives for December 2006

CAMPAIGNERS SAY COUNCILS NEED POWERS TO COMBAT LAND BANKING

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 December, 2006

CAMPAIGNERS SAY COUNCILS NEED POWERS TO COMBAT LAND BANKING

 

A campaign is being launched today against land banking – the process by which small investors buy up parcels of land in the hope of being able to build homes. The Government is being urged to act to stop the carve up of the countryside, including giving local councils the power to remove fences. The Campaign to Protect Rural England says the practice is putting fields and woods at risk of being disfigured and neglected.

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COUNCILS ‘MUST BE SMART’ IN ENGAGING WITH SHARED SERVICES AGENDA

Headlines, PublicNet: 15 December, 2006

COUNCILS ‘MUST BE SMART’ IN ENGAGING WITH SHARED SERVICES AGENDA

 

Local Government will need to navigate its way successfully towards efficient partnering with other authorities or councils, or they will face being forced to change the ways they do business by the Comprehensive Spending Review, according to the independent think tank, the New Local Government Network in a report published today.

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Let’s Take The ‘Con’ Out Of Consultancy

Features, PublicNet: 15 December, 2006

By Peter Jackson The policy advice industry has grown with academics assuming the role of a wholesaler supplying ideas to retailers, the consultancy firms and think tanks, who in turn pass it on to practitioners at national and local level. The author questions the reliability of this intellectual support. He also exposes the myth that evidence based policy decisions are value free and argues that they are still influenced by ideology and politics. This article was first published in Public Management and Policy and is reproduced by permission of the Association. http://www.cipfa.org.uk/pmpa/index.cfm

PLANNERS FACE NEW MEASURES IN MOVE TO ZERO-CARBON HOMES

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 December, 2006

PLANNERS FACE NEW MEASURES IN MOVE TO ZERO-CARBON HOMES

 

Planning authorities are being issued with a set of new measures designed to put tackling climate change at the heart of the planning system and the way we build new homes. The proposals have been unveiled by the Communities Secretary, Ruth Kelly, who described them as challenging for planners and housebuilders.

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STUDY CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO IMPROVE NHS MANAGEMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 December, 2006

STUDY CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO IMPROVE NHS MANAGEMENT

 

Chronically poor management and dysfunctional bureaucracy are hindering the performance of the National Health Service, according to a new report today. It claims that a lack of a vision of change and poor quality of management in the NHS and the Department of Health are leading to resources being wasted and reforms being delayed. It argues that moves towards a higher quality service, offering better value for money, depend directly on a transformation in the quality of its management.

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MORE THAN THE SUM: MOBILISING THE WHOLE COUNCIL AND ITS PARTNERS TO SUPPORT SCHOOL SUCCESS

Book News, PublicNet: 14 December, 2006

This report from the Audit Commission focuses on external factors contributing to school success. It considers the vital links between school performance and the communities schools serve. It offers examples of good practice, for instance, where partnership working has been successful and provides a self-assessment questionnaire. It is intended primarily for officers and elected members in councils and their partner organisations and for senior managers and governors in schools.Traditional school improvement activity has tended to concentrate on teaching and learning, but the report concentrates on key service areas including regeneration and renewal, social housing, community safety, arts, sports and recreation services and youth services.

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COUNCIL BREAKS NEW GROUND TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

Headlines, PublicNet: 13 December, 2006

COUNCIL BREAKS NEW GROUND TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

 

A big city council has launched a pioneering scheme to provide support and services to victims and witnesses of anti-social behaviour. Birmingham City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit is operating the project in partnership with Victim Support West Midlands for an initial 15 months with financial support from the Home Office.

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BUS SERVICE SHAKE UP WELCOMED AS VITAL TO REGENERATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 13 December, 2006

BUS SERVICE SHAKE UP WELCOMED AS VITAL TO REGENERATION

 

Government proposals amounting to the most fundamental changes in the operation of bus services for 20 years have been greeted by local government as a victory for common sense and welcomed as vital to the regeneration of towns and cities. The plans would give councils more say in areas like timetabling and the cost of journeys as well allowing them to tailor services to meet local needs. The measures are contained in “Putting Passengers First”, which was unveiled by the Transport Secretary, Douglas Alexander, and which outlines a raft of proposals designed to increase the number of bus passengers in the longer term.

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EMPLOYEE ATTITIDES AND ENGAGEMENT 2006

Abstracts, PublicNet: 13 December, 2006

This report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development sets out findings from a survey of the public and private sectors. The survey explores trends in employee attitudes to work and relationships with managers and colleagues. It reveals that relationships between employers and employees in many British workplaces resemble a marriage under stress, characterised by poor communications and low levels of trust. This leads to underperformance, low productivity and high levels of staff turnover.Not talking is a feature of stressed marriages and 30% of respondents say they rarely or never get feedback on their performance. While 42% of employees do not feel they are kept well informed about what is going on in their organisation. Just 37% of employees are satisfied with the opportunities they have to feed their views and opinions upwards.

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LOCAL NHS STAFF TO SET SOME OF THEIR OWN IMPROVEMENT TARGETS

Headlines, PublicNet: 12 December, 2006

LOCAL NHS STAFF TO SET SOME OF THEIR OWN IMPROVEMENT TARGETS

 

Staff working in the National Health Service at local level are to play a bigger role in deciding health and healthcare improvement targets under proposals in the operating framework for 2007-08. Local councils will also be involved in part of this process according to the Framework, which has been announced by the NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson and which sets out priorities for service over the next year and his expectations for progress on reform and improvement.

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