Archives for January 2009

PM PLEDGES FREEDOM FOR COUNCILS AS THINK TANK REPORT CALLS FOR REFORMS

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 January, 2009

A new report has called for local government to have a key place at the national political table and to have its role protected by law. The report, produced by the think-tank Localis sponsored by the Local Government Association, was published as the Prime Minister called councils “the backbone of our local communities” and highlighted the work they could do in meeting local housing needs, preventing long-term unemployment, and supporting small business.

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SURVEY POINTS TO LOCAL DESIRE FOR MORE SAY IN DECISIONS

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 January, 2009

Three quarters of people feel a strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood and even more are satisfied with their local area as a place to live. These are among the key findings of the Citizenship Survey but it also discovered people were less happy about their lack of influence on local decisions.

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AVOIDABLE CONTACT TARGET – A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Features, PublicNet: 30 January, 2009

By John Seddon

The Cabinet Office and the Improvement and Development Agency are urging public bodies to identify ‘avoidable contact’ with customers. National Indicator 14 is one of the 198 indicators against which local government will be assessed within the new performance management framework. The indicator aims to reduce ‘avoidable contact’ between the community and local authorities. The author argues that creating a target to reduce avoidable contact is missing a great opportunity to think creatively about the whole system. Avoidable contact data gives the vital clues to prompt re-thinking about the whole system to achieve significant performance improvement.

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SURVEY POINTS TO FAILINGS IN RELATIONSHIPS WITH THIRD SECTOR

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 January, 2009

A major survey of charity, social enterprise and voluntary organisations has found that public bodies need to do more to improve the support they give to the Third Sector. The National Survey of Third Sector Organisations – one of the biggest of its kind ever carried out – found, however, that more than half of them felt working with the local public sector was a positive experience.

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MINISTERS TO GO ONLINE TO TALK TO FACEBOOK GENERATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 January, 2009

Government ministers are to look at ways to interact directly with university students. The idea of ministers going on line to talk to students about the issues that matter most to them is part of a response to a report from the National Student Forum.

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THE THREE LAWS OF PERFORMANCE: RE-WRITING THE FUTURE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION AND YOUR LIFE

Book News, PublicNet: 29 January, 2009

By Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

When a hurricane warning is announced, everyone’s concerns and actions become focused on that expectation; the hurricane essentially becomes the future which people are “living into.” Similarly, when an organization needs to transform or make the leap to a higher level, everyone involved should be “living into” the vision of the organization’s new, improved future. But in the majority of organizations, the future people are living into is based on past performance and experience, and so major transformation is almost impossible.

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COMMISSION FINDS TOO FEW PEOPLE GETTING PERSONALISED SOCIAL CARE

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 January, 2009

Many people are not getting the social care services that meet their needs fully according to a report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection. It also claims that in many areas services are not meeting the transformation vision that was set out by the Department of Health.

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WARNING THAT RURAL AREAS MAY MISS OUT ON BROADBAND AGAIN

Headlines, PublicNet: 28 January, 2009

A senior Government advisor has warned that communities in rural areas are in danger of again being on the wrong side of the digital divide as the Government draws up plans for the future of superfast broadband. Dr Stuart Burgess, the Government’s Rural Advocate, said there were still problems with existing broadband networks over speed and accessibility.

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TACKLING WORKLESSNESS IN NEW DEAL FOR COMMUNITIES AREAS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 28 January, 2009

Tackling worklessness has been a key feature of the New Deal for Communities and this paper from Communities and Local Government draws out the lessons learned.

The New Deal areas faced a number of challenges, including the loss of traditional jobs, eg in manufacturing, low paid jobs did not meet expectations and small firms found it hard to invest time in recruiting and developing those who had been out of work for a long time.

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COSTS OF WORKING IN CHILDREN’S SERVICES ‘MUST NOT OUTWEIGH BENEFITS’

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 January, 2009

A local government leader has warned of the danger of allowing the costs of working in children’s social care to outweigh the benefits for staff. Margaret Eaton, the chair of the Local Government Association, was responding to the results of a survey by UNISON which pointed to high levels of unfilled posts in care teams.

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