NEW DEAL FOR COMMUNITIES

Book News: September 29th, 2004

This report from the Public Accounts Committee examines the progress of the pilot programme launched in 1999 to give local communities a much greater influence in the way in which funds are used to achieve neighbourhood renewal. Unlike previous regeneration programmes where monies were paid to central and local government bodies to deliver regeneration, in this programme the monies have been given directly to neighbourhoods for them to manage through a Board made up of local representatives. This allows the communities to purchase services to meet their regeneration needs in accordance with their priorities. The approach is being tested in 39 neighbourhoods across the country and is expected to cost some £2 billion over 10 years.The committee found that the programme was one of more than fifty different initiatives with separate funding streams and they called for a streamlining. Although the programme is still at a relatively early stage there are examples of effective neighbourhood renewal arising from this new approach. But equally, some tensions have developed between some New Deal for Community partnerships, their communities and local authorities that need to be addressed if further progress is to be ensured.

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COACHING FOR CHANGE

Book News: September 27th, 2004

By Kaye ThorneCoaching for Change is an essential tool for anyone who wants to transform performance through the development of a coaching environment. Drawing upon the author’s experience, this book looks at how to create, develop and manage the process of change whether it be in one-to-one situations, team based or within organizations. It examines how change happens, both at the individual and organizational level and why, despite a desire to change, some people and organizations find it difficult to achieve.

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SUCCESSFUL SCRUTINY

Book News: September 22nd, 2004

This report from the Centre for Public Scrutiny highlights the experiences of eight non-executive scrutiny chairs who have influenced executive colleagues in key decisions and made an impact on the well-being of the communities they represent. It shows that the scrutiny process delivers the most tangible benefits when local councillors take the lead, when the public is engaged in innovative ways and when there is a constructive working relationship with the executive. Kent County Council’s early years education scrutiny review is among the experiences quoted. Backbenchers from all three main parties got involved and took ownership of the early years education agenda. Their involvement raised the profile of the issue notably and they were able to sell the agenda to their fellow members.The report is available free at: www.cfps.org.uk/successfulscrutiny

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E-PROCUREMENT GUIDES

Book News: September 20th, 2004

The Department of Trade and Industry has published a series of guides to help councils and their 800,000 suppliers to develop e-procurement systems. The guides look at e-procurement from the point of view of technology, customers and suppliers and cover business processes from development to final delivery. There is also an introduction to e-business which looks at the benefits of using technology in all areas of a business and an introduction on creating and maintaining a co-operative and mutually beneficial relationship with customers and suppliers.The guides have been produced by bringing together in one place the knowledge and experience gained by the DTI over a period of time in promoting best practice as a way of helping businesses become more efficient, competitive and profitable.

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SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Book News: September 14th, 2004

By David Byrne’Social exclusion’ is the buzz phrase for the complex range of social problems
which derive from the substantial increase in social inequality in Western
societies. This timely and engaging volume examines these problems in societies
where manufacturing industry is no longer the main basis for employment and the
universal welfare states established after the Second World War are under
attack. It reviews theories of social exclusion, including the Christian
democratic and social democratic assertions of solidarity with which the term
originated.

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ANSWERING THE CALL: HR PRACTICE IN LOCAL AUTHORITY CONTACT CENTRES

Book News: September 9th, 2004

This report from the Employers Organisation for local government, presents
survey findings on recruitment, training and performance appraisal,
organisational development and job design for contact centres. The research
shows there is no single model of practice for contact centres in local
government. The approach is governed by local factors such as contact centre
strategy, service demand and local labour markets. The report gives a good
indication of the decisions to be taken and the factors to be considered when
setting up or reorganising contact centre operations.

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AN INTELLECTUAL JOURNEY

Book News: September 7th, 2004

By Peter DruckerPeter Drucker invented the field of modern management. Through his 35 books and
hundreds of seminal articles Drucker has had an enormous influence on the
managers of corporations, nonprofits and government agencies around the world.
The video is a one-hour documentary which traces Drucker’s thinking from his
earliest years in Vienna to his acknowledged position today as the “guru” of
management.

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SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY

Book News: September 2nd, 2004

By David LyonSurveillance Society takes a post-privacy approach to surveillance with a fresh look at the relations between technology and society. Personal data is collected from us all the time, whether we know it or not, through identity numbers, camera images, or increasingly by other means such as fingerprint and retinal scans. This book examines the constant computer-based scrutiny of ordinary daily life for citizens and consumers as they participate in contemporary societies. It argues that to understand what is happening we have to go beyond Orwellian alarms and cries for more privacy to see how such surveillance also reinforces divisions by sorting people into social categories. The issues spill over narrow policy and legal boundaries to generate responses at several levels including local consumer groups, internet activism, and international social movements.

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PARTNERSHIP WORKING IN RURAL REGENERATION: GOVERNANCE AND EMPOWERMENT?

Book News: August 25th, 2004

By B Edwards, M Goodwin, S Pemberton and M Woods.This report presents the findings of a two-year research project which analysed rural partnerships operating in mid-Wales and Shropshire. It describes and analyses partnership management and development within rural regeneration. It offers guidance, a local viewpoint and experience, and checklists that highlight appropriate issues alongside local case studies. These issues relate to both the practice of participants in partnership working, and wider policies. The guidance is supported by six case studies which describe issues of good practice, selection of partners, community representation, committee structures, and key factors associated with working in partnership.

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MAKING CHOICES: HOW CAN CHOICE IMPROVE LOCAL SERVICES?

Book News: August 23rd, 2004

By Adam Lent and Natalie ArendThis report is based on a year long study of how local authorities across the UK are introducing wider choice in the provision of their services. It offers a practical guide on how user choice can be successfully implemented and managed. In considering the changing nature of user choice and the different providers, the report claims ‘enhanced choice’ is the key to improving local public services.

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