WANTED: UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

Features: December 5th, 2008

By Kris Hibbert

An investigation into the barriers that limit the flow of people who serve as councillors found that politicians are generally not well respected, political parties are viewed with suspicion and councillors seen as out of touch. The Councillors Commission has come up with proposals to put this right. The author outlines the main proposals of the Commission and describes the different approaches that are being used to put them into action.

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EMPOWERING WOMEN IN POVERTY

Features: November 28th, 2008

Poverty goes beyond a lack of money and financial security. It impacts on the physical and mental health of children, causes feelings of social isolation and reduces opportunities in employment and education. This report describes the experiences of women in poverty and outlines suggestions for involving them in policy development.

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TOWARDS GOOD SERVICE

Features: November 21st, 2008

By Ossie Hopkins

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

Attitudes to customer service are changing. The customer is no longer passive and grateful for what is received, but demanding with a growing sense of empowerment. In the midst of this fundamental social change it is not sufficient to simply ‘improve’ customer service. A more radical approach has to be adopted. The author describes the role of the Institute of Customer Service in fostering skills and promoting innovation in developing new models of service delivery.

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IMPACT OF CHANGE ON PARENTING

Features: November 14th, 2008

By Andrea Waylen and Sarah Stewart-Brown.

There has been much concern about parenting in the UK and initiatives launched to tackle the problems. In their research the authors found that parents were doing a good job, but changes in circumstances did have an impact. They examined the parent-child relationships and how it changed over time and through alterations in circumstance. They identify where support is needed when things change for the worse.

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TACKLING CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Features: November 7th, 2008

By Stuart Smith

Obesity amongst children and young people is on the increase nationwide, but the National Healthy Schools Programme is proving a catalyst for positive action, enabling schools to tackle the issue in a more holistic way. In Liverpool nearly one in five of 10 and 11 year-olds are now classified as obese and nearly 10% of reception children at the age of 5 are currently obese. The author describes how Liverpool has set a course to reduce obesity ahead of government targets and explains how it hopes to hit the targets on time.

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HOUSING MARKET RECESSIONS AND SUBSTAINABLE HOME-OWNERSHIP

Features: October 31st, 2008

By Mark Stephens, Janet Ford, Peter Spencer, Alison Wallace, Steve Wilcox and Peter Williams

Written against a background of turmoil in the mortgage markets and the onset of a falling off in house prices across the UK, the authors examine the changing landscape of owner-occupation and what lessons can be learned from past experiences that could inform the current period of instability. They reflect on the experience of the 1989–93 housing market recession, examine evidence to trace transformations since the early 1990s and use the analysis to consider solutions intended to help to secure the future for home-ownership in the UK.

An overview of home-ownership in 2008

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TACKLING FINANCIAL EXCLUSION

Features: October 24th, 2008

By Lavinia Mitton

The financial network of banks, insurance companies and advisors can be taken for granted by those with easy access to the network. But for those without access there is financial pain caused by higher-interest credit, lack of insurance, no account into which income can be paid and higher-cost utilities. Financial exclusion leads to social exclusion and particular groups of people, such as lone parents, are particularly vulnerable. The author looks at how measures to limit the risk of exclusion are working and what might be done in the future.

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ON THE NATURE OF GOOD SERVICE

Features: October 17th, 2008

By Mike Rowe

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 

Good service in the public sector is difficult to define, but you know when you get it. It is different to good service in the private sector because the answer may be ‘no’, yet the service may be excellent. The author looks at the barriers to good service and some of the practices that could be changed. He suggests that junior and middle managers should cultivate an outlook that fosters initiative.

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DELIVERING BENEFITS, TAX CREDITS AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Features: October 10th, 2008

By Dan Finn, Danielle Mason, Nilufer Rahim and Jo Casebourne

Prompt delivery of benefits can often become a crucial issue. When things go wrong recipients can experience acute difficulties which in the extreme extend to eviction because of rent arrears. The authors looked at what is going wrong, the causes of the problems and solutions. They conclude that in the areas of benefit delivery there is little evidence of the experiments in new forms of user participation evident in other social policy domains. They argue that there is a strong case for increasing the voice of users in this policy area.

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A SELFLESS SERVICE?

Features: October 3rd, 2008

By Faizal Farook and Nicola Hughes

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
 
What motivates people to work in the public sector? It’s not the pay or short hours compared to other areas of employment. The authors probe the motives of the one in five people in the UK who have chosen to devote their careers to public service. They provide insights into the ethos that promotes and underpins the tradition of service on which the general public rely.

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