TOOLS OF ATTRACTION FOR PUBLIC SECTOR RECRUITMENT

Features: July 11th, 2008

By Nicola Linkleter, Executive Director, Badenoch & Clark

The negative image of the public sector can act as a deterrent in attracting talented people. It is perceived as an industry that is “down-sizing”. Career prospects are viewed as slow burning to stagnant. The author believes that doing nothing to counter this negative image is a lost opportunity. She argues that there are many features of public sector employment which can be woven into a positive image to attract the best people.

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TACKLING STREET CRIME WITH A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE APPROACH

Features: July 4th, 2008

Deprived neighbourhoods in the UK suffer disproportionately from the effects of criminality and anti-social behaviour. The common problems include out of control young people, drug dealing, gang culture, intimidation, weapons and violent crime. A long series of government programmes and the best efforts of regeneration professionals and the criminal justice system are producing limited results. The author describes how community leaders adopted a social enterprise approach with home-grown solutions building on the experience, understanding and skills of residents to successfully tackle anti-social behaviour and street crime.

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MANAGING THE RISKS TO CHILDREN USING TECHNOLOGY

Features: June 27th, 2008

By Graham Willett.

Children using technology are exposed to risks in schools, children’s homes, libraries, and youth clubs. It’s the job of councils across the UK to have a Local Safeguarding Children Board to manage these risks and develop e-safety strategies. The major risks come from using the internet and they include cyberbullying and viewing unsuitable online material. The author describes how educating young people on e-safety results in them being better placed to protect themselves from potential dangers. He also outlines how e-safety technology provides screenshots of every violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, both on and off line.

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ENGAGING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE TO MAKE SURE THEY GET THE SERVICES THEY NEED

Features: June 20th, 2008

By Robert Maragh.

There is a growing view that services need to be shaped by and responsive to children and young people – but what does this mean in practice? Robert Maragh, Head of Integrated Children’s Commissioning in the London Borough of Newham, explains how his team makes sure that children and young people are involved at every stage of the commissioning process, and why services are improving as a result.

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APPLYING TECHNOLOGY TO REVENUE RECOVERY

Features: June 13th, 2008

By Nick Bradley

Recovering revenue for councils has become more efficient with the introduction of a range of technical innovations by Philips Collection Services Ltd. The author describes how an ‘own council brand’ penalty charge system facilitates telephone and web payments. He also describes how a back office system for routing and tracking cases and the use of digital pen technology for field staff have brought improvements in collecting benefit overpayments, tenancy and council tax arrears, magistrates’ fine, commercial and private rent arrears, business to business debts and consumer payment arrears.

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FINANCIAL EXCLUSION: WHAT IT IS, WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Features: June 6th, 2008

By Donal McKillop and John Wilson

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

Banks accounts have become a ‘must have’ in the 21st century, but a large number of people do not hold a current account. These people suffer disadvantage in receiving benefit payments, in employment and in the charges they pay for credit. The authors outline what is being done by the government and the banking industry to limit the effect of financial exclusion. They also look to the future and suggest how a range of measures, including greater transparency on what is being achieved, can promote financial inclusion.

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E-PROCUREMENT: DELIVERING VISIBILITY, CONTROL AND INNOVATION

Features: May 30th, 2008

By Esa Tihilä.

eProcurement made slow progress in the early period following its launch ten years ago. As well as user unfriendly and not very reliable technology it called for substantial investment in time and money. There was also a skills shortage in using the systems. All this has changed and eProcurement is starting to deliver on its long-standing promise of more streamlined supply chains, better relationships with the right suppliers, and significant savings on spend. The public sector is leading the way in the take-up of eProcurement, because it is recognised as an effective way to make substantial contributions to efficiency savings targets. The author describes how the long promised benefits are now being delivered.

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COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT IN PRACTICE

Features: May 23rd, 2008

By Dave Adamson and Richard Bromiley

Community empowerment is a desirable aim and a White Paper is due shortly setting out how it will be promoted. The authors looked at where community empowerment is now and found that current structures are not very supportive. They found that local authorities and other public bodies, where the power lies now, are failing to respond to the community agenda. Local strategic partnerships and local service boards are not structured to connect with communities. No evidence was found of significant mainstream ‘programme bending’ where statutory agencies prioritised actions and expenditure.
The conclusion is that it is possible to achieve community empowerment but there will need to be policy changes and resources from government.

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DEVELOPING ‘NOUS’ IN LEADERSHIP

Features: May 16th, 2008

Mike Bennett

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

Local government chief executives are unusual and they don’t have much in common. Their job is also unusual spanning many professions and their agenda is set by politicians. To do the job effectively they need ‘nous’, but this does not feature on leadership or development courses. The author explores what ‘nous’ is, how it can be recognized and what people who possess ‘nous’ can do that others cannot. He explains how ‘nous’ complements abstract reasoning and describes how people with ‘nous’ are sharing their experiences with others.

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REALITIES OF CITIZEN GOVERNANCE FOR MINORITY COMMUNITIES

Features: May 9th, 2008

By Santosh Rai

Increasing participation at community level improves local service delivery, raises local accountability and develops cohesive communities. But there is a mismatch between ambitions for governance and the reality of governance for black and minority ethnic women. There are many and varied motivations which lead them to contribute to community life, but frustration and dissatisfaction with the operation of local governance structures is a common reality. There are poor communication channels, hierarchical structures and conflicts of interests between community needs and personal and organisational agendas. The way forward lies in better governance leadership, building inclusive governance, strengthening engagement structures and harnessing motivations.

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