COUNCILS KEEP IN TOUCH WITH TEXT MESSAGING

Features: July 22nd, 2005

Text messaging has become part of 21st century everyday life, but both public and private sector organisations have been slow to bring it in to their communication strategies. In the public sector, local government is leading the way. This feature describes how a council has adopted text messaging to keep residents in touch and to provide alerting information to staff.



SEAMLESS SERVICES – SMOOTHER LIVES

Features: July 15th, 2005

By Kay Tisdall, Jennifer Wallace, Evelyn McGregor, Dianne Millen and Andrew Bell, Integrating services is a cornerstone of current policy on children’s services and social exclusion. The authors looked at integration initiatives in family centres and new community schools in Scotland. They describe how integration works in practice and the unexpected outcomes of beneficial relationships and the creation of a new conduit to a wider range of services.

MATCHING POLICY AND PRACTICE WITH NEEDS OF OLDER PEOPLE

Features: July 1st, 2005

Evidence from a wide range of projects is that there is still a mismatch between what older people want and what policy and practice are delivering. The conclusion is that little has changed in service delivery since the Community Care Act in 1990. One reason for this is that older people are not involved in decision making. This feature sets out a change agenda for policy makers, funders of services and service providers.

COMBATING SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND DECLINE THROUGH HOUSING MARKET RENEWAL

Features: June 24th, 2005

By Ian Cole and Brendan Nevin The cause of neighbourhood decline is a complicated mix of factors including labour market change, lack of access to transport, failing schools and fear of crime. Housing market failure is a knock-on effect which accelerates decline. The authors explain how a Pathfinder programme is promoting housing market renewal and finding ways to connect to nearby areas of growth and economic vitality.

FROM WELFARE TO WELLBEING – PLANNING FOR AN AGEING SOCIETY

Features: June 17th, 2005

Public services focus on the most vulnerable older people at times of crisis rather than an approach which enables the wider older population to remain independent for as long as possible and live their lives to the full. A radical change of perspective is needed to meet the challenges of the ageing society. Achieving this wider focus may not cost more because it involves a better use of resources and more effective ways of public services working together in the interests of citizens.

MAKING RE-GENERATION WORK

Features: June 10th, 2005

By Geoff Green, Mike Grimsley and Bernard Stafford. Relying on a combination of the market and welfare support to deal with declining neighbourhoods is costly and inequitable. The authors looked at the sustainability of eight former coal-mining neighbourhoods in three South Yorkshire local authorities. They found that the social assets of trust, safety and reciprocity are key factors in regeneration. They came ahead of the quality of the housing stock. This article describes how social assets inter relate to the other factors in creating sustainability.

THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Features: June 3rd, 2005

By Roy Houston Much valuable information is not available to central and local government because it is ‘buried’ in the mass of data stored, particularly in the accounting systems. Today’s technology is sufficiently powerful to help, but obtaining the information and being able to use it are major challenges. The author looks at getting the big picture out of the detail and then adding value by applying external information.

Volunteering In Retirement

Features: May 27th, 2005

By Justin Davis Smith and Pat Gay Volunteering benefits society in terms of the delivery of essential services and the combating of social exclusion. The authors looked at the motivation for retired people to volunteer and what might be done to promote a greater willingness to volunteer by this expanding group. They challenge organisations to broaden their base of recruitment to include those groups of older people currently under-represented as volunteers. They also challenge government and other policy-makers to rethink both pre- and post-retirement education and the whole lifelong learning debate.

The Rapidly Changing World of Audit and Inspection

Features: May 20th, 2005

By Clive Grace Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. The audit and inspection of public services over the past few years is a story of rapid growth leading to an increasing burden, which in turn has provoked resistance which led to sweeping retrenchment in the scale and costs of these activities. The author sees audit and inspection becoming the fourth arm of governance following Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. He sets out a vision of how this might come about.

Teleshopping Set For Major Community Care Role

Features: May 13th, 2005

By James Barlow and Mary Breeze Using the telephone or the internet for the weekly grocery shopping could make life much easier for older and disabled people with limited mobility and at the same time halve the cost to councils of providing a home grocery shopping service. Much remains to be done to make this a reality. The authors describe a pilot project in Bristol which explored the barriers and evaluated the outcomes. They suggest ways in which councils, supermarkets and technology might bring the benefits everyone is looking for.

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