COUNCILS MOVING SLOWLY TO SHARE SERVICES

Headlines: December 1st, 2011

Sharing back office and frontline services is a proven way to make efficiency savings, but many councils have not made any commitment to do so.

Research by the Local Government Association has revealed that out of more than 400 councils only 219 are involved in any form of sharing. Many of these councils are only sharing across quite narrow areas.

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GOVERNMENT REJECTS RECOMMENDATION TO MOVE HEALTH AND SAFETY ENFORCEMENT AWAY FROM COUNCILS

Headlines: November 29th, 2011

The Löfstedt Report recommendation that direction of health and safety enforcement should be taken over by the Health and Safety Executive has been rejected. Councils will continue to exercise this role. The Government argues that the same objectives of better targeted inspections and greater consistency for business can be achieved by giving the HSE a stronger policy role.

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BUSINESS AND POLICE PARTNERSHIP CRACKS DOWN ON LONDON CRIME

Headlines: November 28th, 2011

A central London Business Improvement District and the Metropolitan Police have teamed up in a pioneering partnership. ‘Operation Sting’ aims to deter crime in Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles, which has some of the highest incidence levels of petty, non-violent theft crimes.

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HOME OFFICE SEEKING DYNAMIC AND DRIVEN PEOPLE

Headlines: November 24th, 2011

With one year to go before Police and Crime Commissioners take office, the call has gone out for dynamic and driven individuals to come forward as candidates.

The Home Office publicity describes the need for ‘Police and Crime Commissioners to be outstanding leaders. They will be hugely important figures and the role will be demanding and challenging. The first set of elected PCCs will be pioneers, driving through changes in relatively uncharted territory. They will need a firm resolve and commitment to engage with the public, listen and respond to their needs.

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TOO MUCH SICK LEAVE CAN DAMAGE YOUR HELATH

Headlines: November 23rd, 2011

The longer people remain on sick leave the harder it becomes to get back into work. Work is good for health and it can aid recovery. These are the major findings from an independent review by health and business experts Dame Carol Black and David Frost.

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CHARITY FUND RAISING RECORD SUPPORTS STRIKE DAY OF ACTION

Headlines: November 21st, 2011

The public sector day of action will be supported by the classic song Let’s Work Together. The song has been re-record as a charity track that celebrates everything that is good about the public sector.

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LETTERS FROM COUNCILS GET MESSAGE ACROSS BETTER

Headlines: November 18th, 2011

Councils have emerged as better at writing letters to citizens than many organisations are at writing to their customers.

Research findings published by The Writer, a business language consultancy, show there was some dissatisfaction with letters from councils, but they were much more effective than those from private sector organisations. Over half of all those who took part in the survey said that they find letters they get from organisation to be ‘not at all’ or ‘barely’ effective. Just 11 per cent said they’re ‘very’ or ‘impressively’ effective.

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SEAMLESS SERVICE LAUNCHED FOR NOTIFYING BIRTHS AND DEATHS

Headlines: November 17th, 2011

A new birth and death notification service could save up to £190m for government over the next ten years whilst significantly easing the lives of customers across the UK.

Tell Us Once is a new service that notifies relevant government departments and service authorities of a family’s birth or bereavement. It is led by the Department for Work and Pensions and delivered in partnership with central and local government.

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COUNCIL TAX FREEZE OFFER ANNOUNCED

Headlines: November 16th, 2011

Details of grants to councils that agree to freeze or reduce council tax have been published.

Councils that freeze or reduce their council tax next year will get a one off grant equivalent to raising their council tax by 2.5 per cent. Police and fire and rescue authorities will get a 3 per cent equivalent, with the Greater London Authority and the City of London getting intermediate offers. The new voluntary scheme will be open to the same councils as last year.

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BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER FROM DIVERSE COMMUNITIES AND DIFFERENT FAITHS

Headlines: November 15th, 2011

The Near Neighbours programme has been launched to help people within communities to get to know each other better and to help them to improve their local neighbourhoods.

The three-year Near Neighbours funded programme provides grants of between £250 and £5000 to grass roots groups in targeted geographical areas: M62 “mill towns” corridor (Bradford, Burnley, and Oldham); Leicester; and selected boroughs and wards in East London and Birmingham.

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