COUNTY’S SPENDING SUMMIT COULD LEAD WAY FOR OTHER AREAS

Headlines: October 11th, 2010

Public sector organisations across a county have agreed to work together to find savings so front-line services do not bear the brunt of Government cuts. It follows a summit organised by two Norfolk MPs who believe other parts of the country may now take similar action.

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COUNCILS WARN AGAINST CUTS IN FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT

Headlines: October 11th, 2010

Council leaders are warning that millions of people could be left unable to get insurance cover against flooding of their homes unless there is continued investment in flood risk management.

The Local Government Association fears the insurance industry may refuse to offer affordable cover if it does not believe sufficient resources are being invested in flood defences.There is currently an agreement between the Government and the industry allowing homes and businesses in flood risk areas to buy cover so long as the Government is doing its part to mitigate the risks. That agreement ends in 2013.

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CALL FOR EQUALITY TO BE EMBEDDED IN BUDGET CUTS

Headlines: October 8th, 2010

An organisation which supports black minority ethnic community and voluntary groups wants assurances that fairness and equality are deeply embedded in public spending cuts. Voice4Change England is also urging the Government to work with the sector to create its “Big Society”.

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LOCALISM IN SPOTLIGHT AT COMMONS OUTREACH EVENT

Headlines: October 8th, 2010

A free workshop is being staged in Birmingham to help groups interested in the issues relating to localism and decentralisation and learn more about getting involved in Parliament’s scrutiny of legislation. The Public Bill workshop has been organised by the House of Commons Parliamentary Outreach team.

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SOCIAL SERVICES CHIEFS WELCOME FUNDING FOR DISCHARGED PATIENTS

Headlines: October 6th, 2010

The heads of Adult social services welcomed news of extra funding for work to ensure elderly people get care in the weeks following their discharge from hospital. The 70 million pounds of extra money was announced by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, who said it would prevent patients being re-admitted to hospital soon after treatment.

The president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Richard Jones, welcomed the announcement as an encouraging first step towards ensuring sensible, effective preventative services being put in place quickly and carefully, sparing the NHS the expense of unnecessary and disruptive readmissions.

Mr. Jones added: “It is good news and we see it as confirming our view that only by tighter integration of health and social care services in the community will real savings, and real improvements in services, be made.” He said local authorities had already invested significantly in re-ablement services. The new money would be used to build on existing services helping people to return home.

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COUNCILS AND NHS URGED TO MOVE TO NEW APPROACHES TO CARE

Headlines: October 6th, 2010

Local authorities and the NHS are being urged to drop traditional approaches to social care for older and disabled people and to move towards ideas such as social enterprises and family-based care. The call comes in a report from the National Association of Adult Placement Services, which argues that the introduction of personal budgets and direct payments has not created greater choice and control for people because they still have only a narrow list of care providers to choose from.

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COMMUNITY BUDGETS GET GREEN LIGHT

Headlines: October 5th, 2010

Community budgets, which will empower localities to tackle public service challenges according to the particular needs of the area, have been given the green light by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. Local councils will play the leading role in pooling resources and joining up services.

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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT MOVES UP THE CUTS AGENDA

Headlines: October 5th, 2010

Better management of property assets across the public sector is being increasingly recognised as a major contributor to cutting costs, without any harmful effect on service delivery. As well as reducing space to match a shrinking workforce, opportunities for developing distributed and remote working are being explored.

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SOCIAL SERVICES HEADS CALL FOR NHS INVESTMENT IN CARE

Headlines: October 4th, 2010

Heads of social services have warned that cuts in services will be unavoidable unless the NHS invests rapidly in social care. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Service has, however, assured ministers that members will do all they can to make savings in care budgets that will not damage front line services.

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COMMISSIONER NAMES AUTHORITIES MONITORED FOR FOI FAILINGS

Headlines: October 4th, 2010

Eighteen local authorities, including six London Boroughs, are among the organisations being monitored by the Information Commissioner’s Office for their performance under the Freedom of Information Act. More than 30 public bodies have been named by the ICO, including the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Metropolitan Police.

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