Archives for November 2011

COUNCIL TAX FREEZE OFFER ANNOUNCED

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 November, 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, PublicNet: 15 November, 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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WORK-FOCUSED SERVICES IN CHILDREN’S CENTRES

Abstracts, PublicNet: 14 November, 2011

Job Centre Plus Advisers were successfully integrated into the children’s centres and the pilots achieved their main objective.

The flexibility of the Adviser’s role has been key to its success with customers and pilot staff alike. Some advisers did, however, find it difficult to manage the tension of balancing work-focused activities with less structured, ad-hoc engagement and outreach activities.

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CHANGE LEADER: LEARNING TO DO WHAT MATTERS MOST

Book News, PublicNet: 11 November, 2011

We live in a challenging, complex, inter-connected and unpredictable world beset by a range of seemingly insoluble problems. But, says Michael Fullan we have an increasing understanding of how to tackle complex change. This involves developing a new kind of leader: one who recognizes what is needed to bring about deep and lasting changes in living systems at all levels.

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FRAUD COSTING COUNCILS £2b SAYS AUDIT COMMISSION

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 November, 2011

Council fraud detection has increased by over one third in the last year, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Councils have succeeded in detecting £185 million worth of fraud in 2010/11, an improvement of 37 per cent on last year’s figure of £135 million. This is equivalent to a year’s funding for around 700 libraries or the wages of up to 11,000 care workers. But the total loss of revenue through fraud is estimated to be £2b.

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CHILDREN’S SERVICES COULD DO BETTER DAYS OFSTED

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 November, 2011

The improvement in children’s services is still too variable says Ofsted in a new report. All authorities are urged to aspire to provide the highest level of services for all children and young people in their community.

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RE-THINKING PROPERTY CAN BRING £8b SAVINGS SAYS ENQUIRY

Headlines, PublicNet: 8 November, 2011

Rationalisation of the public sector property portfolio, working in partnerships and adopting new practices, such as flexible working, could improve workforce productivity by up to 15 per cent.

Using buildings differently is the key proposal in the Parliamentary report “Leaner and Greener II: Putting Buildings to Work”. The review was carried out by the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum.

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MANAGERS AS DESIGNERS IN PUBLIC SERVICES: BEYOND TECHNOMAGIC

Book News, PublicNet: 7 November, 2011

The author, David Wastell, describes the pressure public services are under from all directions. They are required to be cheaper, more efficient, more effective, less wasteful, more ‘joined-up’, more in touch with people’s needs, leaner, less bureaucratic …

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LOCALISM BILL OPENS OPPORTUNITIES FOR BIG SOCIETY

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 November, 2011

Community groups across the country are being urged to put Britain’s construction and built environment industry at the heart of their plans as the Government’s ‘Big Society’ programme of legislation to devolve more powers locally gathers pace.

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CARE LEAVERS PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLIC SERVICES

Abstracts, PublicNet: 3 November, 2011

Around 10,000 young people leave care every year and they are more vulnerable and more dependent on public services than other young people. This report from Consumer Focus calls for a different response from service providers.

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