Public Finance

Articles from August 2006

An Outsourcing Health Check
'There is no question whatever of "privatising" the NHS,' was Health secretary Patricia Hewitt's fairly predictable response to press stories suggesting the contrary at the end of June. The Department of Health had just run an advert in the Official...
Child Support Agency's Demise Was 'Inevitable', Says Henshaw
The man who made the decision to scrap the troubled Child Support Agency has told Public Finance that the organisations demise was 'inevitable' because it 'simply was not up to the job' of supporting single parents.But Sir David Henshaw, who published...
Citizens' Views Crucial to Better Public Services
The government's 'double devolution' rhetoric will only be meaningful if communities are involved in deciding how their public services operate, business leaders have warned.The CBI this week urged local authorities to take radical steps to ensure that...
Councils Not Fully Capitalising on Planning Permission Powers
Councils are failing to use their powers to extract significant resources from commercial developers as a condition of planning permission for new developments, the Audit Commission has found.They now have a 'narrow window of opportunity' to 'get their...
Crossing the Divide
At first sight, the recent wrangling over the charities Bill, which returns to the Commons in the autumn, contradicts Tony Blair's claims for a new era of political cross-dressing.A bold move by a group of disaffected Labour MPs - supported in some respects...
Eight More Trusts Are Awarded Foundation Status
More than a quarter of acute NHS trusts now have greater freedom from Whitehall control, following the authorisation of eight new foundation trusts this week.William Moyes, chair of Monitor, the foundation trust regulator, awarded foundation status to...
Handouts Hinder Regional Economies, Says Report
High levels of public spending are exacerbating regional economic disparities and leading to dependency on central government handouts in some areas, according to a free market think-tank. Reform.It argues that public spending increases since the late...
Housing Associations Urged to Swap in Quest for Efficiency
Housing associations with just a few homes in a community or neighbourhood must be put under more pressure to swap them with other landlords, say new reports.Local authorities, the Housing Corporation and inspectors from the Audit Commission should all...
In Brief
* Work and Pensions Secretary John Mutton has named 11 regions to be granted Cities Strategy pathfinder status. The government will provide £5m to help the 11 - and two London areas named earlier develop integrated welfare plans to get people on benefits...
Insider Appointed to NHS Chief Executive Post
Unions and professional associations in the NHS have welcomed the appointment of an NHS insider as the service's new chief executive.The appointment of David Nicholson - the chief executive of the London Strategic Health Authority - has been greeted...
Letters
Making the thin blue line thickerIn his article on police force restructuring (The thinner blue line, July 21-27), Tim Brain was highly critical of the merger programme that has just been effectively abandoned by the government. From the perspective...
LGA Wants More Powers to Tackle Waste
Town halls have called on ministers to strengthen their powers after the government drew attention to the blight and costs of fly-tipping.The Local Government Association said councils should be able to charge households directly for their waste, while...
More Room for the Third Sector
In recent weeks it appears that the voluntary sector has become the weapon of choice for those engaged in the ongoing battle over public service reform.Everybody wants to get in on the act - the prime minister tells the Future Services Network, a body...
Mutual Attraction
With treasurers under increasing pressure to make budgets go further and meet efficiency targets, many are investigating alternative ways to stretch resources. One area that has gained momentum recently is the practice of 'mutual insurance' or 'pooling',...
NUT Points to 'Patchy' Progress of Academies
Teachers' leaders have accused the government of downplaying criticism of its controversial academy programme.A report from consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers was hailed by ministers as further 'independent endorsement' of academies. Pupil performance...
Paying the Price
It seems the NHS, which claims as one of its core principles 'keeping people healthy', has too many things to do to worry about public health at the momentA study this week by the government's Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health has found that...
Round-Up
Civil servants would be prevented from publishing unauthorised exposés of their time in the corridors of power under new rules proposed by the Commons public administration committee. The MPs say memoirs by top diplomats and civil servants often have...
Scotland Set to Adopt US Management Model
The Scottish Executive has turned to the United States for inspiration in its campaign to improve public services.Finance Minister Tom McCabe said this week that the Citistat performance management model pioneered by the city of Baltimore could be tailored...
Social Services May Be Compensated by DoH
The Department of Health is considering compensating social services departments for the increased burdens created by cuts to NHS services, Public Finance has learnt.A DoH spokeswoman confirmed the department was examining the evidence put forward by...
Town Halls Demand Correct Migrant Figures
Councils are warning that they are being starved of vital resources to fund basic services because of the government's inability to produce accurate immigration figures.Public Finance has learned that the Local Government Association is poised to throw...
Town Hall Trailblazer
Paul Coen is a man who likes to get things done. The new chief executive of the Local Government Association is only a few weeks into his new role, but already he is making his mark on the organisation.The 52-year-old's dynamism and evident enthusiasm...
Unions Set for Clashes over NHS Reforms
The government faces a summer of discontent from NHS unions unhappy at its perseverance with market reforms.Despite recent attempts by ministers to win back healthcare professionals' support for their reform programme, this week unions, including Unison,...
Who's the Weakest Link Now?
It's official - Whitehall is mediocre at best and in need of urgent reform at worst.Despite my own and many others misgivings, the Departmental Capability Reviews turned out to have teeth after all. Perhaps it was the high level of scepticism when they...
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