Public Finance

Articles from May 2007

Academies' Admissions Called into Question
The political battle over academy schools will intensify next week when a leading think-tank publishes data indicating that institutions that control their own admissions procedures are increasingly less representative of their local communities.Researchers...
An Iron Chancellor's Constitution
In all the torrent of words that Gordon Brown has unleashed since launching his leadership campaign on May 11, his one specific pledge has been to introduce what he called a first draft constitutional reform Bill later this year.The implications are...
Councils Given Powers to Set Up Road-Pricing Pilots
Local authorities have been given approval by the government to press ahead with pilot schemes to introduce road charging.A draft Local Transport Bill, published on May 22, focuses on giving powers to councils to address traffic problems with limited...
Councils Hike Home Care Fees by Third to Balance Books
Elderly people in England face an average 29% increase in their home care fees this year as councils scramble to make ends meet by cutting services and subsidies, a comprehensive survey by Public Finance has found.PF has examined the 2007/08 budget details...
Councils Need Devolved Powers 'To Engage with the Public'
Public confidence in town halls has declined, a government survey has found, prompting ministers to call for devolved powers to be used straight away.A triennial study by the Department for Communities and Local Government, published on May 23, shows...
Doing What Works
The failure to make vocational education a credible alternative for Key Stage Four students has been one of the greatest public policy failures of successive governments.Research by the Bow Group has revealed shocking levels of disengagement in the system....
Events
May* MAY 30Capita conference - Implementing Government Connect: policy, practice and next stepsChair: Steve Pennant, chief executive, London Connects.Speakers include: Lee Grafton, Government Connect; Rosemary Jay, partner, Pinsent Masons; Pete Desmond,...
First Past the Post Is Past It
For the sake of Britain's democratic health, it needs to reverse the decline in the level of trust in politicians and the political process that we have seen over the past two decades. This decline has many causes, each of which needs a response, but...
Letters
Poll reversal not a declineWhile agreeing with most of David Lipsey's analysis of mid-term elections, Ain't nothing but the blues', I do wish people would stop repeating the ludicrous assertion that the 1945 Labour government suffered 'a long gradual...
LGA Backs White Paper Proposal for Independent Planning Body
Town hall leaders this week gave a cautious welcome to the government's controversial plan to refer national infrastructure planning decisions to an independent commission.But green campaigners attacked the proposal, which was in the planning white paper...
NAO Slams Running of Gateway Scheme
Ambitions to regenerate the Thames Gateway area will fail unless costs are tackled and Whitehall departments and agencies co-operate, government auditors warned this week.The National Audit Office criticised the scheme's project management, particularly...
Plan for Carbon Trading Scheme for Public Sector
Whitehall departments and other large public sector employers will be subject to a compulsory carbon emissions trading scheme under government plans to meet Britain's future energy needs.Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling published his long-delayed...
Running on Empty?
It's hardly surprising that the Olympic Delivery Authority has just appointed a transport expert as its new chair. The toughest problem facing John Armitt, the soon-to-retire chief executive of Network Rail, will be to ensure that transport issues do...
Scots Civil Service to Reflect Change at the Top
The top tier of the civil service in Scotland has been radically reorganised to fit the slimmer Cabinet introduced by the new Scottish Nationalist Party minority government.Permanent secretary John Elvidge will head a strategic board that will include...
Timms Promises Town Halls a Fair CSR Settlement
A good settlement for local government will bea key element of a successful Comprehensive Spending Review, the Cabinet minister overseeing the spending plans said this week.Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms said councils would be at the heart...
Unholy Trinity
Bad luck comes in threes, they say. It certainly looked that way for local government this week.Monday brought the long-awaited planning white paper, which will set up an independent commission to make decisions free from the inconvenience of having...
Whitehall Looks for Local Solutions to Child Poverty
Local authorities will soon be asked to help Whitehall meet its strict child poverty targets as part of the government s ambitious plan to eradicate the problem by 2020.Councils will also be asked to boost the government's more immediate battle to halve...
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