Public Finance

Articles from May 2005

Adonis Gets NUT Approval as MPs Gripe
The largest teachers' union backed the controversial choice of Andrew Adonis as an education minister despite his appointment having upset several Labour MPs.A spokeswoman for the National Union of Teachers said it was 'looking forward to working with...
Almos Start to Reconsider Their Contracts
Council-owned housing companies are reviewing their contracts with their parent local authorities as part of a drive to achieve better value for money.Audit Commission inspectors have told arms-length management organisations that they should not assume...
Auditor Questions NE Lincolnshire's Accounts
North East Lincolnshire Council's accounts have been qualified by the district auditor.It is the second year running that the authority has failed to produce accounts that the auditor can be certain are 'materially accurate". The accounts, for 2003/04,...
Blunkett Reopens Pension Debate
David Blunkett would face stern opposition from businesses if he introduced compulsory savings in response to the escalating retirement crisis, experts have warned.The National Association of Pension Funds, which represents employers managing retirement...
Councils Failed to Put Election Details on Web
Almost three-quarters of English county councils failed to post sufficient information about local elections on their websites, a study has found.A survey conducted by the Society of IT Management, published on May 5, the day of the national and local...
Degrees of Separation
England and Scotland have a history of cross-border raids. These days the warring tribes are not the Picts, Britons and Border Reivers of old but students looking for a relatively low-cost education and universities competing for bigger resources and...
Events
May* MAY 18-19CIPFA better governance forum -counter-fraud and risk management conferenceSpeakers include Joe Duckworth, chair, Paddington Survivors Group; Paul Whitehouse, chair, Gangmasters (Licensing) Authority; Richard Kitchen, Department for Work...
Fighting Chance
He might have been given a bloody nose by the electorate, but Tony Blair has started his third term in belligerent mode.In a no-holds-barred reshuffle, controversial policy advisers and party donors were thrown into high-profile ministerial positions....
Former Advisers Flood Back into Government
Advisers and policy specialists have joined Cabinet ministers on the Downing Street merry-goround this week as Prime Minister Tony Blair builds his team for a third term.Conor Ryan, David Blunkett's special adviser from his days as education secretary,...
Government Needs to Crack Down on 'Sickies', Says CBI
The new Labour government needs to get a grip on spiralling public sector absence rates, which cost the economy more than £4bn last year, business leaders have urged.The CBI's latest survey showed that in 2004 public sector employees were absent for...
Health Service Managers Say Hewitt Must Keep Spending
New Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt is already under pressure from health service managers to maintain the record levels of NHS funding up to and beyond 2008.As Hewitt began her newjob, the NHS Confederation published a survey of chief executives in...
His Friends in the North
Jeremy Paxman can't be best pleased. The scourge of the Scottish 'Raj' had to bite his lip on election night as votes piled up in England for the Conservatives while Scottish and Welsh voters decided Labour should be the government.Paxo complained bitterly...
In Brief
* Police in Bradford are now examining 252 cases of alleged electoral fraud, as the controversy over postal voting continues. Two men, aged 38 and 51, have been questioned by police. Bradford returning officer Philip Robinson said: The referrals and...
'I Wasn't Pushed,' Says Raynsford
Nick Raynsford, the former local government minister, has told Public Finance that it was his choice to return to the back benches.The Greenwich MP was removed from his job as local government minister after almost four years in the wake of Labours general...
Labour Must Ensure Extra Cash Means Better Services, Says LGA
Labour must make strenuous efforts during its third term in office to deliver a much better return on the extra billions of pounds being invested in public services, Local Government Association chair Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart has told Public Finance.Speaking...
LibDem Leader's Resignation Rocks Coalition
The coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland might be in jeopardy following the surprise announcement by LibDem leader Jim Wallace, who is also deputy first minister, that he is standing down.His decision, and the timing of it this...
Ministerial Split on Pay Reforms 'Holding Back Equality'
Prime Minister Tony Blair is at odds with the Treasury over civil service pay reforms, but must quickly reach agreement to help combat gender inequalities, a leading Whitehall trade unionist has warned.Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and...
MSP Claims Executive Could Save £400M More by Following Gershon
The Scottish Executive could have made extra savings of £400m if it had followed the Gershon formula for England and Wales, a leading member of an influential Holyrood committee claimed this weekWendy Alexander, Labour MSP for Paisley North and former...
On Board: The Homerton Experience
The Homerton University Hospital Foundation NHS Trust in East London went live on April 1,2004. It is governed by its new board, but is accountable to its council of governors, comprising 14 governors elected by members drawn from the public, six elected...
Out and Proud
The spectre of problems past hangs over the new outsourcing deals in the pipelinePublic sector outsourcing is set to soar over the next three years, with an extra £20bn worth of services likely to be farmed out to private sector suppliers. This means...
PCS Opposes Payroll Move to Swansea
Proposals to move hundreds of civil service staff out of the Southeast to Wales contradict the government s efficiency agenda and its aim of protecting local economies, Whitehall's largest union has claimed.The Department for Transports management board...
PFI Consortium Demands More Cash
One of Scotland's biggest and most controversial Private Finance Initiative projects, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, is embroiled in a row over £30m in extra payments demanded by the operating consortium.NHS Lothian and the consortium, Consort Healthcare,...
Round-Up
E-mails leaked to a national newspaper indicate that the government considered putting Railtrack into administration months before the final decision was taken in October 2001. Civil service correspondence obtained by the Daily Telegraph states that...
The Sound of Silence
As the new Labour government contemplates the future of the NHS, one issue that it needs to get to grips with quickly is public and patient involvement. This is a policy area with which New Labour might be expected to have a natural affinity. After all,...
Tony Redmond Tops Poll for CIPFA Council
Local government ombudsman Tony Redmond topped the poll for the first time in this year's election to the CIPFA Council.Redmond garnered 1,741 votes to guarantee one of 21 places on the 2005/06 Council. second place went to Jeff Pipe, corporate governance...
Tories Triumph in Subdued Council Elections
It was always going to be tough. Local government elections rarely raise much national interest, let alone when they are competing with a much-anticipated general election that most commentators agreed was almost impossible to read.While the publication...
Universal Soldier
The clock is now ticking on Tony Blair's tenure at Number 10. The sharp fall in Labour's majority means he cannot be sure of serving the three to four years of the full third term he has said he wants. But that does not mean he is powerless or at the...
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