Public Finance

Articles from September 2007

Brown Softens Tone but 'Business as Usual' on Reform
The Blairite era of public service reform was seemingly declared dead at this year's Labour Party conference as the language of choice and markets was banished in favour of a commitment to personalised' services.But the new prescription for public services...
Children's Plan 'Must Help Struggling Pupils'
The government's forthcoming ten-year strategy for children must address the educational needs of the most disadvantaged and disaffected youngsters, experts said this week.Preparation for the strategy, known as the Children's Plan, is beginning with...
Fall in Adoptions Is Causing Concern
A12% drop in the number of children adopted between 2006 and 2007 means vulnerable children could be missing out, Public Finance has been told.Figures published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families on September 20 showed that although...
Gershon Agenda Is 'Damaging Local Cohesion'
The government's efficiency drive is damaging local services and undermining local authorities' role as guardians of community wellbeing, according to a study by the New Economics Foundation, launched on September 26.Lisa Sanfilippo, author of Unintended...
Having a Localist Moment
Spot the difference. The autumn conference season is when politicians from the main parties pretend to disagree with each other, but largely say the same things. They all care about public sector professionals and local government, when they are not...
Independent Regulators Promised for Health and Education
The regulation of education and health is facing a shake-up after Ed Balls announced the creation of an independent arbiter of examination standards and Alan Johnson began sketching out the remit of the Healthcare Commission's successor.In his conference...
Inquiry Seeks Joined-Up Strategy for Adult Learning
Experts from across government, education, business and the public sector are being brought together to draw up a strategy for adult education in the UK.The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education launched an inquiry on September 25 to identify...
LGA Plea for Tax Benefit Reform
One third of households could have their bills reduced if the council tax benefit system was reformed, the Local Government Association has said.One in three households is entitled to council tax reductions but many are unaware of this. A study commissioned...
Mental Arithmetic
The upmarket flats at Southdown Park on the edge of Haywards Heath in Sussex enjoy stunning views over the South Downs, but they are also a stark reminder of just how much mental health services have changed in England.Housed in a large and eye-catching...
No More Mr Lite-Guy
If you believe the feral animals, as Tony Blair dubbed political journalists, the Conservative Party conference will be dominated by a debate on public services. For a party leadership dedicated to improving schools and hospitals, that might seem to...
Round-Up
* There to a afreet Ink between the quality of teaching and truancy levels, a report by school inspectorate Ofsted has found. It surveyed 31 secondary schools in 23 local authorities and found that schools with the highest quality of learning had the...
RSLs Prepare to Try out Short-Notice Inspections
Short-notice inspections are to be introduced for housing associations after landlords backed an Audit Commission scheme for cutting red tape.Twelve registered social landlords have volunteered to take part in a pilot, due to start next month, where...
RSLs Warned They Must Stand out from Crowd to Survive in Market
Social landlords must quickly decide their unique selling points to compete in the increasingly complex house-building market, the new head of the Housing Corporation has said.In his first major speech since taking over as the corporation's acting chief...
Scots Scrutiny Bodies 'Should Be Merged into One'
A single body should replace the overcrowded landscape' of organisations that audit, inspect and regulate public services in Scotland, an independent review has concluded.In a report published this week, Professor Lome Crerar put forward a series of...
Scots Tax Plans 'Would Cost £1.3Bn'
Plans by the Scottish government to freeze council tax and cut business rates will cost more than £1.3bn over the next three years, according to a leading public finance commentator and former adviser to Holyrood's finance committee.Professor Arthur...
Social Care Inspector 'Nervous' about Lighter-Touch Regulation
The government's move towards 'lighter-touch' regulation in adult social care creates new concerns, a senior inspector told delegates at the CIPFA social care finance conference this weekPeter West, head of performance and information management at the...
The Lifetime Achievement Award
EXPERT PANELThe Times Public Agenda is proud to be the sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement award at the Public Servants of the Year Awards 2007.The Times Public Agenda is at the forefront of the push for even better public and voluntary sector services....
This Year's Model
Gordon Brown has had a makeover. Gone are the off-the-peg crumpled suits that were once his trademark. Instead, he's wearing £1,000+ bespoke threads and employing a personal hairdresser.But it's not just the prime minister who's been transformed in a...
Tomorrow's Talents
Gordon Brown says he wants to build a government - indeed, a nation - of all the talents. Most public sector managers would drink to that.From town hall to Whitehall, there is an urgent need for dynamic individuals who can inspire their teams and manage...
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