Public Finance

Articles from May 2009

Auditors Say Access to Mental Health Services Must Improve
People with mental health problems need faster access to services, an Audit Scotland survey has found.In a report published on May 14, the public finance watchdog said there had been significant developments in the way mental health services were provided,...
CQC Cites Hospital Failings in Baby P Case
The failings in the Baby P case were caused by staff shortages, poor recruitment and a lack of awareness and communication among medical staff, a watchdog report has found.The May 13 Care Quality Commission report into the NHSs treatment of Baby P -...
Events
May* MAY 20Wales Audtt Office conference Improvement in a coM cflmate: delivering in challenging timesSpeakers include: Rhodri Morgan, first minister, Welsh Assembly Government; Andrew Davies, minister for public services and finance, WAG; Steve Bundred,...
Flipping Hell
Who could argue with Stephen Fry, the erudite actor, writer and presenter, in his dismissal of the MPs expenses furore as simply 'not that important'?Well, pretty much the rest of the country. MPs' expenses might not amount to a hill of beans in terms...
Glasgow Calls for Pan-Public Sector Pay Freeze
The finance leader of Scotland's biggest council has called for a pay freeze across the public sector to meet tightening spending targets and avoid widespread job cuts.Gordon Matheson, city treasurer of Glasgow City Council, told the Scottish Parliament...
Group Therapy
Running community services at a local level allows them to be much more effective, yet paradoxically it also creates some missed opportunities. Difficult social issues are being tackled by volunteers and small community groups all over the country, but...
Letters
You can e-mail your letters to letterstoedltof@publicfinance.cauk or fax them to: 020 7324 2790. Please include your name and address and a daytime phone number. The editor reserves the right to edit lettersCan we prosper without growth?Anna Coote's...
Mounting Threat to Jobs as Councils Plan New Cutbacks
The majority of local authorities in England are planning to cut jobs over the next 12 months, with middle management posts hardest hitA Local Government Association survey published this week revealed that almost 7,000 local government jobs have been...
MPs Back Private 'Top-Up' Health Care Scheme
An influential committee of MPs has backed a controversial report recommending that patients be able to 'top up' NHS treatment with private care, despite fears it will result in a two-tier system.In a May 12 report, the Commons' health select committee...
MPs Must Drop Gesture Politics to Restore Trust, Says Graham
Gesture politics from the major parties is preventing MPs from restoring public trust over their expenses, a former standards watchdog chair has said.Sir Alistair Graham, who led the Committee on Standards In Public Life until 2007, criticised Prime...
MSPs Criticise Rural Housing Policy
An overcautious approach to planning is preventing the provision of much-needed housing in Scotland's rural areas, MSPs have warned.Members of the Scottish Parliament s rural affairs and environment committee called for a challenge to the widespread...
NI Social Landlord Rent Arrears Increase
Gross rent arrears with Northern Ireland sodai landlords rose by 154% in five years, according to a report by the Nl Audit Office.The NIAO report looked Into the finances of the Nl Housing Executive, a social landlord that funds other housing associations...
No Expenses Spared
Who would be an elected politician? The mood at Westminster among MPs is one of despair and - at least among the shrewder ones - of shame. The latest stories about MPs' expenses have brought to the surface a mood of public anger against mainstream politicians...
Round-Up
* The Higher Education Funding Council for England has approved £60m of capital funding for projects in universities and colleges that are thought to have the greatest impact on economic recovery. This is the second round of the programme, which was...
School Ratings Set to Give More Rounded View
School ratings are to be broadened with a report card that aims to replace crude academic league tables with a more rounded picture of performance.Schools Secretary Ed Balls last week accepted all the recommendations of the Expert Group on Assessment...
Some Are More Equal Than Others
The Queen's Speech last December included the government's plans 'to promote equality, fight discrimination and introduce transparency in the workplace to help address the difference in pay between men and women' and 'to improve incentives for people...
Stalled PFI Projects 'Should Get Go-Ahead'
The cost of Private Finance Initiative projects will still not count towards public sector net debt, but government departments and local authorities will have to include the projects on their balance sheets, Treasury advice has confirmed.Although a...
Study Finds Huge Disparities in Council Home Care Charges
Councils in Wales are charging widely different amounts for home care services and using different financial assessments to decide who pays, a report has found.The Welsh Assembly Government commissioned economics consultancy LE Wales to research charges...
Three-Year Budgets Would Help Councils
Councils would be better able to protect their communities from the recession if they were allowed to set three-year budgets, a New Local Government Network report has argued.The report, published on May 15, said a three-year cycle would give local authorities...
To Web or Not 2.0 Web?
For the second time in as many weeks, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been criticised for his performance in a video posted on the YouTube website. Hardly a day goes by without reading in our newspapers about YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the like....
We've Seen the Future
Can efficiency save the day for Britain's public services? This question will inevitably be asked in the years ahead as the country attempts to reduce the scale of its public expenditure. Whatever the future of the wider economy, it now seems certain...
What the Doctor Ordered
Primary care trusts have a lot to worry about at the moment the consequences of their World Class Commissioning assessments; preparation for swine flu; separating out their provider arms into arms-length or stand-alone organisations; and anticipating...
Women Win out in CIPFA Council Poll
More than one third of the contested seats on the CIPFA council are to change hands following the institute's annual elections.Eight new faces, seven of whom are women, will join the council in June for the 2009/10 year. Four of these are new to the...
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