Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

Virgin Trains' contract to operate inter-city services on routes that do not include London is to be terminated. The decision was announced by Transport secretary Alistair Darling and forms part of the government's wider plan to improve services on the worst-performing routes across the UK. Virgin's current Cross Country franchise has operated on rolling, short-term contracts since 2002. Under the deal the government had assumed most of the commercial risk, but Virgin's CC service will be halted from 2007.

The Department of Health has begun the review of regulatory frameworks for the health and social care sector announced in the 2005 Budget. The review forms part of the government's plan to rationalise the number of public services inspectorates. It will be led by officials from the DoH, but a review panel chaired by Lord Currie, Dr Dieter Helm of Oxford University and Robert Chiltern from the National Consumers' Council will also provide independent scrutiny.

Crime in England and Wales fell by 5% in the 12 months from June 2004 to June 2005, according to the latest British Crime Survey. Figures show that domestic burglary fell by 17% and vehicle thefts by 10%, while violent crime remained stable. But police recorded figures, also published on October 20, painted a different picture and showed that violent crime was up by 6%. Home secretary Charles Clarke said: 'I do accept the figures are still too high.'

The consortium responsible for London Underground's Northern Line could take control of train maintenance on the route. …

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