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LGiU Policy Briefings

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LGiU briefings can be accessed by elected members and officers in LGiU member authorities – and those on free trials. Check if your authority is a member or on a free trial. Briefings can also be downloaded at a cost to non-members.

Our briefings are written by our network of LGiU Associates. Find out more about our briefing authors here.

Search tip: Please note that when searching for a term or phrase, such as care bill or better care fund, you should frame the words in speech marks – e.g “care bill” or “better care fund”. Search findings are listed chronologically.

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The impact of public spending cuts on women

September 16, 2014

This briefing brings together evidence from Unison, the Women’s Resource Centre, Women’s Budget Group and universities to assess the impact of recent government spending cuts on women.

Report of the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England (Barker report)

September 15, 2014

* This briefing summarises and comments on the report of the Barker Commission established by the King’s Fund to look at the future of health and social care in England.
* The Commission whose members included a senior officer of the LGA has made radical recommendations for raising additional funding for public provision for an integrated system of health and social care, commissioned by a single commissioner.
* Additional funding would come from increased National Insurance, including from those of pensionable age who are still working, more means-testing of certain benefits for older people, a much reduced prescription charge with many fewer exemptions and more taxation of wealth.
* Attendance Allowance would be brought into the health and care system which would provide free care to everyone assessed as having either the current “substantial” or “critical” levels of need (costings are given for each).
* The report suggests that Health and Wellbeing Boards might be the single local commissioner of services.
* It will be of interest to lead members for adult social care and children’s services, council leaders, members of Health and Wellbeing Boards, members of health scrutiny committees, Chief Executives, Directors of adult social care and children’s services and their teams.

Weekly Policy Summary – 12th September

September 12, 2014

You can also view this briefing as a pdf. Deadline extended for our photo competition – email your town hall snaps to or tweet them @lgiu. The Commission on the Future of Home Care Workforce, chaired by Paul Burstow MP, held …

Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham – Alexis Jay report

September 10, 2014

The report of the Independent Inquiry into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, conducted by Alexis Jay OBE, was published by Rotherham Borough Council (which commissioned it) on 26 August 2014. The Leader of the Council resigned the same day, taking responsibility on behalf of the Council for the historic failings described in the report, and apologising to the young people and their families who had been so badly let down. The Chief Executive has now said he is leaving.
The report has received widespread media coverage, with regular comment since its publication, including an urgent question (a request for a statement) in the House of Commons to Home Secretary Theresa May from her shadow, Yvette Cooper, on 2 September. The Commons Home Affairs Committee takes further evidence on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham on 9 September.
This briefing contains a short summary of the report, and focuses more on the reaction to it and the implications for local authorities and their partners. It will be of interest to elected members and officers with responsibility for the broad range of services for children and young people, all of which have a role to play in identifying those at risk of sexual exploitation and in successful approaches to tackling it.

HS2 Update: Summer 2014

September 10, 2014


• This briefing reports on key developments in the HS2 project since the last LGIU briefing on this topic in April 2014.
• In particular, it covers the Government’s further response to the HS2 growth taskforce’s report on maximising the benefits of HS2. This stresses the key role that local authorities and LEPs will play in promoting development around HS2 stations.
• The briefing also provides an update on the progress of the HS2 Hybrid Bill and summarises some of the key arguments made by petitioners against the Bill.
• It finishes with an overview of other recent developments including an update on the various legal challenges against the Bill and a summary of the alternative proposals that have been put forward by local authorities and others.
• This briefing will be of interest to elected members and officers with transport, planning and economic development responsibilities.

Where next for independent living?

September 9, 2014

This briefing summarises discussions at a recent Disability Rights UK conference organised to develop a vision for Independent Living for disabled people in England.

Open Public Services – Briefing on progress

September 8, 2014

This briefing takes a look across the Coalition Government’s public services reform programme – Open Public Services – to review progress and developments focusing on local government issues.
Many of the original initiatives presented in the 2011 Open Public Services White Paper are now in place.
Significant progress has been made in doubling the proportion of social care clients receiving self-directed care since 2010-11. Academies and ‘free schools’ now represent almost a fifth of all schools in England. While over 50,000 of the 120,000 families identified by the Troubled Families programme have been turned around.
Less successful has been the impact of the new community rights with only six local assets and two local public services transferred into community ownership and management using these news powers. While progress in developing neighbourhood planning has been slow with only 80 full draft neighbour plans produced, and only 13 approved at community referendums.
New developments include the significant expansion of the Troubled Families Programme to work with 400,000 more families, moves to introduce direct payments for residential care and to develop combined health and care personal budgets. A new £3.8 billion pooled fund – Better Care Fund – has been established to promote the joint planning and delivery of health and care services.
Ahead of next May’s General Election at least two of the three political parties will debate and agree the shape of their public services policy at their autumn conferences.
This briefing will be of particular interest to all executive and cabinet portfolio members, policy teams and officers with an interest in public services.

Weekly Policy Summary – 5th September 2014

September 5, 2014

This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf. LGiU at the party conferences: LGiU’s programme for the party conferences this Autumn has been announced! Our fringes include: “Building a local health service” with London Borough of Southwark at the …

Changes to the School Admissions Code – DfE consultation

September 5, 2014

The DfE is consulting until 29 September on Changes to the school admissions code. Launched on 22 July 2014, the proposals include two changes of substance and a number of minor amendments designed to improve the clarity of the document without altering its intended effect. The significant changes are:
• To allow schools to give priority to applicants eligible for the Pupil Premium; and
• To bring forward the timetable for determining admissions arrangements so that objections can be resolved by the Schools Adjudicator before the start of the admissions round.
Three annexes summarise, respectively: the proposed timetable changes in tabular form; the minor technical drafting changes; and, the Code paragraph numbers where changes have been made.
The consultation document is accompanied by a draft version of the revised Code showing the changes in context as they will appear if the proposals are implemented.
This briefing will be of interest to lead members and senior officers concerned with school admissions.

Home to school travel and transport – DfE guidance update

September 5, 2014

This briefing is on the Government response to the consultation on the DfE statutory guidance for local authorities on home to school travel and transport (18 July 2014). The consultation was completed on 3 June 2014 and the draft version was the subject of a previous detailed CSN Policy Briefing (See Related Briefings). This briefing focuses on changes resulting from the consultation between the draft and the final version of the DfE Home to School travel and transport statutory guidance 937 pages) also published on 18 July, and on the statutory duties and discretionary powers that remain with local authorities. Appendices to the guidance include a key term glossary resulting from consultation comments, and local authority case studies, reverting to the previous Government’s policy of including case studies in statutory guidance. The guidance replaces the 2007 version (also 37 pages).
This briefing will be of primary interest to local authority officers and members, but also for all school leaders, governors and parents involved in home and school transport arrangements, as well those working nationally in policy development and research in related areas.

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