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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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Lessons from London schools – Government research

July 24, 2014

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has published a research report, Lessons from London schools for attainment and social mobility. The report looks systematically at the factors which might explain the better performance and faster improvement in attainment of disadvantaged pupils inner London than in other regions between 2002 and 2012; it focuses also on outer London, Manchester and Birmingham – where the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and others also reduced, but less markedly. The report observes that ‘The key question for policymakers interested in narrowing the achievement gasp is whether the “London effect” can be replicated… In order to answer this question, we must understand, first, when the performance of disadvantaged pupils in London improved and, second, why this might have happened.’
The report’s key finding is that the improvement can mostly be explained by improvements in prior attainment at Key Stage 2 (the end of primary school) and not, as often suggested, by initiatives such as London Challenge and the academies programme. London secondary schools play an important part in sustaining the improvement into GCSE and post-16 outcomes.
The briefing will be of interest to members, officers and others with an interest in closing the attainment gap, and in the correlation between policy, practice and outcomes.

New LGiU Report: Technology and transformation in town halls

July 24, 2014

Last week, LGiU and HP published a report arguing that to realise the potential of the tech revolution, councils must adopt a people-centred approach. The report sets out a framework as to how we might achieve this.

The report was launched by the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, at the All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group summer reception.

Pension Funds – Governance

July 24, 2014

Summary

This briefing follows on from a recent pair of briefings on pension fund reform (see Recent Briefings). It focuses on proposed new governance structures. On 23 June, the government published a consultation entitled “The Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2014: Draft Regulations on Scheme Governance”. This briefing covers the background to this consultation and summarises the proposals contained within it. The closing date for this consultation is 15 August 2014.

The revolution in electoral registration: are you getting it right?

July 23, 2014

The creation of the new electoral register, normally a routine process, is undergoing a revolution – the transition to Individual Voter Registration. This briefing provides up-to-date information on guidance and research and makes recommendations for overview and scrutiny of the implementation process. It draws particular attention to the need for good public information campaigns. It applies to England and Wales and is relevant to all authorities, including as background for counties in two-tier areas.

Below the Breadline: Latest Oxfam Report

July 22, 2014

This 2014 report published jointly by Church Action on Poverty, the Trussell Trust, and Oxfam, compiles data from a wide range of sources in an attempt to build up a comprehensive picture of the extent and causes of food insecurity in the UK. The report’s publication follows the creation of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty, which has formally launched an inquiry into food poverty, co-chaired by the Bishop of Truro, which is due to report at the end of 2014. As with earlier reports and investigations, this report shows a rapid rise in the use of emergency assistance with food. Among the primary causes are current changes to the welfare regime.
This briefing will be of interest to members and officers in all councils who work with local residents and communities, to officers in upper tier councils directly involved with the local welfare schemes and to partners in the third sector, particularly those concerned about food security, poverty, and welfare reform.

Ethical standards for the providers of public services: Committee on Standards in Public Life

July 21, 2014

The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) have produced a report Ethical standards for the providers of public services, following research commissioned from Ipsos MORI ‘to test the expectations and assurance of ethical standards in the public service market’, given that ‘public services are increasingly being delivered from those outside the public sector’.

The report outlines the size and range of the market involved and highlights how new actors are being increasingly included, such as PCCs, academy schools and mutuals.

The body of the report sets out the findings from the research done with users, providers and commissioners of public services. It goes on to make recommendations about ensuring a framework is in place so that ethical considerations are mainstreamed into commissioning processes.

The report, though aimed primarily at central government, is very relevant to local government (and all tiers of councils). It will be of particular interest to leading members of the council, scrutiny members and councillors and officers involved with audit and standard committees and commissioners across the council, as well as partners in the private and third sectors.

Public Houses: How councils and communities can save pubs

July 21, 2014

This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf. Summary LGiU recently published “Public Houses: How councils and communities can protect pubs”, in partnership with CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. It was launched at our Members’ Drinks Reception, at …

Weekly Policy Summary – 18 July

July 18, 2014

This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf: LGiU WPS – 18 July On Monday LGiU held its annual All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group Summer Reception on the Terrace at the House of Commons. LGiU and Hewlett-Packard picked the …

Evidence review of the economic value of libraries

July 17, 2014

This report was commissioned from BOP Consulting by Arts Council England (ACE)The Evidence review of the economic value of libraries is the first step in attempting to understand the economic contribution of library services. It concludes that monetary valuation cannot do justice to the real economic contribution of libraries. Trying to use monetary valuation for this purpose is like searching for “the holy grail”. Monetary valuation focuses on short-term, quantifiable outcomes whereas libraries contribute to long-term multi-dimensional, complex processes of human and social development.

The international literature review therefore turns towards disciplines other than economics to examine the direct and indirect impacts of library services in the areas of children’s and young people’s education and personal development, adult education, skills and employability, health and wellbeing, and digital inclusion.

The review identifies a strong correlation not only between library usage and reading but between reading and mental health benefits. To promote take-up of health benefits, libraries need “to identify robust evidence of impact, delivered in a language that commissioners and other partners can understand”. To this end, Arts Council England is commissioning further research over the next twelve months on how libraries contribute to healthy lives and what that represents financially.

This report will be relevant to library service providers, policy teams, officers, elected members and voluntary organisations with a stake in libraries and cultural provision.

Traineeships: Funding Reform in England – BIS and DfE consultation

July 16, 2014

Traineeships are a government-funded programme, first launched in August 2013, intended to provide support in acquiring work experience and workplace skills to young people who require extra help with the transition into employment
Feedback through subsequent months has led the Government to adjust aspects of the programme, but it is yet to finalise its approach to the funding of Traineeships. In June 2014 BIS and DFE launched a consultation – Traineeships: funding reform in England – outlining options and proposals relating to this. The consultation closes on 14 August 2014.
Traineeship funding is currently delivered using the same arrangements as for further education, rather than having its own specific approach. The consultation proposes that training providers are funded based on the trainee’s progression into a job, apprenticeship, or further learning.
This brief provides an overview of the development of Traineeships to date, before moving on to outline the proposals contained and questions asked in the latest consultation.
This briefing is of interest to elected members and officers of local authorities becoming training providers and as employers, young people interested in Traineeships, and schools, charities and voluntary organisations that work with young people.

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