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Innovation. Influence. Information.
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.
December 13, 2013
This briefing focuses on the Select Committee for Education report, School Partnerships and Cooperation published on 6 November. The key committee recommendations are summarised together at the end of this briefing.
This briefing will be of interest to school leaders, teachers, governors, local authorities and parents as well as national organisations involved in education policy development in this area.
December 12, 2013
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s first annual report, State of the Nation 2013, sets out detailed evidence and analysis on child poverty and social mobility. Despite the commitment and efforts of Government and others, the scale and depth of progress are unequal to the social, economic and fiscal challenges. The Commission calls for a renewed drive and new approaches to overcoming poverty and enhancing mobility.
The breadth and importance of the issues raised make this report of relevance to all local politicians and strategic policy officers. Lead officers in economic development, children’s services and education, will welcome the quality of analysis and recommendations.
December 11, 2013
The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has published a report, Family values, on council services to family and friends who look after others’ children. It says that some councils treat such carers unfairly, some fail to follow statutory guidance (without clear reasons) on support for family and friends foster care, and (as of July 2013) around one third of councils had still failed to publish a policy on family and friends carers – despite statutory guidance that they should have done so by September 2011, and letters from two Ministers urging them to do so. In some cases, the children and young people being cared for are put at increased risk as a result. The LGO makes a number of recommendations.
This LGO report is directed at elected members but will be of interest to officers with responsibility for children’s social care.
December 11, 2013
A summary of Autumn Statement 2013 was published on 5 December.This briefing sets out a more detailed analysis of certain aspects of the Statement, including:
the state of the economy, the programme for deficit reduction, planning and housing, local growth, and welfare (the AME cap).
Strictly speaking, there is no ‘new news’ on the financial prospects for local government, because there are no further cuts for local government beyond those already announced. The Statement confirms the announcement made at Spending Review 2013 that the Government intends to set the Council Tax referendum threshold at 2 per cent for 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Around 80 per cent of the annual budget deficit reduction to 2018-19 will be accounted for by lower public spending. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) notes that, on current policy settings, annual government spending by 2018-19 will reduce to its smallest share of national income since 1948.
Autumn Statement 2013, along with a letter written by Eric Pickles on 5 December, is chosen as a suitable medium to announce that the Government will not include the New Homes Bonus in the Local Growth Fund (allocated to LEPs), except for £70m for the London LEP. The amount lost to LEPs in the Local Growth Fund will be made up by money from the Regional Growth Fund.
The extra borrowing allowed against Housing Revenue Accounts will be placed under the ‘strategic influence’ of LEPs.
December 10, 2013
• In January 2013 the government published a revised circular on Setting Local Speed Limits
• The number of local authorities adopting area-wide 20mph limits is increasing – around 11.5 million people already live in a 20mph committed area
• The Time for 20 and GO 20 campaigns are calling on the Department for Transport to recognise 20mph as the default speed in residential areas to make it cheaper for local authorities to implement the reduced speed limit
• A national conference called Time for 20mph will be held on 18 February 2014 in London
• This briefing will be of interest to transport planners, urban designers, elected members, road safety teams, fire and rescue authority members, police, public health teams and members of health and wellbeing boards.
December 10, 2013
- This briefing covers the most recent CQC report to Parliament on the State of Health and Social Care in England.
- It summarises the findings of 35,000 CQC inspections of NHS and social care providers, as well as ‘independent’ providers of health care. The briefing gives more detail on social care issues for the benefit of local authority readers.
- The main negative findings relate to the number of avoidable emergency hospital admissions of older people; instances of poor care; and worse outcomes for people with dementia.
- The findings support recent policy emphasis on greater integration of health and social care services and improved support and training for staff.
- However, some policy initiatives provide disincentives to greater integration and funding constraints impede workforce development.
- The briefing will be of interest to health and social care commissioners, particularly those concerned with integration and services for older people.
December 9, 2013
On Your Radar provides regular updates on information from central government and other key organisations; looks back over the last period, ahead at what could be hitting the headlines and comments on issues relevant to local government that will be influencing the political landscape over the coming months.
This edition focuses on updating members about government consultations and select committee inquiries. It contains:
Select Committee inquiries and reports
December 6, 2013
This briefing includes:
- news from the LGiU team
- a review of recently published briefings
- local government news this week
- upcoming LGiU events
December 6, 2013
• HS2 took a significant step forward recently with the granting of parliamentary approval for the preparatory work needed for the new line and the publication of the hybrid Bill required for development consent.
• These developments have been accompanied by the publication of a number of reports on HS2 and this briefing summarises the most significant of these, focussing particularly on The Strategic Case for HS2 put forward by the Government.
• The Government’s main argument in favour of HS2 is the increased capacity and connectivity it will bring and their report sets out the benefits they believe it will provide, both to transport and the economy.
• The 51m group of local authorities has published an alternative strategy which they say would do more to deliver economic recovery more quickly across the country. Their proposals include devolving substantial capital and revenue funding to the Core Cities and Local Enterprise Partnerships and a major programme of investment in existing rail and road routes.
• Meanwhile, the Independent Transport Commission and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport have both published reports focused on maximising the benefits of HS2. Key messages from both organisations include the importance of investment in local connectivity and that more work needs to be done to ensure HS2 is integrated with the national rail network.
• This briefing will be of interest to those elected members, cabinet members and officers with transport, planning and economic development responsibilities.
December 6, 2013
Following the establishment of 123 Arts Council-funded music education hubs across England from September 2012, Ofsted has published a survey report Music in schools: what hubs must do. Ofsted found that this new approach has not been successful enough in improving music education for all school children. While many hubs do valuable work, only a minority of pupils are reached. Only one-third of hubs had started to work differently by beginning, at least, to improve the dialogue about music education for all pupils. Ofsted concludes that in more than two-thirds of the schools visited there was little discernible difference from the support previously given by local authorities.
This briefing will be of interest to cabinet portfolio members for children services, directors of children’s services, as well as overview and scrutiny members and officers with an interest in school improvement and in music education.