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.
March 7, 2014
This briefing includes:
- news from the LGiU team
- a review of recently published briefings
- upcoming LGiU events
Challenges faced by the voluntary and community sector in supporting local services and developing resilient communities
March 6, 2014
* This briefing considers Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations and the role they play in the public sector, particularly in collaboration with local authorities
* It assesses the impact of recent developments, particularly ‘The Big Society’ and the budget deficit
* A range of nationally reported local authority VCS initiatives are listed and summarised for consideration and potential relevance
* A VCS profile is explored; the cultural and financial challenges associated with its changing environment are considered, including tensions with central government; the particular difficulties facing smaller voluntary organisations and community groups are examined
* The VCS relationship with local authorities is reviewed; the attributes of VCS organisations are considered together with their potential to help meet local authorities challenges; closer relationships are suggested; nationally recognised good practice should be adhered to; VCS strategies should be reviewed; the changing commissioning agenda should be embraced
* This briefing will be of interest to elected members, cabinet members, and local government officers with significant dealings with VCS organisations in all tiers of authorities.
This is the second of a series of briefings exploring the relationship between the VCS and local government and care services.
March 5, 2014
This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf On Your Radar February 2014 Summary 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 …
March 4, 2014
The health, public health and social care round-up summarises new policy, research and publications that are relevant to elected members and officers interested in health and social care. It is intended to be a digested read and provides links to the source documentation of major reports for further consideration. The briefings are organised in the following categories:
• major developments in February
• health and social care reform and finance
• public health
• health and social care quality and practice.
March 4, 2014
This briefing responds to recent concerns expressed in the media (e.g. ‘The strange case of the vanishing GCSE pupils’, Guardian 21 January 2014) that schools may be influencing their performance table outcomes by securing other provision for their lower attaining pupils prior to the January census in the year performance tables are published. It looks at how current census collection arrangements have arisen, changes being implemented or planned for the future, and how census data connects with examination results and other data through the National Pupil Database. It then considers issues raised for schools, local authorities and the Department for Education (DfE), including the monitoring of schools through performance tables and the level to which data arrangements support the tracking of vulnerable children.
This briefing will be of interest to elected members and senior officers with responsibility for education and children’s services.
March 3, 2014
Making Education Work is a report commissioned by Pearson PLC, which argues for an overhaul of the UK education system in order to meet the country’s long-term economic needs. It argues that, in the face of globalisation, technological change and increased mobility, a broader and more flexible curriculum is needed, with greater emphasis on so-called softer skills such as empathy and emotional maturity. It criticises A-Levels as too narrow, and argues they should be scrapped and replaced with a Baccalaureate system that equips school-leavers with a wider skill set. The report also recommends the establishment of a new independent and cross-party body, protected from the electoral cycle, to advise on education policy.
This briefing will be of interest to elected members and officers with responsibility for economic development, and education and young people.
March 3, 2014
The Centre for Cities report Delivering Change: Low Carbon sets out a framework with case studies to clarify the roles which UK cities can play to reduce CO2 emissions while strengthening the local economy. The report proposes co-investment models such as Urban Development Funds, and energy co-operatives. It also singles out Bristol City Council, designated as European Green Capital 2015, as a low-carbon city exemplar and an Energy Services Company pioneer. The report concludes that:
* “a city’s ability to reduce its carbon emissions are, in many ways, limited by the parameters of the national agenda”
* “nevertheless, there are many ways to work towards carbon reduction targets with minimal costs”
* the inflexible nature of the current regulatory landscape is a barrier to Urban Development Funds.
This report will be of interest to Councillors and to local government departments ranging from Finance and Housing to Environmental Services and Economic Development, to LEPS and to many community organisations.
February 28, 2014
This briefing can also be viewed as a pdf: Weekly Policy Summary – 28th February 2014 The winners of the 2014 C’llr Achievement Awards were announced on Tuesday at a ceremony in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, Westminster City Hall. Congratulations to …
February 26, 2014
In a Parliamentary debate on food banks last December, attention was drawn to a study on food insecurity commissioned by Defra in early 2013 which had yet to appear.
The report was published on 20 February 2014. This briefing outlines the aims of the research and its main findings.
The report has appeared in the midst of intense controversy surrounding the growing use of food banks in the UK. However, the project was essentially a scoping study which reviewed available evidence, and the absence of robust information on food insecurity in the UK is noted in the report.
Its conclusions are necessarily tentative, but it confirms reports that food security is rising and that emergency responses like food banks are not adequate or sustainable.
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.
February 25, 2014
* This briefing provides an overview of the winning bids for the Transformation Challenge Award, a £9.2 million fund established by the Department for Communities and Local Government in March 2013 to support local authorities to “radically overhaul” how they do business.
* The 18 winners were announced in October 2013, and their successful bids were published on 20 January 2013 to provide other councils with examples of ‘best practice’ regarding innovation and savings.
* The proposals vary in scale, from joint sharing arrangements between two local authorities to extensive transformation across a combination of services and authorities, and plans for change cover a wide range of areas including health and social care, children’s services, blue light integration, shared services, property management, and information and communication technology.
* Local authorities will have a further opportunity to secure funding for public service reform in 2015, when £100 million will be made available through a Transformation Fund announced in the 2013 Spending Review. The successful bids for the Transformation Challenge Award provide some indication of the level of innovation the current government expects to see in future proposals.
* This briefing will be of interest to anyone involved in public service transformation at the local level, particularly local authority executive management and corporate policy teams.