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Snoopers charter?

March 26, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

Lots in the news today about councils use of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), to police minor infringements such as dog fouling and littering. The government has promised further guidance and stressed that Ripa should only be used to deal with serious offences. Most of this discussion has focused…

Criminal justice inquiry launched

March 24, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The prison population of England and Wales was 61,470 in 1997. It is projected to increase to almost 100,000 by 2014. Each prisoner costs the taxpayer, on average, £37,500 per year. At the same time, half of all crime is committed by previous offenders and ex prisoners are responsible for…

Alastair Campbell Vs Peggy Mitchell

March 19, 2009 by Laura Wilkes

We blogged back in February saying Eastenders would run a story on Peggy Mitchell standing as a councillor, and here we were, wondering whether the BBC would take the campaign seriously. Well, it would seem that they are, as is Alastair Campbell. In a world where fiction and reality have…

Jargon Busting

March 18, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

The LGA made a bit of a splash this morning with their list of 200 jargon phrases that they believe councils should avoid using complete with plain English translations alternatives. Now first of all, let me say that I think this is a good idea. Obviously all public bodies should…

Chewing gum and dog muck

March 18, 2009 by Andy Sawford

To confound any impression that think-tanks are all ivory towers, I thought I would update on how people dropping chewing gum are coming to a sticky end in some areas.   Fifteen councils taking part in the 2008 Chewing Gum Action Group campaign have successfully reduced chewing gum litter by 43…

Laming report published

March 13, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Busy time yesterday commenting on the Laming report on BBC, Sky and elswhere, including lots of local radio. The Independent have published my op ed today. The Guardian published a piece from me yesterday which has generated lots of comment, not all of it supportive as you would expect. Also,…

Laming and Baby P

March 12, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Lord Laming’s report into safeguarding children will be published later today. At the LGiU we hope this is the start of a new approach that enables us to move forward, following the botched response to the Baby P case which made matters worse. While the government was throwing red meat…

Would your town survive sea level rise of 1m?

March 11, 2009 by Gemma Bradshaw

The pace of climate change seems to be speeding up everyday. Scientists today warned that the latest climate change predictions are already out of date and we are likely to see sea level rise by 1m by 2100.  But what does that really mean? In the UK it means flooding.…

“Working Together” public services reform paper

March 10, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Downing Street are hyping up proposals on public service reform launched this morning by the Prime Minister. The morning papers have the fast track teacher training story.  There is also a health dimension, with a proposal that in the style of websites like ‘Trip Adviser’ patients should be able to rate…

Liberal Democrats keep the faith in Harrogate

March 8, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

Children and families were a key feature of the Liberal Democrat Spring conference this weekend in Harrogate. They voted in ‘Equity and Excellence’ (PDF), a motion to improve 5-19 Education.  A heated debate ensued and the Lib Dems almost but didn’t quite agree to scrap state funded faith schools. The proposals…

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