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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 Scientists today warned that the latest climate change predictions are already out of date and we are likely to see sea level rise by 1m by 2100.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…

Yes Minister and CPA

March 7, 2009 by Andy Sawford

This week Comprehensive Performance Assesment finished its 7 year run as one of the principle means by which councils are constrained by Whitehall.  It is being replaced by the Comprehensive Area Assesment which reduces the number of central targets and supports the move towards greater local partnership working across the…

Event with Hazel Blears

March 6, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

The Community Empowerment agenda has been a big feature of the policy landscape for the last few years. But what will happen as the economy nosedives. Will empowerment come to seem an expensive luxury? Or a vital tool for economic renewal? We’ve got some views of course, but you might…

Rent rise u-turn

March 6, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The government have announced a u-turn on rent rises today after campaigning by many local authorities, local government and housing organisations, supported by the LGiU. Margaret Beckett has today announced that the average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 will be halved from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent for…

Can social workers safeguard children through technological advancement?

March 4, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

Social workers and technological advancement are rarely seen in the same sentence. This didn’t stop Dominic Campbell from futuregov and the LGiU bringing together representatives from social care and the Twitterati to look at the serious business of safeguarding children through the application of social network sites. The concept is simple: just…

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