Category Archives: The Policy Wonk

Central-Local – It’s good to talk


The National Audit Office (NAO) recently published “Central Government’s communications and engagement with local government”, a report on the effectiveness of central government’s communications with local government. The report found that communication is very challenging as a consequence of the organisational differences between central and local government. This difference brings […]

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If Cameron turns on the charm, he should take care not to blow his opening lines


John Lehal, managing director of Insight Public Affairs, last week wrote in an article for the Guardian website (“A Year on, it’s time for a charm offensive on open public services”) that private sector involvement in policing was a key test of the Government’s ambition for public service reform and […]

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Where are we on Housing?


Last month, a joint report from the Chartered Institute of Housing, the National Housing Federation and Shelter (The Housing Report, Edition 2) said the Government is failing to deliver on five out of ten key housing indicators including on housing supply, affordability of the private rented sector and homelessness. This […]

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How will the voluntary and community sector fare under a choice based framework for public services?


Giving users of public services a choice of provider is one of the central pillars of the Government’s ‘Open Public Services’ agenda. The recently published update paper (“Opening Public Services 2012”) set out new measures to increase choice and control for service users. As a minimum the Government will be […]

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Reforming the ‘Right to Buy’


The Government has made significant changes to the Right to Buy scheme (“Reinvigorating Right to Buy and One for One Replacement, Information for Local Authorities”) with the aim of increasing take up and ensuring a ‘one-for-one’ replacement of social housing sold under the scheme. Key features of the changes are: […]

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No Careers Guidance required?


In September schools in England will take over statutory responsibility from local authorities for providing their pupils with independent and impartial careers guidance. Local authorities will remain responsible for ensuring young people are either in education or training, but will no longer be expected to provide a universal careers service. […]

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What will the Queen have to say on 9th May?


The Queen will open a new session of Parliament next week, on 9th of May. According to press reports the contents of the Queen’s Speech were agreed at a meeting of the Cabinet on 31st January. This is possible, as permission would be required to allow Parliamentary Counsel to draft […]

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Taking Community Budgets Forward


Community Budgets were introduced in October 2010 as part of the Spending Review with the aim of bringing different national and local funding streams together into a single local funding pot and, by doing so enabling various different local agencies, local authorities included, “to redesign services around the needs of […]

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National Audit Office report – the introduction of the Work Programme


The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on the introduction of the Work Programme. Its key findings include: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced the Programme in just over a year and while its quick introduction has had benefits it has also increased risks. The NAO […]

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The Future of Local Goverment: Commissioning


Leeds City Council have established a Commission on the Future of Local Government which will “reassess the role of local government in the 21st century and put forward practical actions that aim to revitalise local democracy and public service”. Further details can be found here: http://civicenterpriseuk.org/about/ Public Policy Strategies has submitted […]

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