Open Public Services and the Voluntary Sector


The National Council for Voluntary Organisations together with a number of partner organisations have published a collection of think pieces and case studies sharing the voluntary sector’s experiences of the Open Public Services agenda. It is primarily concerned with the payment by results model and with the sector’s role as […]

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Heseltine Growth Review – a summary


Yesterday, former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine published “No stone unturned in the pursuit of growth”, his personal report on how economic growth can be more effectively encouraged in the UK. Over the 233 pages the report, which was commissioned last March by the Prime Minister, provides a comprehensive plan […]

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From Brussels, with Love


The Communities and Local Government Select Committee concluded in its report on regeneration last November that the Government has “no adequate strategy to address the complex problems faced by England’s most deprived communities” and concludes in its report on the European Regional Development Fund that DCLG “needs to demonstrate greater […]

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Lies, damn lies and transparency


If you were to read between the lines of the Public Accounts Committee’s report on Government transparency (“Implementing the transparency agenda”) you will see a Government which has been chucking out tonnes of data that very few people look at and without a strategy to guide it. But the Government […]

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Whose Social Value Is It Anyway?


Chris White’s private members’ legislation Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 which is expected to come into effect next January places a duty on local authorities and other public bodies to consider how their public procurement might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their areas. Its arrival on […]

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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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