Author: Glyn Gaskarth

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Brand identity and council pension funds

The failure of Icelandic banks shone a light on council’s investment policies as some local authorities lost money. Council spokespersons often responded; ‘we paid for this prestigious firm to advise us and they said.’ This is a key benefit of hiring expensive investment firms to provide advice. Decisions made after consulting prestigious financial firms are…

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How much of a risk is localism?

Glyn Gaskarth, a policy manager here at LGiU, took part in a Guardian debate last week on the potential risks involved with localism? A summary of his points can be found below: UK local councils actually run quite a tight fiscal ship: We need to ensure that central government cannot force local government to perform…

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Health screening back on the agenda

Reported cases of diabetes increased by almost fifty per cent from 2005 to 2011. There are now 2.9 million sufferers, up from two million in 2005 when GPs first published diabetes data. Lord Collins of Highbury today called for the promotion of screening services to increase early detection of the condition. This proposal was contained…

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Payment by Results: The Perfect Storm of Public Sector Finances

Councils could use their new preventive health role to pilot programmes which achieve cost savings both to the council and the NHS. In Payment by results: The perfect storm of public sector finances the LGiU and Westminster council suggest councils target their resources on meeting three big public health challenges; diabetes, dementia and heart disease. Britain…

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Small is Beautiful

According to today’s Times, David Cameron’s advisors now favour a ‘small is beautiful’ approach to policy making. Rachel Sylvester, believes they are downplaying the phrase ‘Big Society.’ It is depressing, both that this public relations spin is newsworthy, and that these two concepts; the ‘Big Society’ and ‘small is beautiful’, are thought to differ.

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What do we need to make preventive programmes work?

“Give me the child till the age of seven and I will show you the man.” This pithy Jesuit line sums up official views on prevention (with a possible revision upwards to the early teens). If children are brought up well we can prevent them making bad choices and becoming problem adults. Problems cost big…

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Serving the services

The LGiU’s new publication, Honouring the Armed Service Community, compiled in cooperation with the Royal British Legion, explains the simple cost effective measures councils can take.

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Lower costs but the same service

Local authorities could save between 10 and 20 per cent of their expenditure on energy, telephony and solicitors simply by procuring differently. This is the conclusion of a White Paper released by Opera Solutions last Friday. I was initially sceptical about the papers focus, though the figure for savings seemed very accurate. I am very…

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DCLG adopt our policy proposal to review all local government statutory duties

In March 2010 I blogged on ConservativeHome asking for a Government review of the statutory duties of local authorities. Statutory duties are those actions a public body must do, not those it can choose whether to do. Today the Government has announced that it is going to compile a list of the statutory duties on…

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Honouring the armed services: the twelve steps councils can take

The Local Government Information Unit and the Royal British Legion, in our new publication Honouring the Armed Service Community have developed twelve painless steps  councils can take to provide real help for this community which has given so much for our country. First, local authorities should know how many veterans; reservists and armed forces personnel there are in…

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