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Laming and Baby P

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 to the tabloids, and contributing…

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Would your town survive sea level rise of 1m?

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 Scientists today warned that the latest climate change predictions are already out of date and we are likely to see sea level rise by 1m by 2100.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

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“Working Together” public services reform paper

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 and comment on the service…

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Liberal Democrats keep the faith in Harrogate

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 that they did vote in…

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Yes Minister and CPA

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 public sector.  Some see the…

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Event with Hazel Blears

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 be more interested in what…

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Rent rise u-turn

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 local authority tenants.  The Government…

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Can social workers safeguard children through technological advancement?

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 equip health and social workers,…

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School places lottery – Newsnight

UPDATE: the clip is here, around 35 minutes in. Over to Television Centre today to pre-record a clip for Newsnight to be aired tonight, Monday.   It was clear once the interview got going that they hoped I would say that the lottery or ‘random allocation’ for school places is a good system.   There is little place for naunce and qualification…

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Hammers and Nails

This week I found myself changing my mind about something even as I was saying it. That’s not that unusual for me, but it doesn’t normally happen in public. My colleague Jasmine invited me to speak at a session she was running on Youth participation and social networking – she’s blogged about this excellent event…

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