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The end of the Oil Age?

The peak oil debate is back on the table, with alarm bells ringing about the possibility of oil depletion before 2030. A report released yesterday by the UK Energy Research Centre found that easy-to-access oil is running out and the new reserves will be more difficult and expensive to extract. This debate is not new.…

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ADCS president misjudgement

At the height of the Baby Peter case last year following the Sun Newspaper’s mass petition and vilification of public servant Sharon Shoesmith and her subsequent dismissal by Secretary of State Ed Balls the ADCS remained quiet. So it was with surprise that I learned that, on the eve of Shoesmith’s High Court Case against the…

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Free for all?

The pressure on the Conservatives has been to present a clear vision of themselves to the electorate. George Osborne has done his bit with a brave speech on public spending that he reckons “will make him the most unpopular man in the country”. But not all the Shadow Cabinet has been as clear. In a…

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Education, education, education?

Labour made what many delegates may consider to have been a great start on education at the party’s annual Conference in Brighton. Gordon Brown promised no cuts to the schools budget. Later Ed Balls Secretary of State detailed the party’s balance sheet on children’s services; highlights include the establishment of a sure start children centre in every community, free…

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Labour conference

Just found the internet cafe at Labour Conference.  Two computers stuck out of the way. and a queue behind me.  Had a busy week with a range of LGiU events and other events, such as the Total Place fringe I chaired today at which Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham and Ian Malcolm, Leader of South…

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twitter at Labour Conference #lab09

Just a quick post for tweeps and new users of Twitter.  As I’ve said in previous posts, and in the LGiU pamphlet Web 3.0, I’m a big fan of twitter.   It added another dimension to my experience of Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth last week, so I thought I would gear up for the Labour…

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Lib Dems vote to publish results of serious case reviews

In Bournemouth today Annette Brooke MP (Shadow Minister for Children) updated the Lib Dem policy on child protection. The purpose is to renew their position following the tragic case of Baby Peter. The raft of new proposals includes a public awareness campaign to make child protection everybody’s business. Nobody would disagree with that, but more  controversially, they want the…

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Taking the Lib Dem local government pulse

A Chatham House event with councillors from 13 Liberal Democrat councils.  The question we put: with a 30% contraction in local government spending over the next five years (likely according to latest figures from PWC, and Vince Cable’s analysis) what are you going to stop doing (the savage C word) what are you going to…

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(Deputy) heads on the block

Ed Balls’s announcement that he would cut £2 billion from the education budget by reducing the number of senior managers in schools is the first substantial contribution from a minister to the debate on cuts. The level of detail is welcome. As Conor Ryan has argued, we’re in desperate need of a grown-up debate about…

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Huhne blasts ACPO

Just as I was beginning to despair at the policing fringe at the Lib Dem Conference, sponsored by the APA and ACPO, up stepped Chris Huhne.   After a dull opening about statistics, I slipped quietly towards the exit door, and then Mr Huhne hit his stride.   We had heard all the usual stuff from ACPO…

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