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from the press 15 November 2012


Prime Minister launches inquiry David Cameron today launched a national Citizens’ Inquiry into whether taxpayers’ money is being used effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of local people. The Prime Minister said: “my Government was elected with a mandate to put local people in charge of local services, establishing a new and fairer deal where more people take responsibility for their local communities. I expect the Citizens’ Inquiry to explore the issues and to propose radical solutions”. People from across the country are being encouraged to take part and give their views on how they would like public services to behave towards them, giving residents and local communities more say and more choice in what happens in their areas. In his speech Cameron stressed six principles which he said underpinned the government’s approach:

The Labour Shadow Spokesperson said “everyone knows that now money is tight, and Cameron should be honest about the real purpose here: this is just a ruse to cut public spending. What the Government is proposing will mean that the most vulnerable people are left without the support they need and have to fend for themselves.” London Councils is sponsoring a joint submission from the city. During the course of the next few months, managers from across the capital will put their heads together to consider how London’s public services should work alongside local people and communities, how their organisations themselves should be designed to be as efficient and effective as possible, and how public services in London should relate to central government.

4) Reducing dependency – enabling people to help themselves

Professor Geoff Alltimes, emeritus professor of public service efficiency at the LSE, said, “Responding collectively to this important government initiative shows how far partnership working in London has got, if we can contemplate a joint submission on something as sensitive as this. It sends a really clear message to the Prime Minister and to the rest of the country that London leads the way in terms of innovation and proactive collaboration”.

5) Reducing the costs of wasteful and unnecessary bureaucracy

Proposals will be put to the Citizens Inquiry Panel in 2013.

1) Delegating, where possible, powers to local level 2) Using the resources of the voluntary, third and community sectors to the full 3) Encouraging entrepreneurship and local innovation

6) Peeling away the ‘nanny state’ that tries to restrict and control people’s freedom to find creative solutions.

Government declares amnesty on regulation and inspection Following the submission of findings and recommendations by the Leahy Review into regulation and inspection the Prime Minister has announced an ‘amnesty’ on regulation and inspection for a year while the recommendations are studied and legislation is prepared. It will take primary legislation to abolish some of the unnecessary regulatory agencies – said the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, and the government wants to make sure there is full consultation before acting. In the meantime however, to ease the burden of regulation on the front line, the government has announced that no new targets will be set for 2012-13; reporting to central government only on a very reduced set of indicators, no new LAAs will be agreed, and there will be no inspections except for a very limited number of ‘fast-track ’ inspections where warning signs have been reported.

from the press

6 November 2012

Local government innovation prize goes to ‘nosy neighbour’ scheme The Local Government Chronicle has awarded its annual prize for innovation in local public service delivery to Horwark Council for its pioneering work to involve ordinary citizens in crime prevention. For the past two years a small band of community support officers have been leading thirty teams of local residents on twice-weekly patrols of the borough’s streets, parks and public areas. Whilst only the officers themselves have a power of arrest, the sheer presence of so many people has had a marked effect on confidence and levels of disturbance.

In accepting the prize, the chief executive or Horwark spoke of the challenges she faced in having to fend off accusations of a ‘nosey parker’ approach, reassuring the borough’s ethnic minority communities that they would be equally involved, and getting people to see the benefits. For the Council’s coffers these have been substantial: a 20 per cent reduction in spend on activities associated with reducing anti-social behaviour spend.


Crime and unemployment in the capital Evening Standard Online 12th March 2012 A study by the Laudner Foundation has attributed the continued rise in crime amongst young people in the capital to the Government’s sweeping changes to the welfare and benefits system since 2010.

highest residential populations. In most cases these are also the boroughs which before 2010 had wards and towns with higher than average levels of unemployment and deprivation.

Murders, physical violence resulting from gang crime, anti-social behaviour and lower level crimes such as muggings, have been on the increase since the end of 2010. Laudner Foundation forecasting suggests the prevalence of such crimes will continue to grow for the foreseeable future unless something is done.

Director of the Laudner Foundation Stephen Hynes suggests that: “Young people were and continue to be, particularly hard hit by the widespread reduction in employment opportunities since the start of the recession in 2008. The effects of the recession have been compounded by changes made to the benefits system since 2010.”

The study is based on analysis of crime and disorder statistics gathered over the last 4 years, and shows an alarming rise in urban crime rates amongst young people. The areas of London worst hit by the rising rate of crime amongst the under25s are those boroughs with

Young people in London in particular are not receiving the help they should and have found themselves with inappropriate or inadequate support. Reductions in job seekers allowance payment amounts to reallocate funds to their welfare to work programmes – has this left

many people without sufficient income to survive and in areas of high population density and deprivation the effects have been felt the worst. The continued lack of employment opportunities and the fact that young people in London borough’s are being left behind suggests that the gap in skills, experience and financial wellbeing between young people in London and those living ion other areas of the UK will continue to grow. This polarisation of opportunity and the removal or reduction of financial support has created a cohort of young people growing up with few prospects and little financial support, The study suggests that if this problem is not addressed London may see crime rise sharply as young people turn to illegal ways to make ends meet.



27 July 2012

EU crackdown on UK waste It was announced today that new EU rules will come into force in March 2013 to control the amount of waste the UK is allowed to take to landfill. The new rules represent a crackdown after the failure of more coercive attempts and campaigns and will place strict limits on the amount of household waste the country is allowed to produce. Pressure group Global Action for the Environment welcomed the announcement. They stated: “The problem with rubbish is two-fold; not only do we have to deal with its disposal, but we are also wasting the precious natural resources and energy that has been used in the production and distribution of these items in the first place. Reducing the amount of rubbish we throw away decreases the amount of waste sent for final disposal, which saves space and means less pollution. Recycling more of our waste will conserve precious non-replaceable raw materials and save energy.” At present the national average is around 6.5 kg of rubbish per person per week or 338 kg per person per year. This will now be stemmed and the new target set under the new rules that the UK will be required to be meet will be 3.5kg of rubbish per person per week or 182kg per person per year. The EU are pushing local authorities and the Government to place a strong emphasis on waste prevention with householders reducing their waste (for example, through home composting and reducing food waste) and business helping consumers, for example, with less packaging. A self-imposed national target was put in place in 2009 to reduce the amount of household

waste not re-used, recycled or composted from 22.2 million tonnes in 2000 to 12.2 million tonnes by 2020 – a reduction of 45 per cent; but the UK has not been on course to meet this target and the EU have now stepped in with new statutory requirements. This will give the UK a new ceiling figure that it must remain under in order to avoid significant fines. The definition of ‘household waste’ does not include that which is collected that can be recycled or is bio-degradable, but these products must continue to be bagged separately. There was strong opposition from local authorities in advance of this announcement as funding for waste management has been cut in recent years and no additional funding is likely to be made available in the future to put these rules in place. Environmental groups expressed dismay that this rule will not apply to business waste and that commercial waste and recycling will continue to go un-checked. The Government and the EU argue it is essential businesses continue to focus on helping the economy recover without additional pressure. Bob from Epsom works in a medium sized transport company – he says: “If this happens I will simply take any excess rubbish from home and dump it at work. I don’t see why only residents should have to comply with these rules. Businesses produce loads of unnecessary waste. I already recycle what I can.”



10 November 2012

Adult social care failing London’s residents The London-based disability rights group Equal Access today launched a high profile campaign to force a reinvestment in adult social care across the capital and to draw attention to the suffering of families and individuals struggling to cope following year on year cuts in spending on adult social care services. Chief Executive of Equal Access, Liz Watts said at the launch of the campaign: “It has been a hard year for adults with social care needs and disabilities and individuals and families are struggling to cope following last years cuts in adult social care budgets.� Many local authorities across the country targeted the area of adult social care services for cuts in funding in the first round of budget reallocation in 2011. The same authorities look likely to cut spending in this area even further. Moves to absorb complex cases into mainstream provision are having multiple effects

on both those with specialist care needs and those without. Alongside these problems changes in the welfare to work and benefits system mean people previously claiming Incapacity Benefit are being re-assessed and in all but severe cases moved onto the lesser payment of Job Seekers Allowance. This is leaving many individuals and families (especially where one or more family member has an ongoing carer role) impoverished and without the economic or in some cases physical support they need. Equal Access are appealing to local authorities across the country and to the Government to re-think their policies and to look at ways of supporting these citizens.

from the media


Transcript Radio 4, Today 6 December 2012

Presenter 1: [FADES IN] ...and later on the programme we’ll be hearing from King Charles about his visit to meet the people of a remote Amazonian tribe who have managed to save almost one hundred thousand acres of rainforest from destruction in a ground-breaking pilot supported by the King’s Trust. Presenter 2: You’re listening to Today on Radio 4 with Rachel Sarwar and Stephen Carr. [TIME BEEPS] Presenter 2: It’s seven o’clock on Thursday the 6th December, the headlines this morning: the Prime Minister David Cameron will say in a speech today that the public sector has not made enough progress in cutting bureaucracy and redtape, and that he expects to see radical changes to ensure that services meet the needs of local people; the German Chancellor and current European Union environment lead, Angela Merkel, says she is concerned that the UK will not achieve the carbon reduction commitments it made, along with other EU leaders, as part of the Copenhagen Protocol; and the Department for Public Health has announced it is seriously considering a proposal to withdraw personal health budgets from adults who are seriously obese, if they do not attend weight-loss classes for at least six months. The BBC News is read by Malcolm Odell. ***

Newsreader: The Prime Minister David Cameron will say in a speech at the Institute of Directors this evening that organisations across the public sector are still too timid and lack the necessary ambition in making changes to try to cut spending. The Prime Minister will outline a series of measures that the Government believes are necessary to achieve the kind of radical change required. Leader of the Opposition Alan Johnson has accused the Prime Minister of ducking responsibility for mismanagement of the economy. From Westminster here’s our political correspondent, Anthony Reed. Correspondent: The Government’s latest attempt to plug the yawning chasm in its finances is to put the responsibility firmly at the door of public sector organisations up and down the country. With the latest figures from the Institute of Fiscal Studies suggesting that public sector borrowing will pass the 80 per cent mark during the course of the next financial year, David Cameron will make it clear today that the levels of cuts seen during the past two years, are simply not enough. Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Communities, said that the problem was particularly acute amongst the local government sector, which has seen a marked decrease in levels of resident satisfaction with council services. Minister: The Government is crystal clear in its commitment to ensure that every penny of the public’s money benefits local people. We inherited a system which is stuck in old ways of thinking and old models of delivering services,

This transcript is intended for private use only, as an aid to discussion, and is not for wider dissemination.

and vested interests have conspired to block reform. Not any more. The Prime Minister expects to see much more radical change, and real term cuts that are substantially higher than the 4 or 5 per cent per year we’ve seen to date. Correspondent: The measures that the Prime Minister will outline in his speech this evening are likely to form the basis for a White Paper to be published as early as next January, and are expected to include further streamlining of the regulatory system, an expansion in the role of community groups in local governance, and the launch of a new Citizens’ Inquiry into the use of public resources. *** Newsreader: Speaking in advance of her visit to London in the New Year, the European Union environment lead, Angela Merkel, said that she hoped she expected to be shown real evidence to reassure leaders across Europe that the UK would not break its commitments to cut carbon emissions. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who will host the visit, said that he was confident the Chancellor would see, in London at least, concrete signs of public services working closely together with local people to achieve key sustainability goals. With more on the story, here’s our Environment Editor, Leila Carlyle. Editor: The current Government is bound to the joint commitment made by all EU states during the protracted negotiations that took place during and after the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen three years ago. A recent report from the charity Greenpeace, which claims to show that the UK is way behind in key targets relating to emissions from a range of sources, has caused alarm amongst senior EU officials. Shadow Minister for the Environment, Karen Jennings, said that the UK was in real danger of incurring a fine which could run into hundreds of millions of euros if something wasn’t done urgently. Secretary of State for the Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change, Zac Goldsmith, was not available for comment. ***

Newsreader: The National Council for Voluntary Organisations says there has been an increase of almost 50 per cent in the number of people across the UK who volunteer for a local charity, residents’ group or local campaign on a regular basis. The Chief Executive of the Council said that the reasons for the increase included the rapid advances in social networking technology, controversies caused by cuts in local public services, and young people becoming more politically active. A spokesperson for the Labour Opposition said that the increase was simply an indication of the depth of resentment amongst ordinary people about the policies adopted by the Government. *** Newsreader: A confidential internal memorandum obtained by the Sunday Times newspaper suggests that the Department for Education and Children is planning to tighten the regulations relating to the recruitment and training of care workers who come into contact with children. This follows a three year period in which many cases of neglect have come to light and where the quality of care provided by statutory agencies has been identified as a contributory factor. Due to a continuing shortage of staff across all social services, many positions are filled by workers from overseas. The problem is particularly acute in London, where there have been complaints of boroughs competing with each other for staff. Speaking on this programme the director of the charity Action for Children said that the current situation was untenable and something had to be done. *** Newsreader: A London School of Economics report into the impact of the 2012 Olympic Games has painted a mixed picture of their legacy, and criticised the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for what were widely perceived as excessively heavyhanded tactics. Our sports editor Dominic West has more on this story. Editor: Whilst the report notes that the higher than anticipated visitor numbers brought muchneeded tourist dollars and euros, meaning that the Government was able to claw back some of the overspend on the Games, and despite the

This transcript is intended for private use only, as an aid to discussion, and is not for wider dissemination.

British team’s impressive medal haul, the LSE report suggests that the policing of the London Olympics may have repercussions in terms of strained community relations in the months to come. The report’s authors, who interviewed people from across the capital, found that the Metropolitan Police’s emphasis on high levels of stop-and-search had alienated many, whilst others felt that certain of London’s communities had been excessively foregrounded in the publicity surrounding the events. *** Newsreader: A bomb has exploded outside a hospital in the Turkish capital Ankara. Doctors say at least fifteen people have been killed and many more seriously wounded. There have been a series of attacks in the city in recent weeks, following the disputes surrounding accusations of corruption and vote-rigging in the parliamentary elections earlier this year. Whilst no group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, experts are saying that it bears the hallmarks of one of the terrorist groups linked to the Free Turkey opposition party. *** Newsreader: Results from a new study into childhood health and wellbeing suggest that rates of obesity amongst children and young people in the UK are far higher than anywhere else in the developed world with the exception of the United

States. The study’s authors suggest that the principal causes of the continued rise in obesity can be traced to widening inequality in income levels and the influence on children of seeing their parents eat badly and take little exercise. Farooq Malik has more details. Correspondent: The study, published in the journal Childhood Epidemiology, was based on research into the eating and exercise habits of more than one thousand primary and secondary age children from across the UK. In response the Department for Public Health is said to be seriously considering withdrawing personal health budgets from adults who are seriously overweight, if they do not attend weight-loss classes for at least six months. In its own response to the report, the British Medical Association said that whilst it welcomed the Government’s recognition of the impact of parents as poor role models, the wider determinants of childhood obesity should not be overlooked. *** Presenter 2: That was Farooq Malik reporting; it’s eight minutes past seven. The Environment Agency is warning people to expect flooding across the south and east of the country, the Agency says its teams are working round the clock, monitoring river levels and checking... [FADES OUT].

This transcript is intended for private use only, as an aid to discussion, and is not for wider dissemination.

London futures challenges, newscuttings on Thornham  

London futures challenges, newscuttings on Thornham 2012

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