Newswire – LGA: The size of the ‘cake’ has got much smaller despite the number of ‘party guests’ increasing - Frontline council services face a funding shortfall of up to £20bn a year by 2015 if spending review budget cuts are imposed without reform of the way the public sector operates local government leaders warned recently.
The estimated annual shortfall - equivalent to more than the entire adult social care budget in England & Wales – includes possible spending cuts & unavoidable increases in demand for services which councils must meet. The report has 20 proposals to cut red tape & improve services (see Executive Summary for full list), including:
* Funding for local public services to be pooled into local budgets – to save up to £100bn over 5 years
* All ring fencing on local authority budgets to be removed
* Integrate health & social care policy
* Pool funding for local infrastructure projects
In a second press release the LGA announced a report which calls on Ministers to set up a new system of tax-free municipal bonds to allow vital long term investment in roads and other major projects to continue without driving up the deficit. The report argues that action is needed to fill the estimated £50bn a year gap in spending on infrastructure maintenance & rebuilding despite expected deep cuts in public spending.
Newswire - JRF: Even partial devolution has not solved the issue of poverty in Scotland - A new report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows that not only is Scotland’s unemployment rate back to 1996 levels, but poverty is now hitting childless adults harder than pensioners or children.
Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2010, produced by the New Policy Institute, is JRF’s fifth assessment of poverty in Scotland. Built around a set of indicators and constructed using the latest official government data, the report assesses a wide range of indicators including unemployment, education & health.
The report identifies areas in the Scottish Government’s anti-poverty programme that need improvement and concludes that, where ScotGov has little direct control, its challenge is how to exercise influence both upward to the UK government and downwards to employers & service providers in Scotland.
CAB: Mum’s purse and Dad’s wallet will be many miles away - National charity Citizens Advice, which helps people of all ages resolve their money, legal and other problems, has produced a podcast aimed especially at University students. Timed to coincide with the start of the Autumn term, the podcast covers money management & housing rights.
Debt & housing are two of the biggest issues for under-25s who visit bureaux and can be of particular concern to students at University, who are often experiencing living independently for the first time. The ‘advicepod’ covers how to manage your money, applying for a student loan and things to be aware of when renting a room or property from a private landlord.
HMT: Clamp down on ‘Tax Avoidance’, not just Tax Evasion’ - The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has announced new plans to tackle non- compliance in the tax system. He announced that the Government will make £900m available (during April 2011 to April 2015) to raise additional revenues from those who undermine the tax system and seek to avoid paying their fair share. This should bring in around £7bn p.a. by 2014-15 in additional tax revenues. More details on HMRC’s final spending review settlement will be set out on 20 October 2010.
HMRC will be targeting the following areas:
* Avoidance & evasion - Making it harder for individuals & companies to avoid tax and working to prevent tax avoidance before it happens
* Tax debt - Reducing the amount of tax that is lost to the Exchequer each year through tax debt
* Organised crime - Organised crime & criminal attack is estimated to contribute around £5bn a year to the UK tax gap
HO: If police want public’s support they must support the public on the streets - A report out last week shows anti-social behaviour has 'been sidelined' & ‘victims let down,' according to Home Secretary, Theresa May. The study by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary shows there are 14m incidents a year, but only 3.5m reported to the police.
Theresa May said: “Anti-social behaviour ruins lives and scars communities. This report, yet again, shows that for too long this problem has been sidelined and victims, especially those who are vulnerable, have been let down”.
The police watchdog’s wide-ranging review looks at how well forces tackle anti-social behaviour. 90% of people say the problem is one for the police to deal with and believe anti social behaviour & crime are the same thing. However, police do not always take the issue seriously because they do not regard it as real crime and police response was patchy ‘because officers treated the incidents differently to recordable crimes’.
Press release ~ Related press release with link to report ~ Directgov – Antisocial behaviour ~ Directgov: Reporting anti-social behaviour ~ AC: Sport and leisure, anti-social behaviour and young people ~ Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP) ~ YCAP One Year On ~ Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) ~ DfE: Family Intervention Projects - An Evaluation of their Design, Set-up and Early Outcomes ~ Designing Out Crime Association ~ Secured by Design ~ Protecting Young People From Alcohol Related Harm ~ DH – Alcohol and Young People ~ Talk about Alcohol ~ Drink Aware – Young People talk about alcohol ~ Youth Alcohol Action Plan ~ Discussion paper setting out ScotGov strategic approach to tacking alcohol misuse ~ 'Whatever, yeah? Local councils and youth provision' ~ Moving Beyond the ASBO speech ~ ASBO statistics ~ Radical policing reforms ~ Chrysalis Foundation ~ Personal Leadership and Personal Effectiveness Programme ~ An Anatomy of Youth ~ Mayor's youth plan 'Time for Action' ~ EDM - Communication Difficulties and Young Offenders ~ BBC NEWS - Communication skills 'cut re-offending' ~ Locking up or giving up? Why custody thresholds for teenagers aged 12, 13 and 14 ~ Barnardo’s ~ Children in Trouble Campaign ~ Locking up or giving up - is custody for children always the right answer? ~ Community sentencing: Public Perceptions and Attitudes - Summary Research Report ~ Alternatives to Custody ~ Restorative Justice Scotland: YouthJustice ~ SAP: Breach of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order ~ Re-offending of juveniles statistics
Newswire: Thinking outside the Government Spin – Previously Wired-Gov Plus has included the occasional opinion / report from assorted ‘Think Tanks / Research Organisations’ in its Newswire section. As we now regularly monitor an increasing number of these websites, we are now loading new items to a dedicated section, which you can add to your personal selection of News Alerts.
The editorial ream would welcome any suggestions from readers as to any additional organisations that should be monitored for publications (Contact Us), in order to provide ‘balanced’ views.
Free white paper: Can the G-Cloud deliver OEP savings and Unleash the full Potential of On-demand IT? - The G-Cloud is an ambitious project to create a secure government cloud computing infrastructure and is central to HM Treasury's Operational Efficiency Programme target of cutting £3.2bn from the public sector's annual £16bn IT spend.
Government CIO John Suffolk stated earlier this year:
"The G-Cloud will help to drive down cost by cutting the more than 10,000 software packages and services currently being used by public sector bodies. Rather than each having separate apps, the organisations will be able to choose from a shared range of applications held in the Government Application Store, to be hosted in the G-Cloud.
And with the public sector sharing more apps and moving away from running individual apps hosted in separate datacentres, the government will be able to cut its datacentre estate."
A recent white paper, ‘Unleashing the True Potential of On-Demand IT’ explores how organisations can easily mitigate the complexity and costs of the move toward cloud computing whilst realising the true potential of on-demand IT.
Click here to receive your free copy of the paper.