Local Authorities

Local Government Should Be At The Heart Of Our Democracy - It Must Be Defended And Strengthened

John Tizard | Posted 11.09.2017 | UK Politics
John Tizard

If any authors were going to make the case for local government as a crucial element in the democratic viability of our unitary state and equally as c...

Can Care Markets Work For Families?

Stephen Burke | Posted 30.08.2017 | UK Politics
Stephen Burke

As summer ends, the news is of children's nurseries and older people's care homes facing closure. The reason is simple - state funding for a place a...

Social Care Can't Just Be There For When A Family Is In Meltdown

Kate Mulley | Posted 20.08.2017 | UK
Kate Mulley

If the Government is serious about looking after the most vulnerable children in society, it must urgently re-invest in local services that are proven to tackle the root causes of neglect and abuse - not just hope it can firefight the symptoms.

A New Drug Strategy Is Long Overdue - But Is The Will There To Deliver?

Sam Thomas | Posted 03.08.2017 | UK
Sam Thomas

With the right political energy, the government could work with treatment agencies, their partners and people with lived experience of substance misuse to shape the new outcome measures it has announced. And furthermore, it could provide a mechanism for agreeing the secure, stable funding that will be necessary if local areas are to achieve those outcomes.

What Grenfell Teaches Us About Over-Complexity

Dan Corry | Posted 20.07.2017 | UK
Dan Corry

There are so many lessons to be learned from the horrific events at Grenfell Tower and we will be digesting them for some years to come. One of the t...

Time For A Digital Overhaul Of The Planning System?

Peter Madden OBE | Posted 05.06.2017 | UK Tech
Peter Madden OBE

In many ways the planning system has done a good job: trying to balance competing demands for scarce resources and mediating between economic forces and the views of local communities. And, over the years, it has proved remarkably resilient.

Connected, Collaborative Care: People Who Use Social Care Must Be At The Heart Of Our Digital Developments

Rhidian Hughes | Posted 19.04.2017 | UK Tech
Rhidian Hughes

Digital solutions are no substitute for face-to-face support, but their contribution must be considered when developing support services, not least because they offer an opportunity for disabled people to have more control over their lives.

Social Care - The Government Must Act To Close The Funding Gap

John Tizard | Posted 06.03.2017 | UK Politics
John Tizard

The current crisis in social care in England (and let's be under no illusions, for 'crisis' is what it is) should come as no surprise. Demand and need for social care, especially but not exclusively, for elderly people, has been rising for many years, and is forecast to grow at accelerating rates for many more years. as it has for younger adults.

Will The Budget Tackle The Care Crisis?

Stephen Burke | Posted 27.02.2017 | UK Politics
Stephen Burke

On 8 March the Chancellor must show that he understands both the immediate care crisis and the need for a radical and sustainable long term solution. Older and disabled people and their families and carers have been waiting too long for the answer. Let's hope that their expectations aren't dashed yet again.

Should Council Tax Hikes Or National Taxation Fund Better Care?

Stephen Burke | Posted 27.01.2017 | UK Politics
Stephen Burke

A new vision has to win popular support. Universality is key to ensuring buy-in from the whole population and to tackling the unpopular and fragmented local variations that currently exist. Universality is also critical to raising the status of care and caring, and the value placed on care.

All Talk And Maybe Some Action On The Care Crisis?

Stephen Burke | Posted 14.12.2016 | UK
Stephen Burke

An extraordinary second Monday in December may have heralded long-awaited government action to tackle the care crisis. With more than a million older people not getting the help they need and cash-strapped local authorities squeezing fees to fragile care businesses, the care system seems close to collapse. Now all eyes are on the government's funding settlement for councils later this week. Will it simply allow councils to raise council tax to fund care or will it offer something more fundamental?

Save Our Spaces: Our Public Land And Buildings Are At Risk Of Being Sold, Cut Or Shut

Tony Armstrong | Posted 24.11.2016 | UK Politics
Tony Armstrong

Our community spaces are in jeopardy. Parks, community centres, swimming pools, town halls, you name it; in one part of the country or another, many o...

Property Taxes Are Killing The Golden Goose

Jeremy Raj | Posted 25.10.2016 | UK
Jeremy Raj

The property industry has just been warned by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to "keep an eye out" for changes to real estate taxation in this year'...

A False Economy - Cuts to Public Health Budgets Could Cost Our Country Billions

Bryan Blears | Posted 01.10.2017 | UK
Bryan Blears

In order to save money in the future and to make our NHS sustainable, I believe the evidence shows that we must invest more in preventative medicine and in informing the lifestyle choices of the public. Supporting people to live independently healthy lives is just as important as treating ill health when it occurs.

Confessions Of A Volunteer Virgin

Hattie Holden Edmonds | Posted 15.09.2017 | UK
Hattie Holden Edmonds

Before I tackle the House of Lords Children in Crisis report on unaccompanied refugee children in the EU, I really need to replace that mould-riddled ...

'Business As Usual' Is Not Good Enough for Carers

Beth Britton | Posted 04.07.2017 | UK
Beth Britton

That last point, which for many gets to the heart of why the ambitions for the Care Act aren't being realized, is certainly a fair reflection of the current climate. However, for me, finding solutions is as much about creativity as it is requests for more money. Carers do amazing work in their unpaid role, and as a society we need to show the same resolve in finding ways to support them.

Whatever Happened to co-production?

June O'Sullivan MBE | Posted 18.06.2017 | UK Politics
June O'Sullivan MBE

Do you remember the Big Society, the ambition where the state would be rolled back and every effort would be made to engage people, neighbourhoods and organisations in a way that would build social capital? The means of doing this would be co-production. But where has this intention gone?

We are Moving Towards Place-Based Health Care. What Does this Mean for Social Care?

Ewan King | Posted 18.05.2017 | UK
Ewan King

The end of June is an important date for the health and social care system. It is when 44 geographical areas, called 'footprints', are expected to submit their Sustainability and Transformation Plans or STPs.

Living With the Living Wage

Beth Britton | Posted 16.03.2017 | UK
Beth Britton

Wait and see if social care providers fail, or put in some extra money to help councils pay the true cost of care. There is precious little understanding of what care provision really costs, and regardless of whether a provider has a profit making model or a not-for-profit model, the true cost of care is one that is greatly undervalued. The living wage will help to ensure that staff are more valued in the future, but without providers to work for that will be irrelevant.

Save Our HIV Support Services

Ian Green | Posted 09.03.2017 | UK
Ian Green

By cutting public health budgets in-year by £200 million, the government has put enormous pressure on local authorities to make significant savings. Worryingly these savings are surfacing as cuts to services for people living with and at risk of HIV, leaving the more than 103,000 people in the UK living with a long team health condition with reduced local support facilities.

Prevention in Action - Saving the NHS Through Prevention

Olivia Maya Field | Posted 25.02.2017 | UK
Olivia Maya Field

Almost 70 years on, the NHS being underfunded, over-stretched and struggling to cope keeps making headlines...

Is Payment by Results Making Things Worse?

Dan Corry | Posted 29.07.2016 | UK
Dan Corry

The way the public sector procures what it wants has been changing in recent times, and this looks set to continue. And this will affect organisations across the board, from charities to local authority commissioners.

Local Authorities Need a Joined-Up Approach to Better Support Young Carers

Javed Khan | Posted 15.06.2016 | UK
Javed Khan

Last week was National Carers Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the great work of carers that also highlights the very real challenges these people face on a daily basis.

A Truly Open General Election? Not Quite

Jeni Tennison | Posted 01.05.2016 | UK Politics
Jeni Tennison

The UK is in the top spot on the Web Foundation's Open Data Barometer, but how transparent are our elections? It turns out, not very.

Child Neglect Can Be Stopped in Its Tracks: The Right Information Will Help Reach Children Early

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 21.10.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Children who may be suffering or who are at greater risk of neglect, but whose circumstances do not reach an authority's threshold to receive social care support, are less likely to get the help that they need. Instead, their situations can be allowed to deteriorate to become even more desperate or dangerous. It is a tragedy that due to a lack of gathering the right information, children whose lives could be improved are needlessly put at further risk. Child neglect can be stopped in its tracks.