Opinion/blog

Why PbR is no panacea for public services

Payment by Results may be simple and seductive in theory, but it is devilishly complex in detail. The model requires further evolution if it is to drive innovation rather than undermine it Read more

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Employment training: what works?

Better training to help people into employment is critical for local regeneration. But the jury’s out on whether it’s more effective to deliver training programmes locally or nationally  Read more

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Don’t ignore voluntary sector voice

Too many local authorities fail to treat the voluntary and community sector with honesty and respect. As a result, councils are losing potential allies and solutions to their problems Read more

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Infrastructure: what’s in it for us?

Decisions on infrastructure need to be less of a done deal, and more of a proper dialogue. That way, public opinion will become less polarised and levels of local trust improved Read more

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Living standards: don’t forget disabled people

New figures suggest that the cost-of-living crisis may be easing. But this is not the case for disabled people who face lower incomes, higher costs and diminishing support Read more

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NHS: the new deficit normal

NHS trusts are sinking ever deeper into debt, and the financial prognosis is gloomy. So what happens when the cash runs out? Read more

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Payment by social results

Early intervention to tackle social problems is more vital than ever in a climate of local authority cutbacks. Payment-by-results Social Investment Bonds are potentially an important way to kick-start such intervention Read more

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Surely some mistake on student debt?

The government has got its sums badly wrong on student loans.  Fifty-somethings could still be paying off their debts, and 45 per cent of students are likely to default. What can be done? Read more

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Ed’s 100 years cities plan

Ed Miliband is promising the biggest devolution of power to cities in 100 years. This has thrown down the gauntlet to the coalition, and could lead to a ‘race to the top’ on city regions Read more

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Smarter thinking on social housing

The chancellor had little to offer providers of social housing in the Budget. But smarter procurement practices can help avoid the need for damaging cutbacks Read more

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