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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2010): Welfare state - UK

Families feel let down by public services, poll shows

R. Williams

The Guardian, Feb. 22nd 2010, p.6

A poll conducted by YouGov found that just 3% of respondents felt that job centres were family friendly. More than 80% of the 2,000 people questioned felt that politicians were out of touch with their lives and only 8% gave their local councils a good review. The findings will form part of the Family Commission report which will be released in the autumn.

Step change

J. Tizard

Public Finance, Feb.5th-11th 2010, p.24-25

Total Place, the government's flagship programme for local services, has the potential to eliminate duplication and make much more effective use of resources. This process could be accelerated if Whitehall devolved a significant portion of total public expenditure for a locality to that area to achieve agreed local outcomes. This would allow local determination of financial outcomes between services. In return, local, regional and national agencies would have to work together through collaborative arrangements including joint strategic commissioning, pooling of budgets, sharing people, systems and properties, and redesigning services across institutional and professional boundaries.

Tories to let NHS staff and teachers become 'own boss'

R. Watson

The Times, Feb. 16th 2010, p. 8-9

The Tory party has proposed that under its leadership public sector workers would be able to run services independently if they are able to demonstrate plans for efficiency savings which would enable them to make profits. Under the proposals, a team from the Cabinet Office would begin identifying services which could be contracted out. These could include social worker teams, teachers, and city health and nursing teams.

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