How to Exclude Support Services from Building Schools for the Future and PFI Projects

A new report giving comprehensive advice on how to exclude support services from Building Schools for the Future and PFI projects. Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is the government’s new initiative for renewing secondary schools using the private sector to deliver design, construction, management and operation of schools. This new briefing from the Centre for Public Services offers comprehensive advice to local authorities, trade unions and community groups on how to exclude support services from Building Schools for the Future and Private Finance Initiative projects.

CPS Completes Study for Age Concern

CPS has completed a major study for Age Concern England on the case for and against a positive public duty to promote age equality. The study considered evidence about the impact of existing statutory duties to promote equality, such as those in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Race Relations Amendment Act (2000) for the UK as a whole. The impact of non-statutory means of promoting equality in access to goods and services was also considered. Extensive documentary research was coupled with the findings of a small number of interviews.

The study found that while the impact of non-statutory initiatives had been ambiguous, statutory measures had made a substantive impact, but that the lessons learned from this suggested that there are a number of technical ways in which such statutory duties might be tightened to increase their impact. The study also found a range of support for the introduction of a statutory duty and presented a range if arguments in support of such legislative changes.

CPS Publish New Research on Social Services Modernisation

This report considers evidence drawn from a major survey of social workers to critically assess the Government’s modernisation agenda for social services.
Modernising Social Services? Evidence from the front line.

Disability Rights Commission Appoint CPS

The Disability Rights Commission have appointed the Centre for Public Services to undertake two concurrent research projects as part of their work to draw up guidance to public authorities on the implementation of their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The first project considers the implementation and best practice in performance management in relation to disability and the second project considers the involvement and participation of disabled people in the policy process.

CPS Commissioned for Criminal Justice Project

The Centre has been commissioned by the Crime and Society Foundation, a project of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, School of Law, King’s College London to undertake a literature review on the marketisation of public services and the implications of the National Offender Management System (NOMS).

The NOMS proposals involve the marketisation of the prison and probation services in England and Wales over a five year period. The introduction of ‘contestability’, a purchaser/provider split and outsourcing will have far reaching impacts. The objectives of the project are to:

Critically scrutinise the NOMS structure, with a particular focus on marketisation, the purchaser-provider split and the principles of ‘contestability.
Offer a critical account of the involvement of the non-state sector in the provision of ‘correctional services’. with a particular focus on the private sector.
Seek to place the NOMS proposals in the broader context of the government’s public service reform agenda.
The research will include a critical history of marketisation of public services in Great Britain, with a particular focus on the criminal justice system.

CPS to Review Options on Age Equality

The Centre has been commissioned by the Crime and Society Foundation, a project of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, School of Law, King’s College London to undertake a literature review on the marketisation of public services and the implications of the National Offender Management System (NOMS).

The research will focus on the different existing mechanisms in place, particularly the different requirements placed on the Scottish Executive, National Assembly for Wales, the Greater London Authority and the provisions of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act.

The research will seek to learn from the experience and views of individuals within these organisations, other policy making bodies, academia and other stakeholder organisations to consider and evaluate options for promoting Age Equality. Specifically these will focus on the following issues:

The merits of statutory/non-statutory regulation.
The merits of general and specific duties in relation to equality, diversity and society the efficiency and equity of public services, the responsiveness of services to citizens and the operation of local/regional labour markets.
The merits of different support/enforcement mechanisms.
The advantages and disadvantages of including age equality duties within wider duties regarding equality between all people, and potential safeguards to ensure appropriate prominence for age.
The purpose of the research will be to contribute to the evolving debate around the operation of a Commission for Equality and Human Rights in the more immediate context of the 2005 general election.

CPS To Develop Blueprint for Strategic Change

CPS have been commissioned by the North West Regional Assembly and other regional partners to consider the options for strategic reorganisation of service delivery in the region to acheive greater synergy between regional, sub-regional, local and neighbourhoood levels and between policy areas. The first phase of the project considers the need to reorganise service delivery. The project will initially focus on the complicated structures and service delivery issues in East Lancashire but its conclusions will be used accross the North West especiallly in the event of an Elected Regional Assembly for the region.

CPS Completes study on Sustainable Development in Health and Social Care

The East of England Public Health group have published a major study researched and written by the Centre for Public Services (with the Nuffield Institute for Health, at Leeds University). The report assesses the contribution of health and social care to sustainable development in the region.

The study quantifies the impact of the Health and Social Care system on the economy, labour market, social inclusion and the environment in the East of England.

The study was commissioned by the East of England Public Health Group, the Department of Health and the Health Development Agency, together with regional partners such as the East of England Development Agency, East of England Regional Assembly, Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridge Workforce Development Confederation, Environment Agency and Strategic Health Authorities in the region. The project also included widespread consultation with a range of stakeholders and partners across the region. The final report is available from the East of England Public Health Observatory.

CPS helps to retain in-house services in Manchester

CPS assisted GMPTE and UNISON to develop an in-house alternative to outsourcing and privatisation, saving jobs in the process. (6/01/2004). With help from CPS the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) UNISON branch has persuaded the Executive not to outsource IT services. A Best Value review in 2001 found that the IT department of the GMPTE, needed substantial improvement. An ‘executive partnership’ and outsourcing were on the agenda and the local UNISON branch protested, campaigning widely on the need for an alternative option. They commissioned a report from the Centre for Public Services on the alternatives to outsourcing.

Subsequently GMPTE has taken the decision to substantially increase the IT budget and give temporary staff permanent employment. It also commits management to provide a ‘strategic and long term vision’ for the service. Branch Chairman Tony Wilson said: “This has not only been a resounding success, it’s also reassured our members who fatalistically said the Best Value process would inevitably lead to more privatisation.”

CPS helps to retain in-house services in Northamptonshire

A CPS report on the alternatives to a strategic partnership with the private sector helped Northamptonshire UNISON retain in-house services. (16/12/04) Northampton County Council and Milton Keynes Council were planning the largest joint strategic partnership in Britain covering a wide range of council services. The project was a government pathfinder project. Amey and HBS were shortlisted. The project was eventually defeated in Northamptonshire but went ahead in Milton Keynes.

Northamptonshire County Council was proposing to transfer over 2000 jobs to the private sector as part of a strategic business partnership with Hyder, in a deal worth an initial £766m. Both branches commissioned CPS to develop an in-house service improvement strategy and the report was widely distributed in the two authorities. CPS also produced briefing papers analysing the bids, held meetings with UNISON members and presented alternative options to the respective councils and Labour Groups. HBS and the council eventually agreed to terminate their relationship due to an ‘unbridgeable financial gap’, effectively recognising the validity of many of the issues highlighted by CPS.