Local Authorities (local + authority)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences


Selected Abstracts


Primary teachers as readers

ENGLISH IN EDUCATION, Issue 1 2008
Teresa Cremin
Abstract In the context of the continued pressure and politicisation of the teaching of reading in England, the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) sought to ascertain patterns in primary teachers' reading, both personally and professionally. The project, undertaken in 11 Local Authorities in England, explored 1200 primary teachers' personal reading habits and preferences, investigated their knowledge of children's literature, and documented their reported use of texts in the classroom through a questionnaire. In addition, it sought to establish the extent of the teachers' involvement with and use of local area/school library services. This paper reports on the findings with reference to the teachers' personal reading, the frequency of this reading and the sources they use to select their reading material. It also considers the teachers' favourite childhood texts and the books they identified as highly significant to them, as well as their perceptions of the importance of literature. Connections are made to the data gathered about their knowledge of children's literature, and how primary teachers decide which literature to work with in the classroom. [source]


Stakeholders' views on measuring outcomes for people with learning disabilities

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, Issue 1 2006
Anita F. Young PhD DipCOT
Abstract What works and how do we know? These are recurring questions for health and social care professionals, although mediated through differing philosophies and historical perspectives. The aims of the study reported here were to discover views of managers and commissioners of services for people with learning disabilities in Scotland regarding (a) current approaches to service evaluation (as an indication of what is to be measured) and (b) healthcare outcome measurement (as an indication of preferences regarding how this should be measured). A postal questionnaire was used to survey 94 stakeholders from the NHS, Local Authorities, and non-statutory organisations across Scotland. Respondents' views were sought on current approaches to service evaluation within learning disabilities; outcome measurement; appropriateness of specified methods of measuring health outcomes; desired future methods of outcome measurement within learning disabilities; and service user involvement in care. A 77% (73/94) response rate to the questionnaire was achieved. Different methods of service evaluation were used by different stakeholders. Staff appraisal was the most frequently identified method (used by 85% of respondents). Specific outcome measures were used by 32% of respondents although there were differences of opinion as to what constitutes specific outcome measures. Overall there was strong support for goal-setting and reviewing (83%) and individualised outcome measures (75%) as appropriate methods for use with people with learning disabilities. The hypothetical question asking what outcome measures should be introduced for this client group had by far the lowest response rate (51/73). The overwhelming majority of all respondents, 68 (92%), reported user involvement in their service. Staff ambivalence to outcome measurement was evident in the research and respondents highlighted the complexity and multidimensional nature of outcomes for this service user group. Managers recognised that outcome measurement was expected but were uncertain how to go about it. [source]


Transforming readers: teachers and children in the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Power of Reading project

LITERACY, Issue 2 2010
Olivia O'Sullivan
Abstract This paper presents findings from a national project in England, The Power of Reading (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education), which has involved to date 41 projects over 5 years, in 16 Local Authorities nationally, with 900 schools and 1,350 teachers. The paper presents findings for the first 4 years. Our data demonstrate how professional development has increased teachers' knowledge of children's literature and developed their confidence in using a wide range of creative pedagogies based on texts. The paper draws on evidence to describe how the emotional power of texts can affect both teachers and children and change their engagement as readers. A range of evidence demonstrates children's responses to texts and their developing understanding through writing, talk, drawing and art work. We provide evidence to show how these factors have increased children's motivation and attainment as readers. [source]


The Audit Commission: guiding, steering and regulating local government

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, Issue 3 2003
Josie Kelly
How does the non-executant state ensure that its agents are fulfilling their obligations to deliver nationally determined policies? In the case of elected local government in England and Wales, this function is carried out by the Audit Commission (AC) for Local Authorities and the Health Service for England and Wales. Since being established in 1983, it is the means by which local authorities are held to account by central government, both for its own purposes and on behalf of other interested stakeholders. Although the primary function of the AC is to ensure that local authorities are fulfilling their obligations, it does so by using different methods. By acting as a regulator, an independent expert, an opinion former and a mediator, the AC steers local authorities to ensure that they are compliant with the regulatory regime and are implementing legislation properly. [source]


The Creation and Management of Cultural Clusters

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION MANAGEMENT, Issue 4 2002
Erik Hitters
This paper analyses two cultural clusters, the Westergasfabriek (WGF) in Amsterdam and the Witte de Withstraat (WdW) in Rotterdam, and evaluates their contrasting creative management strategies. The WGF has to date been fairly successful in creating an attractive mix of different cultural activities, based on the creative potential of the buildings on the site, its image as a cultural centre and the general atmosphere of creativity. The more ,top,down' approach of the Local Authority owned but commercially managed WFG has injected new commercial skills and investment into the cluster, and creates the conditions for innovation through managing the mix of creative functions. The WdW, on the other hand, takes a more ,bottom,up' approach to the problems of cultural management, and so far the participants have resisted the imposition of formal management. This may allow cultural and commercial functions to co,exist more easily, but, thus far, there seems to be less evidence of innovation. [source]


Feeding strategies used by primary school meal staff and their impact on children's eating

JOURNAL OF HUMAN NUTRITION & DIETETICS, Issue 1 2010
S. N. Moore
Abstract Background:, In parent,child interactions, feeding strategies including pressure, restriction, modelling, rewards, encouragement and repeated taste exposure have been reliably shown to influence children's eating. Because there is no evidence that the psychosocial interactions inherent in the strategies are context-dependent, the present study investigated their utilisation during primary school meal supervision. Methods:, A case study of one Local Authority in Wales was conducted involving eleven primary schools stratified into socio-economic quartiles. Focussed observations were carried out over two to three lunchtimes per school to explore the feeding strategies, outcomes and behaviours inherent in the dining hall context. These were supplemented by semi-structured interviews with catering staff and midday supervisors, which were carried out after the observation session. Results:, Most feeding strategies used by school meal staff reflected those reported in the literature (e.g. pressure, encouragement and rewards), although purposeful modelling of eating behaviours was not found and the imposition of food norms, such as eating dessert last, was common. Dining hall staff readily, if not consistently, used these strategies, although the constraints and opportunities of each dining hall context influenced their selection and implementation. However, even if children left the service point with nutritionally balanced meals, they often failed to eat them. Conclusions:, Because repeated taste exposure is known to increase liking for foods, further studies are recommended to investigate how the naturally occurring feeding strategies evident in primary school dining halls could be harnessed to encourage children to taste the nutritionally balanced schools meals that school meal transformation programmes will expose them to. [source]


Caterers' experiences and perceptions of implementing the 2006 school meal standards

JOURNAL OF HUMAN NUTRITION & DIETETICS, Issue 5 2008
C.J. Weir
Background:, School meal standards were introduced in 2006 (Department for Education and Skills) and caterers are expected to comply with these standards. No research has been conducted looking at the caterer's experiences and perceptions of implementing these standards. This area has 32 school meal provider organisations for 103 schools. Half the schools are with one provider and the others are, mostly, single-handed in-house operations, often managed by a local community member. The aim of the current study was to explore caterers' understanding of the school meal standards, the barriers to implementation, and proposed solutions, to inform local practice. Methods:, A combined quantitative and qualitative design was used. A questionnaire was used to assess understanding and implementation of the standards and distributed to all the catering provider organisations (n = 32), with a good response rate of 78% (n = 25). For each question about achievement of the ten food-based standards the responses were scored 0,4 where: 0 = ,Do not intend to achieve this standard'; to 4 = ,Fully achieved'. This gave a total standards achievement score for each catering provider organisation, where the minimum score that could be achieved was zero which indicated the minimum level of achievement and the maximum score which could be achieved was forty which indicated all ten standards fully achieved. Four focus group were undertaken involving 40 people who considered themselves to be in a management role within a catering provider organisation. Semi structured interviews were undertaken with 11 people (until saturation), using purposive sampling, to explore barriers and solutions to implementation of the standards in detail. Descriptive and appropriate inferential statistics (Fisher's Exact tests and independent samples t- tests) were performedon the datausingStatistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The process undertaken for the qualitative analysis was thematic analysis, and used analytic hierarchy (Richie & Lewis, 2003). Approval for this study was obtained from Leeds Metropolitan University ethics committee. Results:, The qualitative discussions led to caterers' identifying two main themes. These were: support from various groups, and the roles and responsibilities caterers believed these groups had and should be performing in order to achieve successful implementation of the standards ,Think it's good someone's shaken up school meals but who is doing the actually work , it's us isn't it'.(Semi structured interview respondent medium primary provider) ,I've found it really difficult as I'm on my own at the school, totally on my own without anyone to help'. (Focus group participant primary school group). The groups that caterers identified as those who had roles and responsibilities and who should be providing support were the ,whole school'; catering provider organisations; parents; the local authority; and, the broader environment/whole population. Caterers felt the standards had ,gone too far too soon' and did not allow choice. Caterers felt finances were a barrier, and that training was required across all sectors to achieve success. The standards implementation achievement score were statistically higher for caterers who had received formal training compared with those with only food and hygiene (P = 0.001); and, between caterers who provided to a secondary school as opposed to a primary school only (P = 0.034). There was a statistically significant relationship between providers and qualifications with those providing to secondary schools more likely to have had formal qualifications (P = 0.015). Discussion:, Caterers felt all those involved in schools and school meals needed to undertake their roles and responsibilities, to provide support, and, to implement the ethos of a whole school approach. The caterers in this study identified many barriers and practical obstacles either experienced or perceived to implementing the new school meals standards. Conclusions:, The results will be used to inform the Local Authority and Primary Care Trust to ensure the effective implementation of the school meal standards. There may be opportunity to transfer these results to other school caterers, and to develop support and training to assist implementation. [source]


Obesity in looked after children: is foster care protective from the dangers of obesity?

CHILD: CARE, HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT, Issue 6 2008
S. C. Hadfield
Abstract Background Obesity in all age groups of children has become an increasing concern in recent years. Children looked after by the Local Authority (LA) should be protected from health problems while being accommodated. These studies assess the effect on weight of looked after children (LAC) in the care of a Midlands County Council. They assess the frequency of obesity or overweight problems in looked after children following receipt into care and review changes in body mass index (BMI) while in the care of the LA. Method The height and weight measurements of all 106 children who had statutory health assessments while in the care of the LA between 1 January 2004 and 30 December 2004 were used to calculate their BMI. The data were plotted onto standard Growth Foundation charts and the International Obesity Task Force Paediatric cut-offs were determined to distinguish overweight and obese children and young people. The date that the child had come into the care system and the number of moves of placement was obtained for each child from the social care. This was related to the total group and the overweight group of looked after children. Result Looked after children are more likely to be overweight and obese compared with standard norms, and there are a number of children (35%) whose BMI increases once in care. Outcome Looked after care did not protect a child from the national problem of increasing weight gain and obesity. [source]


Local authorities, climate change and small and medium enterprises: identifying effective policy instruments to reduce energy use and carbon emissions

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2008
Jaryn Bradford
Abstract This paper discusses potential policy options available to local and municipal authorities, to achieve reductions in energy usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Researchers conducted surveys with 112 SMEs, and the results have been used to disaggregate the category of ,SME' into sub-sectors based on industrial sector, two measurements of employee size and annual turnover. A statistical analysis identifies key characteristics and behaviours of the sub-sectors of firms and discusses the type of policy measure these groups of SMEs would probably respond to. The key results of the research indicate that categories of firms differ in terms of energy use behaviours, internal constraints and attitudes toward possible policy options. The paper presents a ,policy matrix' to represent the most and least likely policy options to achieve energy savings from different categories of SMEs. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Development of the use of standardized environmental management systems (EMSs) in local authorities

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2005
Sara Emilsson
Abstract Local authorities have used EMSs to structure their environmental efforts for some time now, and this paper studies the development over time of the use of EMSs in some Swedish local authorities. The analyses depart from three development indicators: dissemination of the EMS work, the progress in the EMS cycle and the use of EMS standards. The results show that EMSs are more widely used within the local authorities today compared with a few years ago. Before, it was mainly the technical sector that was subject to EMS implementation, but today there is a stronger emphasis on the successfulness of EMS implementation in departments within the soft sector. The study also shows that local authorities have shifted from using ISO 14001 and/or EMAS to using less formal, often locally adapted and designed standards. The paper concludes by discussing the usefulness of standards for EMS implementation in local authorities. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


The State as Parent: The Reluctant Parent?

JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
The Problems of Parents of Last Resort
This paper will explore the idea of the local authority as a reluctant parent. It will consider the extent to which this reluctance is produced by the care proceedings system and its consequences for children. Local authorities are both expected to refrain from intervening (care proceedings are a measure of last resort) and to be fully prepared for intervention (whilst leaving children with their parents). Amongst the themes which will be developed here are the impact of the juridification of social work and the emphasis on the courts for holding local authorities to account; the balance between voluntary accommodation and compulsory care; and the problems of resourcing care services. Its main focus will be on children who enter care because of abuse or neglect. Its thesis is that the conflicting expectations on local authorities, resource constraints, and considerations of legal process make them reluctant parents. [source]


Performance Management, Evaluation and Learning in ,Modern' Local Government

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, Issue 2 2001
Ian Sanderson
Public sector reforms throughout OECD member states are producing a new model of ,public governance' embodying a more modest role for the state and a strong emphasis on performance management. In the UK, the development of performance management in the context of the ,new public management' has been primarily ,top-down' with a dominant concern for enhancing control and ,upwards account-ability' rather than promoting learning and improvement. The development of performance management and evaluation in local government in the UK has been conditioned by external pressures, especially reforms imposed by central government, which have encouraged an ,instrumental,managerial' focus on performance measurement. The new Labour government's programme of ,modernizing local government' places considerable emphasis on performance review and evaluation as a driver of continuous improvement in promoting Best Value. However, recent research has indicated that the capacity for evaluation in local government is uneven and many obstacles to evaluation exist in organizational cultures. Local authorities need to go beyond the development of review systems and processes to ensure that the capacity for evaluation and learning is embedded as an attribute of ,culture' in order to achieve the purpose of Best Value. [source]


Striking a balance between retaining populations of protected seahorses and maintaining swimming nets

AQUATIC CONSERVATION: MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS, Issue 2 2010
David Harasti
Abstract 1.The fish family Syngnathidae (seahorses, pipefish, pipehorses and seadragons) is fully protected in New South Wales, Australia, but in some countries certain species are threatened by unsustainable collecting, capture as incidental bycatch, and habitat degradation. 2.Within Sydney Harbour, two species of seahorses (Hippocampus abdominalis and Hippocampus whitei) have been found to colonize artificial structures such as jetty pylons and protective netted swimming enclosures. These protective nets are subject to fouling from epibiotic growth (algae, ascidians, bryozoans, etc.) and rubbish, which causes the nets to collapse from the additional weight. Local authorities employ diving contractors on an ad hoc basis to remove the epibiota from nets. 3.Surveys showed a significant decline in the numbers of both seahorse species at one site following the replacement of a net, and recovery of the H. whitei population took more than 15 months. 4.A manipulative experiment tested the importance of epibiotic growth for seahorses. H. whitei, tagged with individual marks, were allocated to sections of a net that had undergone different cleaning procedures. Seahorse size, position on the net and total population abundance were recorded every 2 weeks over a 3 month period. It was demonstrated that seahorses have a significant positive association with epibiotic growth and proximity to the sea floor. Seahorse populations also showed seasonal variation in abundance with increased numbers on the net during the breeding season (spring,summer). 5.This project has led to the development of best practice net cleaning procedures for local authorities in Sydney Harbour to manage growth on the nets while minimizing impacts on seahorse populations. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


An innovative model to promote CSR among SMEs operating in industrial clusters: evidence from an EU project

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2010
Massimo Battaglia
Abstract This paper presents the findings of our EU co-funded project, an idea developed to better understand the opportunities to formalize corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a clustered system. Small companies often have to compete in a global market; for this reason, cooperation among SMEs, and with local stakeholders and intermediary institutions, might be facilitated by a collective answer to new market requests. Cooperation and social capital are key elements to facilitate trust amongst involved local actors. Moreover, they can also play a key role in the formalization of CSR policies and practices for small companies. In our project, we aimed at identifying and understanding the role of the ,intermediary institutions' (such as trade unions, local authorities, business consortia) in the cluster. Throughout the paper, we focus on the analysis of three industrial clusters in Tuscany (Italy). Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Development of the use of standardized environmental management systems (EMSs) in local authorities

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2005
Sara Emilsson
Abstract Local authorities have used EMSs to structure their environmental efforts for some time now, and this paper studies the development over time of the use of EMSs in some Swedish local authorities. The analyses depart from three development indicators: dissemination of the EMS work, the progress in the EMS cycle and the use of EMS standards. The results show that EMSs are more widely used within the local authorities today compared with a few years ago. Before, it was mainly the technical sector that was subject to EMS implementation, but today there is a stronger emphasis on the successfulness of EMS implementation in departments within the soft sector. The study also shows that local authorities have shifted from using ISO 14001 and/or EMAS to using less formal, often locally adapted and designed standards. The paper concludes by discussing the usefulness of standards for EMS implementation in local authorities. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Building Peace with Conflict Diamonds?

DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE, Issue 4 2009
Development in Sierra Leone, Merging Security
ABSTRACT This article examines the merging of security and development agendas in primary commodity sectors, focusing on the case of peace-building reforms in Sierra Leone's diamond sector. Reformers frequently assume that reforming the diamond sector through industrializing alluvial diamond mining will reduce threats to security and development, thereby contributing to peace building. Our findings, however, suggest that the industrialization of alluvial diamond mining that has taken place in Sierra Leone has not reduced threats to security and development, as it has entailed human rights abuses and impoverishment of local communities without consolidating state fiscal revenues and trust in local authorities. This suggests alternative strategies for resource-related peace-building initiatives, which we consider at the end of the article: the decriminalization of informal economic activities; the prioritization of local livelihoods and development needs over central government fiscal priorities and foreign direct investment; and better integration between local economies and industrial resource exploitation. [source]


Emergency preparedness consultants at the local government level: the Israeli experience

DISASTERS, Issue 4 2010
Moshe Maor
This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Municipal Emergency Consultation project in eight Israeli local authorities. The initiative centres on the appointment of independent emergency preparedness consultants entrusted with tailoring an emergency preparedness package to suit the specific needs of each locality. Regarding emergency preparedness improvements, in all of the municipalities examined, a concept of municipal emergency operation was consolidated and the derived emergency plan tested. Emergency work processes were structured and service-level agreements reached between municipality departments. Where necessary, a-linear patterns of municipal functioning in an emergency were established. Concerning a ,spillover' of emergency preparedness improvements into routine operations, and a ,spillover' of routine management improvements into local emergency preparedness, two municipalities near Gaza, which typically function in an emergency routine, saw a significant ,spillover' of emergency preparedness into routine functioning. In other localities, local managers chose to improve a number of municipal structures and procedures in times of routine functioning, which are also related to the functioning of the municipality during an emergency. [source]


Setting up an early warning system for epidemic-prone diseases in Darfur: a participative approach

DISASTERS, Issue 4 2005
Augusto Pinto
Abstract In April,May 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) implemented, with local authorities, United Nations (UN) agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), an early warning system (EWS) in Darfur, West Sudan, for internally displaced persons (IDPs). The number of consultations and deaths per week for 12 health events is recorded for two age groups (less than five years and five years and above). Thresholds are used to detect potential outbreaks. Ten weeks after the introduction of the system, NGOs were covering 54 camps, and 924,281 people (IDPs and the host population). Of these 54 camps, 41 (76%) were reporting regularly under the EWS. Between 22 May and 30 July, 179,795 consultations were reported: 18.7% for acute respiratory infections; 15% for malaria; 8.4% for bloody diarrhoea; and 1% for severe acute malnutrition. The EWS is useful for detecting outbreaks and monitoring the number of consultations required to trigger actions, but not for estimating mortality. [source]


Local Housing Markets and Segregation in England

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, Issue 1 2005
Article first published online: 2 FEB 200
In this article, Geoff Meen discusses patterns of economic segregation in England. Despite the emphasis that the government places on reducing segregation, patterns have, in fact, remained remarkably constant over, at least, the last twenty years. Dynamic changes in housing markets and migration over time help to explain these patterns, and evidence is presented on the extent to which house prices in certain local authorities have been under- or over-valued. The analysis also shows that, at the local level, housing markets exhibit non-linear behaviour, which hinders the effectiveness of housing policy in the most deprived areas and adds to economic segregation. [source]


Implementing the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) Directive in the South West of England

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 3 2004
Clare Brooke
The South West of England is famous as being an area rich in environmental features and heritage. The tools available to local authorities and other organizations to protect this valued environment are being expanded to include strategic environmental assessment (SEA). SEA is being introduced under a European Community directive, which will be incorporated into UK law in 2004. The directive will require national, regional and local authorities to carry out environmental assessment on certain plans and programmes that they promote. To ensure that the effectiveness of SEA in the South West is maximized, the South West Regional Assembly is working with local authorities and regional partners to consider the implications of the directive, and help the region prepare for its implementation. The aim of the project is to more clearly define the potential for SEA within the South West, examine the barriers that organizations may face when implementing the directive and establish good practice within the region. Work has been carried out to examine specific requirements of the SEA Directive, including the baseline data requirements for undertaking SEAs, and methodological differences between SEA and sustainability appraisals. Existing practice was examined to consider how current planning processes can be adapted to fulfil the requirements of the directive. Case studies were also undertaken to examine the issues around implementing the directive for non-land-use plans, including transport, economic development, waste management, renewable energy and flood management. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Enforcement of environmental charges: some economic aspects and evidence from the German Waste Water Charge

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 5 2001
Professor Dr Erik Gawel
Enforcement problems are usually analysed with respect to command-and-control measures of environmental regulation. The recognition that any environmental policy instrument entails an enforcement problem in principle is basic to a comparative analysis of enforcement effects. This paper deals with the comparative enforcement effects of charges: How does enforcement of a charge function? Which problems occur particularly in the enforcement of charges? Could enforcement be facilitated by a specific construction of charge laws? Are economic concepts of charge enforceable at all, and if so, under what conditions? Are charges more readily enforceable than other instruments? Therefore, some economic theory assessments of enforcement processes are presented first. In a third part, the paper sheds light on the practical experience made with the enforcement of the German Waste Water Charge. It is argued that the well worn thesis of an enforcement-friendly ,self-control' of market instruments is based on unrealistic assumptions. Whether against this background enforcement of environmental policy can be facilitated by an increased application use of charges must be viewed sceptically in an overall assessment of the problematic. Moreover, the transition from allocative control tasks to fiscal environmental charges may well be a symptom of rather than a contribution to the solution of the political and administrative crisis of enforcement. Especially for charges, the crucial question seems to be the political implementation rather than concrete enforcement by local authorities. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment [source]


Deterrents to Intercountry Adoption in Britain

FAMILY RELATIONS, Issue 4 2000
Peter Hayes
Some local authority social workers in Britain have used their responsibility to make parental assessments to deter parents from adopting abroad. Prospective parents of foreign children may respond to these deterrents by making unauthorized adoptions. Central government officials have condemned both unauthorized adoptions and the obstructive policies towards intercountry adoption found in some local authorities. Prospects for reform depend partly on changing attitudes, and partly on expanding the role of independent intercountry adoption agencies. [source]


MUNICIPAL CONTRACTING OUT: GOVERNANCE CHOICES, MISALIGNMENT AND PERFORMANCE IN SWEDISH LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY & MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2008
Tobias Johansson
In this paper we apply a Transaction Cost Theory framework to analyse the use and effects of contracting out in Swedish local government. During the last decade Swedish local authorities, like in many other countries, have, to a larger extent, started to contract external subcontractors to fulfil their responsibilities towards its citizens. It is not only in the traditional subcontracting sectors such as housing, infrastructure, and technical services that this trend is evident, but also in policy areas like education, social care, and elderly care. In fact, very little is known about the overall effects of, and the mechanisms underlying, governance choices. The overall results corroborate transaction cost reasoning. Supplier competition and specificity have anticipated effects on municipal de-integration. Too little, but not too much, use of contracting out, in relation to theoretical predictions, worsens performance. The latter aspect is not fully in accordance with TCE-propositions. [source]


Project Appraisal and Capital Investment Decision Making in the Scottish Water Industry

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY & MANAGEMENT, Issue 1 2000
Paul Coleshill
Restructuring the Scottish water industry has changed the way in which both project appraisal and capital investment decisions are performed. This article examines the project appraisal and subsequent capital investment decision in the case of a reed bed sewage treatment scheme which is compared with a more traditional scheme. Although the capital profiles of the schemes are similar there are major differences in the revenue costs. In addition, there are potential public benefits to the reed bed scheme. A comparison is made of management mechanisms in the pre-1996 water industry with that of restructured water authorities. In the pre-1996 water industry, local authorities had a broad remit which encouraged them to value these factors, in effect an implicit social account. The creation of water authorities with narrow remits and specific performance measures, constructed a framework that does not support the integration of social accounts into the decision making process. The paper demonstrates that investment appraisal is a product of the institutional framework in which the decisions are made. As that framework changes, mechanisms and measures of accountability shift in parallel. [source]


The Distribution of Public Expenditure across the UK Regions

FISCAL STUDIES, Issue 1 2003
Iain McLean
Abstract The distribution of UK revenue to the regional and territorial governments, administrations and authorities that spend the money is based on a hotchpotch of badly designed formulae. This is widely recognised. The Barnett formula, which allocates money to the devolved territories, has been attacked from all sides, its consequences described as ,terribly unfair' by its progenitor, Lord Barnett. The mechanism by which resources are distributed to local authorities within the English regions has been abandoned by the government, although its replacement has not yet been determined. This paper argues that a common basis for government spending across the regions and territories of the UK will be more equitable and efficient, and may even depoliticise the financial framework of the UK. [source]


Getting the Smaller Picture: Small-Area Analysis of Public Expenditure Incidence and Deprivation in Three English Cities

FISCAL STUDIES, Issue 2 2000
Glen Bramley
Abstract This paper examines public expenditure incidence at small-area level in cities. The motivations for such research are briefly reviewed. The article reports on an attempt at measuring public expenditure across the majority of programmes down to the level of Census wards and the actual results obtained for three urban local authorities in England. The relationship between spending, income and deprivation is examined overall and for particular spending programmes, using a number of approaches including regression-based expenditure models. The conclusions suggest that spending is indeed targetted on poorer areas but raise questions about both the strength of this relationship and how best to measure deprivation and the need to spend. [source]


Temporary Work in the Public Services: Implications for Equal Opportunities

GENDER, WORK & ORGANISATION, Issue 4 2003
Hazel M. Conley
This article examines the impact of the growing number of temporary employment contracts in the public sector on equal opportunity theory, policy and practice. Quantitative and qualitative data from two case study local authorities are utilized to examine the mechanisms by which temporary work becomes an equal opportunities issue. A strong association between part-time work and temporary employment status is demonstrated as an important aspect of the gendered nature of temporary work. Links between ethnicity and temporary work are less clear but are based upon the insecurity of targeted funding for teachers and the under-valuation of the skills of the workers concerned. The data indicate that temporary workers are largely excluded from equal opportunity policy and practice, bringing into question a concept of equality that can permit less favourable treatment for certain groups of workers. It is argued that public sector restructuring, particularly concerning decentralization and the quest for flexibility, has facilitated the differential treatment of employees, thereby fundamentally eroding the basis of equal opportunity policy and practice. [source]


Carers and the digital divide: factors affecting Internet use among carers in the UK

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, Issue 3 2005
Clare Blackburn BA (Hons) DipHE RHV RGN
Abstract This paper presents data from a cross-sectional survey of 3014 adult carers, examining use of the Internet and factors associated with it. Carers recruited from the databases of three local authorities and other carer organisations within their geographical boundaries and that of Carers UK, a national carers organisation, were sent a postal questionnaire (response rate: 40%). A comparison of our data with national data on carers suggests some under-representation of men and younger adult carers and some over-representation of those who had been caring for long periods and those with substantial caring responsibilities. Two measures of Internet use were used and are presented in this analysis: previous use (ever used vs never previously used) and frequency (less than once a week vs once a week or more). Bivariate analyses identified patterns of Internet use and socio-demographic and socio-economic factors and caring circumstances associated with them. Factors significantly associated with each measure of Internet use were entered into direct logistic regression analyses to identify factors significantly associated with each measure. Half (50%) of all carers had previously used the Internet. Of this group, 61% had used it once a week or more frequently. Factors significantly associated with having previously used the Internet were carer's age, employment status, housing tenure and number of hours per week they spent caring. Frequency of Internet use was significantly associated with carer's age, sex, employment status and number of hours spent caring. Our study suggests that a significant number of carers may not currently be Internet users and that age, gender, socio-economic status and caring responsibilities shape Internet use in particular ways. Given the targets set by government for the development of online services, it is important to address the digital divide among carers and to continue to develop other services and information systems to meet the needs of those who do not access the Internet. [source]


Movement and change: independent sector domiciliary care providers between 1995 and 1999

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, Issue 6 2001
Patricia Ware
Abstract Promoting the development of a flourishing independent sector alongside good quality public services was a key objective of the community care reforms of the last decade. This paper charts some of the ways the independent domiciliary care sector is changing, as local authorities shift the balance of their provision toward independent sector providers and away from a reliance on in-house services. Two surveys of independent domiciliary care providers were carried out in 1995 and 1999. The aims of the studies were to describe the main features of provider organisations, such as size of business, client group and funding sources; to examine the nature of provider motivations and their past and future plans; to consider how local authorities manage the supply side of social care markets; and to examine the effects on providers of the development of the mixed economy. The first survey in 1995 was conducted in eight local authority areas, which by 1999 had increased to 11 because of the creation of three new unitary authorities. The findings are based on 261 postal surveys together with 111 interviews between the two studies. The research illustrates a domiciliary care market that is still relatively young with many small but growing businesses. There are considerable differences in the split between in-house and independent sector services in individual authorities and a common perception among independent providers that in-house services receive favourable treatment and conditions. Spot or call-off contracts continue to be the most common form of contract although there are moves toward greater levels of guaranteed service and more sophisticated patterns of contracting arrangements. There remains an ongoing need to share information between local authorities and independent providers so that good working relationships can develop with proven and competent providers. [source]


The responsibility to care for single homeless people

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, Issue 6 2001
Maureen Crane RGN RMN MSc PhD
Abstract This paper examines the reasons why in contemporary Britain many single homeless people with severe physical and mental health problems and welfare needs do not receive the treatment, care and financial support that they manifestly need, and in particular considers the interaction between their personal characteristics and the organisation and the obligations of services. Homelessness is a complex concept associated with problems of housing, health, social care and income. The greatest weaknesses of the service system are that no single agency has a statutory responsibility to ensure that vulnerable homeless people are served, and none of the generalist welfare agencies have a duty to seek out those who do not present. As a result, single homeless people fall between the housing, health and social services and amass exceptional unmet needs. The paper appraises the approaches to single homeless people's problems that have recently been introduced by the Rough Sleepers' Unit (RSU), and discusses the ways in which current reforms of the welfare services may impact on the situation of homeless people. With the possibility that the RSU's prime responsibility for commissioning single homeless people's services will transfer to local authorities in 2002, the paper concludes by specifying the implications for voluntary and statutory providers and makes recommendations about the attribution of the responsibility to care for this vulnerable group. [source]