The Raven's Blog

PSE’s resident blogger, The Raven, picks over the carcass of public policy and management, at both local and central government level.

With an irreverent look at the news as it affects public sector management and national politics, these morsels of gossip and forthright opinion offer another take on the day’s events.

Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Email the editor.

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22.03.17: Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public sector is big business. The central government procurement budget is es...

Greenlight given for £1.5m GM Arts and Heritage funding

16.03.17: Around £1.5m worth of funds will be put towards transformative Arts and Heritage projects in Greater Manchester, as it was announced that the region had been selected as a national pilot area for Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund...

Centre for Cities CEO to step down after six years at helm

13.03.17: Alexandra Jones will step down after six years as the chief executive of Centre for Cities to move to the government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as director of Industrial Strategy. It was also confi...

CCS to launch largest public sector water framework agreement in the UK

02.03.17: From 1 April, most business and public sector organisations will be able to choose which company supplies their water. Crown Commercial Service is bringing the largest public sector water framework agreement to the UK market. Working alongside f...

And justice for all

23.02.17: Nothing less than a ‘whole-place’ pooling of public service budgets and devolution of criminal justice system powers to local level can create the conditions for community transformation, argue former communities secretary Hazel Blea...

Building on Chamberlain’s ‘visionary’ legacy in Brexit talks

02.02.17: Leaders and mayors from the UK’s 10 Core Cities are determined to build on the legacy of “visionary city reformer” Joseph Chamberlain by striving to design successful, inclusive places in a post-Brexit world. Gathering thi...

Keeping it Local – A five-step guide

26.01.17: Tony Armstrong, CEO of Locality, discusses how new guidance for councillors and commissioners on taking a ‘Keep it Local’ approach to public services can save money and achieve better outcomes.  This year is going to be a c...

Government organisations named top employers for LGBT staff

19.01.17: Nine government organisations have been named among the top 100 employers for LGBT staff, making up a substantial part of this year’s list. The Top 100 Employers list, drawn up by the LGBT equality charity Stonewall, found the Nationa...

Will we see more staff freezes to meet the financial challenge?

09.01.17: A staff freeze has been introduced at Devon County Council as local authorities propose increasingly radical measures to try to relieve financial pressures. The council announced last week that it will not hire any more permanent staff, apa...

Would you swear an oath to British values as part of a public service job?

19.12.16: The controversy about how different communities can and should co-exist in 21st century Britain received a boost over the weekend as communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid suggested public sector workers should swear an oath of a...

Replacement for Manchester’s Sir Howard Bernstein revealed

05.12.16: The current chief executive of Wakefield Council will take over the helm at Manchester City Council, replacing Sir Howard Bernstein as he retires after a 45-year career. Joanne Roney has headed Wakefield since 2008, and before that worked a...

Oldham Council asks public to name new gritter

25.11.16: Oldham Council has asked people to name its new Mitsubishi Fuso gritting machine, leading the council to be inundated with realistic – and unrealistic – suggestions. The highway team's competition – which is meant to...

Does austerity have a greater impact on women?

21.11.16: Women have been left particularly financially vulnerable as a result of tax and benefits changes since 2010, new research shows. Analysis by the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) revealed that women in the lowest 20% of households stand to l...

How public sector employers can get maximum impact from employee wellbeing activity

07.11.16: Dr Jill Miller, research adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, looks at how the public sector is addressing employee wellbeing activity. The public sector are ahead of the game in promoting health and wel...

Overhauling welfare: what to expect from a new WCA

31.10.16: The much-criticised process for assessing whether disabled people are eligible for benefits could be overhauled, the government has promised. The Department for Work and Pensions is due to announce later today a new consultation on reformin...

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latest public sector news

NAO:  Decisive action needed to keep at-risk road investment projects afloat

23/03/2017NAO: Decisive action needed to keep at-risk road investment projects afloat

Key projects in the government’s road investment strategy are at risk of cancellation if “decisive action” is not taken by the ... more >
London councils join Design Council scheme to address major social issues

22/03/2017London councils join Design Council scheme to address major social issues

Councils in London will work with design experts as part of a new programme aiming to help authorities address problems with homelessness, homeca... more >
Localis: Industrial reform must be driven and led at local level

22/03/2017Localis: Industrial reform must be driven and led at local level

The government’s industrial strategy should be driven and led at a local level by handing space and powers to leaders to allow them to dict... more >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you&rsqu... read more >

last word

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will w... more > more last word articles >

the raven's daily blog

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22/03/2017Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public sector is big business. The central government procurement budget is estimated to be worth £40bn. So it is no surprise that procurement is a subject that generates a... more >
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Time to embrace change

01/03/2017Time to embrace change

The way we work is changing. As a profession, we must be ready to embrace it, writes James Driver on behalf of the Association for Project Manage... more >
Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

01/03/2017Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

Over the next few months, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wants to get a better understanding of how local government and the wider public s... more >
The challenges for innovative procurement

27/02/2017The challenges for innovative procurement

Malcolm Harbour CBE, who wrote Parliament’s first report on innovation in public procurement in 2008 and now chairs the LGA Task and Finish... more >
Glasgow points the way forward for IoT future

27/02/2017Glasgow points the way forward for IoT future

Dr Mark Begbie, business development director at CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, explores how Glasgow is l... more >

interviews

Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO), tells PSE’s David Stevenson why there are lots of oppo... more >
McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

20/12/2016McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow minister for local government and devolution, talks to PSE’s David Stevenson about the need to radically... more >
Solace president mandate: Champion diversity and celebrate great public services

20/12/2016Solace president mandate: Champion diversity and celebrate great public services

Jo Miller, the recently-elected president of Solace, talks to PSE about the need for championing great public services and ensuring inclusion at ... more >
The secret to the success of one public estate

19/08/2016The secret to the success of one public estate

Central government has faced strong criticism of its many estate schemes in recent years, but one in particular seems to steer clear of the backl... more >

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