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.

A watershed moment in British democracy

02.05.17: The upcoming mayoral elections represent a watershed moment in the history of British democracy, reports PSE’s Luana Salles.  On 4 May, voters across six regions will take to the polls to decide who should captain their public se...

Engaging voters ahead of May’s elections

24.04.17: Emma Hartley, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, discusses the importance of a collaborative approach to engage voters ahead of this year’s elections.  It’s vital that voters can easily participate in every type...

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...

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latest public sector news

Tories will take education spending back to 2010 levels, warns IFS

26/05/2017Tories will take education spending back to 2010 levels, warns IFS

Conservative plans to reduce spending on schools would lead to a 7% real-terms cut for the education sector between 2015-16 and 2021-22, accordin... more >
Almost all council websites now optimised for mobile devices

26/05/2017Almost all council websites now optimised for mobile devices

Almost all local councils have now repurposed their websites to present a responsive or mobile site when accessed on a smartphone. In a surv... more >
Manchester leaders thank public for £4.1m donations to attack fund

26/05/2017Manchester leaders thank public for £4.1m donations to attack fund

Local leaders in Manchester have heaped praise on the public after £4.1m was raised in support of survivors of the terrorist attack on Mond... more >

editor's comment

11/04/2017A watershed moment in British politics

The government has now officially triggered Article 50, formally starting the process of Britain’s exit from the EU. How this will affect local government, the wider public sector and the Civil Service remains to be seen, but the likelihood of it being plain sailing with the enormity of the task ahead seems rather unlikely.  It... read more >

last word

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working. The past 12 months have seen seismic change... more > more last word articles >

the raven's daily blog

A watershed moment in British democracy

02/05/2017A watershed moment in British democracy

The upcoming mayoral elections represent a watershed moment in the history of British democracy, reports PSE’s Luana Salles.  On 4 May, voters across six regions will take to the polls to decide who should captain their public services until 2020.  As part of the elections, the DCLG has kick-started the ‘Our May... more >
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An integrated approach to greening public transport

28/04/2017An integrated approach to greening public transport

Dave Pearson, director of transport services at West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), explains how a partnership approach is encouraging more... more >
Unlocking the combination to criminal justice reform

28/04/2017Unlocking the combination to criminal justice reform

If new mayors want to improve the life chances of their communities, help the most vulnerable and trailblaze public service reform, then criminal... more >
Improving information sharing to support integration

28/04/2017Improving information sharing to support integration

Kevin Kewin, a senior adviser in the Care and Health Improvement Programme at the LGA, explains how social care can be transformed through the us... more >
Putting digital at the heart of service delivery

28/04/2017Putting digital at the heart of service delivery

Following the recent Smart Essex Digital Summit, which was hosted by Essex County Council, David Wilde, executive director and chief information ... more >

interviews

Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >
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 >

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