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.

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11.12.17: Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of...

‘Quality matters’ in adult social care

27.11.17: The work of social care is on everyone’s agenda. You see it mentioned in reports, on the front pages of mainstream newspapers, as well as in speeches from ministers. The main question that everyone is asking is, how can we improve services...

City-centric, deeply disappointing and a nightmare – criticisms pile against the Budget

22.11.17: It’s been a busy day in the PSE office. Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget included a number of interesting announcements, ranging from new devolution deals and housing measures to changes to business rates. This year’s Statem...

A new paradigm for public health

10.11.17: Heather Henry RN MBA, Queens nurse and chair of the New NHS Alliance looks into the issue of health inequality.  Health inequality is like the many-headed hydra of Greek mythology: no matter how many heads you cut off, the beast of ris...

Tower Hamlets taking steps to reverse the decline of LGBT+ venues

16.10.17: Tower Hamlets council has recently confirmed that the former site of a popular gay bar, the Joiners Arms, must include an LGBT+ club for the next 25 years. Many people will be pleased to note that the council voted unanimously to ensure tha...

Dying well is a public health issue

12.10.17: Ahead of the King’s Fund Annual Conference (29-30 November) on population health and prevention, Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie, explains why dying well is a public health issue. The idea that how people die can and s...

Purpose with profit – a contractor’s perspective of social value

09.10.17: Sarah Fraser, head of Willmott Dixon Foundation, outlines the benefits of a strong commitment to social value when it comes to working with public sector organisations and leveraging greater value from contractors. A couple of years ag...

How would local government look under a Labour government?

25.09.17: Few will disagree with the statement that the current landscape of local government is one that has been shaped by seven years of Tory influence. Harsh austerity measures have seen pressures on council-run services, as well as the NHS, moun...

How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

18.09.17: Five years on from the introduction of the Social Value Act, Alison Ramsey, frameworks co-ordinator at Scape Procure, reflects on the key questions that prompted the legislation’s introduction. The Social Value Act was an important la...

Making the public pound count

29.08.17: Rt Hon Hazel Blears, chair of Social Investment Business and a leading member of the National Advisory Board for Global Impact Investment, discusses the importance of achieving social, economic and environmental impact through procurement. ...

Is weekend working dragging you down? You’re not alone

24.08.17: Carl Fillery, chief executive of Boundless, says public sector overtime could be damaging if employees can’t take control.  Boundless recently conducted a study comparing weekend working habits in the public and private sector, w...

Delivering social value in public sector procurement

07.08.17: Theresa Grant, CEO of Trafford Council, explains how local authorities in the Greater Manchester area are making every penny of public spend provide that little bit more value for money. ‘Prisoners in Forest Bank Prison in Salford are bei...

Is ‘good enough for government’ good enough for us?

28.07.17: Catch22’s new chief reform officer, Pamela Dow, who used to be the Ministry of Justice’s director of strategy, gives her perspective on what can be done to improve the way public services are designed and delivered.  A good...

Making UK cities inclusive and welcoming for newcomers

24.07.17: We all know the difficulties associated with moving to a new town – not knowing your way around, having to integrate into the community and meeting new people. But for those moving to the UK from abroad this process can be even harder...

Councillors celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2017

19.06.17: A number of local government leaders and figures have been named in the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours list. The list recognises the achievements of people across a number of different sectors by handing out awards for services to thei...

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latest public sector news

Counties urge government to step in amid rocketing house prices

16/02/2018Counties urge government to step in amid rocketing house prices

House prices in county areas have risen by three times the rate of those in London over the last year, prompting the County Councils Network (CCN... more >
LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

16/02/2018LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has today hit out at the Council of the Isles of Scilly for its belated response to a report highlighting in... more >
Councils want power to push developers on 420,000 unbuilt homes

16/02/2018Councils want power to push developers on 420,000 unbuilt homes

Councils have warned that more than 420,000 homes in England are still waiting to be built despite planning permission already being granted. ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
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The power of apprenticeships

14/02/2018The power of apprenticeships

David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, describes how the apprenticeship levy can help public sector organisations unlock leade... more >
Building connected communities

22/12/2017Building connected communities

Andrew Walker, policy researcher at the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), argues councils must be supported to develop good connectivity ... more >
The police say they are under pressure. Are they right?

22/12/2017The police say they are under pressure. Are they right?

Rick Muir, director of the Police Foundation, considers whether budget constraints and growing demand are actually having a major impact on the w... more >
The future of communal heating in Cheshire

22/12/2017The future of communal heating in Cheshire

PSE’s Josh Mines speaks to Dan Griffiths, projects and programmes manager at Cheshire East Council’s Skills & Growth Company, abo... more >

interviews

Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >
Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

10/12/2017Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

With homelessness on the rise across the country, politicians in central and local government are desperately looking for new solutions. Andy Bur... more >
This is Manchester, we do things differently here

10/12/2017This is Manchester, we do things differently here

Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City Council, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the region’s pioneering plans f... more >

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