Councillors to axe services as budgets fall

Councillors to axe services as budgets fall

Local councils are urgently reviewing operations in a drive to slash millions off their budgets, a Financial Times study has found.

Authorities face making unpopular decisions by cutting services as they ­grapple with big drops in income and expected cuts for years to come in government grants. Many councillors will hold crunch meetings in the next few weeks to confront the reality of shrinking budgets.

Read more on this story in The Financial Times

Vetting database will cost NHS and public bodies £170m

The government’s controversial vetting database will cost the British public at least £170m, The Independent can disclose.

The Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS), which comes into force next month and is intended to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults, has already cost the Government £84m to set up.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Parents who could take children to clubs face crime checks

Parents who ferry groups of children to Scouts, Brownies or after-school sports clubs will have to undergo a criminal record check or face fines of up to £5,000.

They are the latest group to fall within the scope of the government’s vetting and barring scheme, which is due to be introduced next month. Officials estimate that more than 11 million people — almost everyone in any position of authority who comes into contact with children — will have to be registered with the new Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Read more on this story in The Times

Tory councils show Whitehall the say, says George Osborne

Boris Johnson has asked David Cameron for extra powers, including responsibility for housing and rail transport, if the Conservatives win the next election.

Councils that are run by the Tories are in line to inherit functions currently exercised by quangos, which would be abolished by a Conservative government. Mr Johnson and other local government leaders are in advanced talks over which powers they want, The Times has learnt.
Read more on this story in The Times

Drink and drugs cause more youth deaths

The deaths of more than 3,000 young people in the UK every year could be prevented and many are precipitated by Britain’s drink and drugs culture, a leading child health expert claims.

“Britain has much higher rates of alcohol and drug misuse than many other high income countries,” said Russell Viner, from the Institute of Child Health, in London, one of the authors of a global study on the scale and causes of adolescent deaths published today by the Lancet medical journal.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Child poverty reduced if both parents go to work

Both parents in families living below the breadline will be urged to go to work to lift their children out of poverty, one of the ministers responsible for developing the government’s child poverty strategy said yesterday.

Conceding that it was now unlikely New Labour’s pledge to halve the number of children living in poverty by 2010 would be met, the financial secretary, Stephen Timms, said the state of the economy had forced the government to rethink how best to fulfil the longer term goal of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020.

Read more on this story in The Guardian


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