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As the dust settles following the general election, we enter a new parliamentary term. The government and public sector is still under pressure and will be for the next few years. Our blog explores what the top priorities are to deliver manifesto commitments while bringing the public finances into balance.

24 June 2016

What next for public services after the vote to Leave?

By Tina Hallett The vote to Leave the EU marks the start of an uncertain, complex and no doubt lengthy process for the UK in determining its new relationship with the EU. The government will need to respond to the wider consequences of leadership succession, and quickly ramp up the...

13 June 2016

Do merging housing associations have a strategy that works?

By Matthew Williams ‘Mega mergers’ continue to be the talk of the social housing sector, with current mergers on the table covering around a quarter of the total stock owned and managed by housing associations. We highlighted this trend towards mergers almost a year ago, in our Talking Points, Housing...

09 June 2016

Beyond the heroic leader: enabling city competitiveness through distributed urban leadership

By Jonathan House Few doubt the importance of good leadership in developing and executing place-based strategies, particularly in major cities. Ask the question about what makes Manchester successful, and it won’t be long before the combined leadership of Sir Howard Bernstein and Sir Richard Leese is mentioned. However, while it...

06 June 2016

Delayed Transfers of Care – Who’s to blame?

By Tim Gold and Mike Farrar The answer of course, is no one individually. For too long however, the management of Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC) or bed-blocking has been an organisational blame game, stifling the system response required. The DTOC challenge has never been greater. The National Audit Office...

01 June 2016

An open door for service reform?

By Jonathan House As is often the case, it was the fears of local government’s financial Armageddon that made the headlines from our 2016 annual local government survey. However, against this backdrop of long held anxieties over financial collapse, the survey also pointed to the renewed focus of councils in...

31 May 2016

The Poverty Premium: what business can do to tackle in-work poverty

By Tina Hallett With state spending still under pressure, the public sector needs to work with the private and third sectors to find innovative solutions to some of society’s biggest problems. One such issue that should be of concern to us all is the fact that poorer people pay more...

26 May 2016

Is devolution the solution to local government’s financial woes?

By Chris Buttress While local government continues to face real financial challenges, the sector is starting to think differently about its purpose and role. Local government is in an interesting position. On the one hand, given the looming financial challenges, the outlook seems bleak. Indeed, our annual local government survey...

24 May 2016

Non Executive Directors: the NHS unsung and unsupported heroes...

By Mike Farrar Talk to any NED in the NHS and you will hear a similar story - "we are doing this to contribute something to the NHS, in which we passionately believe; we are committed to improving patient care, we are more than prepared to be held to account...

19 May 2016

Will the Queen’s speech deliver?

By Nick C Jones With so much focus on the EU referendum, this year’s Queen’s Speech was an opportunity to return the spotlight, if briefly in the short term, onto the domestic agenda and delivering the plan set out in the manifesto. It’s clear that the reforming zeal will focus...

11 May 2016

Multi Academy Trust Performance

By Chris Kirk There are many different ways you can compare Multi Academy Trusts, and our analysis, published initially in The Times, is intended to contribute to this discussion. In our previous analysis of those MATs which have a consistently positive effect on the schools that join them, we have...

06 May 2016

Turning the tanker around – encouraging the right culture for public sector whistleblowing

The government has implemented a series of central government reforms to improve the treatment of whistleblowers. Yet Parliamentary pressure for faster and wider change remains, not least to address deep-seated cultural barriers to the raising of concerns.

05 May 2016

Topping the Premier League, but can Leicester cash in?

The rise of Leicester to Premier League champions has been a remarkable story. And one filled with romance and a gripping narrative. But how can the local economy benefit? Will it take the brand and identity of Leicester to a different level?

27 April 2016

If money doesn’t make us happy, why do we focus on GDP?

By Rebecca McDonald and Lucy Rimmington In 2010, David Cameron stated that “our success as a country is about more than economic growth”, and launched an initiative to measure this broader view of national success. The result was the birth of the ONS’s Measuring National Wellbeing Programme, which is designed...

19 April 2016

Is small (still) beautiful? Social housing lessons from the Netherlands

By Matthew Williams How much does size matter when it comes to social housing? As the social housing sector in the UK looks to consolidate and refocus, we explore lessons from the experience of the Netherlands. The social housing sector in the Netherlands is not dissimilar to the UK in...

14 April 2016

EU and the challenge for universities

By Tina Hallett and Ian Looker As part of a series of blogs, Ian Looker and Tina Hallett consider how Brexit might impact on higher education. Higher education is becoming ever more internationalised. As such, anything that hinders connections internationally is something to be concerned about. So what would the...

01 April 2016

A starter for Carter

By Brian Pomering The long-awaited Carter Review has been well received but the emphasis now has to shift to implementation. Has the NHS got the capabilities it needs to get Carter done? The Carter report started as a piece of gap analysis: how can the NHS bridge the gap between...

24 March 2016

Ambition for change in local government finance is strong in Wales

By Lynn Pamment It is clear that the status quo in Welsh local government can no longer be maintained. Wales’ increasingly devolved public services and the challenges of ongoing and sustained public sector austerity combine to drive a need for change in the finance model. It is also clear, that...

Building an effective and efficient Academy system in England

By Chris Kirk, Jude Simpson, Imogen Baker, Ben Sheppard and Neil Loveday The budget announcement and DFE White Paper makes it clear that every school will be an Academy by 2022. What steps can school leaders and policy makers take to be part of an Academy based system which is...

Leaving the EU: Implications for the public sector

By Tina Hallett and Nick C Jones In the first in a series of blogs, Tina Hallett and Nick C Jones consider how Brexit might impact on the UK public sector. The political debate on Brexit will soon reach fever pitch, but what does a possible vote to leave the...

21 March 2016

Devolution: Budget detail adds to the revolution

By Michael Moore The Budget is almost always about the detail. Twenty years of commenting on these great events taught me one big lesson – the day itself is (usually) the Chancellor’s, but after that things are less predictable as the country comes to terms with all the fine print....