Participated in a Chatam House rules event organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects at One Great George Street in London. Basically the event was a debate about how we continue to construct public sector infrastructure in an environment where the banks are unable or unwilling to lend the money necessary to fund such vast projects.
Chair a debate on Housing between the four main political parties in Scotland at our Peebles conference. Livingston MSP, Angela Constance opens on behalf of the SNP Government, Derek Brownlee MSP responds on behalf of the Conservatives, Jeremy Purvis MSP on behalf of the Liberal Democrats and Cllr Jim McCabe, Labour Group Leader on CoSLA on behalf of the Scottish Labour Party.
Think APSE has started a pretty hot debate with the publishing of our latest research project which is a guide to Insourcing local authority services previously outsourced.
We did articles for the Guardian, Public Finance, MJ and Public Servant, as well as some other sector journals and a number of journals and websites also gave the report coverage and their own particular slants on it. Of course there were the usual attacks from the vested interest brigade in both the third and private sectors but it was quite obvious that they hadn't read the report and it was therefore fairly easy to rebut their whining.
Keeping the highways of the country free of snow and ice has dominated the news agenda in recent days and APSE has stepped into the breach in order to help its member authorities.
Birmingham University is the venue today for the first in a series of seminars for a research project on putting policy into practice funded by the European Social Research Council. This is a joint initiative between the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), Edinburgh University and APSE. Its aim is to test the practicalities of implementing policy and to gain insight into how policy design can better take place in conjunction with practitioners.