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Blog from Paul O'Brien

March 23, 2010
Best Value 2 - Learning from the English experience

Spoke today at a conference in Edinburgh on Best Value 2, which is Scotland's new audit process for local authorities. My role was to make a comparison with the English experience of Best Value audit, although I did feel a bit of a phoney as my Motherwell accent hasn't faded that much despite living and working in England for 11 years.

By Paul O'Brien
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Tags: Best Value, audit and inspection
March 19, 2010
a manifesto for council housing

Spoke today at the Defend Council Housing conference London, ‘A manifesto for council housing.’ My talk was promoting two pieces of research APSE have recently completed the first a joint publication with ARCH, on the holistic benefits of retained council housing, ‘Under one roof'; and the second about the work UNISON commissioned from APSE on ‘A new generation of council housing'.

By Paul O'Brien
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Tags: housing, APSE
March 16, 2010
Challenge in the city

Spoke today at the City and Financial seminar in London on the topic of ‘Grasping the scale of the medium to long term challenge facing local government.’

By Paul O'Brien
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Tags: public finance, APSE, Cuts
March 12, 2010
Bringing some light to the great salt debate

APSE’s annual Highways and Street Lighting seminar took place over the last couple of days at Newcastle Marriot. The seminar incorporated ‘The Great Salt Debate’ which was a chance to look back at the problems with winter gritting this year from all perspectives. A debate between local authorities, grit suppliers and national agencies teased out some of the main issues that hindered services this winter and hopefully lessons have been learned that can be acted upon in order to avoid a repeat in future winters. 

By Paul O'Brien
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Tags: highways, Salt, apse, winter gritting
March 9, 2010
Surviving in the local government ‘Hurt Locker’

Reading press reports about Kathryn Bigelow’s film ‘The Hurt Locker’ scooping six Oscars at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony set me wondering what the term actually means. A quick check on Google gave me the following definition ‘a period of immense, inescapable physical or emotional pain’. What an appropriate analogy then for the next few years in local government.

By Paul O'Brien
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Tags: APSE, public finance, efficences
March 5, 2010
Getting more bang for the public buck

APSE launched its latest research publication ‘Getting more Bang for the Public Buck, a guide to using procurement to achieve community benefits,’ at the Conservative Councillors Association conference in London today.

By Paul O'Brien
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Tags: conservatives, apse, procurement, community benefits

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

           

 

          

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