‘Blue’ January for women and politics

, 23 January 2014

‘Blue’ Monday was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. And for aspiring women leaders in politics and government it certainly was. The news reminded us that we are no closer to furthering the cause of women leaders in 2014. Four stories were guaranteed to put the most ambitious women off...

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Guest blog: Good law, nine months on

, 22 January 2014

Word had got round that John Sheridan (of legislation.gov.uk, and a celebrated linked data pioneer) would be speaking. So the data community was excited. Government lawyers were also there, anticipating a lively discussion on thorny issues. There were academic lawyers, publishers, and campaigners. And there were quite a few people with no affiliation to...

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Guest blog: Civil service reform – my view

, 21 January 2014

I have the highest regard for the Civil Service, but that does not mean there is no room for improvement – this is one reform that I think would help to modernise it. I had a good experience of working with civil servants at Defra even if I had a difficult time dealing with...

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A civil service inquiry could do some good – if it addresses long-term reform

, 20 January 2014

The main focus at present is on a Parliamentary Commission akin to the Banking Commission of both Houses which reported last year. That has been proposed by the Public Administration Committee, endorsed by the Commons Liaison Committee of chairs of select committees, and has now been backed by the majority of speakers in a...

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The limits of compensation: opposition to fracking

, 14 January 2014

It was also announced that the industry will further consult on how it plans to reward local communities. Last year, it was suggested that local communities would receive £100,000 when a test well is explored plus 1 per cent of revenues if shale gas is discovered. Options on how to use these funds are...

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Permanent secretaries need permission to plan for the future

, 7 January 2014

Except, that is, for George Osborne, who this week promised that 2014 will be a ‘year of hard truths’. Pointing to his ongoing efforts to close the structural budget deficit, the Chancellor has said that a further £25bn of cuts will be needed after the next election in 2015. Anyone who has looked at...

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