2015 or 2065:  How long will we have to wait for judicial diversity?

, 5 November 2015

“We don’t need to wait and I’m not prepared to wait” New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau justified his 50/50 Cabinet yesterday by simply saying: “its 2015”. And yet, here in the UK, Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption said only last month that it would take another fifty years to achieve a balanced judiciary....

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Not a blunder: why is automatic enrolment working?

, 4 November 2015

Automatic enrolment was one of the main reforms to emerge from the Pensions Commission in 2005. To combat dwindling retirement incomes, automatic enrolment makes it compulsory for employers to enrol staff without pension plans into workplace pensions (but allows individuals to opt out if they wish). It was an early application of behavioural insights....

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Making the most of devolution to join up public services around local, citizen needs

, 4 November 2015

In September 2015 various cities, towns and counties across the country submitted proposals for a significant transfer of powers from central to local government. A month later, a £900 million devolution deal with Sheffield City Region was announced, with the North East Combined Authority deal following soon after. Although the focus on boosting local...

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Location, location, location: the geography of the Civil Service

, 3 November 2015

London has more civil servants than any other region of the UK; the East Midlands has the fewest. More civil servants are based in London than in any other UK region – some 79,000 staff, or 18% of the total: an increase from 16% in 2010. The East Midlands hosts the fewest (just over...

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Creating the Prime Minister’s ‘smarter state’

, 2 November 2015

The Prime Minister has laid out his aspiration to create a “smarter state”: one which delivers better services at better value for money for taxpayers. At the same time, the Government is aiming to create a budget surplus by 2020, primarily by reducing spending. What this means for public services is unclear. The Prime...

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Divided by a common deficit – comparing UK and US infrastructure problems

, 30 October 2015

In the week George Osborne announced the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission and just two weeks after we debated how best to address long-term infrastructure decisions in the UK, I attended a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace forum on American Job Creation and Infrastructure in Washington DC, with a high-powered cast list including...

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