Posted tagged ‘public health’

An unhealthy situation

September 29, 2011

Council staff may need to get that doctorate after all

My husband’s birthday is coming up soon.  I know it’s coming up, and that I will be expected to buy a nice present, perhaps cook a nice meal and maybe if he’s lucky arrange a bit of a party, but so far I haven’t.  Life’s been busy, other things have taken my time and attention and generally I’ve let it slide, no doubt to remember again a few days before and pick him up a ‘humorous’ card, a Chris Ryan novel and some random golf-related stuff.

In fact, I’m feeling very local government about it all.  You see, councils up and down the country are going through the same thing.  In 2013, the responsibilities previously undertaken by the PCT around public health will transfer lock, stock and anti-smoking barrel to their council counterparts.

2013 is just 15 months away.  If you were wondering, that’s 66 Mondays away from the day this post goes live.

But are we in the council ready?  Have we got long term plans and strategies in place to handle these changes, with work currently underway to prepare the ground for an influx of new officers and workstreams, working to understand how we can avoid simply tagging them on to other areas but really make them part of an integrated service and weaving them into the service delivery plans of their new colleagues? (more…)

Hiding behind Exaggeration

May 6, 2011

Is exaggeration hiding the debate?

Do you know what I hate more than anything in the whole world, that there is not a single thing in the world which I wouldn’t do to get rid of it?

Exaggeration.

Exaggeration is at the heart of many unnecessary arguments, and is the thing which skews correct and useful information into something which bears little or no relation to anything that can be used to formulate an informed and valid opinion. And when one person or group gets a reputation for exaggeration, it is assumed that most things they then say is exaggerated, which can in turn lessen its impact hugely.

This point came to mind when reading a recent press release from Unison, which you should be able to find amongst other places at the Lancashire Unison website. In it they bring up a number of duties which the government is aiming to scrap, and explore the possible levels of anarchy which would then be possible. A few of my personal favourites include:

Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 89

Councils currently have to keep land and highways clear of litter. Would litter start to pile up on our streets?

Public Health Act 1936

Councils have to provide mortuaries. Would removing this duty see bodies pile up in the street?

Licensing Act 2003 Section 18

Requires local authorities to have a system for regulating premises licenses, including issuing licenses. Would we see strip clubs set up on any corner?

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