Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is urging councils to watch for five warning signs of financial stress.
The institute’s new report, Building Financial Resilience, has identified five key symptoms of financial stress, which includes: a rapid decline in reserves; a failure to deliver savings in service provision; shortening of medium-term financial planning; firm objectives missing from savings plan; and a tendency for unplanned overspends.
The report also outlines the steps towards building better financial resilience, encouraging councils to ensure that the right financial management systems are working effectively and use benchmarking data. Councils should also manage reserves effectively, avoiding dipping in to reserves to pay for services or postpone necessary cuts.
Sean Nolan, director for Local Government at CIPFA, said: “In the face of growing demand, tightening funding and an increasingly complex and unpredictable financial environment, councils must be financially resilient; meaning they must remain viable, stable and effective in the medium to long term.
“Austerity has battered the sector for close to a decade, while increased demand and cost pressures have left some councils at the brink. Other, more positive changes, such as a trend towards greater self-sufficiency and local leadership has allowed some areas to flourish, while others have struggled to reap the benefits of these reforms. What we are seeking to do now is to help councils spot the warning signs of financial stress and take the right steps towards resilience.”
Accessibility is the name of this game. Web designers are getting better at addressing the issues, but general awareness of accessibility requirements is still low. This is worrying – websites that are not currently accessible are potentially breaching the Equality Act of 2010. One of the first places to look for help should be the Government Digital Service (GDS), which provides help, advice and guidance on legislation regarding accessibility.
It is surprisingly easy to start meeting the government’s accessibility requirements.
The Emergency Services Show is the UK’s leading annual showcase of the blue light sector, featuring over 450 exhibitors, live demonstrations, unique learning opportunities and unrivalled networking.