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.
Planning decisions in Brighton & Hove are being made more quickly and are now exceeding government standards.
New figures were in a performance report to a recent council policy committee.
In September the city council was deciding 92.54 per cent of major applications within the government’s 13-week limit. Whitehall expects 60 per cent to be decided in this period. In September 2015, the council was achieving just under 69 per cent.
Speed of decisions of minor applications has increased by 20 per cent in a year, to just over 80 per cent. The government target in 70 per cent, and in September 2015 the council was only achieving 50 per cent.
The number of decisions overturned by the government when an applicant appeals is also dropping, and well within the national target of 10 per cent. Just 4.35 per cent of major applications were overturned and 2.35 per cent of minors.
Improvements have come as a result of implementing recommendations from March 2016 by the independent National Planning Advisory Service (NPAS) who were called in by the council. Among these were improved technology, streamlining administration systems and recruiting more staff.
Julie Cattell, planning committee chair, said: “Thanks to the brilliant efforts of staff and some smarter ways of working we’ve made a big improvement in our planning service. We’re not complacent and know there is more to do. But we’re heading in the right direction. We’re highly aware how crucial a good planning department is in enabling growth and creating jobs and homes.”
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.
Poppy Welch looks at the role of local authorities in setting a green driving agenda and the schemes available to councils across England