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Links 1 through 10 of 130 by Peter Cruickshank tagged government

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High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs; and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5b2b5ce2-eb2b-11e0-9a41-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1akc1uD7R

Four cities in the southern province of Guangdong this week created experimental online forums for citizens to raise complaints. The virtual petition offices – staffed by officials represented by cartoon figures – for the first time allowed citizens to watch officials handle cases. The experiment was so popular that almost 25,000 people logged on to watch the first three webcasts.

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The National Entitlement Card (NEC) programme is a multi-application smartcard scheme run as a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scotland’s local councils and others to make it quicker and easier to access services (such as transport, cashless catering, library/leisure membership, payments, concessions, proof of age) using one card rather than many. 

National Entitlement Cards (NECs) are issued by the 32 Scottish councils and are just one element in a wider Scottish Government sponsored programme called Customer First which aims to encourage all local councils to share resources and create efficiencies to ensure that Scottish citizens have easier to access services and facilities at the first point of contact with their council.

The NEC is most widely used to access free bus travel througout Scotland.  It is also used by young people to access cashless catering in schools, proof of age, and Young Scot discounts. 

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Design thinking and techniques can help create radical innovations needed to meet the challenges facing local communities and services, says Philip Colligan

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CSPP Chief Exec, Ross Martin, was interviewed on Newsnight Scotlan 11 August, which you can watch below.

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Following a pilot project for the collection of comparable statistics and indicators for European cities the first full-scale European Urban Audit took place in 2003, for the then 15 countries of the European Union. In 2004 the project was extended to the 10 new Member States plus Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Under Eurostat coordination, the work of the Urban Audit involves all national statistical offices as well as some of the cities themselves.

The second full-scale Urban Audit took place between 2006 and 2007, and involved 321 European cities in the 27 countries of the European Union, along with 36 additional cities in Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Data collection currently takes place every three years, but an annual data collection is being planned for a smaller number of targeted variables.

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i2010 was the EU policy framework for the information society and media (2005-2009). It promoted the positive contribution that information and communication technologies (ICT) can make to the economy, society and personal quality of life. The strategy is now coming to an end and is going to be followed by a new initiative – the Digital Agenda – in 2010.

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Ninety percent of Town Halls say they will be sharing front line and back office services within the next two years as a key tool in coping with budget cuts – a rise of 40% in only three years.

Environmental and social care services are the two most popular areas where senior managers would consider sharing. 
 
No less than 63% told researchers they would do so as the basis for at least a 10% reduction in budget by sharing services in the 2011/12 financial year. A very high proportion - 85% - say they are also willing to do so with a neighbouring public sector organisation, while almost as many, 78%, would also consider setting up a joint venture with the private sector. 
 
The study suggests as many as 65% will target back office functions and 68% front line services in the next year.
 
84% of local authorities say the long term rewards of shared services would be worth short term controversy or opposition.

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A guide to blogging for elected members by the Improvement Service.

The guide explains what blogging is and why councillors should consider writing a blog. It contains practical advice and tips, comments from councillors who already use blogs and links to useful resources.

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