The west country council came perilously close to outsourcing a wide range of services to BT. Why did it change its mind?
Based on a set of interviews with councillors, and a trip to Bodmin to take a look at the Beacon technology park courtesy of Ann Kerridge – some images in the gallery above – this is my first piece in my second run as a freelance journalist, for the Guardian’s Society pages. Cornwall council is taking a pragmatic approach to outsourcing, trying to create and protect local jobs, increase efficiency and involve its local NHS trusts.
Thursday 15 November 2012 sees the first police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales outside London. Turnout is likely to be low, and some have said they will not vote in protest at the lack of information, the quality of candidates or the politicisation of policing. These are excuses, not reasons. Continue reading “Why you should vote in the police commissioner elections”
Healthcare – specifically, the future of the current president’s ‘Obamacare’ plan – is a major issue in the US election. As Barack Obama joked last week about Mitt Romney (reported by the Independent):
On Thursday 15 November, Chippy will get its first chance to vote for a police and crime commissioner, who for the next four years will have the ability to hire or fire the chief constable of Thames Valley Police. It is the largest non-metropolitan force in the country, covering nearly 2.3m people in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, and spending £371m this financial year. Our commissioner will be paid £85,000 annually, to be accountable for how crime is tackled in the three counties and to make the police accountable to the people they serve. Continue reading “Profiles of the Thames Valley police commissioner candidates”