The whole Chris Huhne/Vicky Price saga may be awkward for the Lib Dems, but maybe we all ought to reflect on what it says about us as a country. Is a lie more important if it made by someone in the public eye? Is being penalised for speeding not that serious? The RSA animate called The truth about dishonesty covers all this very elegantly, but in summary it suggests lots of little occasional lies by all of us have more of an impact than some continuous big ones by a small number of people
We are feeling perky at Cadence. It's not just the idea that spring may be on the way, with lighter nights and that strange big yellow round thing in the sky the other day. We're excited about some feeling that public policy debate is starting to re-emerge after a couple of years when it's been a bit obscured (justifiably or not) by all the austerity stuff ... more
Cadence Works will continue to develop projects that being together experts accross a wide range of public policy areas in 2013.
Current projects we are at the centre of are the Third Sector Cafe and Harland Works, both in Sheffield.
Please contact us if you want to hear about either.
Harland Works hosts. worskspace, event and a cafe and can be found on John Street, Sheffield.
Flexible desk space, offices, studios all in a friendly good value setting not far from the city centre ... more
Olympics, Euros, Wimbledon, Test Matches, Tour de France ... an armchair sports fan's ideal summer. Some of these events even offer the opportunity of some victories for British athletes and teams. But, does sport offer something to society beyond the excitement for spectators, a limited number of competitors and business 'partners'?
The election results in France, Greece and across Britain should perhaps be causing pause for thought about the cuts only approach to public policy that has held sway in the last couple of years.
Charities have suffered cuts when demand for their services is growing. Could a 3rd Sector stimulus package be the way to go for the Coalition or indeed in the now Labour dominated Sheffield City Council ... more
We promised news on exciting developments and are please announce phase 1- our Third Sector Cafe. Think coffee, cake and coming together with other third sector people aiming to survive and thrive in testing times. In partnership with @spikycomms and @harlandcafe in Sheffield ... more
Cadence are getting physical this year. In addition to our policy and research services we will be running a physical space that hosts businesses and events in our HQ city - Sheffield. It is an exciting development for us, which we see as a natural next step for a business that has always emphasised the part of place in policy ... more
If you say 2012 to many people their first thought will be of the Olympics. When we won them 7 years ago I think we all imagined that there would be a palpable sense of excitement as we approached the end of 2011, but that was in the days when we were being told the days of boom and bust were gone ... more
The local press in Sheffield are getting excited about the City Council spending £21K on a consultation exercise on the cuts (ideas for). The May 3rd 2012 referendum on whether to have a Mayor or not is provoking some debate too. It's a touchy subject in South Yorkshire due to Doncaster's experiences with their elected (night?) Mayors ... more
The plan tomorrow, as the schools are closed strike 1), was to take the children swimming, but the pool is closed (strike 2) too, perhaps a museum (strike 3) ... maybe not. Casting a somewhat envious eye over the whole concept of any pension at all, never mind a final salary and contemplating some cabin fever tomorrow, made us have a discussion about what this strike is really about. As with many disputes, the facts are not clear due to the liberal use of smoke and mirrors on both sides. We decided that neither the government or unions are very convincing as they are too busy arguing against each other ... more
At last! After 18 months of reading Coalition press releases that have left us feeling a little flat, today one that excites. The launch of a new 'Institute that aims to reduce health inequalities through action on the social determinants'. It's a small thing (£1m over 3 yrs), but still good to see it is on their radar. Anyone from Sheffield will have their eye caught by the 'closing the gap' phrase at it was something that Nick Clegg's Sheffield Lib Dems were firmly against in the past ... more
It is easy to argue that the current economic crisis dwarfs all other issues at the moment. But, if the Coalition neglects its commitments to the Big Society, localism and sustainability then the consequences of the global shifts on UK life will be even harder to handle ... more
Why are the governement proposing to halve the Feed in Tariff? On a day when new growth figures are released that suggest any policy that creates jobs and investment needs to be cherished, its hard, on the face of it, to fathom.
As an essentially optimistic business who tend to not go along with the idea that all decision makers/polticians are croooks and instead believe they are trying to make the UK a better place to live, this is a tough one. ... more
A great profile of Professor Danny Dorling by Martin Wainwright in the Guardian today. 30 books by the age of 43 is very impressive! Whenever we have collaborated with Danny it has always made the project more interesting ... more
I do not think the 'all in it together' phrase was used much at the Conservative conference last week. The response that lots of our clients have is 'yes, and some of us more than other' ... more
We are often asked 'what is it that you do'? An answer along the lines of public policy research and strategy projects can cause a number of reactions. Sometimes it results in a glazed look and no further questions or more often than not the question 'what is that you do'? is repeated.
The best way of answering is often to talk about real projects we are involved in and usually one of the areas we mention will interest our inquisitor. Dealing with cuts, commissioning, museums (yes museums), homelessness ... more
Even the Today programme's half past the hour sports slots could not ignore the news that Mark Cavendish is now the World Champion of road cycling. Here is a man who if he were Belgian or French would be the most famous person in either of those countries. His win and the boom in cycling of all sorts is a great sporting participation success story, but the are not many others as we approach 2012 ... more
It is fair to say that some of our public policy friends have not really twigged why and how museums can offer so much. Is anyone to blame for that? ... more
Once again the government is getting in a muddle in trying to square its different priorities. new planning regulations to encourage enterprise and recovery, versus localism and the big society. There is nothing more likely to bring a community together than an objection to a planning application ... more
For the summer holidays only! Cadence Works likes to observe a traditional works shutdown like many Sheffield companies did/do. For large steel works this offered an opportunity for maintenance and for us a chance to re-charge and prepare for a busy autumn ... more
BBC Home Editor Mark Easton's work does not get enough attention as far as we are concerned. He consistently takes a topic and looks at it in a way that brings further understanding and probably without phone hacking. Today he is looking at localism again and how George Osbourne's pledges on lower paid public sector last year turned out not to mean that much ... more
If a charity closes because it loses its funding it is a bit different to a private sector supplier who loses a contract. Many third sector organisations are very dependant on a few small sources of funding and cannot survive their loss. If they have to close they are likely to be gone forever, whereas a private organisation will suffer, but probably has more of a mix of income streams to see them through tough times ... more
The CBI are apparently not happy that David Cameron is not reforming public services in the way they hoped. They are talking about the 'forces of inertia' winning over ... more
Cadence Works are working in collaboration with Voluntary Action Leicestershire on research into the impact of public spending cuts on Third Sector organisations ... more
The Communities department Eric Pickles is sticking to his guns on localism. This week he is pushing Nottingham City Council with legal action if they do not publish details of all spending over £500. People in Northamptonshire might wish he'd been so keen to keep to the localist principles in mind when he decided to approve the disposal of low grade nuclear waste in a landfill in the county ... more
Ken Clarke got in a pickle with the figures about the relative benefits of community sentences and prison the other day. He still seemed to be making good points about the need for rehabilitation in prison and we hope the report in the Society Guardian caught his eye today. It talks about RAPT (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) and their 'intensive, abstinence-based approach to tackling prisoners' addiction' ... more
The media attention in the run up to election day is clearly on the voting system is referendum. Their attention might turn to the council elections when the results came in on Friday. All across the country a new set of councillors will be faced with trying to deliver some 'challenging' budgets. Nobody want to lose control of a town hall, but ... more
When economic growth was sluggish in the last quarter the government said it was due to the snow. Will they blame Easter and the Royal Wedding if the figures are bad again next time? ... more
The public sector has always struggled as a buyer. Paying well over the odds for paper clips and light switches tends to get the Mail enraged, but the problem is inevitably more complex than that. Anyone who bares the scars of filling in a local authority PQQ will have some inkling as to why things go wrong. The term 'fit for purpose' is the one that always create tension here in Cadence HQ ... more
Cadence have always liked the Audit Commission. It is a bit of an embarrassing admission to make though. To some people they typify the faceless, pen-pushing, target obsessed organisation that New Labour wasted money on and created the mess we are in at the moment. They should have closed up shop the other day, but now they look set to carry on for a while longer having been rescued from the Quango bonfire that just won't seem to burn as the Coalition had hoped ... more
Perhaps having the census as a bed time story was a bit unfair on the kids. We wanted them to understand why it mattered and also wanted to make sure it was their view of their nationality and religious belief that we captured. Professor Danny Dorling has made a good case for the census this week ... more
Was the Budget yesterday green? Well, not obviously when the rabbit out of the hat (see Steve Bell today) was a reduction in the tax on vehicle fuel. The delight on the Coalition front bench when this was announced did not sit easily with anyone who hoped the Lib Dems would bring some green sense to the government ... more
One of the cuts that the public sector might welcome would be to their data collecting budgets. Especially if it meant they had to do less of it. The trouble is that more often than not, what is done is it is collected, but not used ... more
Quite a startling article in the Society Guardian today about the volunteers of Plano, Texas, USA. Expect an invasion of Coalition advisors looking for Big Society ideas soon ... more
There is a real head of steam building up for cuts protests and saving the NHS. No doubt protests have their place, but is there an alternative to the current cuts proposals? If there is who is going to articulate it? ... more
These are difficult times. The cuts are stressful for many organisations and individuals. It would be easy to end up being grumpy about it all. We all shout at the radio sometimes (OK it is just us then). That does not really work when you are a charity working out how to not just survive, but thrive ... more
Rod Stewart said the 'first cut is the deepest' and that seems to be the case as the full impact of the CSR starts to bite in council budgets. In Rod's 1980s hey day there was plenty of agro between Labour Town Halls and the Tory government. Is it going to happen again? ... more
At an RSA event on Connected Communities there was as usual some interesting material presented. A couple of years ago the response might have been more enthusiastic, but the presenters had to stomach a few praise sandwiches ... more
In what may or may not be a co-ordinated move (sorted before Coulson left?) there are some friends suggesting a problem with the Big Society initiative. The PM's Director of Strategy and Red Tory and Cameron's 'muse' Phillip Blond are asking difficult quesitons. Is this the first sign of a tactical retreat? ... more
News today that the number of people working in the third sector reduced by 2% in the third quarter of 2010. Is this bad or good news? ... more
Billy Bragg name checked Sheffield in his 1996 song 'Northern Industrial Town'. At the moment a lot of Sheffield businesses seem to be closing down. Nearby old workshop style premises seem to be emptying and little cafes that supplied their workers are closing too. There also seems to be less traffic on the road too ... more
The coalition government is many things, but one thing it is not is boring. 2011 promises to be a very interesting year in the public policy world ... more
Stone to Steel is an interesting project we have just come across. Its part of the Steel Valley Project in the Upper Don Valley which has been going since 1988. Its essentially a countryside management project, but that does not do it justice, there is a lot to it ... more
Cadence Director Sophy Hallam is a co-author of a report that was published last week called Recovery from hope. The other author was ex-Director of the ex-Whitehall Innovation Hub, Su Maddock. Su had an article in Public magazine last week to coincide with a launch event that was not cancelled due to snow ... more
This is the title of a press release from HM Treasury. The government is asking for ideas to be sent in before 5th January 2011. They say they are particularly interested in ' shifting power away from central government to the local level - to citizens, communities, and independent providers, so that they can play a greater role in shaping services' ... more
There are reports of 40% reductions in local authority voluntary and community budgets over the next 4 years. There are lots of similar stories at the moment. This one is from Regeneration and Renewal and was highlighted by the fabulous 'Society daily' email. Cadence Works are working with organisations who are not just bracing themselves, but are trying to prepare ... more
No, this is not a story about coming out of recession. It is about a project that Cadence Works Director Sophy Hallam has been working on for the last year. Its about the Recovery process in relation to people experiencing mental distress. Sophy has written 500 words to mark the final report which will be published later this month ... more
Long term Cadence collaborator Professor Danny Dorling has teamed up with Sheffield College lecturer Carl Lee to do a series of films about inequality. They are great. Thought provoking and quite funny in bits too (not always intentionally) ... more
We take an optimistic view of the Big Society idea. It is at the stage that people and places might able to shape it the way they want to. There are other who worry that the emergence of BS during a period of huge cuts is more than a little suspicious. The news in Sheffield of 15% cuts to the VCF sector emphasises that there are grounds to be concerned ... more
The memorial service for Jan Wilson, ex-Leader of Sheffield City Council, was held at Sheffield Cathedral a few days ago ... more
The government has published a document called Building a Stronger Civil Society. It has 3 main bits: 1) it explains what it sees as the opportunities for the third sector 2) it explains what support they might offer 3) it initiates a consultation on the issues... more
Being on the PTA? Organising a running group? Asking some local youths to be a bit quieter? Are these examples of the BS in action? It could almost be a lame TV quiz show, of the sort that originates on Radio 4. Is it Big Society or is it BS? At the moment it seems that most people would answer this by saying "I'm sorry I haven't a clue" ... more
We have just put a bid in for some work on an interesting Children's Centre. It is thinking hard about what it does and how well it does it and how it can demonstrate its impact. This is not easy, but well worth doing ... more
The fuel for the Quango bonfire has been leaked. 177 organisations are to go and surely the Daily Mail will enjoy poking over the dying embers of the soon to be ex-hosts of all those fat cat, faceless, pen pushers. It is quite an amazing A-Z ... more
The RSA hosted 2020 Public Services Trust has released a final report. It is called From Social Security To Social Productivity: a vision for 2020 Public Services ... don't let that put you off too much, it's still worth a look ... more
Cycling is trendy. That may not seem remarkable to many people, but for some it is a bit of a shock. Are those who were into it before it became fashionable entitled to feel a bit annoyed? Cycling always tended to attract people who liked to go against the grain, how do they feel about Boris Johnson being on their side? What would the 1980s Conservatives and Margaret Thatcher thought about someone who cycled? She was not too impressed by people who caught the bus, even if her colleague Norman Tebbit thought people should get on a bike and look for work ... more
The schools are going back and the political resignations have begun. Summer must nearly be over. England did not win the World Cup, Murray did not win Wimbledon and cricket has just not been cricket. While trying to relax over the summer friends keep asking if we are 'alright'. Almost as as if we might be ill. What they mean is how are we faring in the face of a recession, change in government and spending cuts. We answer that we are fine, what else could we say? We have current projects and are bidding for new ones and developing ideas for other bits of work ... more
We were very sad to hear about the death of Jan Wilson in August. Karl shared an office with her for two years when he worked as an advisor to Jan at Sheffield City Council, when she was Leader. She was great to work with, very intelligent, witty, tough and incredibly hard working ... more
Schools along Abbeydale Road in Sheffield recently met up to talk about their neighbourhoods, as part of Cadence Works' Hoodie, goodie, buddy project. Sort of Films of Sheffield made a film about it. Click through to see the link to it.
Cadence recently did some work on making the business case for local government in relation to health. We used the example of health inequalities to tease out some of the issues, focusing on the environmental and social causes of them. It is therefore interesting to see the health white paper this week that suggests public health at least is going to become a local authority responsibility ... more
There is no disagreement that there needs to be cuts to public spending, but that is where the agreement stops. What to cut, when to cut it and why to cut are all areas of conflict across and within political parties, the media and institutions like think tanks. We have discussed here in the past the dangers of cutting without understanding which bits of a system help and which hinder. The new government, understandably, talks about cutting out the waste that the last government created. Nobody can argue with cutting waste, but defining what is waste is not easy ... more
Abbeydale Primary and Totley All Saints schools met up to day talk about their neighbourhoods, as part of Cadence Works' Hoodie, goodie, buddy project. Totley year 5s had done scrap books about their area and Abbeydale poems. They live at different ends of the same road, the Abbeydale Road corridor
Sheffield may have had a bad few days, with the 100 million of cuts announced last week still being digested. That is not to say that it is all doom and gloom, with it seeming to be a place where a lot of interesting thinking is going on at the moment ... more
While the coalition government approach to the Total Place initiative is not completely clear, there are signs the overall principles are supported. Many are not waiting for guidance from the centre and are getting on with projects that build on the TP approach and learning ... more
The 3rd sector has been renamed the Civil Society under the new government, or at least the Office for the 3rd Sector has been renamed. Is this important? Should we be changing the title of our recent 3rd sector scoping study in Leicestershire, or work on a TMO in Oldham? The name probably does not matter and we will have to wait to see what kind of change in emphasis occurs. There are some early signs of tensions between the pre-election commitments to localism ... more
People all around the world are watching our clips of young people and answering questions about what they saw and felt. The clips and survey are available at.
There are 4 versions of the clip and when you visit the site you only see one, randomly selected ... more
Who knows what the coaliton negotiations are covering policy-wise. Are they comparing and contrasting manifestos? Or are they addressing the key policy concerns of the public? Are they focusing on the areas that came up in the TV debates?
After this strange period normal politics will resume and MPs, new and old, will have to get back to surgeries and hearing about everyday problems in neighbourhoods
During a period of year on year increases in public spending a lot of projects might go ahead that would not have done so if resources were tighter. Lots of projects and intitiatives are going to end during a period of reduced spending. The election suggests that whoever is in power will not cut front-line services, whatever they are. How should one decide if a new project should go ahead? ... more
Policies have not been the focus of the current election. Today the Insitute for Fiscal Studies have got the focus on public finances and the lack of clarity around the cuts that will be needed. Some would argue that still has things the wrong way round, thinking what to cut, rather than what the vision is and how it can be achieved with the money available ... more
'Danny Dorling's new book exposes the unprecedented rises in inequality that put us on a par with Victorian society - and explains why they endure', according to the Guardian's Society section this week. It is an interestingly timed publication and one the main politcal parties should be asked thier view on. The cadence network Professor makes clear that deprivation has multiple factors and this is not necessarily accepted by all prominent party leaders ... more
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Place Strategy group that we presented our work on Total Place to were an impressive bunch. They managed the trick of analysing a new initiative in an open and informed way that highlighted a whole new bunch of questions that have not come up before ... more
Is Brtiain broken? It's the sort of question that tends to get asked in newspapers over a holiday weekend like Easter. Something to ponder over a chocolate egg perhaps. The Communities department of government thinks not and in a pre-purdah press release say that:
'New quality of life scorecards for every local authority that offer a unique insight into the state of the nation and challenge the notion that Britain is broken' ... more
The final report on the Total Place pilots has been released. The headline is the chance of a 'single offer' for the best performing areas. That area will get less money, but more freedom. That really puts the emphasis on delivering better for less ... more
CABE have published Urban green nation, which 'assembles the national evidence about the quantity, quality and use of publicly owned urban green space in England and ... examines the significant impact of local green spaces on people's health and well-being'. It all makes sense, but it is worth giving a thought as to whether we should fund parks because they are good for health (an instrumental benefit)? Or just because people like them and a rich country should be able to provide them for that reason alone (intrinsic)? ... more
Cadence have recently started 3 new pieces of work which refllect how our approach works across a number of different areas. One bit is looking at the implications of the Total Place initiative. We have been following TP since our work on innovation ... more
A packed house at Nesta yesterday for a ResPublica event, launching a new book by one of their Fellows, John Seddon. Seddon's book is a small collection of case studies showing how Systems Thinking has delivered 'more for less' in a few different public services ... more
Communities Secretary got a grilling today on the radio about local government cuts. A BBC survey has suggested that there will up to 25,000 job losses at councils in the next few years. Tony Travers of the LSE suggested it could be nearer 100,000.
John Denham stuck to his line that local authorities need to make efficiency savings before cutting front line services and suggested that Tory councils were taking the opportunity to make the cuts they had always wanted to make ... more
The BBC in South Yorkshire has done a survey of 500 people about the mayoral system in troubled Doncaster Council. They have found that 73% of people do not know who the Mayor is and that the majority would not vote for mayoral system in a referendum ... more
The unique skills and community benefits of the third sector must not be overlooked by councils looking to improve local public services, Communities Secretary John Denham said today.
Voluntary organisations and charities are overwhelmed with demand for their services, but funding cuts are making it hard for them to keep up, plan for the future and prove their true worth (Public magazine).
In the same Denham press release he adds:
"In the quest for leaner more efficient services we still need to find ways for councils to take advantage of the positive social outcomes the third sector provides." ... more
The idea of local authorities adopting a budget airline, no frills approach has been around for a year or so now and originates from Conservative controlled Barnet. It's been labelled easyCouncil and the image that conjures up is not exactly positive, particularly for anyone interested in making the business case for local government (Work Cadence are involved in for LGYH). A profile of the ex-Leader of Barnet in the Society section of the Guardian this week made good reading, because the shorthand has perhaps masked some of the more interestng features of the approach. While the 'relentless drive for efficiency' is what one might expect to see, the focus on families with multiple needs catches the eye. The article goes on to highlight some problems Freer faced as Leader that demonstrate that nothing is ever that easy in local government ... more
Professor Danny Dorling, University of Sheffield geographer and part of the Cadence Network wrote about a public policy success in education last week. Below is the full article.
The Higher Education Funding Council report on who is getting into universities reveals much more than is at first glance obvious. It shows that after years of effort children from poorer areas are going in growing numbers to university. Many more university places have been provided and in the last few years. For the first time ever recorded, the majority of those additional places have been taken up by children living in the poorer half of British neighbourhoods. This was achieved not at the expense of upper and middle-class children, who have also seen their chances improve. It occurred because of the way the education system as a whole has expanded and, most importantly as a result of massive increases in funding per child in state secondary schools in recent years ... more
Council taxpayers will be intolerant if told front lines services are being cut back when their local authority hasn’t made every effort to be as efficient as possible, Communities Secretary John Denham warned this week. He also said that councils shouldn’t ignore the social outcomes the third sector can provide such as jobs for the workless or better services, in the stampede the hunt down the cheapest deal ... more
The Whitehall Innovation Hub is launching a report called ‘Place- Based Innovation' in February 2010. Cadence have helped with this work over the last couple of years. Irene Lucas, Director General for Local Government and Regeneration and the report's authors will outline the main findings from the publication detailing why place based innovation is so significant at this present time. Professor Sue Richards, Director of the Sunningdale Institute, will host the launch ... more
The Home Office announced this week 'Pioneer communities sought for new neighbourhood agreements'. They want 'communities to step forward to lead the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour. Ministers are looking for ten trailblazing areas to pioneer Neighbourhood Agreements on community safety and justice between police, councils and residents. The Pathfinders will require police, councils and other agencies to agree service standards with local residents - and enable the residents to hold them to account'. So these places will be 'pioneers', trailblazers' and 'pathfinders' ... there is no mention of the 4th sector, but do the press offices watch the Thick of it, where they have parodied such initiatives and language
How does a decent snowfall change behaviour? It does seem to liberate adults to play with their kids. Sledging and snowballing are things the whole family can enjoy. People are walking who never normally do, are they enjoying it? For once children are allowed to play on the road. The Prime Minister has called for neighbours to look out for each other ... do they really need asking ... more
Over the festive season the media is full of reviews of the previous year, which morph into predictions for the coming year as the holiday progresses. Some revisit previous predictions and admit that their visions for the year were somewhat less than 20:20 ... more
Do surveys make any difference? Does making information available to citizens change behaviour? Does sending a letter to Santa work? The government's early Christmas present this year is the announcement of a new Civic Health report ... more
Cadence's Hoodie, goodie, project, funded by JRF is making good progess. The videos of the young people at the park bench are done and going live early in the New Year. The mapping work by Sheffield University (along London/Abbeydale road, Sheffield) is looking interesting and the emotion mapping has been done ... more
This week saw the announcement of the first new Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) scores. Previously local authorities were mainly marked on the performance of their own services, via the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA). As the Communities department puts it 'Comprehensive Area Assessment is a new tougher test for assessing the performance of local government. It also looks at how well all service providers are working together to deliver improvements across an area from crime reduction, housing and tackling recession, to regeneration, sustainability, and health'. The bit about 'how well all servies providers are working together' is the crucial point. If the CAA marks an area's fellowship then who are the ring holders? Are local authorities charged with the Frodo Baggins role? ... more
Copenhagen is good place to meet to talk about climate change. It is a city full of healthy stylish looking people riding around on bikes ... or rather blogs like Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Copenhagenize would have you believe that is the case ... more
Fictional minister Nicola Murray (Thick of it) is on the search for 4th sector pathfinders. DEFRA (not fictional) are currently looking to develop a blue corridor road map ... more
The Guardian public service awards have been announced today. The whole tone is that innovation is the key to 'coming period of belt-tightening'. The overall winner is a partnerhsip between Birmingham's council and PCT, where they gave out cards offering free use of civic sports facilities, in return for attending four time a month. The aim is to reduce health inequalities and is attracitng interest form those responsible for ensuring a London Olympic legacy of participation in sport ... more
An idea for sharing savings with community groups caught our eye recently. This comes from the current government and is based on some thinking done by the Young Foundation. The Guardian claims it is part of a move by the Labour party to 'reclaim community and voluntary movements as its territory'. ... more
In the news this week there have been reports of a shortage of social workers and an increase in applications to the army. The social worker problem was linked to the Baby P case in Haringey, the BBC coverage saying 'A growing number of social workers are leaving the profession following the Baby P case'. The army stories talked about the influence of Afghanistan ... more
A joint ippr/RSA event 'After the downturn' took place in Newcastle this week at the The Pukka Pie Arena or whatever St James' Park is called this week. Speakers John Tomaney, Deborah Jenkins, Sir George Russell all had interesting things to say, but it was Matthew Taylor of the RSA who shook things up. He descirbed the final report of the Commission on public sector reform 'a decent bit of work', but that it had a 'if only feel to it' ... more
ippr north has published the final report of the Commission on public sector reform in the North East. It is called Public service paradox ... more
This week saw our first emotion mapping workshop for the Hoodie, goodie, buddy project. It was fanatastic! Incredibly interesting and thought provoking. We are trying to take it all in and will provide info to participants soon and then give some feedback here on the website and the blog ... more
Is there such a thing as consultation fatigue? If there is then it is most commonly accepted to be something that people who are consulted might suffer from ... although there are plenty of public servants who say they are tired of consulting. In 2000 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (funders of our Hoodie, goodie, buddy project) said; 'Government regeneration strategies give increasing recognition to the importance of involving local people in the renewal and management of their own neighbourhoods. But the recent plethora of initiatives from departments is causing confusion in some communities and leading to 'consultation fatigue'... more
Cadence's Hoodie, goodie, project, funded by JRF is investigating how people's perceptions of other people's behaviour in their neighbourhood is or is not influenced by the way they tend to move around. Do car drivers catch a glimpse of youths hanging about and jump to the conclusion that they are seeing ASBO-desrving behaviour? Do people who mainly walk feel more threatened or less through closer contact? Has Brtiain's society partly become 'broken' because of the growth in car use and ownership ... more
There is a barber in Liverpool with a sign above his shop that says 'it'll look alright when it is washed'. How will local authorities look in a few years after their cuts? How are local authorities preparing for cuts in their budgets? How should they prepare and is there a smart way to make cuts? Should departments be selling themselves and making sure everyone knows what great work they are doing ... more
I hope that 'When you go to measuring my success that you don't count my money count my happiness'. Not President Sarkozy, Joseph Stiglitz or Richard Layard, but Knotty Ash's Ken Dodd who appears to have suggested in 1964 that measuring GDP alone was not the answer ... more
Whether Brown says the 'c' word (cuts) or not is obviously very exciting for political correspondants and opposition politicians. A few minutes looking at a pull-out in the Guardian this week showing all the goverment's spending suggests that the media's obsession is a bit late when some big cuts have already happended ... more
There seem to be two main public policy approaches emerging to deal with the recession and impending public spending cuts. One is optimistic, the other less so, or as someone once said to me 'less glass half full, more glass smashed on the floor and shards stuck in foot' ... more
Cadence's Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded Hoodie, goodie, buddy project included an innovative strand looking at perceptions of young people's behaviour depending on travel mode. If three kids in hoodies are messing about on a bench and someone drives past do they suspect anti-social behaviour ... more
Cadence tends to have a traditional Works shutdown during August. A number of the Cadence Network will be active doing work for clients, but the website will not have any new posts until September. We look forward to catching up in a few weeks time.
Public service reform goes on and now Tessa Jowell has this on her plate as well as the Olympics. The Guardian and particularly David Conn have written well about the potential sports particpation legacy of 2012. What will be the legacy of the public service reform work of recent years? ... more
If England (and Wales) win the Ashes and Bradley Wiggins the Tour de France what will it mean for the public services? That's the sort of mixed up question that can arise during the holiday period when policy people are trying to tune out of their work (coffee and deadlines) brains and into their vacation (ice cream and family tensions) brains ... more
The Clubs for Young People Blueprint for 21st century youth clubs is released this week and gets coverage in the Guardian Society section today. Cadence worked on this project over the last 18 months and while it is very much their version, we are pleased it is now out ... more
Cadence's Hoodie, goodie, project, funded by JRF, stemmed from an event about walking and cycling research. We found ourselves making the point that modal shift (cars to bikes and foot) may well have public health and environmental advantages, but there may be bigger less obvious community benefits. Could neighbourhoods with more street activity like walking and cyling (and children's play, for example) be places where young people hanging around on park benches is seen as a good thing, rather than a threat ... more
Consultation events notes for the Sheffield VCF Review have been made available... more
The RSA's 2020 Public Services Trust has started to publish papers. One of the first is a Brief history of public service reform and it is a good read. It is one of three papers under the banner of 'scoping the challenges'.
It outlines what they call a new settlement ... more
'Councils embrace risky play' and 'Children being 'raised in captivity', warns psychologist' are two of the articles in this months Play England round up of what's hot in play. Cadence welcome the profile these thoughts are getting ... more
The new Communities and Local Government Secretary John Denham has pledged to 're-examine the relationship between central and local government as part of the Government's drive to renew Britain's democracy and restore trust in the political system at every level'.
Consultation events for the 2009 Sheffield VCF Review have been announced - dates and venues are available ... more
Just before Gordon Brown became Prime Minister he announced plans for a youth centre in every neighbourhood. This became a centre in every constituency and now it looks like it has changed again with an announcement on the myplace fund ... more
The Government has announced the creation of an Innovators Council,which aims to 'fast-track ideas generated by frontline staff and citizens to deliver better and more efficient services'. Sounds like a good idea, but some might ask whether it is a bit ironic that the arbiters of front-line innovation will be a group of high level executives? ... more
Sheffield City Council have released a press release announcing the review of the VCF sector in the city it says:
SHEFFIELD'S voluntary, faith and community organisations are to be asked what they want to see change to make their sector more effective.
Sheffield City Council is working in partnership with Voluntary Action Sheffield, the Open Forum for Economic Regeneration (OFFER), CLASSY - the consortium of local advice centres, Sheffield Black and Minority Ethnic Network and NHS Sheffield, to commission an independent review of the city's voluntary, community and faith sector.
Local experts Cadence Works and ippr North, the regional policy think tank, are to carry out this review ... more
Success in reducing car dependency is a phrase you do not hear very often. Reduced car use and increased cycling and walking is what Sustrans are saying happened in three towns in England taking part in a 'smarter choices' project. Cadence's Hoodie, goodie, buddy project looks at the potential wider effects of transport mode choice, whihc are important to understand if more towns manage significant modal shift ... more
Cadence are working on a review of Sheffield’s Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector Infrastructure. It is an interesting and important piece of work and involves consultation with a wide range of stakeholders ... more
Last week the DfT launched their consultation on the vision, targets and measures for improving road safety in Great Britain beyond 2010. This week has also seen coverage of the Government's Equalities Bill, which has implications for departments like the DfT ...
In a recent speech by Chris Grayling, Conservative Shadow Home Secretary, he said that 'Changing what we have called the broken society will be a long and difficult process. But one step we can take quickly is to go to war on antisocial behaviour' ... more
The Department for Communities and Local Government have announced a new initiative aimed at giving a bigger role for communities in inspiring young people. It is a response to the joint Social Exclusion Taskforce/Communities and Local Government/DCSF short study into the 'aspirations and attainment of young people in deprived communities' published in December 2008 ... more
Cadence's, JRF funded, Hoodie, goodie, buddy project seems to strike a chord with people working in a number of areas. The RSA's Connected Communities project is an interesting and good example that aims to 'explore how social capital and social networks can be better understood and used to deliver the communities we want and need' ... more
The launch of PwC and ippr’s new Smarter State programme this week pitched Michael Gove (Conservative, Shadow DCSF) against Liam Byrne (Cabinet Office) against each other in the Institute of Materials, in London. There was plenty of light hearted banter about these two being the big brains, but rather a disappointing lack of materials material, considering the location. One clear point of agreement was that a smarter state would be smaller. Another shared view was that more power to innovate should go to the front line ... more
During Cadence's work on youth provision, play and youth justice sensible people have often reminded us that youth have been seen as a problem throughout history. They often refer to newspaper articles from 100 years ago. Today psychologist and TV presenter Tanya Byron trumps them all with a reference to youth problems in Egypt 6,000 years ago ... more
The Government published their latest public service reform document this week. There is some interesting stuff in there, but Cadence contacts who attended the launch were not convinced Gordon Brown's heart was really in it ... more
There are some fears that the recession endangers innovative approaches to public service delivery. Matthew Taylor of the RSA makes the opposing point well this week in his must-read blog ... more
Innovation, personlisation, humanisation, choice, tailored to the individual. Different audiences will differ in what these terms do and do not mean, but a new initiative to offer medical check ups at Premiership football grounds launched today definitely more than ticks some of these boxes ... more
Hunslett in Leeds has a great club for young people. The staff are committed and entrepeneurial. Soon there may be another big club, funded by Myplace, about a mile away ... more
What would you like to change? is a great website done by Price Waterhouse Coopers. It features videos where people say, unsurprisingly, what they would like to change ... more
The RSA now hosts a new think tank called the 2020 Public Services Trust. Cadence Works attended their seminar this week on local partnership working between public bodies, with the recent focus of our work on locality innovation of the Whitehall Innovation Hub in mind.
It kicked off with a presentation by the Leader of Nottingham City Council ... more
The Audit Commission has just launched its report on positive activities for young people. It highlights the fact that investing in positive things for young people to do is good for young people, their communities and the public purse strings too: £50k invested in providing positive activities for a young person can save £200k costs ... more
Walking past boarded-up houses and litter on the way to school can have a devastating effect on children's behaviour and exam results says a report featured in The Guardian today. Is this the sort of thing that soon to be President Obama understands? ... more
A friend of Cadence works on customer insight for the Government. Recently they sent through a link to the Cabinet Office's Delivery Council which is responsible for 'co-ordinating cross-government activity to drive citizen and business centred services'.
There are lots of interesting documents, many labelled carefully with 'this is a working paper and not the Government's policy'... more
A recent project between the Social Exclusion Task Force, DCSF and CLG says 'Young people in certain types of neighbourhood are less likely to develop high aspirations. These neighbourhoods tend to have high levels of deprivation ... more
On the first day of the year when work is unavoidable, for those people still lucky enough to have a job, a headline like the one above, is well ... depressing. On the other hand if you read the article things are not so clear cut ... more
Cadence wishes all our clients and network a prosperous 2009.
More news on Cadence projects and context for our research and policy work will be here in the new year including updates on ... more
'Many of today's targets fail because they are set by people remote from what customers want' says a Jeremy Cox of Vanguard Consulting in an article in the Guardian's Society section today. He also suggests that there is no correlation between the services that councils provide and their ratings. Cadence Works' research work on innovation in public services would tend to support this view ... more
'The leading cause of childhood injury and death is road crashes, which kill 260,000 a year globally and injure about 10 million'.
'Children from poorer families are far more likely to die or be harmed than their better-off counterparts', according to the WHO.
'The poorer children have not shared equally in the progress of the last 20 years'.
This is not news, but is reported as news regularly by newspapers who sometimes behave in ways that suggest their readers are like goldfish ... more
The Institute for Government has published its first research report. Performance Art is broadly about improving public services, but with a strong focus on PSAs and LAAs. It argues that the death of performance management and targets in Central Government have been wildly exaggerated ... more
The YMCA in Bridgwater, Somerset, has been successful in a bid to the myplace fund. Cadence worked on a play strategy for the local authority and held a consultation at the current YMCA building, so we were pleased to see this announcement ... more
The idea that 'when the facts change, I change my mind' (John Maynard Keynes) may or may not being coming in to play during the current debate about the pros and cons of the change in VAT. Opposition party responses to the 2.5% reduction have been broadly along the line that it won't help - which is not an unreasonable view. Strangely, though, the Conservative Party in particular is absolutely convinced that a 1% increase would be catastrophic - a 'bombshell' indeed.
It would be a mistake to try to learn too much from such a typical British-style political spat, but it does perhaps provide a little insight into why introducing innovation into government processes can be so frustrating ... more
2,940 people died in 2007 on the UK's roads, but more than 3,000 die each day on the world's roads. The UK has been successful in reducing road deaths and injuries over the last few decades, so perhaps developing countries, where 90% of the casualties occur, could learn from the UK ... more
If it was not for the word 'infested' this could be a positive headline. During Cadence's consultation on children's play in Somerset someone said that 'the message to children and young people, from adults, about their place in the public realm is very confusing - they want them away from the TV and Playstations, but not playing outside near their homes'. It always seemed a succint way of capturing the current confusion in the public discourse about the youth of today. The person who came up with this quote worked for Barnardo's and it is their survey that found that 35% agreed with the proposition that 'nowadays it feels like the streets are infested with children'... more
Donald Rumsfeld's famous "unknown unknowns" phrase got an airing on a Radio 4 discussion about politicans and uncertainty on Sunday. The point being made was that politicians are not allowed to admit they don't know something: the public demand certainty from them. Baronness Estelle Morris ... more
Last weeks Cabinet Office report on social mobility has caused a stir. There is a feeling that the way it was spun to the newspapers lead to a focus on only a small part of the evidence. Or as Danny Dorling puts it in a Compass article - 'Do 3 points make a trend?'... more
The Home Office backing an intiative to develop new and innovative design solutions to 'help prevent robbery, to crime-proof hot new gadgets and to embed public safety in the design of new public spaces and housing'. It will focus on crime problems that particularly affect young people. This is interesting to us in the context research proposal looking at the relationship between mode of transport and perceptions of young people's behaviour ... more
If Obama becomes President one of his biggest problems will be attempting to deal with the huge weight of expectation that has grown during the campaign. He might do well to look to the UK, where an enormous number of people feel who were very excited in 1997, now feel diappointed with Labour's impact. One area where progress in the UK has not met expectation is social mobility.
Cadence collaborator Professor Danny Dorling has done a lot work in this area and pointed us towards the new Cabinet Office Report released today, that suggests that it 'might start to rise in the future'... more
The Work Foundation's recent work on public value is interesting. We like their idea of public services 'hitting the target, but missing the point' ... more
This week the Government released a press release saying that record number are now doing PE and school sport. This is a success story, but does it have anything at all to do with the Olympics? ... more
With high profile Premier League football teams' sponsors going bust or being bailed out (if there is a difference between those two events) the implications of the credit crunch on sport have already been highlighted in the media. There has also been some discussion of how the 2012 Olympics will need to be cheaper/nationalised/smaller. More worrying is that it sounds like the financial crisis is also offering the opportunity for the planners of the Games to wriggle out of their commitments to grassroots sport and increased participation ... more
Cadence's work on public service innovation has involved some thought around how the full involvement of users and front line workers might work. This is in some ways a response to the generally accepted view that the days of centrally determined targets and processes are numbered. While the current focus of the banking crisis is very much on how naughty the bosses of banks have been in lending to people and organisations who were too risky, there will come a time when we all have to look at ourselves and recognise our own roles in creating this situation.
Is it time for a return for the days when those who wanted a loan or mortgage had to make an appointment to see their local bank branch manager? ... more
As football commentators like to put it, it was déjà vu all over again with the Guardian’s recent article ‘Pedestrian road deaths linked to deprivation’. A not dissimilar headline to the 2002 article that said ‘Road death risk higher for deprived children’. Has anything changed? ... more
At last! Someone has re-created the seminal 1969 Appleyard and Lintell San Fransisco study in the UK. The original study found that 'the weight of traffic in urban areas largely determined people's quality of life and also identified a major erosion of community on busy streets'. More ...
Learning from the private sector is something that the public sector is often urged to do. This normally means something about efficiency getting results, the inference is that the public should be more like the private. It's not just the CBI who say this kind of thing, organisations like the Local Government Association quite happily put out press releases saying 'Councils can learn from best in private sector'. The current global financial uncertainty/crisis must have lessons too, but perhaps more about what not to do.
Cadence has taken an interest in the role of incentives in promoting innovation and it does seem that the banking industry has been very keen on the use of cash bonus incentive systems in recent years ... more
The Government's Acadamies initiative has always been controversial, largely because of the nature of some of the sponsors, particularly those with their 'Christian ethos'. What has perhaps been lost in the media coverage has been that their overall aim is to to try and create distincitive, innovative schools in more deprived areas that the more aspirational local families choose as oppose to travelling to higher performing schools in more affluent neighbourhoods. That might explain why one of the most quintessentially Blairite policies has not been axed by Gordon Brown, even if innovation in many cases has been restricted to having fancy buildings.
The start of the 2008-09 Academic Year sees a whole new raft opening including the RSA sponsored Academy in Tipton in the West Midlands which sounds like it really is innovative ... more
A BBC report on Loughborough University research has suggested that, 'an over-emphasis on competitive team sports in schools is being blamed for "marginalising" the wider efforts to promote physical exercise'.
The Government say they are 'bemused' ... more
The first Hearing for the Blueprint for structured community youth work in clubs takes place this week. An interesting selection of experts will give evidence on what they think makes a great club. This follows coverage of research into the relationship between ASBOs and clubs ... more
Great performances by Nicole Cooke and Rebecca Adlington in the first few days of the Olympics. The Cooke victory was particularly impressive and gritty. But, will these Golds do anything to increase female participation in cycling and walkking? History suggests not ... more
Innovation, innovation everywhere, but what to think? Ex-Head of Policy and Strategy at No.10 and now Chief Exec of the RSA, Matthew Taylor, is a big thinker and says in his recent blog that he has 'spending time recently with some amazing social innovators' ... more
The reports of the apparent rise in extreme youth violence which have been highlighted in recent months is creating a lot of anxiety. Channel 4's series on the subject, Louise Casey's proposals and Imperial College's rejection of Majid Ahmed all contribute to an atmosphere of panic and outrage. Here Jeremy Cushing of the Cadence Network gives his personal view, with references to the role of inequality and restorative justice ... more
Today's announcement of the Youth Crime Action Plan coincided with Hazel Blears launching a search for role models to inspire Black boys. It's not clear whether this was intentional, probably not, but both are relevant to Cadence's work on a Blueprint for community based youth work.
These two bits of news appear to link to another recent story, namely the resignation of Ray Lewis, Boris Johnson's Deputy. Was/is Ray Lewis perhaps the sort of role model the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government might be searching for? ... more
The Prime Minister has announced that he wants 'World Class Public Services'. He says for that for that to happen, 'means unlocking the creativity and ambition of public sector workers to innovate and drive up standards in partnership with service users', which fits very well with Cadence's recent work in this area ... more
The fact that the loss of personal details of 25 million people was 'entirely avoidable' tells us something about the difficulty in promoting innovation, when getting the basics right can prove to be so difficult. How can we ask government departments to be more innovative when their basic systems for data security are said to be 'woefully inadequate'?
Cadence's work on innovation has been looking at how systems can be improved by tapping into the knowledge of front line workers (and users!) and creating the conditions and incentives for them to innovate ... more
A former Entrepreneur of the Year winner has said, 'that significant parts of the civil service are broken' and that 'the machinery of government is not even in the 20th century, never mind the 21st century.' Some people might not understand why this is in newspaper ... more
When is an Eco Town a Healthy Town? Well probably when a local authority employs a good bid writer and as a result they get bit of cash for each initiative. The Department of Health are inviting bids to a new £30 million Healthy Communities Challenge Fund. Which spread over 3 years and the whole of England perhaps is not so exciting after all ... more
The Government has announced new guidance on CRB checks for volunteers. It aims to take action on the potential for red tape to act as a barrier to volunteering. Cadence welcome this as this is a real issue in a number of areas we work like sport, play and youth policy ... more
Cadence Works have said that one form of innovation for public services would be for actions and policies to be reactive to problems defined by users and front line workers. Too much effort goes into consulting on solutions to the wrong problem.
Patient Opinion is currently doing a good job of collecting opinions on health care and ensuring that the insitutions involved get to hear good and bad. The question for us is how do we move from counting opinions to making opinions count? ... more
Recent reports say that the number of ASBOs issued has reduced significantly since Brown took over from Blair. What has not changed so much is the percentage of ASBOs that are breached. What does this mean? Well, it might suggest that there are still not enough places to go and things to do for young people ... more
Cadence Network member Gordon Macnair gives a view following the recent election and says 'democratic accountability may feel hollow to a local politician when, reading the national press, it is clear that the commentariat see local elections solely as referenda on national government. Maybe that, the fact that council tax pays only for some 15% of local expenditure, and the steady drain of local autonomy to the centre explain the dismal level of policy debate at local level ... more
One of Gordon Brown's responses to his recent local election disaster is to hint that he will veto charges on domestic waste collection and delay fuel duty rises in the Autumn.
In the USA Hillary Clinton is promising a fuel tax 'holiday' for voters in Indiana in her race to be Democrat candidate.
It appears that moves to protect the environment are still a luxury of a booming economy and positive poll ratings. When the going gets tough the green taxes get going ... more
The Government by convention restrict their policy announcements during the local election period - purdah. This leaves slim pickings for organisations like us who like to highlight policy announcements and debate ... more
Over the last 10 years every so often a report comes out by a think tank saying that elected Mayors are a good idea. 'There is a growing body of evidence to support the contention that mayors have enhanced and overseen improvements in local authority performance', says the most recent ippr report.
Cadence agree, but Tony Blair was keen and made no real progress during his time in power and Gordon Brown has shown no appetite for meaningful local government reform ... more
My place will provide £190m of Government cash over the next three years with grants of between £1m and £5m.
This follows the announcements made by Ed Balls over the last year and is a very welcome start. Cadence's work with Clubs for Young People on a Blueprint for structured community youth works in clubs will hopefully play an important part in ensuring such investment has a lasting benefit ... more
Whether the Government will come to regret the use of the term 'eco town' remains to be seen, but it is interesting to see that a wide range of groups have picked up on the potential for the transport element of the initiative to be problematic. The Local Goverment Association hit the nail on the head when Sir Simon Milton said 'It's no use building carbon neutral, environmentally-friendly houses if they are in the middle of nowhere with no facilities so that people have to drive miles to buy a loaf of bread or take their kids to school'... more
Recent stories of swinging politicians are more likely to induce a Nick Clegg(over) joke rather than admiration, but Ed Balls and Andy Burnham's enthusiastic leaping on to a swing seems to have gone down well everywhere. They were launching a consultation on a national play strategy ... more
Sheffield's aspiration for its very own version of the Angel of the North in some ways demonstrates some of the confusion between promoting culture and promoting creative industries. The 2 Toms, of the local go magazine, have been pushing the idea of turning the Tinsley Cooling Towers, beside the M1 and Meadowhall, into a huge piece of public art. This is a great, not new idea, but their success in getting publicity has had one definite impact - the current owners E.ON are definitely going to carry out the long term threat to knock them down.
E.ON are reportedly giving £500,000 for a piece of public art to take their place near the proposed new biomass power station and local MP Richard Caborn has suggested a steel football and no this is not being posted on April 1st ... more
'Ban the hood for good!'
'Is it time to let children play outdoors once more?'
'Young people today ... actually, they're great'
3 articles from the weekend newspapers giving a different view of young people demonstrating the usual conflict that Cadence Works has come across every time we have been involved in consultation on open space and play. One consultee in Somerset summed it up beautifully 'the message to young people, from adults, about their place in the public realm is very confusing - they want them away from the TV and Playstations, but not playing outside near their homes' ... more
The Government's new innovation paper has some interesting public service innovation elements. A new Whitehall Innovation Hub catches the eye in particular, as does the Audit Office plan to look at how risk is addressed in relation to innovation.
Fans of Yes Minister will have a field day with such a paper (extending the 'power to innovate'!) and there is always the fear that when governments start writing strategy creativity and innovation are at great risk. A recent round table suggested that Grade 7 civil servants need targeting as it as that level that ideas stall, a course called Grade 007 - 'a license to innovate' would work? ... more
'In any civilised society access to high-quality public space should be a fundamental human right. Everyone should be able to see a tree from their window. Everyone should have a doorstep they can sit on. Every home should be within five minutes' walk of a bus stop and a place for children to play. Everyone should live within 10 minutes' walk of a really good public space' says Richard Rogers and Cadence agrees ... more
Amongst other things the Budget was billed as a 'boost to housing' by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Secretary of State Hazel Blears said 'I welcome this budget - it will help us support peoples aspiration to own their own homes and ensure communities are built in a way that will protect the environment for future generations'.
The budget follows Natural England's announcement this week of their Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard (ANGSt) model which says: That no person should live more than 300m from their nearest area of natural greenspace of at least 2 ha in size.
Whether the new Housing and Communities Agency will take this on board when it aims to help councils build millions of new homes is an interesting question ... more
Minister for Transformational Government (that's not a made up job title), Tom Watson, announced a 'new standard to raise the bar for public services' this week. The Customer Service Excellence (CSE) standard is interesting as it aims to be a a practical tool that helps public services be more responsive to people's needs. Another of the Minister's responsibilities, as if transformational government was not enough to keep anyone busy, is the National School of Government, who Cadence have been doing work for on public service innovation and Cadence wonder whether the obvious links between these two areas of work are fully appreciated ... more
Make Me a Criminal: Preventing youth crime is the latest in a series of ippr reports on young people that have caught the eye. Cadence Network member, Jeremy Cushing, says it is 'fascinating' and 'much more open about the reasons for youth offending than government reports'. Here he gives his personal take on it as someone who has been an 'appropriate adult' for a number of years ... more
England footballer Michael Owen says: "We all know that kids don't take as much exercise as they used to. When I was young, my mum was quite happy to let me go outdoors on my own but she'd think twice about it now because the streets are no longer as safe. I certainly wouldn't be keen to let my kids go to the park on their own. So kids tend to stay at home much more and watch TV ... more
The idea of shared space on our streets is getting more and more coverage. When street furniture is reduced behaviour is much more reliant on eye contact, nods and little waves between vehicle drivers and pedestrians. Many argue that this reduces accidents, but does it make us safer in other ways too ... more
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the high-pitched electronic device, 'Mosquito', designed to disperse groups of youngsters is "a sad example of an indiscriminate and knee-jerk response to a perceived problem, which only deals at best with symptoms, not causes"... more
Cadence welcomes the new Culture Secretary's view that 'The creative industries must move from the margins to the mainstream of economic and policy thinking' ... more
Ken Livingstone welcomes his freedom to sack or take to task staff who don't deliver - a key flexibility, he says in today's Guardian, he adds its necessary to get things done. This says a lot about the difference between the Mayoral model and traditional local government structures, the article suggests Ken has been won over, but then you would be if you the one with the powers ... more
Big works of public art are in the news, with talk of an Angel of the South and the usual arguments about what is or is not art. Most people in the North delight in people like Brian Sewell's dislike of Gateshead's Angel, it's sort of a perverse verification. Not all commissions are as successful as the Angel, but that does depend how you define success. Is the fact that lots of people like it enough ... more
It seems as though the athletics world is ganging up on Dwain Chambers and trying to demonise him. There is an over romantic view of sport sometimes and people like him are bad for business, because that's what it is business and action only happens when money is the issue ... more
Cadence Works attended a seminar on some interesting scoping work carried out for CABE Space on the relationship between quality of life and quality of public space. Not surprisingly one of the conclusions of the work was that more research is required ... more
Play is certainly enjoying a profile it's never had before at the moment. The Conservatives review of childhood is recommending measures to tackle the fact that the outdoors is 'hostile' to children. The most eye catching idea is bringing back park keepers, which is interesting as it has been reported as though the authors have not noticed the recent appearance of Play Rangers who are being funded by the local authorities and the BIG Lottery Children's Play Initiative ... more
Ben Rogers of ippr says we need to know more about examples of innovation. He mentions Kent County Council and the Design Council, which will feature in work Cadence Works are just starting for the National School of Government ... more
CIDS and Cadence Works have been succesful in a bid to develop a Creative Industries Strategy for Derbyshire County and Derby City Councils. Previous DCMS Minister James Purnell came up in the interview ... more
NICE have announced their first guidance on how the environment could be planned to tackle obesity ... more
Innovation is in the news this week and Cadence Works are doing more work in this area for the National School of Government . We were interested to hear that "Moving up to the next level, however, from good enough to excellent, will require completely new thinking that will challenge the way Whitehall works" according to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham... more
Cadence Works and Sheffield University have been awarded a contract to carry out analysis of Living in Wales Survey data. We are looking at links between volunteering, quality of life and sustainable travel ... more
Cadence Works are putting the finishing touches to a joint EPSRC research proposal: Re-connecting people and place - The Role of Walking and Cycling in Creating Sustainable Communities ... more
A productive festive season for Jeremy Cushing of the Cadence Works Network leads him to say, "The Children’s Plan is a giant grab-bag of worthy ideas, many of which, if implemented, would do real good" ... more on Jeremy's view
There was great news this week for the many Play Partnerships who had applied to the BIG Lottery ... more
Limeside Primary School in Oldham is 'outstanding' according to a recent Ofsted inspection. The school hosted Cadence's Business@School enterprise project ... more
Children should start school later, suggests ippr Director, Lisa Harker when commenting on the new Children's Plan. Cadence agree that formal learning should be delayed and play should be taken more seriously ... more
A good week for some of Cadence's clients and areas of interest this week with millions going into play and cycle routes ... more
ippr says that greater investment in playgrounds and clubs such as scouts and cadets could reduce offending by giving youngsters something constructive to do, while ASBOs can be seen as something of a badge of honour ... more
Voting has opened for the people's 50 million lottery giveaway. Cadence's work for Sustrans makes us biased, but it is the only national project ... more
There is some suggestion that the Government are about to change their approach to driving up participation in sport... more
The Investigation, a Radio 4 programme, this week suggested that there is no impending 'obesity epidemic' ...more
Gordon Brown's first big speech on the environment suggested that the UK's emission target of a 60% cut by 2050 could be increased to 80%. The responsisbility to deliver this target will largely devolve to local government. Are they up to the job? ... more
A Cadence collaborator has relocated to Delhi to work on transport policy, which is quite a job. He emailed this week to ask if we had any ideas about how to promote cycling ... more
Two views in one week - According to the Government "the regeneration of cities such as Sheffield, Leeds and Hull have made these cities barely recognisable from the 1980s when jobs and opportunities were few and far between". But, a think tank report says, "over the last 10 years, and despite a doubling in funding levels, the very
cities that have received these record levels of funding have fallen further behind ... more
The National School of Government have just published a report on Social Innovation, featuring 10 case studies, of which Cadence have written 3. The report coincided with a conference with keynote speakers Ed Miliband and Gus O'Donnell ... more
An announcement of a "Probe into housing 'unfairness'" by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is a hopeful sign ... more
David Cameron's essay into immigration policy comes at a time when both main parties are aware of public anxiety on the subject, says Jeremy Cushing, part of the Cadence Network. He suggests that inequality and housing are more pressing, but associated problems that need addressing ... more
The way the media covered play expert Tim Gill's new book, "No Fear", about risk and childhood was instructive this week. Some picked up on his view that bullying is exaggerated ... more
Professor Danny Dorling was on Radio 4's Today programme again talking about a new North South dividing line. It suggests that Nottingham is in the North and that Robin Hood was a Northerner ... more
This week’s Foresight report on obesity got a bit overshadowed by Ming Campbell’s resignation. That was a shame as for the first time the debate moved on beyond burgers and turkey twizzlers …. more
Cadence have just secured a contract to carry out some research for the ICT Hub on accessing funding for investment in ICT for the voluntary and community sector... more
It seems a bit unfair to criticise Jamie Oliver for the fact that kids don't want to eat healthier food. Headlines like ‘Kids 'Sick' Of Healthy School Meals' and ‘Children find Jamie Oliver's school food hard to swallow, say inspectors' appear to give that impression. Diet is an important determinant of health, but chips never seemed to do Alf Tupper - The Tough of the Track any harm.... more
Cadence have just spent 2 days at Substance's 'Beyond Engagement' conference and it was time well spent. The participation of people like Olympic Gold Medal winner Darren Campbell on role models and drugs or Chair of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen project Mike Trace on what makes a good project, the whole event had.. well, substance... more
On Wednesday Cadence will be discussing the contribution that enterprise can make to young people with the delegates of Substance's annual conference. The theme this year is ... more
The pictures of the queues of people outside Northern Rock branches make good examples of how the nature of the urban environment can influence the quality of all kinds of everyday experiences .... more
cadence are looking forward to presenting at the upcoming substance conference ‘beyond engagement’. "From crack den to dragon’s den" is quite a billing for our talk, but gives an opportunity to talk about how setting up a business can appeal to young people ... more
Boris Johnson's Mayoral candidacy should be good news for utility cycling, something Cadence support through our work and personal habits. Here's a man who rides in London in his suit ... surely no better advert for the bike as the best of way of getting around the City. But, there is a hitch, becuase Boris' eccentricity lets people off the hook. Of course Boris cycles - he's mad! ... more
cadence have been helping Sustrans develop the idea of Play Routes. Recently information was sent to all English local authorities and it has generated a great deal of interest. All the play strategy consultations cadence has been involved in have picked up on the importance of cycling and walking .... more
The Institute for European Environmental Policy has published a piece of work that cadence welcome suggesting a link between obesity and increased car use and decreased walking and cycling. This sounds sensible and a welcome contribution to a debate that is too often dominated by the role of diet. But, fan as cadence are of moves to make cycling and walking more attractive and safer, there is still a part of the obesity debate that nobody appears to want to get their teeth in to ..... more
Research recently reported by doctors from King's College London has revealed a possible link between asthma and obesity. According to the research cells in the lungs of asthmatics produce not only proteins that cause the condition but also others that are known to increase appetite... more from James Rimmer
The Tour de France's incredibly successful visit to London seemed to go unnoticed by Gordon Brown's new Government, amazing considering it went spectacularly past his new front door at Number 10. The fact that over 2 million people enjoyed the race means that at least you can't blame the people who did the marketing and it was of course a triumph for Mayor Ken. Some of the British press initially seemed more interested in the fact that Ken can't ride a bike ... well that's one thing potential candidate Boris clearly beats him on ... but in the end the coverage was overwhelmingly positive and cadence family and friends enjoyed a great day out in Hyde Park ... more
Friend of Cadence and Sheffield University Professor Danny Dorling has been prominent in the media this week following the release of a new Joseph Rowntree report on poverty ... more
Where does the ability to be an entrepreneur come from? A discussion piece that Sophy co-authored for the magazine Life in the Day earlier in 2007 ...
Honeymoon periods can be cruelly short when a long-standing number two takes over the top job. If Gordon Brown has any doubts about this he should take a look how little time it took for, new England Football Manager, Steve McClaren, to be unfavourably compared with his predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson ... more from this piece that appeared in Whitehall and Westminter World ...
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