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Archive for June 21st, 2010

Do you remember the debacle regarding colleges and their capital budgets £170 million….  Sadly Mark Haysom fell on his sword. This is how the BBC reported it.

….anyway, the Skills and Life Life Long Learning Minister John Hayes has just rode into town!!

Further Education Colleges will today be given the opportunity to bid for a share of £50 million for building projects.
Around 150 colleges who have yet to benefit from the capital programme will each receive approximately £225,000 under a £30 million Renewal Grant – bringing real benefits to the learning and training of young people.
A further £20 million will be made available to colleges through an Enhanced Renewal Grant. Colleges will have the opportunity to add to their Renewal Grant, by bidding to build their total allocation to £1 million. Colleges will be expected to attract additional private finance, providing final projects of significant value.

Read the full press release

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Analysis by Shelter shows that for every pound cut from public investment in housing, the wider economy will take a hit of at least £3.50.

As the Treasury prepares to announce deep spending cuts across government, Shelter is warning that £610 million of funding for new homes this year is at risk.

This, coupled with the £150 million of cuts to housing announced by the Chancellor in May, will mean 12,625 less homes built, 19,000 job losses and a cost of £2.7 billion to the economy.

Campbell Robb, (remember Campbell?  formerly of NCVO, then the Cabinet Office …. the chaps done well for himself) …. I digress…. Chief Executive of Shelter, said: ‘On top of the 1.8 million households on waiting lists and the million children in overcrowding who desperately need new homes, this research also shows how crucial house building is to our economy, providing vital jobs and economic growth.
One of the many risks is that a reduction in house building will ensure that the price of existing stock continues to rise.. resulting in the return of the old cycle……

NO! I did not say Boom and Bust (you really are too pushy)….; but I will concede Boom.


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Last week (16th June) we saw the first meeting of homelessness ministers from eight Government departments. This was set up by the Prime Minister  to step up action to help the homeless.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced plans to overhaul the system for measuring homelessness and agreed changes will come into effect from 2011

Current rough sleeping count of 464 (2009) includes information from the 76 LAs who conducted a formal street count between January 2008 and May 2009. The majority of LAs (278) DID NOT carry out a count as there was not a known or suspected rough sleeping problem in their area.

Homelessness charities know that in London alone at least 3,000 rough sleepers access services in London each year

Leslie Morphy, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “Crisis has always said that the system for counting rough sleepers had flaws and did not give a full account of either rough sleeping or wider homelessness so we welcome the announcement that the system will be reformed.

The Ministers in the new Homelessness Working Group are:

  1. Grant Shapps MP (Con) – Department for Communities and Local Government (housing and homelessness) (Chair)
  2. Andrew Robathan MP (Con) – Ministry of Defence (welfare of veterans)
  3. John Hayes MP (Con) – Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (adult skills)
  4. Paul Burstow MP (LD) – Department of Health (health and care services)
  5. Lord David Freud (Con) – Department for Work and Pensions (housing benefit)
  6. Crispin Blunt MP (Con) – Ministry of Justice (criminal justice)
  7. James Brokenshire (Con) – Home Office (crime prevention)
  8. Tim Loughton MP (Con) – Department for Education (children and youth services)

It’s reassuring to see that both John Hayes …. who has famously set colleges free!!!! and Lord Freud architect of – a sizable part of – the on-going welfare reform agenda were sat around the table.

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Quotes of the day

  1. Motivation! Don’t forget to STOP!
  2. Gluttony is not a secret vice. Orson Welles
  3. A good listener is often thinking about something else. Kin Hubbard

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