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.
An innovative scheme set up by the Local Government Association to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas has opened for bidding.
There is an ongoing shortfall of new homes supplied in England, with the net additional dwellings supplied last year reaching 217,350, a marked increase on recent years and yet still 80,000 homes short of the 300,000 it is widely agreed are needed each year.
In response to this, more than 40 projects across the country were supported through the Housing Advisers Programme last year, with authorities launching initiatives on everything from increasing housebuilding to reducing homelessness in their communities.
The Programme funds the provision of an independent expert undertaking specific projects to tackle the effects of the housing crisis in local communities. Following this, the best practice and lessons learned from each project will be shared with councils and embedding into the sector-led improvement currently on offer from the LGA.
Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesman, said: “The Housing Advisers Programme can make a huge difference to councils and the communities they serve. Over the last year, more than 40 local authorities have been supported to tackle our shortage of homes at the local level, and it can make a hugely positive difference, from tackling homelessness to encouraging housebuilding.
“However, there’s only so much councils can do on their own, which is why we continue to call on the government to lift the housing borrowing cap across the country and enable councils to keep 100 per cent of the receipts from sales of homes under Right to Buy. The Programme aims to help councils deliver local priorities, and can be valuable source of expertise to councils wishing to innovate and improve in their efforts to build more homes, reduce homelessness, and plan prosperous places and economies. It’s well worth councils who haven’t already done so looking at the programme and seeing how it can benefit them – a simple visit to the website is all that’s needed.”
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Karen Grave looks at the pressures impacting on our workforce and shares examples of those leading the way in public sector recruitment