Sure Start and PCCs show the need for political reform


ReformOn Monday on ‘Start the Week’ on Radio 4 the programme included Naomi Eisenstadt who spoke about the work carried out under the Labour Government between 2007-2010 on the SureStart programme, which was inspired by the American HeadStart Programme. How that at the outset some of the ideas and plans proved to be mistaken and that it took until 2010 before the improvements began to show through after they corrected the arrangements, slowed down and limited by Ministers who were so convinced that their ideas were right that they were not willing to allow a truly scientific form of analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the initial ideas. And then the cost of assessing the schemes was entirely wasted when the coalition came into power and totally ignored the purpose and tried to reshape it to meet their own ideas. Naomi did not speak about party politics but this was clearly part of her frustration. However she did speake about the challenge of persuading the different Government Departments to work together to achieve a good outcome for children and for families and therefore for our communities. It seems clear that the various political and departmental power brokers in our society are focused almost exclusively on their own concerns and almost totally ignore the bigger picture which impacts our society. As I wrote about yesterday, the focus on party objectives when it came to Policing as a result of the dominance of Police and Crime Commissioners who took over from a balanced cross party Police Authorities, is having a devastating impact on our community safety. The same problems occurred when the early ideas of a Police and Crime Commissioner as an elected person to bring together the Courts, Probation, Prisons and Police at a local level were compromised by strong resistance from Whitehall and a desire from the current Prime Minister to go for a quick and dirty attempt to amalgamate the work of PCCs and Fire and Rescue Authorities. We clearly need to find new and better ways of making public policy than currently exists if we are going to see society strengthened in a positive way. The tragedy is that we are prepared to introduce ideas such as HeadStart and Elected Sherriffs from the USA with a range of ideas and then due to the party political and Whitehall demands, the ideas are either restricted or abolished before the investment achieves anything like its full potential and fails to offer communities a good outcome.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Community Safety, Education, Justice Issues, Parliament and Democracy, Police & Crime Commissioner, Youth Issues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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