Voting No next Thursday and Labour next May is not the answer

Background and Introduction With less than a week before the Referendum Vote in Scotland, this is a detailed personal posting about voting Yes. I’m sorry it’s lengthy. Though the Vote on Thursday 18 September is a Vote for Scotland rather than any political party, this is mainly written for those who normally support Labour. I… Read more »

My Tribute to Jeff

What follows is a bit more personal than my usual postings on this site. Jeff Place, who was my Election and Constituency Agent when I was Member of Parliament for Nuneaton and Bedworth between 1967 and 1983, and a loyal friend since then, very sadly passed away at University Hospital, Coventry, in the early hours… Read more »

2013-A Defining Year for Social Enterprise

A Local Healthwatch for each Local Authority – a Major Opportunity for Social Enterprise? Background 2013 will be a year for defining ‘Social Enterprise’, especially in the National Health Service in England. This Background section explains why. (From the outset, Huckfield declares an interest in all this as a Member of the Board of the… Read more »

Daily Mail reveals Inconvenient Truth in Perth Prison

A Night to Remember Prisoners’ Week Scotland, organised by Prison Chaplains, has organised a commendable series of events throughout this week. But on Wednesday 21 November, few of the 60 of us attending might have anticipated that an evening in Perth Prison would cause the Scottish Daily Mail to reveal its own Inconvenient Truth. As… Read more »

Black Country Partnership for Learning Further and Higher Education Conference Friday 25 May 2012

THIS CONFERENCE IS A VERY TIMELY EVENT This piece represents a strong Huckfield recommendation. At only £95, this Conference represents exceedingly good value. A similar London Conference would be at last £300 plus fares. This is the Black Country Partnership for Learning Online Booking Form. Black Country Partnership for Learning Black Country Partnership for Learning… Read more »

A Ray of Hope for Social Enterprise

BACKGROUND The Huckfield Killing Social Enterprise Softly briefing last week was pessimistic about the openings available for Social Enterprise and Third Sector organisations in their bidding to deliver public services. The Work Programme is the Government’s preferred delivery model. With a few large contracts and major providers taking the risk it’s easy to administer. Social… Read more »

Filling the Infrastructure Funding Gap

BACKGROUND With ongoing reductions in public expenditure for infrastructure funding, this Huckfield briefing gives a summary of funding available in Scotland for further development of infrastructure projects. It does not seek to be exhaustive but to shed light on some sources with which all readers may not be familiar. The following headings take you straight… Read more »

Employer Ownership of Skills

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills launched its bidding Prospectus for Employer Ownership of Skills on Tuesday 07 February 2012. Previous Huckfield briefings on Employer Ownership Pilots have appeared here since Wednesday 07 December 2011. The Bidding Timetable and details of Briefing Sessions are shown below. Though Employer Ownership Pilots apply only in England,… Read more »

Funding for Scotland’s Colleges

Sincere apologies for the length of this Huckfield briefing. The following detailed sections seek to provide information for Scotland’s Further Education Colleges and others along similar lines to that previously provided in Huckfield briefings for Further Education and Higher Education in England. Many of Scotland’s Colleges will be familiar with funding initiatives listed. No claim… Read more »

The Government’s Regional Policy is called Localism

This piece is not about the politics. It’s about funding.  It’s main message is that Localism is the new Regionalism. Especially, this piece – with apologies for its unenviable length – seeks to summarise the deluge of  Local Government funding initiatives and consultations which appeared immediately prior to Christmas. Regional Policy by Eland House and… Read more »

Who Speaks for the West Midlands?

This post makes three main points: Compared with the North and other regions no one is putting the Case for the West Midlands In a brand new policy environment, there is “no going back” to previous structures and policies. The West Midlands needs to adapt to new funding structures The West Midlands needs a coherent… Read more »

“New Challenges, New Chances”: No Central Bank for Colleges’ Sovereign Debts.

Last week, most focus on was the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. This week it has been on the Prime Minister’s difficulties with his Party and with the proposed Merkozy Amendments to the Lisbon Treaty. So it’s probably understandable that the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ publication of two more chapters in its “New Challenges. New… Read more »

Launch of Employer Ownership Pilots on Tuesday 13 December 2011

As featured before in Important Grant News, Prime Minister David Cameron and Vince Cable first mentioned the Employer Ownership Pilots initiative on Thursday 17 November 2011. Vince Cable said then: “We have to fundamentally alter the relationship between employers and the state – giving employers the space and opportunity for greater ownership of the vocational… Read more »

Education Funding after George Osborne’s Autumn Statement

With the Euro struggling to survive, George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on Tuesday 29 November 2011 was probably optimistic. But hidden among the severe warnings from the Office of Budget Responsibility, it contained nearly two dozen pointers for those who follow Education Funding. This piece summarises the main ones. This was also the week when Department… Read more »

Note from the Black Country Partnership for Learning Post Wolf Conference at West Bromwich on Friday 25 November 2011

(though Leslie Huckfield was one of the contributors at this event, this is posted as an objective summary of the day’s events) Patrick Highton, Executive Director of the Black Country Learning Partnership, who had organised the Conference, welcomed colleagues to what he described as a timely event. There were ongoing Consultations and Responses on 14… Read more »