Posts tagged ‘public’

July 11, 2011

PM unveils public services plan

 Danny Alexander: “The idea that the man in Whitehall knows best… is very old-fashioned”

David Cameron has vowed to “put people in charge” as he unveiled his plan for public services in England.


In a speech in London, the prime minister said public services were the “backbone” of the country but too often their results were not good enough.


Planned changes would give people “more freedom, more choice and more local control” in schools, health and other services, Mr Cameron said.


Labour says the government is overemphasising the role of the market.


The government wants to allow companies, charities and community groups to bid to run everything from local health services to schools, libraries and parks.


But business leaders have accused Mr Cameron of moving too slowly on the changes – which are central to his vision of the Big Society – in the face of union and Liberal Democrat pressure

‘Old dogma’

The Public Services White Paper had been due to be unveiled in January but has been held up by Whitehall wrangling over its contents.

Continue reading the main story
When he talks of fairness he means new opportunities for the sharp-elbowed middle classes to push others aside”

End Quote Brendan Barber TUC General Secretary The proposals would allow service providers to make profits in some areas like getting people off benefits and into work, but not in others such as health care.


Only two areas – national security and the judiciary – will be exempt.


Unveiling the proposed legislation in a speech in East London on Monday afternoon, Mr Cameron said it was about “ending the old big-government, top-down way of running public services, releasing the grip of state control and putting power in people’s hands”.


He added: “The old dogma that said Whitehall knows best – it’s gone. There will be more freedom, more choice and more local control. Ours is a vision of open public services.”


The Labour Party says the government has lost its way on public service reform and is overemphasising the role of the market.

‘Lost its way’

And the trade unions accused Mr Cameron of attempting to break-up public services “while all attention is focused on the misdeeds of News International”.

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The presumption that services should always be run by the public sector died a generation ago in local government”

End Quote Simon Parker New Local Government Network TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Of course they are skilfully wrapped up in warm words, but when the prime minister talks of charities and voluntary groups, he means parcelling up public services for private companies.


“When he talks of ending top-down control, he really means introducing a postcode lottery with few winning tickets; and when he talks of fairness he means new opportunities for the sharp-elbowed middle classes to push others aside.”


But business leaders have accused Mr Cameron of backing down in the face of Lib Dem and union opposition.


CBI deputy director general Neil Bentley said in a speech last week that planned radical reform of public services had been derailed by “forces of inertia”.


He said the coalition gave the impression of “having lost its way, uneasy about reforms and unsure about how to present them”.

‘Hold nerve’

But one think tank said ministers were right to give local communities the power to determine how services were run in their area and this should extend across a wide range of central government functions such as job centres and parts of the criminal justice system.


“The presumption that services should always be run by the public sector died a generation ago in local government,” said Simon Parker, from the New Local Government Network.


“More than half of all highways, housing, environmental and social services are already outsourced and the proportion is likely to rise as cuts bite.


“The government’s had a rocky time of late with NHS reforms and the hacking scandal but ministers need to hold their nerve on public sector reform.”


Leaked documents earlier this year suggested ministers were scaling back the role of the private sector in their plans amid concerns that the public would find widespread outsourcing of services “unpalatable”.


They indicated that private sector involvement would be limited to joint ventures with non-for-profit groups and the focus would be on greater input from charities, social enterprises and employee-owned mutual organisations.

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July 2, 2011

How Did This Happen: Woman Drowned In Public Pool; Body Found Two Days Later

How does a dead body go unnoticed in a public pool for two days? So sad.

The body of a Fall River woman was discovered floating in a state run pool late Tuesday night, two days after she apparently drowned in that same pool.

Police say lifeguards were on duty and people were swimming in the Veterans Memorial pool at Lafayette
Park Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and it appears no one noticed the dead body.

Investigators identified the body as 36-year-old Marie Joseph.

Police say Joseph was watching her 9-year-old neighbor at the pool on Sunday when she apparently had an accident sliding down a waterside.

Family friends tell FOX25 the little boy told lifeguards that she did not come up from above water but no action was taken.

The Bristol County DA would not confirm if the woman’s body was in the water for two days, but did call the set of circumstances “unbelievable” and said the death is still under investigation.

Fall River Mayor William Flanagan says health inspectors visited the pool on Monday and Tuesday and inspected the facilities and apparently did not see a body either. Those inspectors have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), who runs the pool, has since closed over 20 of their deepwater pools until further notice.

DCR has also placed the entire staff of the pool on administrative leave.

According to friends, Marie Joseph has left behind five children and lived in an apartment a mile form the pool.

SMH! Why didn’t the lifeguards take action when the little boy told them Ms.Joseph never resurfaced? R.I.P. Marie.

June 30, 2011

Initial public offering: Engro Foods targets Rs675m from share offer

Company to also take internal financing and loans for capital injection.

KARACHI: 

Engro Foods has announced an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares, targeting to raise Rs675 million in a bid to finance different projects.


Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Engro Foods Limited President and CEO Sarfaraz A Rehman said 27 million shares of the company would be offered at Rs25 per share, including a premium of Rs15. Subscription will be open from July 5 to 7.


Rehman said Engro needed capital injection of Rs7 billion for its projects and it had already secured Rs1.2 billion through sale of 48 million shares. “The company will also use internal financing and loans to achieve the targeted investment,” he said.


Engro, whose core products include tetra pack milk, ice cream, drinks and dry milk, has started a project of rice processing for local and international markets.


Replying to a question, the Engro Foods CEO said the company was focusing on an organised purchase of fresh milk from rural areas. Thirty thousand dairy farmers from across the country are providing milk to the company, which has set up 800 milk collection centres. Now, the company is planning to set up automated milk collection centres.


In the year 2010, he said, total turnover of the company was Rs21 billion, giving a profit of Rs171 million. In January to March this year, turnover of the company rose 32 per cent to Rs6.6 billion compared to the corresponding period last year. Of the turnover, Rs117 million was profit for the company.


Replying to another question, the CEO said Engro Foods was also active in the international market with five per cent of total turnover being exported, adding the company was selling tetra pack milk to Afghanistan and Oman while a strategy to export rice was also being devised.


Halal food business potential


The CEO said Halal food business was flourishing across the world and experts saw enormous opportunities in trade of Halal products. He said there were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and the volume of Halal business amounted to $1.2 to $2 trillion, including $632 billion share of Halal food.


Rehman said Engro Foods had decided to introduce best food brands at the international level, adding the company had acquired brand name Al-Safa in Canada and North America with a trade volume of $63 million. He said Al-Safa had operations in 38 states of North America and it started Halal food business in Canada and US from May 6. In the second phase, Al-Safa network will be extended to Europe and later to Gulf Arab countries.


June 30, 2011

‘Delhi Belly’ denied public exhibition license in Pakistan

Delhi Belly fails to clear Censor Board hurdle. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL

KARACHI: Just days before its grand premiere, Indian feature film ‘Delhi Belly’ failed in obtaining clearance from the censor board for public exhibition.

Atrium cinema, which has become the go-to theatre in Karachi, had already started the marketing campaign, announcing that the movie would be screened for public on July 1st, a 10 day advance notice to cinegoers.

However, on Wednesday evening Atrium Cinema posted a statement on its facebook page saying the Central Board of Film Censors in Islamabad had not passed the film for public exhibition, barring its public exhibition across cinemas in Pakistan.

Pakistani cinemas had been dying a slow death before new life was injected by lifting a ban on screening Indian films. This brought audiences back to theatres, prompting massive investment in cinemas like Atrium which has 3D capability.

Censor Board officials could not be immediately reached for comment.