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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 7 February 2012 - 6:05pm

Manchester. Snow gone and its relatively warm up north! A great meeting with members as part of our ACEVO silver jubilee and then the launch of our youth unemployment commission report.

Sometimes it's good to be reminded just how brilliant and dynamic our sector can be! I had a visit and meeting today with the Director of of 42nd St, a youth project in manchester led by the excellent Vera Martins. I like Vera; she is a star.

And of course it was good to see them following our Commission's report ( shame much coverage was swallowed up in the soap opera of fratricidal rivalry - why do we have a media more obsessed with ephemera than the tragedy unfolding on youth? )

42nd St have been here 30years. Originally the vision of a youth worker and local councillor set the project up to work with young people( 13-25 ) with stress , isolation and mental illness by working in schools and one to one with youth.

Their approach is that the young people should be in ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 6 February 2012 - 11:00am

Today we launch our ACEVO commission on youth unemployment report in both London and Manchester . Chaired by David Miliband MP it will attract much attention. And so it should. The scandal of youth unemployment will scar a generation if action is not taken.

It is worth reading this impressive report. See it here. It looks to action from government , from business and from our own sector.

The Commission we set up has built on the evidence of hundreds of submissions from our members and others who contributed to this work. It was very clear from the ACEVO members who have been involved how serious they see this problem. Many of them remember the damage of mass youth unemployment in the 80 s and are calling for those lessons to be learnt. And though chaired by David Miliband it has cross party support. Baroness ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 6 February 2012 - 9:17am

I'm not sure it was an entirely sensible decision to listen to the Today programme as I sat on my cypriot hotel balcony with my coffee. The sun was  shining, the sea lapping invitingly beneath me  ( the news of impending snow in London added to the enjoyment) but my blood pressure must have shot up as I listened to the exchange between Angela Knight and Polly Tonybee on top pay.

This was prompted by the Times front page story that top bankers from around the world have accused politicians here of " pandering to public opinion". Politicians listening to the people! The very idea! In the world in which such people live I suspect the dreary business of democracy must seem a distraction. How much this sums up the problem . The arrogant sense of entitlement and the outrage in banking when they are challenged to behave responsibly is the real problem.  And I wonder how many of these self same people, expressing such contempt for the democratic process , sign their names off on ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 5 February 2012 - 9:55am

I'm not sure it was an entirely sensible decision to listen to the Today programme as I sat on my cypriot hotel balcony with my coffee. The sun was  shining, the sea lapping invitingly beneath me  ( the news of impending snow in London added to the enjoyment) but my blood pressure must have shot up as I listened to the exchange between Angela Knight and Polly Tonybee on top pay. This was prompted by the Times front page story that top bankers from around the world have accused politicians here of " pandering to public opinion". Politicians listening to the people! The very idea! In the world in which such people live I suspect the dreary business of democracy must seem a distraction. How much this sums up the problem . The arrogant sense of entitlement and the outrage in banking when they are challenged to behave responsibly is the real problem.  And I wonder how many of these self same people, expressing such contempt for the democratic process , sign their names off on the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 3 February 2012 - 10:34pm

That's the rather strong aromatic cypriot coffee ( not unlike turkish coffee but I mustn't say that here ). Taking a cup whilst sitting by the sea just under the cliffs where the ancient Greek amphitheatre still lies. And an excellent freshly caught sea bream seemed like the perfect lunch. It is sunny here today- though it has been cold. What a contrast to much of Europe and the UK.

But there are others who need to wake up and smell the coffee. Ed Miliband is right to warn business today of the dangers of failing to get the message on top pay.

The lack of leadership from the umbrella bodies representing top business and banking has been lamentable. Angela knight of the British Bankers Association, , as always ready to defend the indefensible , trumpets that Hester's bonus is essential as it is just " the going rate". Exactly Angela, that is why we need legislation so that the going rate can be brought in line with what is decent and proper for rewards for ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 1 February 2012 - 8:52pm

There it was , amidst the paraphernalia of tourist tat, the Da Vinci cafe and grotesque 60s development; the Church of St Lazarus. Built in the 9th century by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI and St Lazarus lies finally in his tomb under the chancel. The gorgeous iconostasis is a mass of golden images worshipped here for centuries.

But Larnaca stands testament to the ravages of mass tourism- the old 19th century houses that survive are dilapidated or in ruin while KFC and Mcdonald reign supreme along the seafront. But as this was the birthplace of Zeno, the founder of the stoic school of philosophy in the 4th century BC, we must be stoical about progress; though it is clear not all change is good.

And Cyprus is no longer a cheap place to live or visit. The locals will tell you it was until the arrival of the euro; then prices rocketed. This amply demonstrates the perils of the single currency. Brown was right to keep us out. Cameron is right to veto a centralising ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 31 January 2012 - 10:53am

On holiday , that is ? I am away for a week's break in Cyprus. The hound is holidaying in Bromley with sister Sara. The question is do I turn off the blackberry? Ignore all emails? Not take calls? It is a question many CEOs ask when they go away. Of course I'm sure ACEVO will manage most effectively without me , but I'm addicted to my blackberry. Love looking at my emails. Doing my blog ( as I am now sitting on a balcony looking at the Mediterranean ). And armed with my iPad I can even listen to the Today programme and catch on the Archers. Sad but true.

And my ever energetic Director Filippo Adarrii has even contacted 3 civil society leaders here to meet me. But I'm not complaining. It will be interesting to meet them and here about the state of the sector in the island. One of them is planning a major conference on social enterprise and wants our support , which they will get.

But that's enough. I'm off on the bus into Larnaca. There is a famous church here, St ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 30 January 2012 - 2:38pm

Andrew Lansley has hit the spot when he wants the NHS to provide a 7 day a week service and when he states the scandal of worse health care at weekends has to stop.

Our hospitals have state of the art technology that enable the detection and treatment of ill health. The scanning equipment and the theatre kit these days are a marvel to behold.

Recent evidence that deaths from heart failure have dropped dramatically demonstrate the major advances of medical science and the power of early detection through scans.

But developments in medical practise and behaviour still lag behind. Why is it that all these expensive pieces of medical kit lie idle at weekends? People are now waiting longer for tests and operations. So why not open up all of the hospitals on Saturdays and Sundays?

And why is it that still most doctors surgeries are not open in the evenings and weekends?

It is both a disgrace that people have to wait for treatment and an inefficiency ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 January 2012 - 3:20pm

I know you will be sympathetic: a euclid board meeting on a Friday evening. Perhaps less so when I tell you it is in Venice!

The beauty of this city is indescribable though many have tried; and January is a great month to be here. Few tourists yet clear blue skies. Great deals on hotels! We meet in the European Centre for living technology on San marco Square and then Prof David Lane, attached to said,takes us to his favourite venetian restaurant for post board discussion . But my day started with Mass in the Basilica of San Marco- around the supposed but venerated body of said Saint and a visit to my favourite venetian chirch, Santa Maria del Miracoli, a masterpiece of the Italian renaissance. And lunch!
...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 January 2012 - 11:15am

The first systematic review of the real impact of public spending cuts on local authorities has been published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation . It finds that the most deprived local authorities have been hardest hit by the cuts. It also finds conflict within local authorities over whether the needs of vulnerable people should be prioritised.

Serving deprived communities in a recession looked at 25 local authorities and provides an early insight into how local government in England is coping with the severe contraction in grant income implemented after the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review. Analysis of the patterns of spending cuts show greater cuts (in both proportionate and absolute terms) in the most deprived authorities, compared with the most affluent.

I think it is interesting , and alarming that this points to conflict over whether the needs of vulnerable people should be prioritised. Only half the sample had adopted 'protecting the needs of the most ...more