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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 1 February 2012 - 7:52pm

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 - 9:53am

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 - 1:38pm

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 - 2:20pm

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!

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 January 2012 - 10:15am

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

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 26 January 2012 - 1:09pm

Some AGMs are tedious. Some difficult. ACEVO is lucky. Our AGMs are excellent affairs. And rather fun. We had over 100 there, and that's not a bad record for chief execs turning up for such an event.

I gave a farewell to 2011 and my Chair welcomed 2012. We started off with a rousing speech from Nick Boles MP. He had been one of the Commissioners on the ACEVO Big Society Commission and he spoke about that and the vital role our sector plays in his constituency.
Sometimes AGMs can be opportunities for nit picking or whinging. Not so last night. I guess that's because we are all CEOs!  A good debate on issues like our potential role in challenging corporate greed , how we promote more service delivery by our sector but in ways that protect us in commissioning. And that great guy Jon Davies who leads the Wikipedia charity paid tribute to the ACEVO linked in group. This is a marvellous 900 strong group and Jon said how helpful colleagues had been in helping him in his new ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 25 January 2012 - 1:45pm

Yes. Let's celebrate. 25 years of ACEVO, but more importantly 25 years of the voice for CEO leadership.

This month's issue of " Network" , our ACEVO leadership journal carries a fascinating article by Baroness Hayter who was one of the great 10 who founded acevo ( acenvo then) back in 1987. Read it here.

We have grown. Developed. Undoubtedly now a strong voice for sector Leaders to Government, to business and to our own sector. Now a national presence and a regular in the media promoting our sector leaders.

The core purpose remains as it was then; a network for CEOs to share and to provide mutual support and encouragement and to give collective voice for our sector's leaders.

And in austere times it's good to have a reason to celebrate. In February my chair and I start a series of meetings around the country to review and reflect.

Yesterday was a blockbuster day; starting off with breakfast with the Big Society ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 24 January 2012 - 12:27pm

Hot on the heels of the various speeches by our political leaders on responsible capitalism, we now have Vince Cable's plans on top pay etc.
I have blogged before on the unacceptable face of boardroom pay as evidenced by the  arrogance of top bankers. But if they are to get big bonuses again , then let them donate those to charity. And make that public. As Clare Tickell said to Stephen Hester of RBS it is a big shame that top earners in the UK do not have a culture of major giving and publicising this as they do in the US.
But more importantly, as Vince Cable says , we need a "change of culture " in our boardrooms.
And one way to do this would be to make boards more diverse. As I argued when I was on the Tyson review of corporate governance back in  2000 having more third sector leaders on our Boards would inject a strong voice for an ethical and sustainable business approach.  And as our leaders are themselves more diverse in gender and race terms this would also ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 23 January 2012 - 11:35am

A weekend in London so a tour of the South London parks with the Hound. Brockwell Park, Dulwich and Ruskin. But somehow they all exude an air of municipalism. Can we not do better? The worst was definitely ruskin where whole sections are fenced off with nasty signs saying " no dogs". The Hound rightly ignored such fascist instructions.

The shame! The missing Hepworth sculpture in Dulwich Park. Give it back
Here is a prime case for the third sector to take over. I have already told Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council , if he really believes in a cooperative council give me Brockwell Park.
As I told him I already actually own it. A little known fact but ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 20 January 2012 - 12:31pm

3 times this week. Yes, that's the number of times I was offered a seat on the bus and tube; once by a lady in her 20s. Surely I'm not looking that old! And I certainly don't feel it....

Still, I was in the right place last night if there were any problems. Guys Hospital; for a reception of the Guys and Tommies charity. Its the largest of the hospital charities in the UK. And saved from the grab of the state in 1947 by the Charity Commission , showing unusual determination they said Bevan could not nationalise the hospital endowments because they had been given for public benefit , not state aggrandisment.

I like to think of Guys as mine; because it is my local hospital and I have used it, and because I was a non exec for the 2 hospitals and because for over 500 years it was a charity hospital !

Paul Corrigan , that health radical , was speaking. The charity does huge good in supporting research and in making grants and loans locally. Yes, they do loans, so ...more