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Sir Philip Green right to propose centralised approach

Sir Philip Green has spotted that the government is inefficient. It buys laptops and paper for wildly different and inflated prices, and manages its property portfolio appallingly. He proposes centralisation, and who could argue against that? A central agency could distribute supplies much more cheaply than every business unit buying their own.

Can good services remain standing?

Like the suffocating drone of vuvuzelas, cuts continue to dominate the atmosphere in the children's services arena and in public services more generally.

Who should foot the youth custody bill?

There has been renewed debate about whether local authorities should be charged when "their" young people are sentenced to custody. Frances Done, chair of the Youth Justice Board (YJB), backed the councils being charged in her recent interview with CYP Now (29 January-4 February).

Wild wastelands should be scenes of fun

The swathes of land that were once the industrial heartlands of Britain, now reclaimed by nature, offer a fantastic adventure playground for children and young people. The communities that grew up surrounded by coal and steel now have wild parklands on their doorstep.

This game of funding musical chairs must stop

The principle is a good one and absolutely right: early intervention in childhood, providing support to children and their families, carries the best prospect of reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors for children and young people further down the track.

Gove gives joint working a rude jolt

Michael Gove's revelation to CYP Now that a Conservative government will remove obligations on local authorities to have children's trusts in place will come as a thunderbolt for children's services, particularly in their efforts to safeguard children and enable them to thrive.

'Moment of madness' is in danger of recurring

Basing policy on evidence seems straightforward. But we continue to see politicians speak out on issues with the scantest of evidence and with particular audiences in mind. The most extreme example of late was the coverage about gangs after the summer unrest.

Sector must influence the coalition

They say that a week is a long time in politics. Quite. As predicted in these pages for many months, the new Tory Secretary of State Michael Gove has renamed the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as the Department for Education.

Editorial: Mentors give hope to young people in custody

Among the myriad challenges of transforming young lives, rehabilitation of young offenders will always be among the toughest. The number of 16- to 25-year-olds behind bars has soared by one-third in the past decade while the majority go on to reoffend, reflecting the enormity of the task.

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