Local Authorities are banking it for themselves - and not before time

But as we have seen since September, there is little national governments can do to encourage lending when the Banks are locked in to a global credit crunch with plenty more steam in its engine. The reality is that these behemoth banks, through successive rounds of deregulation and mergers, are no longer structured in a way that properly serves the needs of local communities and businesses. More

We need a first-class post

It was asked to:

  • Assess the impact of liberalisation (de-regulation) on the UK postal services market;
  • Explore trends in future market development;
  • Consider how to maintain the Universal Service Obligation (delivering mail from John O'Groats to Land's End and everywhere in between).

In its interim review in May this year Hooper said some extremely interesting things. It found that there have been "no significant benefits from liberalisation for smaller businesses and domestic consumers. More

Recession won’t stop climate change

If you hoped that the recession might buy us some time to combat climate change, you're likely to be disappointed. That's according to figures from the UK's Committee for Climate Change which predict that even a serious fall in GDP would only deliver a fraction of emissions reductions. The Guardian has the full story here, including some perspectives from nef's Policy Director Andrew Simms. Andrew explains:

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Green New Deal Round-Up

Happy New Year, blog readers! 2009 is going to be a key year for us here at nef, and probably a make-or-break year for climate change and energy policy. Naturally, our politicians will remain preoccupied with the world's economic woes. Which is why the Green New Deal - a series of joined-up solutions to the triple crunch of peak oil, climate change and recession - still matters. More

Green New Seoul

Until now, that is. A couple of days ago the government of South Korea announced that it would invest 50 trillion Won - £25.2 billion - over the next four years on environmental projects which will create nearly a million jobs. According to the Associated Press, the money will be directed to "energy conservation, recycling, carbon reduction, flood prevention, development around the country's four main rivers and maintaining forest resources".

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Happiness and Public Policy

Happiness and Public Policy

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The happiest conference in the world?

The conference, which is hosted by the University of Warwick, will address the applications of positive psychology in work, education and the wider community. Nic will be speaking on 'The Power of Well-being: Measuring what Matters and Transforming Policy'.

For more details and booking information visit the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology's website.

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Green New Deal Round-Up

In the US, Barack Obama has given his first public address after being elected in November. Last Thursday he revealed some of his plans to help the ailing American economy, including several hints of a Green New Deal:

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The forbidden pleasure of kindness

They write:

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Unpicking the arguments for airport expansion

There are plenty of arguments voiced loudly across the press, so let's just pick two of them. The first is the economic argument. Business leaders are currently urging ministers to approve the plans to expand Heathrow on the grounds that a new runway is vital if Britain wants to remain competitive, especially when the country is facing a recession if not depression. Businesses in London, they say, will suffer if the airport is improved and enlarged. The second argument is more of a class thing. More

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