News round-up 28/5: Fear over police commissioner elections
Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
Police and Crime Commissioners
The credibility of the government’s policy of having directly elected police commissioners is under threat amid growing fears of low turnout this autumn. Today’s Times reports that senior police officers are urging ministers to raise awareness of the policy while officials at the Home Office admit privately that turnout could be far lower than the 32% in May’s local elections.
An adviser to prime minister David Cameron has warned that the quality of hospitals, courts and the armed services risks being damaged if the government continues to hold down the pay of top public officials, the Times reports. Bill Cockburn, chairman of the Senior Salaries Review Body, told the paper that morale among senior judges, NHS managers, civil servants and military figures is already “showing signs of erosion” because of a fall in their real income by as much as a fifth.
The Times claims chancellor George Osborne is to receive a stern “get on with it” from the CBI which feels the government has made slow progress against a pledge in the Autumn Statement six months ago to get financial institutions to kick-start £250bn of infrastructure investment.
The employers’ group wants ministers to use public funds to raise the credit ratings of infrastructure projects by guaranteeing part of the risk, the Financial Times reports.
The Guardian reports that David Cameron will today launch a scheme to give government loans to young entrepreneurs. It says under the £82m StartUp programme, 18-24 year-olds will receive loans worth on average £2,500 if they have a “robust business plan.”
Business secretary Vince Cable has said the coalition government is likely to break up before the next general election so that both parties can “create separate identities,” the Daily Telegraph reports.
The Daily Telegraph reports that fewer than a third of people stopped working when they reached retirement age last year, because they could not afford to give up their jobs. It says the number of people delaying their retirement “rose significantly compared with the previous year.”