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News round-up 6/8: Shake-up for Sir Bob's part-time job

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Economy ‘growing’l | Battle of the bicycles

Whitehall

The prime minister is set to end the experiment of having a part-time head of civil service, the Financial Times reports. The role is currently filled by Department for Communities & Local Government permanent secretary Sir Bob Kerslake and, while Downing Street said there had been no breakdown in relations between him and David Cameron, the paper says the PM is being advised that a full-time chief is needed with the clout to secure progress on Whitehall reform.

 

Economy

“Britain’s economy is growing more quickly than expected”, reports the Financial Times today, citing data from the service sector, which it says saw the fastest expansion in more than six years in July. Recovery is looking entrenched, it notes, dedicating lengthy coverage to the “mixed” statistical picture, which has led economists “to speculate the economy will grow at an even faster pace over the summer”, although real wages continue to stagnate.

The paper quotes Royal Bank of Scotland economist, Ross Walker, as claiming that the evidence is “mounting” that the British economy is “achieving ‘escape velocity’”, while new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is said to be “likely” to concur with upbeat assessments of the financial picture by making an optimistic evaluation of prospects.

 

Bicycle battle

Ministers have been accused of hijacking Yorkshire’s attempt to bring the Tour de France to the region, the Independent reports. A Freedom of Information request by the Yorkshire Post has revealed that ministers and civil servants wanted the event to be marketed as an English- not a Yorkshire- triumph while the board of Sport UK attempted to block the region’s tourism chief from involvement in the project.

 

NHS

The NHS is to be advised by a procurement champion and benefit from a price comparison website in an attempt to reduce the amount spent on supplies and services, the Independent reports.

 

Economy

“Britain’s economy is growing more quickly than expected”, reports the Financial Times today, citing data from the service sector, which it says saw the fastest expansion in more than six years in July. Recovery is looking entrenched, it notes, dedicating lengthy coverage to the “mixed” statistical picture, which has led economists “to speculate the economy will grow at an even faster pace over the summer”, although real wages continue to stagnate.

The paper quotes Royal Bank of Scotland economist, Ross Walker, as claiming that the evidence is “mounting” that the British economy is “achieving ‘escape velocity’”, while new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is said to be “likely” to concur with upbeat assessments of the financial picture by making an optimistic evaluation of prospects.

 

Fracking

The Co-operative supermarket and bank has emerged as a major corporate backer of the anti-fracking movement, writes the Daily Telegraph. The organisation has commissioned research into the impact of fracking and organised screenings of an anti-fracking documentary in areas where shale gas extraction has been proposed. It is the second major high street name to put money into opposing shale gas, after it was disclosed last week that the cosmetics chain, Lush, was the biggest corporate donor to the pressure group Frack Off. 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • News on the economy is obviously subject to double counting! It appears to be a house price and pay day loan credit lead recovery as most households continue to be worse off and for those on benefits - it's dire.

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