Simon Cramp reviews two recent publications, one focusing on direct payments and personal budgets, the other on devolution for local government.

Direct Payments and Personal Budgets: Putting Personalisation into Practice Paperback – 3rd edition 

by Jon Glasby (author, editor) and Rosemary Littlechild (author, editor)

Policy Press (2016) £23.97 pp224 ISBN-10: 1447326768 ISBN-13: 978-1447326762

Direct Payments and Personal Budgets is a great book that helps people navigate the complicated world of social care. This 3rd edition brings it right up-to-date in terms of policy and legislation but it is written in an easy and free-flowing format so everyone can understand the sometimes complex nature of social care. 

That said, it is a shame that it doesn’t refer to much of the Care Act 2014 but that may be because it is still bedding in; it was a major change of bringing 30 bits of peace-meal legislation into one.

Direct Payments… is written by two seasoned and well-respected pros in their field – they both work at the University of Birmingham. It is a very useful tool that you will keep going back to for reference and, for me, it is one that stands out from the pack on the subject. 

This is a must-read for anyone involved in social care and public policy, and very reasonably priced for the information you get. 

 

Taking Power Back: Putting People in Charge of Politics 

By Simon Parker

Policy Press (2015) £14.99 208pp ISBN-10: 1447326873 ISBN-13: 978-1447326878

Taking Back Power is a very thought-provoking and interesting book by an author who, as director of local government think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN), has worked many councils to inspire new approaches to urban governance and public service delivery.

Parker gives context with a history of the Labour Party and local government, then moves onto the first devolution deal that the government signed with Greater Manchester on health. It then follows Simon’s work and what the NLGN is and gives a steer on devolution and giving local government more freedom, although Parker is careful to present both sides of the argument. 

If you want stretch your mind on new thinking around local government then this the book for you – a fantastic read.

Simon Cramp
Fellow at the Centre for Welfare Reform