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May 16 - 22 2012 No. 1086
THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/expat
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:: SPORT PAGE 48
The Prince of Gales Royal forecaster on TV
THE Prince of Wales surprised BBC Scotland viewers last Thursday by popping up to present the weather forecast.
The heir to the throne delivered the lunchtime weather bulletin during a visit to the corporation’s Glasgow headquarters.
Although initially he appeared bemused by the “clicker”, which forecasters use to change the picture behind them, the Prince quickly got into his stride.
He read from an autocue script that made reference to Royal properties north of the border, including Balmoral and Dumfries House. At one point, when he read of “the potential for a few flurries over Balmoral”, he stopped to exclaim: “Who the hell wrote this script?” The Duchess of Cornwall also tried her hand at presenting.
The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, as they are known in Scotland, were on a visit to celebrate 60 years of BBC Scotland Television.
Viewers of the Reporting Scotland bulletin only learnt of the special guest when presenter Sally Magnusson announced: “Let’s take a look at the weather forecast now. I’m delighted to say we’ve got a new member of our weather team – let me hand over to him now. Your Highness…”
‘Thank God it isn’t a bank holiday,’ the Prince joked as he presented the dismal outlook for Scotland’s weather
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By Tim Ross and Robert Winnett UNDER-PERFORMING civil servants will be identified and fired under plans to rank all government officials by ability.
David Cameron is growing increasingly impatient with institutional failures and his ministers have complained privately about regularly receiving “useless” advice from below-par officials.
Ministers are determined to change the culture of the Civil Service, in which, they say, “lazy” staff get away with poor performance because managers are unwilling to have “difficult conversations”.
Sweeping plans to overhaul the service are expected to be published within a month. They are bound to infuriate the public-sector unions, who staged another day of industrial action last Thursday.
This included an illegal walkout by prison officers, who are banned from taking industrial action, as well as action by Border Agency staff and Jobcentre employees.
An estimated 30,000 offduty police officers and their families also marched in London to protest about changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions.
Unions claimed that
200,000 public-sector staff had stayed away from work, although ministers insisted that just half that number had taken part and that disruption to public services had been minimal.
Under the new proposals, government departments will be brought into line with private companies, and managers will be “forced” to rate employees under a more rigorous assessment regime. The plan will affect all 434,000 civil servants who work for government departments, agencies and quangos.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph before the latest industrial action, Francis
Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, said: “It is a myth that you can never sack a civil servant. It is not easy to sack anyone, nor should it be. But it is no more difficult in the Civil Service than it is anywhere else, on performance grounds.
“It is just that the recent history has been that performance management hasn’t been very good, neither in terms of recognising the best performers nor in addressing the issues of the worst performers.”
Mr Maude said that civil servants were themselves “frustrated and concerned” that “the worst performers”
faced no action, while those who worked hardest did not receive the recognition they deserved.
He added: “What we will need to end up with is the way performance management is done in most organisations, which is, you force managers to do rankings, to rate people in order of performance.
“Otherwise, the temptation always is for everybody to be ‘above average’. This will take time. There has been no incentive for managers to take tough decisions and have difficult conversations.
“That can change and it is one of the issues we will
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