EU – News: Just like Universities, Consumers need multiple ‘A’ ratings to choose ‘Best of the Best’ - The European Commission has for the first time proposed energy labels for TVs. For refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines the existing label scheme will be updated. Energy labels help consumers choosing products which save energy and thus money. The appliances covered by the regulations adopted today represent one third of a household's electricity bill a year.
Energy labelling of refrigerators-freezers, dishwashers & washing machines has already been hugely successful since its introduction in 1992: today 90% of appliances sold in the EU are in class "A" – the best existing class.
However, new technologies would allow reducing by half the energy consumption of an A-class product. The EU has therefore decided to extend the scale upwards with three new classes: "A+", "A++", and "A+++" for products with a better than A-performance.
The four regulations for these labels will now have to be agreed by the European Parliament and Council. The Regulations enters into force 12 months after publication in the Official Journal.
A census has been held in the UK every ten years since 1801, except in 1941 when the country was at war. By gathering information on who we are as a nation the government is ‘better able to plan, fund & deliver the everyday services we all need – like housing, education, healthcare and transport’.
If you are visually impaired or deaf, British Sign Language (BLS) video and audio assistance in English & Welsh will be available on the 2011 Census website. A multilingual telephone helpline will also be available.
IfG: Remember, remember, many have tried to ‘make a bonfire’ of Quangos before - Sir Ian Magee, co-author of the Institute for Government's report on arm's length bodies, Read Before Burning, warned on BBC News and Radio 4's World at One that culling quangos should not be ‘just a numbers game’.
Sir Ian said: "Our report published in July said the real name of the game is public interest and not numbers. There are 800 non-departmental public bodies NDPBs. Just 15 of these spend 80% of the money...you could cut several hundred but not make big savings."
Sir Ian agreed the arm's length bodies landscape was ‘complex’. He continued: "In our research, we found 11 types of NDPBs. It is no surprise people are confused.”
OS: Financial prize will aid journey to success - Budding innovators & entrepreneurs are being asked to contribute ideas that could revolutionise transportation in Britain, with a £25,000 prize fund available to help develop the best entries. The GeoVation Challenge, run by mapping agency Ordnance Survey, is seeking ideas on how the use of geographic data could make travel more environmentally sustainable and improve public transport services.
Since January 2010 a range of datasets have been made available for free commercial reuse by public bodies. Those include a raft of central government information through Data.gov.uk, including routing & timetabling information from the DfT; mapping via OS’s OS OpenData portal; and a host data collected by local authorities. Most recently Transport for London also released some data, including live traffic jam information.
Newswire – LGA: Will the increasing number of elderly voters, vote to spend more on care? - Residents will be invited to tell councils how savings should be made in one of the biggest ever consultations to be carried out on public spending. The Local Government Group is to roll out an online web application which will let residents see exactly how councils spend their money. It will invite them to suggest ways of shaving £ms off their local authority’s annual spend.
The YouChoose website went live last week, and the LGG is inviting all councils across England & Wales to use the software to carry out one of the most comprehensive ever surveys on how people want their taxes to be spent. Councils will now be invited to run the software on their websites.
The software was pioneered by the London Borough of Redbridge. Redbridge Council is currently running a Budget consultation called the Redbridge Conversation 2010, which has had more than 1,200 responses in two weeks. More than 5,000 people took part in the first Redbridge Conversation in 2008.
Industry News: Vehicle tracking survey 2010 reveals reduced costs, increased productivity & improved performance - The Vehicle Tracking Survey 2010 has revealed a significant uptake of vehicle tracking, with 55% of organisations now using the technology within their fleet operation. This represents a sharp increase from previous research conducted in 2008, which showed a market penetration of around 25%.
In addition, the findings suggest that vehicle tracking has become a valued fleet tool with 96% of operators using the technology stating that it has added benefit to their business. The Survey reports that improving productivity (41%) is the main reason for adopting vehicle tracking. However, fleet operators are achieving a much wider range of benefits from using the technology with reduced costs (77%), increased productivity (64%), added security (52%), and enhanced fleet and employee performance (51%) the most extensively highlighted.
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