CivitasWhat’s the point of being ‘Green’ if we have to bankrupt the country to achieve it? - Green energy subsidies will cost every British household £600 a year by 2020, Dr Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, warns in a new Civitas publication.

The cost to consumers of pursuing EU renewables targets is set to rise above £16bn p.a., when VAT is taken into account and he warns that the shift to renewables is likely to herald the first long-term decline in living standards since the start of the industrial revolution.

In a further warning about the ‘hazards of the hectic pursuit of decarbonisation’, the director of the Energy Intensive Users Group - representing important sectors like steel & chemicals - warns that manufacturing is being damaged, because British industries are being disadvantaged by the relative price of energy in the UK compared with that in Europe & elsewhere.

 He says the issue is not with the long-term goal of decarbonisation itself, but with "the loss of competitiveness that arises from going faster than our neighbours".
Press release & links ~ BIS: Compensation scheme for energy intensive businesses (Eligible firms will be able to apply from 3 June 2013) ~ Renewable Energy Foundation ~ Are Green Times Just Around the Corner? and Why British Energy Policy Imperils Manufacturing Industries  ~ DECC: Compensation scheme for energy intensive businesses ~ Energy Intensive Users Group ~ CCC: Government commitment to support investment in low-carbon technologies would secure significant savings for UK consumers UK Government Ministers engage in energy discussions with key Industrial employers in Wales ~ WWF - Response to CCC report on UK’s carbon footprint ~ Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on Energy Intensive Industries Compensation Scheme ~ Britain’s £800m cement industry threatened by carbon reduction policies ~ DECC:  As usual it is the public who will pay for it (6th item) ~ TUC:  Converting to a low carbon economy is not going to happen of its own accord (2nd item) ~ DECC:  Will costly green power provide the energy security we need?

DfEProviding care to those leaving it - An improved package of support for young people leaving care was unveiled recently by the Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, who said:

“All care leavers must receive the right support and guidance they need to prepare them for their futures. No parent would want to see their children stepping out into the world without a roof over their head or a warm bed to sleep in.   ………   6 months on from the introduction of the Care Leavers Charter ……………. The new rules will mean that more 16- and 17-year-olds remain in care until their 18th birthday – something the best local authorities are already doing”.
HMTGet in training for Wimbledon as the two camps bat the ‘ball of claims’ back & forth - In advance of the referendum for Scottish Independence, the UK Government will ensure, through the Scotland analysis programme, that the debate is properly informed and that the facts that are crucial to considering Scotland’s future are set out.

This second Scotland analysis paper (Currency and monetary policy) explains that the currency & macroeconomic framework that operates across the UK would not be able to continue between 2 separate states.  In the event of a vote for independence, there would be further consequences for the financial sector and for its customers – all individuals & businesses – which are analysed in this paper.
DWPA Eureka moment as the Commission seems (for once) to see sense - The government has welcomed an announcement by Commissioner Barnier that he would postpone his plans to introduce Solvency II-style rules for defined benefit pension schemes.  

The commissioner said he will not present proposals this autumn to bring in new capital requirements for occupational pensions, though he would focus on governance, transparency and reporting requirements.
DCMSStill time to go faster - The deadline for the third & final round of applications joint Defra/Broadband Delivery UK Fund has been extended from 24 May until 17 June 2013, giving communities and local authorities extra time to apply for funding.

The fund aims to help hard to reach rural communities with limited or no internet, to access superfast broadband to give their businesses & communities a greater opportunity to profit & grow.  So far over 50 applications have been invited to submit final proposals to begin work to bring broadband to their areas.
MoDAn infrequently mentioned ‘moment’ in history, but the sacrifices made were real & significant - The MoD and Westminster Abbey will formally mark the bravery & dedication of those who fought in the Korean War over 60 years ago.  A parade & muster of veterans, and a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, will take place in London on Thursday 11 July 2013.
Press release & links ~ The Korean War - The National Archives ~ BBC News: Britain’s Forgotten War

Channel Shift Proof of Concept at Aylesbury Vale Drives Major G-Cloud Programme Implementation - Like many authorities, Aylesbury Vale Council viewed channel shift as an opportunity to deliver cost effective services for all Council customers and then downsize customer facing services and reduce referrals to the back office with a philosophy of “Fix First Time.”

In July 2012, a single Customer Portal was created to initially enable customers to order and pay for garden waste bins online, with ambitious targets of 30% take up, 7000 registrants and £250,000 in new revenue by March 2013. To date, these initial targets have been far exceeded with £360,000 generated revenue from over 10,000 registrations.

This inaugural proof of concept success around a traditionally high-cost and time-consuming process has enabled AVDC to implement further channel shift programmes, procured through G-Cloud, on high volume contact services such as Licensing and Council Tax.

Click here to find out more and download the full Aylesbury Vale case study.

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Brand new Aylesbury Vale Channel Shift case study......click here image.
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