Defra: Green alternative to knocking down - Elliot Morley, Climate Change & Environment Minister at Defra has announced his approval for an environment-friendly refurbishment of homes (in Acton, West London), which is intended cut the amount of harmful carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
The developer, Berkeley Homes has hired climate change advisers Future Forests to measure the environmental effects of the project and to suggest how emissions could be reduced through initiatives such as using renewable electricity during construction.
Unavoidable carbon emissions from the construction phase will be ’offset’ by Future Forests, who will financially support a micro-hydro electricity project in
This is in keeping with taking a ’world’ view of global warming, which accepts that the effects of one action can be offset by other actions, not necessarily in the exact same location.
Defra: What the French have given us – Following on from the French President’s comment last month regarding BSE and ‘what the
A cull of 10,240 pheasants (imported for shooting from
DH: Getting a second opinion on NHS statistics – Last week saw the government claiming that the most recent statistics show that NHS vacancy rates are continuing to fall to low single figures, with GP and Consultant numbers now at an all time high.
However, on closer inspection, it appears the figures relate to vacancies of 3 months or more, which means that they don’t really reflect the strain on those staff having to cover vacant posts for those 3 months.
Nor do they necessarily reflect the situation in
· staff turnover remains high, with
· recruitment to the allied health professions in the capital continues to be difficult
· GP vacancies remain high, with shortages likely to increase in the future.
One also wonders just what will be the fallout from the implementation of Agenda for Change, which is causing a degree of unhappiness among many staff as they start to get the results of the job matching & evaluation exercise.
One could also comment on the wide use of agency staff to ‘fill’ vacancies!
Like with all statistics, one needs to read the small print, but surely they should realise that using the phrase ‘synthetic estimates’ is hardly likely to inspire confidence in those reading them?
Press release ~ press release ~ King’s Fund - Trends in London’s NHS Workforce ~ NHS Professionals ~ King’s Fund - London Calling? International recruitment of health workers to the capital ~ Synthetic Estimates of healthy lifestyle behaviours
OFT: Consumers using credit brokers to introduce them to sources of mortgages and consumer loans of £25,000 or less, are being reminded by the OFT that, if they are not found a suitable loan within six months and do not take up any loan offered (for whatever reason), the broker can only keep £5 of the arrangement fee.
Press release ~ Consumer Credit Act 1974 Section 155 - Right to recover brokerage fees - Guidance note ~ The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (No.1) Order 2003 ~ Consumer Credit Act 1974 – OFT Business information
OFT: The OFT has recently searched the premises of 22 companies in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire under warrant as part of an investigation into allegations of collusive tendering for public and private contracts in the construction industry between 2000 and 2005.
The OFT operates a leniency policy under which companies that report anti-competitive behaviour may qualify for 100% immunity or significant reductions from financial penalties under the Competition Act.
Press release ~ OFT - Enterprise Act 2002 ~ Guidance on the OFT’s leniency programme for cartels ~ Seeing the light ~ Confess to the OFT ~ Competition Act leniency regime ~ DTI – Enterprise Act ~ Competition Act Chapter I - prohibition on anti-competitive agreements.
OFT: The OFT has launched a market study into public sector information holders (PSIHs). The study will look at whether or not the way in which PSIHs supply information works well for businesses, and examine whether PSIHs have an unfair advantage selling on information in competition with companies who are reliant on the PSIH for that raw data in the first place.
Press release ~ Public Partners Information Scheme ~ The Regulations on the Re-use of Public Sector Information ~ HM Land Registry ~UK Hydrographic Office ~ Office of Public Sector Information ~ EC research led to publication of commercial exploitation of Europe’s public sector information
OFT: The OFT has written to eight major credit card companies to consult on its provisional conclusion that the levels of default charges they impose (e.g. for late payments) are excessive, bearing in mind that the law restricts the damages that can be awarded to compensate for loss suffered as a result of a breach of contract.
Press release ~
DH: A report found that over 700 people are currently barred from working in regulated social care settings by the Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme (POVA), which was one year old last week.
Press release ~ PoVA – Guide to scheme ~ FAQs ~
HSE: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has signed an agreement with the National Trust and Swindon Borough Council to work together on health and safety at Trust premises.
Cabinet Office: Five new non-party-political peers recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission have been announced by the government
ODPM: Entries are being invited (by Monday, 5 September 2005) for this year’s Deputy Prime Minister’s Awards for Sustainable Communities, which are intended to recognise people, projects and initiatives that contribute to making towns, cities and communities, including those in rural areas, better places in which to live and work.
CIOB: The CIOB have issued a ‘Position Statement’ in which they claim that the London Olympics 2012 is the perfect vehicle to promote a career in the built environment. They also support the use of temporary and re-usable venues along with demountable grandstands, as providing a sustainable solution that helps minimise capital expenditure and creates a harmony with the needs of the community.
The statement provides details of key bodies, facts & figures, construction timelines (with estimated costs) and venue information.
HM Treasury: The Treasury are consulting (closes
Minister Malcolm Wicks has published two consultations on different aspects of
connecting & regulating remote sources of renewable energy to the
grid. Both consultations close on
Press release ~ ’Adjusting Transmission Charges for Renewable Generators in the North of Scotland’ ~ ’Regulation of Offshore Electricity Transmission’ ~ DTI renewables website ~ British Wind Energy Association ~ Renewable Energy in Argyll ~ Energy Act 2004 (section 185)
DCMS: The DCMS and ODPM have launched a public consultation (closes 17th October) on revisions to the criteria used to assess a building’s suitability for listing, as they consider that the current criteria are broad & unclear and that the practice used by English Heritage when assessing buildings for listing needs to be clarified.
DH: Chief Nursing Officer Chris Beasley has launched a
· Services for people from black and ethnic minority groups
· The delivery of psychological therapies
· Health promotion
· Meeting the needs of carers.
Press release ~ consultation document ~ Delivering "Choosing Health" ~ "Delivering Race Equality" ~ Royal College of Nursing ~ RCN survey ~ National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE) ~ A good choice for Mental Health ~ Mental Health and Social Inclusion
Home Office/DH: Measures to tighten the procedures for the prescribing of controlled drugs in patient care have been announced in a joint consultation (closes
Press release ~ Misuse of Drugs Legislation consultation ~ Safer Management of Controlled Drugs ~ DH Substance Misuse website ~ Home Office Drugs Misuse website ~ Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) ~ Fourth Report of the Shipman Inquiry
Defra: Views are
being sought on proposals to restrict, and in some cases ban, the keeping of
endangered species and related specimens in the
Press release ~ Consultation paper ~ Defra - Global Wildlife and Zoos website ~ Council Regulation (EC) 338/97 ~ UK CITES website ~ International CITES website ~ WWF ES website ~ ARKive images website ~ UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Welsh Assembly Govt.: A new website that
provides people with information on the quality of local authority social
services has been launched. It
will have details of the joint reviews carried out by the Social Services Inspectorate for
Welsh Assembly Govt: Patients who are having problems coping
with difficult times during their life, such as the loss of a loved one or
depression, will now be offered a range of professionally selected self-help
books to complement traditional treatments as part of the Book Prescription Wales initiative
being extended across
HSE: The HSE has launched a new guide for safety and other trade union representatives, offering practical advice on long-term sickness absence and return to work issues. It outlines six key actions that union representatives can take, in partnership with employers, to reduce sickness absence and help sick employees to successfully return to work
Press release ~ Working together to prevent sickness absence becoming job loss ~ TUC H&S website ~ HSE sickness absence website ~ INDG397 - Off work sick and worried about your job ~ INDG399 - Managing sickness absence and return to work in small businesses
Defra: Defra has published two more guidance notes on pollution control standards for installations regulated by local authorities under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act.
FCO: The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices Science and Innovation Network annual report has been published.
Water Voice: A coalition of consumer bodies has expressed disappointment that the Government’s response to a House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee report - Debt and Disconnection - failed to acknowledge the need for an overhaul of the current system of third party deductions, against a background of rising utility bills.
Press release ~ House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee report, Debt and Disconnection ~ Debt and Disconnection: Government Response to the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2004-05 ~ Third party deductions scheme ~ Citizens Advice – Evidence to DWP working Party ~ Energy Retail Association ~ energywatch ~ < FONT color=#800080>National Consumer Council ~ Water UK ~ WaterVoice
ODPM: The Audit
Commission has published the Fire and Rescue Authorities’ Comprehensive Performance Assessment
(CPA) - the first independent review of
Press release ~ Fire CPA reports for English Fire and Rescue Authorities ~ ODPM Fire & Rescue Service website ~ Fire Fire White Paper, Our Fire and Rescue Service ~ National Framework for the Fire and Rescue Service ~ Latest Fire Statistics
DfT: The Department for Transport has today published National
Statistics on the travel habits of residents in
The 2005 Digest of
In addition, data for 2004
in Energy Consumption in the United
Kingdom have also been released, which brings together statistics from a
variety of sources, providing a comprehensive review of energy consumption in
HSC: The Health & Safety Commission has published the latest detailed statistics on fatal injuries in HSE and local authority (LA) enforced sectors in 2004/05 - Statistics of Fatal Injuries 2004/2005.
DCMS: The DCMS and MLA support the recommendations in an independent report by PKF Accountants and Business Advisors that examined a case for a national purchasing agency for libraries, streamline processes and extended opening hours.
Defra: Environment Minister Elliot Morley has agreed to make a drought order to allow Southern Water to reduce the compensation flow from Weir Wood reservoir to the River Medway from 5.45 Ml/d to 3.6 megalitres a day.
Defra: A pilot programme of lay TB cattle testing is to start next month, Defra has announced. The Veterinary Surgery (Testing for Tuberculosis in Bovines) Order 2005 permits competent State Veterinary Service Animal Health Officers to be trained in intradermal skin testing techniques and, under direct veterinary supervision, to carry out tuberculin testing and measure & record the results.
DCA: The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in the case of R (Burke) v the General Medical Council. The judgment of the Court is to allow the GMCs appeal, and to set aside the declarations made by the judge.
Mr Burke took proceedings because he does not wish to die of hunger & thirst and wished to be assured that before his condition reached its final stage, artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) would not be withdrawn.
ODPM: New rights for leaseholders to receive regular statements of their service charges are to be delayed following concerns raised by social landlords in a recent consultation. The ODPM does not expect progress on other outstanding accounting provisions in the 2002 Act to be delayed and that a further announcement on the commencement of these provisions will be made in due course.
DfES: Pilot schemes to examine the practical questions of building on the phonics teaching already present in primary schools and early years settings, and further catch-up classes for children with severe literacy problems will be introduced in 200 selected primary schools and linked early years settings from September, Schools Minister Andrew Adonis has confirmed.
Press release ~
Skills Secretary Ruth Kelly has announced that every baby and young child in
DfES: News of a summer camps programme
that will provide sporting & educational activities over the next two
years, for over 20,000 children from
DfES: The government has announced increased weekly thresholds for the existing Higher Education Childcare Grant and the widening of categories of eligible childcare to allow students parents using carers approved under the new Childcare Approval Scheme access to the HE Childcare Grant.
HMRC: Business Brief 14/05
· VAT - Disclosure of VAT Avoidance Schemes - Changes to the rules
· VAT - Partial Exemption: Tribunal decision in National Provident Institution (NPI)
· Consultation document on changes to the VAT exemption for insurance-related services
Organiser: Royal British Legion -Forthcoming Fundraising Events
The tenth anniversary of our hugely popular annual
Venue: Malmaison Hotel, Birmingham
Organiser: Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
This half day seminar will deal with the practical implementation of the new rules, recent court cases covering the current legislation and procurement under EU treaty rules.
Organiser: Capita Conferences
The Government wants to increase the provision and access to low cost home ownership in
Recently a raft of policies have been introduced which are designed to help aspiring homeowners onto the property ladder and this conference will keep you up to date with the rapid pace of reform.
In the morning, expert speakers will outline and evaluate current and future low cost home ownership schemes including shared ownership, HomeBuy and Key Worker programmes. Local authorities and housing associations will be encouraged to apply these schemes as widely as possible, so now is the time to consider their impact on your organisation.
For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE