Defra: Proposals for the way in which a site will be chosen for the long-term disposal of higher activity radioactive waste have been published for public consultation (closes 2 November 2007) by the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Wales & Northern Ireland. They stressed that this is not the start of a site selection process,
The consultation is seeking views on the technical aspects of designing & delivering a disposal facility for higher-activity radioactive waste and on the process & criteria to be used in deciding where the future facility should be located.
The interesting news is that the Scottish government has declined to endorse the plans to consult on proposals to bury nuclear waste in deep geological facilities in Scotland.
Defra press release ~ SE press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Ian Pearson's written Ministerial Statement ~ Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) ~ Defra - High and intermediate waste ~ Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) ~ HSE: Joint regulatory guidance on radioactive waste management ~ Security regulation: Office from Civil Nuclear Security
HM Treasury: The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ed Balls, has announced that the Government intends to give the Financial Services Authority (FSA) the responsibility for regulating the selling of travel insurance sold along with a holiday.  The FSA at present only regulate travel insurance sold on a stand-alone basis. This will come into effect from January 2009, following a further period of consultation (closes 18 September 2007).
Travel firms that decide not to seek FSA authorisation will be able to sell travel insurance through an appointed representatives route (i.e. the travel firm will be able to sell travel insurance on behalf of a FSA regulated company).
There are additional options available to travel firms that may allow them to provide information on insurance for remuneration and, as part of the consultation, HM Treasury are seeking views on whether these freedoms offer travel firms a viable alternative to continue offering insurance services to their customers.
Press release ~ Consultation document: Summary of Responses to review and next steps ~ Treasury Select Committee (TSC): Are you covered? Travel insurance and its regulation ~ Previous Call for Evidence ~ Financial Services Authority (FSA) ~ Financial Ombudsman Service ~ Association of British Insurers ~ Travel insurance : FSA Money made clear
Defra: Detailed proposals for the implementation of the UK's pioneering emissions trading scheme for large organisations in business & the public sector have been set out for consultation (closes 9 October 2007).
The Carbon Reduction Commitment is a mandatory auction-based emissions trading scheme for organisations using more than 6,000 MWh/year from mandatory half-hour meters, equivalent to an electricity bill of around £500,000 a year at current prices, which are collectively responsible for around 14 million tonnes of carbon each year.
The Government intends to bring the CRC into force in 2010, beginning with a three-year introductory phase, during which allowances will be sold at a fixed price.
Press release ~ Consultation on the implementation proposals of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) ~ Defra - Sustainable development ~ Carbon Reduction Commitment ~ Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
SGC: Consultation (closes on 2 November 2007) guidelines - Assault and other offences against the person, and Overarching principles: Assaults on children and Cruelty to a child - published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) recognise the considerable range of harm caused to victims of violent offences.
The first guideline deals with 7 commonly charged offences of violence, which almost always involve the infliction of harm (which can be temporary or permanent) directly by an offender, or an intention to cause harm to a victim even if harm does not if fact result.
The second guideline includes advice on the principles relevant to sentencing in cases involving child victims of assault and also contains guidance in relation to the specific offence of cruelty to a child.
In making its recommendations the SGC received comprehensive advice from the Sentencing Advisory Panel  (SAP) (also published), which consulted widely to reach its conclusions.  The Council is proposing a different approach to sentencing for attempted murder to that advised by the Panel and full details are provided in a separate background document to support the consultation process.
Press release ~ Consultation guideline on sentencing offenders for assault and other offences against the person ~ Consultation guideline - Overarching principles: Assault on children and cruelty to a child ~ Read the letter to consultees ~ Notes and questions ~ SAP -Advice on sentencing for assault and other offences against the person ~ Sentencing Guidelines Council ~ Sentencing Advisory Panel
DWP: The Government has set out proposals for consultation (closes on 25 September 2007) to require unmarried parents to jointly register the birth of their children.  The Green Paper Joint Birth Registration: promoting parental responsibility proposes that unmarried fathers may face penalties for refusing to be named on their child's birth certificate. 
Currently, for unmarried parents, the responsibility to register a new baby lies solely with the mother and it is only the mother who faces penalties if she does not comply.
Press releaseGreen Paper: Joint Birth Registration: promoting parental responsibility ~ Characteristics of Sole Registered births and the mothers who register them ~ White Paper: A New System of Child Maintenance ~ Singleparents UK ~ Registering the birth : Directgov - Parents
OFT:  The Office of Fair trading (OFT) has announced a formal consultation (closes 21 September 2007) on the draft guidance on fitness and requirements for holders & applicants of Consumer Credit licences, as well as simultaneously consulting on a draft statement of policy on civil penalties for failure to comply with requirements.
Following reforms of the consumer credit legislation, the OFT is issuing revised guidance on how it will decide whether a person is fit to hold a Consumer Credit licence, and how the OFT will exercise its power to impose requirements on licensees.
The OFT's powers have been strengthened by the reforms and this new guidance explains how the OFT will identify those individuals & businesses that pose greater risks to consumers, then remove or refuse their consumer credit licences.
Press release ~ Draft guidance on fitness and requirements ~ Draft guidance on the use of civil penalties ~ OFT: Consumer credit licences
SP: New procurement guidelines which aim to place greater emphasis upon environmental & social issues have been published by the Scottish Parliament in a month long consultation (closes 20 July 2007) that is open to the public - See ‘Policy Statements and Initiatives’ above for more details.
HMRC: Options for improved payment methods for taxpayers and modernised debt management operations are contained in a consultation (closes 17 September 2007) document published by HM Revenue & Customs – See ‘Business and other Briefings’ below.
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published a consultation paper (closes 28 September 2007) proposing to reform the rules firms need to follow in carrying out general insurance business with their customers - See Business and other Briefings’ below,
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published the first proposals for discussion & consultation (closes on 31 December 2007) from the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) - See Business and other Briefings’ below,
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