Directgov: This consultation sets out, and asks your views on, proposed reforms to the civil justice system in the county courts in England & Wales.  You have until 30 June 2011 to respond.
Press release & links
DfT: A consultation (closes on 20 May 2011) on the implementation of new EU rules covering the licensing of lorry, bus & coach operators has been announced by Roads Minister Mike Penning.  The European rules under which hire & reward operators are licensed are being changed by a new EC Regulation coming into force in December 2011.  It will require other member states to act on information from UK enforcement agencies when operators commit infringements.
The areas covered in the consultation include the role of transport managers, how operators can demonstrate sufficient financial standing and how operators’ transport managers can demonstrate their professional competence.
Press release & links
Defra: Water bills will be cut for the most vulnerable households under plans announced by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman. The consultation (closes on 17 June 2011) builds on the findings & recommendations of Anna Walker’s independent review of charging for household water & sewerage services and further analysis by Ofwat on options for tackling high water bills in the South West.
Press release & related links ~ Consultation: Water affordability in response to the Walker Review of charging for household water and sewerage services ~ Related WWF press release & links
HO: A public consultation (closes on 28 Jun 2011) on the future of police leadership & training has been launched by Policing Minister Nick Herbert. It follows the publication of a report into leadership & training by Peter Neyroud, former chief executive of the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA).
Press release & related links ~ Review of police leadership and training (scroll down for report)
DfE: The Department for Education has announced new & clearer guidance for teachers on how they should deal with bad behaviour, which clarifies powers of teachers to search students & use force. More than 600 pages of guidance have been cut down to 50.
The Department is also appointing a new Expert Adviser on Behaviour – headteacher Charles Taylor – who has a track record in radically improving behaviour in some of the most troubled schools.  Behaviour in good schools is not a serious problem but overall it remains a big concern for parents.  The consultation will close on 30 May 2011.  The guidance will be revised again if the Education Bill is passed.
Press release & related links
Defra: Fishermen will have more control over how they operate & better opportunities to profit under plans to overhaul the way fishing quotas are managed in England, Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon has claimed.  
The proposals for community quota schemes focus on safeguarding small-scale fleets, enabling fishermen and other local businesses and organisations to work together to manage their overall quotas flexibly, along with increasing their ability to swap & purchase quotas and connect better with markets.  These groups would also have a seat at the table in discussions with Government, regulators and industry.  Consultation closes on 30 June 2011.
Press release & related links
DWP: Plans that will see the ‘biggest shake up of the state pension system for generations’ have been unveiled for consultation (closes on 24 June 2011) by the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb – See ‘In the News’ section for more information.
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