DCSF: Dr Tanya Byron is asking children & young people under the age of 18 to come forward with their opinions on the internet and video games. The call for evidence (closes 17 December 2007) is for those children & young people who use the internet & video games for fun, socialising & education and it will ask children & young people questions such as:
* what they see as the benefits of the internet / video games
* whether they think there are any dangers or risks involved in using the internet / video games
* whether and how their internet / video games use is controlled
* how well they think those controls work
* whether they think anything else might be done to keep children safe online
Press release ~ Byron Review ~ Call for evidence
MoJ / Home Office: The government has published 3 consultations under the generic heading of the ‘Governance of Britain’:
* The first is a consultation on how Parliament should play a stronger role in approving decisions to deploy the Armed Forces into conflict abroad and on the ratification of treaties (closes 17 January 2008).
* The second concerns the role of the Attorney General (closes 30 November 2007).
* The third concerns the proposals to allow government buildings to fly the flag continually (closes 9 November 2007).
Two further consultations (both closing 17 January 2008) have also been published concerning:
* the future role of the Government in judicial appointments, and
* management of protests in Parliament Square
MoJ Treaty press release ~ MoJ Judicial appointments press release ~ Home Office News ~ Governance of Britain Green Paper ~ The consultation War Powers & Treaties: Limiting Executive Powers ~ Ponsonby Rule ~ Consultation on Judicial appointments ~ Consultation on protests in Parliament Square ~ The governance of Britain: a consultation on the role of the Attorney General ~ Flag Flying
CLG: Housing Minister Yvette Cooper has re-announced a drive to deliver more affordable housing by bringing empty homes back into use and giving more cash to communities who are building more homes. The announcement was made in a new consultation (closes on 17 January 2008) on the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) and form part of the Government's plans to build 3 million more homes to be built by 2020.
The Government will make clear to councils they should also have strategies in place to bring more empty homes back into use in order to be able to access the funding.  The HPDG supersedes the Planning Delivery Grant which provided additional funding as a reward for councils who had speeded up their planning decisions.
Press release ~ Consultation on the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) ~ Proposals for a new Housing and Planning Delivery Grant ~ Empty Homes ~ Homes for the future ~ Empty Dwelling Management Orders: Guidance for residential property owners
CLGCommunities and Local Government have published a consultation document (closes 31 January 2008) which puts forward options for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for the Fire and Rescue Service in England.
A CoE will only be established if the consensus of the FRS is that a CoE is required and FRAs are willing to commit their ongoing support (including financial support) to the establishment & running of a CoE. The outcome of the consultation will help to determine whether there is such support and how these proposals are taken forward. The earliest date on which it would be practicable to establish a CoE is April 2009
Press release ~ Centre of Excellence for the Fire and Rescue Service consultation ~ CLG – Fire & resilience ~ Fire Gateway

MoJ: A package of measures to enhance openness and increase public access to information, including a review of the ‘30-year rule’ and extending the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, has been announced by the Prime Minister. The Government is also to consult formally on extending the application of the Freedom of Information Act (closes on 1 February 2008) to include a range of organisations that perform public functions – See ‘In the News’ above
Seamless Security