Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGov: Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed Lord Sutherland's independent review of Free Personal and Nursing Care, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government to look at the total levels & distribution of funding for the policy and how to secure its long-term sustainability.

Lord Sutherland also stated in his review that the UK Government was wrong to remove Attendance Allowance resources from the Scottish budget following the introduction of Free Personal and Nursing Care.
Press release ~ Independent Review of Free Personal and Nursing Care in Scotland ~ ScotGov – Health ~ Free Personal Care ~ JRF: Free personal care in Scotland ~ JRF: Lessons from the funding of long-term care in Scotland ~ Cash shortfall for Scotland's free care - Guardian
Defra: Britain must remain at the forefront of the green industrial revolution, creating jobs and economic growth, ministers said last week as they published plans to work with business to build a low carbon economy in Britain. Building a Low Carbon Economy: Unlocking Environmental Innovation and Skills is published in response to the 2007 Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance’s (CEMEP) report.
The Government has identified four main prerequisites for building a low carbon economy:
* A clear, consistent long-term policy framework to provide business with the confidence to invest and to enable the timely development of innovative products & services
* Policies that positively support innovation, to create the conditions that allow innovation to flourish
* Developing the right skills by drawing on the talent & creativity of the British people
* Fostering true partnerships between Government, business, trade unions, higher education bodies and others
Press release ~ Building a Low Carbon Economy: Unlocking Environmental Innovation and Skills (executive summary) ~ Climate Change Bill
ScotGov: Statistics on the levels of affordable housing planned across Scotland have been published. The report - Affordable Housing Securing Planning Consent - details all affordable housing that has secured planning consent by planning authority area during 2005-07.
The statistics estimated that in 2005-07 12,173 affordable housing units were granted planning consent – 78% of these are to be entirely publicly funded (including where a Registered Social Landlord intends to supply funds raised commercially), while 22% will involve some contributions from private developers.

Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell said: "The Scottish Government has made clear its commitment to housing and our intention to increase housing supply, across all tenures, to at least 35,000 annually by the middle of the next decade”.
Press release ~ Affordable Housing Securing Planning Consent, 2005-2007 ~ Planning Advice Note: PAN 74 Affordable Housing ~ Scottish Planning Policy SPP3: Planning for Housing: Consultative Draft ~ ScotGov - Statistics ~ Design At The Heart Of House Building ~ Homes for Scotland ~ Scottish Housing Market Review - Evidence and Analysis 2007 ~ Scottish Federation of Housing Associations ~ Communities Scotland ~ Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 ~ Important changes to improve the quality of private sector housing ~ Helping Homeless People ~ Towards 2012: Homelessness Support Project
DefraBy 2020 half of all milk packaging will be made from recycled materials.  That was just one of the targets launched last week by Defra and the UK dairy industry in a Milk Roadmap that aims to reduce the environmental impacts of producing & consuming liquid milk.
The draft document contains a set of short, medium & long-term actions to improve the environmental performance of the dairy sector.  For example, dairy producers have committed to reducing the greenhouse gas balance (including carbon dioxide, methane & nitrous oxide) from dairy farms by 20-30% between 1990 & 2020.
The production sector has also undertaken to boost the number of dairy farmers taking part in environmental stewardship schemes to 65%, nutrient planning to 90% and animal health plans to 95%, enhancing their ecosystems, improving animal welfare and cutting emissions from soil & fertiliser.
Press release ~ The Milk Roadmap ~ Evidence base for the milk roadmap ~ Dairy Supply Chain Forum ~ Taskforce ~ Dairy UK ~ Defra - Environmental Stewardship
WAG: A Welsh language Sabbaticals Scheme has been developed by the Assembly Government to boost the number of bilingual practitioners across Wales.  It has been running successfully since January 2006 with a 100% completion rate.  As a result of this, and an external evaluation, the initial pilot scheme has been extended for a further two-year period, with courses now running until July 2009.
The scheme is aimed at teachers, lecturers and work-based training providers who speak Welsh fairly fluently, but who lack the confidence or specialised terminology to use these skills in a professional context.  Full-time or part-time practitioners in primary & secondary schools, further education institutions and private training providers across Wales are eligible.  Supply staff may also be considered, subject to certain conditions.
Press release ~ Welsh language Sabbaticals Scheme
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