Consultations announced during Wired-Gov Plus’s summer break:
HCA: The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and London Councils have put forward plans for sweeping changes which could see London boroughs taking greater control of their housing budgets, as part of a proposed devolution package from Whitehall to London.
Newswire – CWDC: The Coalition Government have announced restrictions on the number of workers entering the UK from outside Europe. Skills for Care & Development are coordinating a response from the social work & social care sectors to the MAC to ensure employer views are represented. (Non-UK workers from inside the EEA will not be affected by the new limits.)
WAG: The Welsh Assembly Government is currently seeking people’s views on the draft food strategy for Wales, 'Food for Wales, Food from Wales 2010-2020'. To complement this, a series of regional consultation events will be held throughout Wales in September 2010.
WAG: As part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Bovine TB Eradication programme, the Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has launched a consultation on a draft legislative order to control TB in camelids, goats & deer.
WAG: Proposals to reduce the time taken on the legal process for school reorganisations have been published for consultation.
ScotGov: An action plan setting out a 3-year vision for improving the health & wellbeing of people with diabetes has been published. The Scottish Diabetes Action Plan 2010 offers the opportunity for the diabetes community to work together to share best practice, support & deliver high quality care.
ScotGov: The Scottish Government is consulting on regulations to govern national tenancy deposit schemes aimed at preventing landlords from wrongly withholding cash from tenants. Wrongly withheld tenancy deposits in Scotland may amount to nearly £3.6m p.a. - due to between 8,000 and 11,000 tenants.
ScotGov: Communities have been urged to speak up for rural Scotland and join the debate into its future. A three month consultation has been launched on plans devised by the Rural Development Council to help economic recovery.
OFT: The OFT is consulting on draft guidance which sets out in detail how it conducts investigations into potential breaches of competition law.
Ofcom: Consumers in Hull could soon benefit from better value for money communications packages under moves unveiled by Ofcom.
NICE: In its latest draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) remains unable to recommend omalizumab (Xolair, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK) for the treatment of severe persistent allergic asthma in children aged 6-11 years.
NICE: NICE is currently updating part of its guidance on the use of peginterferon alfa & ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.
NICE: NICE is currently developing a clinical guideline on the assessment & management of psychosis with co-existing substance misuse in adults & young people.
NICE: NICE has recently opened the consultation on its draft clinical guideline on the diagnosis & assessment of food allergies in children & young people.
Monitor: Monitor has published a consultation on changes to the Principles & Rules for Co-operation & Competition.
LLUK: Lifelong Learning UK is currently reviewing the National Occupational Standards for Work with Parents. The standards were approved in April 2005, and were recently incrementally changed to remove level associations.
LLUK: Current NVQs in learning & development will not be available beyond March 2011. There is an urgent need to consult on what qualifications would be appropriate to replace these. Lifelong Learning UK are working with partners across all sectors to propose new qualifications for the learning & development workforce.
HO: The Government has published a consultation on the new drug strategy, which sets out the key themes of the Government’s vision for drugs policy – which includes preventing drug taking, disrupting drug supply, strengthening enforcement and promoting drug treatment & recovery. The targeted consultation is an opportunity for drug experts, charities and law enforcement agencies to help inform the new drug strategy, which will be launched before the end of 2010.
HO: The Home Office has launched the consultation Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting Police and the People, which contains proposals for ways to make police in England & Wales more responsive, more accountable, more effective and better value for money.
HO: Rebalancing the Licensing Act - a consultation on empowering individuals, families and local communities to shape & determine local licensing
EU News: The European Commission's Reflection Group ("Comité des Sages") on digitisation has launched a consultation on how best to foster the online presence of cultural heritage.
DWP: The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has been asked by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions to consider proposals for The Employment and Support Allowance (Limited Capability For Work And Limited Capability For Work-Related Activity) Amendment Regulations 2011.
DWP: The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has been asked by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions to consider proposals for the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2010, and the associated amendments to the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions Order) 2010.
DWP: Set out in a Command Paper entitled 21st Century Welfare are a series of options which focus on ensuring work always pays and is clearly seen to pay. They include allowing people to keep more of what they earn as they move into work whilst withdrawing benefits at a single, more reasonable rate as people start to earn more money. They include allowing people to keep more of what they earn as they move into work whilst withdrawing benefits at a single, more reasonable rate as people start to earn more money.
DFID: The Government is set to put the fight against malaria at the forefront of aid efforts in Africa, International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, has announced.
Defra: 15 new Marine Protected Areas have been created, designed to protect important habitats and species. 2 consultations have also started for sites at the Dogger Bank in the North Sea and proposed new boundaries for Lune Deep and Prawle Point to Start Point.
Defra: The new Task Force on Farming Regulation are calling for opinions & ideas on ways to improve approaches to regulation as part of a wide ranging consultation.
Defra: The Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera) would like to hear from anyone who markets vegetable seed to amateur gardeners as part of a consultation on the implementation of new European legislation.
CLG: Communities and Local Government has published a consultation on the consolidation & amendment of the EIA Regulations. The amendments will revoke & consolidate 4 previous Statutory Instruments (SIs).
CLG: Students studying at universities in Europe will receive the same council tax exemptions as students studying here under new proposals by Local Government Minister Bob Neill.
BIS: John Hayes has launched a consultation on the future of the right to request time to train. The legal right for workers in businesses with more than 250 employees to request time to take up relevant training came into effect from 6 April 2010.
BIS: The Government has launched a consultation on how best to ensure that corporate narrative reporting consistently provides clear, coherent & relevant information - enabling a good understanding of the performance & prospects of a business.
CQC: The Care Quality Commission has joined together with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to create guidance for inspectors & assessors. The guidance, created with the help of the CQC Voices for Equality and Human Rights group, will help to ensure robust scrutiny of human rights issues within CQC essential standards of quality & safety.
ACE: On 19 May 2010 the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced legislation that could see arts, heritage and sport each receiving an extra £50m a year in Lottery funding. The Department for Culture, Media & Sport is currently consulting on this proposal and you can take part in this process at the DCMS website.
Newswire – LC: In a consultation launched recently, the Law Commission sets out the case for reducing the scope for criminal law to be used in regulated fields such as farming, food safety,
banking & retail sales. Criminal sanctions should only be used to tackle serious wrongdoing.
CLG: A major new 'localism' proposal to cut red tape and hand over financial control of council service improvements & training to local government leaders was announced recently by Communities & Local Government Minister, Bob Neill.
Under new proposals, the Local Government Association (LGA) or a similar body will take control over how to use funding that gets redirected, or 'top-sliced', by Whitehall from the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) councils receive each year.
DfE: Children’s Minister Tim Loughton has called on all local authorities to make it easier for foster carers to make decisions for the children in their care, and free them from over-zealous restrictions & bureaucracy. In a letter to all local authorities, the minister outlined his concern at accounts of excessive restrictions on foster carers imposed by some local authorities.
The letter coincides with the launch of a consultation (closes on Friday 19 November 2010) on proposed changes to Children’s Homes and Fostering guidance & regulations. The changes are designed to reduce delay in foster placements, streamline bureaucracy and remove overly prescriptive regulations, including proposals to reduce the size of fostering and adoption panels
Newswire: The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have launched an Offender Learning Review(closing date is the 24 September 2010) that covers offender learning in custody and in the community. The review gives the opportunity for colleges & providers to provide evidence to BIS to inform a Ministerial Meeting in October 2010 between BIS, DWP and the MoJ that will inform the MoJ ‘Rehabilitation Revolution’ Green Paper to be published in November 2010.
EA: Extended consultation on draft decision to grant an environmental permit for the Viridor Energy from Waste plant at Trident Park, Cardiff - The Environment Agency want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to comment so, in response to concerns about people being unavailable to comment during the school summer holiday, they have extended the consultation deadline to 10 September 2010.
Newswire – DirectGov: What can be done to improve family justice? If you have views about issues such as divorce proceedings, contact with children after family breakdown, cases of children going in to care, or of mediation - the Family Justice Review (FJR) would like to hear from you.
The FJR was set up earlier this year and is investigating how to improve the family justice system. The FJR particularly wants to hear from you if you have experienced or been affected by divorce, child contact or residence issues or care proceedings for children. To support this, a short questionnaire has been designed to make it easy for you to give feedback on the way the system could be improved.
FSA: A Russian company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market taxifolin as a novel food ingredient. Taxifolin is extracted from a type of larch wood and has been marketed in Russia & the US for 15-20 years as a food supplement. The company, Ametis JSG, is seeking an authorisation to market taxifolin as a dietary supplement in dairy, meat and confectionery products, as well as in oil & fats, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Any comments on the application should be emailed to the ACNFP secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 September 2010. The comments will be considered by the committee when it begins its assessment of this novel food ingredient.
Newswire – LC: In its latest consultation (closes on 3 December 2010) the Law Commission, which advises the Government on law reform, suggests a shake-up of procedures to bring consistency to the way the main public services ombudsmen do business and make it easier for the public to seek redress. The consultation focuses on 5 statutory ombudsmen: the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, and the Local Government, Health Service and Housing Ombudsmen.
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has issued a consultation (closes on 15 October 2010) on detailed proposals to improve local government elections in Scotland. The consultation seeks views on a range of issues including the design of the ballot paper, the election timetable and the timing of the count. It is the third in a series of consultations following the publication of the Independent Review of the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary and Local Government Elections (the Gould Report).
The previous consultations addressed the decoupling of local government elections from elections to the Scottish Parliament and the possible creation of a post of Chief Returning Officer for Scotland.
ScotGov: A consultation has been launched about a Scottish Social Housing Charter. The new legislation proposed in the Housing Bill, currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament includes powers to modernise the regulation of social housing; creating an independent Scottish Housing Regulator, which will safeguard & promote the interests of tenants, homeless people and other service users.