Newswire – HCA: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is creating a panel of 400 senior housing & regeneration professionals to provide expert insights into pressing industry issues. CEs, directors & heads of service from the public, private & third sectors are being invited to take part in a series of quarterly online surveys that will explore current issues like meeting affordable housing targets, delivering low carbon homes in difficult economic times and measuring the success of the HCA's Single Conversation business process.  
Following the appointment of panel members over the next few weeks, the first survey will focus on the impact the recession has had on the housing and regeneration industry.  Each survey will include a series of benchmark questions about the recession to help track the perceived degree of recovery over the next 12 months.  If you would like to become a panel member then please contact Jo Bell:  / 0113 3949410
Press release ~ HCA's Single Conversation
ScotGovPlans to convert long lease properties into ownership are being put out to consultation (closes on 30 June 2010), Community Safety Minister, Fergus Ewing, announced last week. The proposed changes, which would be introduced through a Long Leases (Scotland) Bill, could affect 9,000 long leases in certain parts of the country.  The consultation is based on recommendations made by a Scottish Law Commission (SLC) Report of December 2006, on the conversion of long leases to ownership.
Long leases tended to be granted by large estates (often between 1770 & 1860) to encourage the industrialisation of Scotland.  Leases would be eligible to convert to ownership so long as:
* they were granted for more than 175 years
* have more than 100 years to run
* the tenant does not opt out. 

Subject to the response to the consultation and the availability of parliamentary time, the Scottish Government intends to introduce a Long Leases (Scotland) Bill in the current Parliament.
Press release ~ Consultation Paper on Long Leases (Scotland) Bill ~ Scottish Law Commission (SLC) Report on the conversion of long leases to ownership
DECC: The government has published a new action plan on international climate change (‘Beyond Copenhagen: The UK Government’s International Climate Change Action Plan’), which shows what must be done to build on the progress made at Copenhagen. The plan sets out the Government’s belief that the low carbon transformation can be a major driver of economic growth & job creation – in the UK, in Europe and globally.
It has also published a consultation on a new low carbon skills strategy (closes on 23 June 2010) which includes co-funding the delivery of up to 2,500 apprenticeships in the emerging wind energy sector, in line with the sector’s ambition for the size of its workforce in 2017.  

The joint consultation document produced with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills sets out what we know about the scale & nature of the low-carbon skills challenge, what we’re already doing to tackle it and seeks views on what more needs to happen.
Cogent’s report – Next Generation : Skills for New Build Nuclear (also published last week) – outlines for the first time the employment opportunities that new nuclear reactors could bring, helping to build a clear picture of skills requirements in the sector.
Press release ~ Beyond Copenhagen; The UK Government's International Climate Change Action Plan ~ Meeting the low carbon skills challenge: a consultation on equipping people with the skills to take advantage of opportunities in the low carbon and resource efficient economy ~ Carbon Reduction Delivery and Adaptation Plans ~ Next Generation – Skills for New Build Nuclear ~ Climate Change: Taking Action – Delivering the Low Carbon Transition Plan and preparing for a changing climate
Defra: Proposals to simplify & improve the rules around livestock movements have been published. The proposals include:
* more robust business rules for CPH allocation, supported by a single maintained dataset of land & customer data (including re-affirmation of 10 mile rule for CPH allocation)
* abolishing Cattle Tracing System links (CTS)
* abolishing Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs)
* extending the circumstances in which isolation facilities can be used to serve livestock movement standstills
These proposals address both Sir Iain Anderson’s concerns about recording of livestock data and Bill Madders’ recommendations for streamlining the complicated ‘livestock movements rules’. 

This consultation (closes 30 June 2010 and which covers England only) also canvasses opinion on sheep recording & reporting arrangements to replace the interim arrangements introduced on 1 January 2010.  
Press release ~ Consultation on the simplification of livestock movement rules and holding identifiers in England ~ Madders Report ~ Sir Iain Anderson’s reviews of the handling of the Foot & Mouth Disease outbreaks in 2001 & 2007
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published a consultation (closes 30 June 2010) on changes to its client asset rules.  The aim of the consultation is to ensure that clients have confidence their money & assets are safe and will be returned within a reasonable timeframe in the event that a firm becomes insolvent
The failure of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (LBIE) highlighted a number of areas where the client assets sourcebook (CASS) could be strengthened.  Keen to learn lessons, the FSA has been reviewing this area on a number of fronts including engagement with a number of working groups and extensive pre-consultation with firms.  The FSA also input into the Treasury’s consultations which considered effective resolution arrangements for investment banks.
Press release ~ Consultation Paper
ACE: Tim Smit, CEO from Eden, argues that there is a major role for the arts in ensuring a sustainable future.

Eden has an environmental education role and works with the arts to develop these messages, but Tim feels that the arts have a far bigger role to play, particularly in developing a language that reaches beyond the environmental sector and providing a focus for collective & community action.
Read Tim's full article and let Arts Council England know your views on the future, in their consultation (closes on 14 April 2010) on the development priorities for the next 10 years - Achieving great art for everyone.
Press release ~ Tim's full article ~ Consultation
Your Guide to Public Sector Payments 101