Ofgem: Ofgem has recently launched a consultation on its Consumer Vulnerability Strategy which seeks to bring the energy industry & consumer groups together to help protect consumers.  This proposed new strategy builds on Ofgem’s longstanding Social Action Strategy and ties in with the ongoing Retail Market Review, which aims to make the energy market simpler for all consumers. Consultation closes on 3 December 2012.
Press release & links
CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published a consultation about the fees that it will be charging to registered providers in 2013/14This year’s consultation includes proposals for the fees for primary medical services (including NHS general practice) when they register with the CQC next April and some changes to the current fees for other providers of health and care services.
CQC is also seeking views on the future direction for fees.  In line with Government policy, CQC plans to reach full cost recovery from providers by 2015/16.  It also plans to move towards a model in which fee charges will better reflect activity – higher charges for those services which require more interventions, and lower charges which ‘incentivise’ quality services. Consultation closes on 21 December 2012.
Press release ~ Consultation
EU News: Complaints are often aired about the red tape created by European law.   However, there is a definite lack of concrete proposals to reduce this burden.  This consultation process for SMEs and their representative organisations, will help to identify the top 10 EU legislative acts considered most burdensome by micro-companies and SMEs.  Consultation closes on 21 December 2012.
Press release & links
FSA: The Financial Services Authority has proposed a number of changes to the Listing Rules that aim to enhance the effectiveness of the Listing Regime.  The Listing Rules set out the requirements for companies listed in the UK and are the responsibility of the United Kingdom Listing Authority (UKLA), operating under the FSA.  Consultation closes on 2 January 2013.
Press release & links
CLG: Since its designation as a new town in 1967 Milton Keynes has been subject to central Government involvement either through the establishment of Development Corporations or, more recently, through the Milton Keynes Partnership Committee.
But under new plans published for consultation last week, those planning functions currently undertaken by the Homes and Communities Agency would be transferred to Milton Keynes Council. This would allow Milton Keynes Council the opportunity to plan development more strategically in their area and also allow local residents a greater say in how that land is developed. The consultation closes on Monday 29 October 2012.
Press release & links
FRC: The Financial Reporting Council has issued a consultation on the proposed update of the guidance to auditors on the audit of financial instruments; an update to Practice Note 23 (Revised). The proposed update reflects both the clarified International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) (UK and Ireland) and updated guidance issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) in its International Auditing Practice Note (IAPN) 1000, Special Considerations in Auditing Financial Instruments.

The FRC has supplemented IAPN 1000 with guidance that is currently set out in Practice Note 23 (Revised) that is still believed relevant and with a small amount of new guidance in relation to matters not covered in either IAPN 1000 or Practice Note 23 (Revised).  The consultation closes on 4 January 2013.
Press release & links
FRC: The Financial Reporting Council has recently issued an Exposure Draft of limited scope amendments to the proposed accounting standard draft FRS 102.  The FRC anticipates finalising the draft FRS in early 2013 and for it to be effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015. 
The FRC also hopes to finalise its draft FRSs 100 & 101 later this year, enabling subsidiaries and parent entities to take advantage of the reduced disclosure framework for 31 December 2012 year ends.
In view of the limited scope of these amendments the FRC is inviting comments over a 60 day period, ending on 3 December 2012.
Press release & links
WAG: The Welsh Government has outlined plans that would make it easier & quicker for businesses, schools, colleges & hospitals to make improvements to their premises. The plans, which are set out in a new consultation, are part of the Welsh Government’s work to support economic recovery.   They propose extending permitted development rights for sectors that are key to economic recovery, and would affect shops, offices, factories, educational institutions and hospitals.
The consultation is not just about relaxing restrictions.  It outlines greater regulation of new hard surfaces in industrial & warehouse developments, proposing the use of permeable materials in order to reduce flood risk.   It also proposes greater restrictions on permitted development rights in World Heritage sites. The consultation closes on 11 January 2013.
Press release & links
BIS: Businesses seeking to bring down the cost of their electricity bills are encouraged to contribute to a new Government consultation launched this week over its proposed £250m Energy Intensive Industries Package (EIIP)
The £m pound package aims to reduce the impact of energy & climate change policies on the cost of electricity for energy intensive industries.  Industry & other interested parties are encouraged to comment on the proposals. Consultation closes on 21 December 2012.
Press release & links
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