Consultations

ONS: In November 2010, the PM asked the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to, “devise a new way of measuring wellbeing in Britain.”  The media coverage following the announcement focused on the subjective well-being or ‘happiness’ aspect of the work.  Whilst important, asking individuals about how satisfied they are with their lives is only part of ONS’s work on measuring national well-being.
 
Through the project, ONS will identify the most important areas of concern for people in the UK and how to go about producing measures that reflect those areas. A national debate has already started and some of the themes which are already becoming apparent as important to people include - job security, relationships with families and health.

The debate will run until April 2011 and the findings will help inform the development of the measures that will be used to track the nation's well-being. People can take part in the debate by visiting ONS website:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/well-being
or by following http://www.twitter.com/statisticsONS
Press release
 
DECC: The Government has opened a consultation on the long-term management options for the UK’s existing civil plutonium stocks (closes on 10 May 2011). The UK’s civil plutonium is housed in safe & secure bespoke facilities at Sellafield & Dounreay pending a final decision on the best long-term solution. 
Press release ~ Consultation on the long-term management options for the UK’s existing civil plutonium stocks
 
EU – News: The European Commission has launched a public consultation aimed at achieving a coherent approach towards collective redress in the European Union.  The EC’s public consultation will attempt to identify common legal principles that should underpin collective actions across the EU (such as the need for effectiveness & efficiency, information for citizens and safeguards against abusive litigation). Contributions can be sent until the 30 April 2011.
Press release (and other related links) ~ Towards a Coherent European Approach to Collective Redress
 
Ofgem: Ofgem last week published a consultation (closes on 13 April 2011) proposing to strengthen protection for those consumers who receive a smart meter ahead of the national roll out.  The announcement also includes proposals on how data privacy protections will be maintained in the interim, while the final proposals for the roll out of smart meters are developed.
Press release ~ Smart Metering Spring Package - Addressing Consumer Protection Issues- (Reference Number: 13/11)
 
LBRO5 draft national enforcement priorities for English local authorities have been published for consultation (closing on 6 May 2011) as part of the Local Better Regulation Office's ongoing role to improve the way regulations impact at the front line.
Press release ~ A New Approach to Refreshing the National Enforcement Priorities for Local Authority Regulatory Services
 
CLG: Ministers are ending rigid 'clawback rights' that stop community & voluntary groups selling or changing the use of community land or buildings that were funded by specific historic central government grant programmes.  A legacy of centrally imposed restrictions meant that original grant funding was clawed back if one of these local assets were sold or their original purpose changed - even if the government scheme had long since ended.
 
Councils, voluntary groups & social enterprises have also been invited to let Ministers know of other historic grant programmes (where clawback rights have been applied in perpetuity) preventing communities from making best use of their assets so that the government can consider whether the terms should be changed too.
Press release ~ Consultation document for Community Right to Challenge (closes 3 may 2011) ~ Proposals to introduce a Community Right to Buy - assets of community value: Consultation paper (closes 3 may 2011) ~ Development Trusts Association
 
MoJ: A consultation (closes on 4 March 2011) seeks the views of the public, victims, service providers, stakeholders & organisations on the Government’s Green Paper on sentencing & rehabilitation of offenders.  The 'Breaking the Cycle' Green Paper sets out plans to cut crime, create safer communities and ensure there are fewer victims.  Responses can be submitted by post, by email, or via the website.
Press release ~ Consultation 
 
Defra: 39 new flood & coastal defence projects have been announced as part of Government plans to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion in England.  Of these new projects 21 will provide additional protection to over 13,000 households at risk of flooding.  The remainder mainly relate to vital repairs and safety enhancements to existing defences.
 
Government funding for schemes starting in 2012/13 & beyond will be subject to the outcomes of the current consultation on funding reforms which invites views on potential reforms to the way in which central government funding is allocated to projects in England in order to manage the risk of flooding & coastal erosion.
Press release ~ List of schemes going ahead in 2011/12 ~ Defra consultation: Future funding of flood and coastal erosion risk management in England (closes on 16 February 2011)
 
ACE: To help kick off the discussions at the State of the Arts 2011 conference (10 February 2011), the Arts Council and the RSA  commissioned 4 provocation papers from leading thinkers within the industry to examine topics such as funding, collaboration and technology. Read the papers by following the links below, and then have your say on the State of the Arts blog.
Press release ~ Arts Funding, Austerity and the Big Society: Remaking the case for the arts ~ Collaborative Arts ~ Rethinking Cultural Philanthropy, Towards a More Sustainable Arts and Cultural Sector ~ Look Out... Look In
 
IS: The Insolvency Service has launched a consultation (closes on 6 May 2011)seeking views on proposals put forward by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in their report “The Market for Insolvency Practitioners in Corporate Insolvencies”.  

The Government are broadly supportive of the majority of the recommendations made in the OFT report, which focussed on the market for corporate insolvency.  However, as the regulatory framework applies to all regulated insolvency procedures, the consultation in effect seeks views on both the personal and corporate insolvency market.  
Press release ~ Consultation on reforms to the regulation of insolvency practitioners
 
Newswire – NHSC: The NHS European Office, part of the NHS Confederation, is keen to hear members' views about the issues associated with recruiting staff from elsewhere in Europe. The European Commission's Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive makes it easier for professionals to register & practise in European countries other than the one in which they qualified. 
 
The Commission is currently reviewing the Directive to see whether the existing rules & procedures can be improved & simplified and the NHSEO is keen to hear members' views to help shape their response.  Please email your views to kate.ling@nhsconfed.org or complete the online survey by 3 March 2011.
Press release ~ NHS European Office ~ Consultation paper 
 
WAG: Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, has issued for consultation (closes on 31 March 2011) a document which will set out the future development of libraries in Wales– ‘Libraries Inspire: Draft strategic development framework for Welsh Libraries 2012-15’.  
Press release ~ Libraries Inspire: Draft strategic development framework for Welsh libraries 2012-15 ~ WAG: Libraries
 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has opened a consultation (closes on 10 March 2011) on a new medical technology device to promote wound healing. 

The
MIST Therapy system claims to promote wound healing in chronic, 'hard to heal' & acute wounds by delivering low-energy, low-intensity ultrasound to the base of the wound through a continuous saltwater mist.

The saline mist generated acts as a channel for transmitting ultrasonic energy to the base of the wound, which aims to reduce the amount of bacteria in the wound and stimulate tissue regeneration.  
Press release ~ MIST webpage
 
ScotGovImproving the 'already excellent' police & fire services for all of Scotland's communities is at the heart of options for reform outlined in 2 separate consultations launched last week by Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill.  The consultations will close on 5 May 2011.
 
He said the consultations & subsequent reforms offer a chance for improved local accountability & services and an opportunity to spread policing & fire expertise around the country, while strengthening national resilience to threats such as terrorism.
Press release ~ Consultation on the Future of Policing in Scotland ~ Consultation on the Future of the Fire and Rescue Service
 
FSA: Following joint work with the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published, for consultation (closes on 25 March 2011) a draft code of practice designed to enhance the dialogue between auditors and supervisors. The aim of the code is to improve audit effectiveness and ensure that supervisors are better informed about (and able to challenge) the firms they regulate.  
Press release ~ Code of Practice for the relationship between the external auditor and the supervisor.
Governance, Risk and Compliance: Creating an Effective Business Case for a GRC Platform