Consultations

OfcomOfcom is asking consumers to get in touch (by 14 June 2011) if they have received a higher than expected mobile, landline or broadband bill in the past 12 months. Consumers can sometimes find themselves faced with bills for unexpected costs such as using their mobile abroad, making more calls than their monthly allowance, having their phone stolen, calling expensive or premium rate numbers, or downloading data.
 
Ofcom would like to hear from consumers that have received a one-off unusually higher than expected mobile, landline, or broadband bill in the past 12 months, to consider whether there is a need for further action either by Ofcom or by communications providers.  Ofcom is also talking to communications providers about the steps they already take to protect their customers from unexpectedly high bills.
Press release & links
 
SC: The Sentencing Council has launched a public consultation on its proposals to introduce a new guideline for judges & magistrates on the sentences for all offences which involve burglary. The draft guideline reinforces current sentencing practice, which means that offenders committing domestic burglaries can expect a custodial sentence.  It does not propose any reduction in sentences for burglars.
 
It places a renewed emphasis on the impact of burglaries on victims, ensuring that they are of primary concern in the sentencing process.  When sentencing burglars, therefore, the draft guideline asks judges to focus on the harm to the victim, as well as the culpability of the offender.  For example, if a victim is at home when a burglary takes place or if significant trauma is experienced by the victim, the draft guideline directs the judge towards a more severe sentence. 
Press release & links
 
FSA: The Food Standards Agency has launched a consultation (closes on 4 August 2011) to get the public’s views on a framework that will be used when deciding when & how to use external data from industry & non-governmental organisations.  The framework will also be used when considering whether to jointly fund research with industry or non-governmental organisations.
Press release & links
 
Defra: Businesses & investors are being asked for their views on the most effective way to improve the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by companies. A consultation published by Defra sets out four options to achieve more widespread & consistent reporting.  The consultation closes on 5 July 2011 and a decision on the direction the Government will take is expected to be made in the autumn.
 
Research has shown that reporting emissions has helped companies achieve reductions & cost savings, increase interest at board level of environmental issues and improve their environmental image with clients & investors.
Press release & links
 
DCMSWant to move the May Day Bank Holiday to October?  Fancy celebrating a patron saint day with a Bank Holiday earlier in the year?  Whatever your views, a discussion on proposals to move the May Day Bank Holiday has begun with people being asked to contribute their ideas via the consultation page of the DCMS website or join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #bankhol.

All the opinions & ideas will be gathered together and whittled down to form the options contained in a formal public consultation to be launched later this year, one of which will be to retain the current arrangements.
Press release & links ~ TUC comment
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