Consultations

DfT: Formula One Racing star David Coulthard is waving farewell to the fast lane and backing the government's campaign & 4 month nation-wide consultation tour (closes on 8 September 2008), which is intended to collect public thoughts on how to overhaul driver testing & training and make Britain's roads safer.  Remaining venues are: Brighton, Cardiff, Newcastle, Croydon, Glasgow, Inverness, Exeter.
 
Although the number of people killed in road accidents fell by 7% between 2006 and 2007 it still remains that 30,720 people were killed or seriously injured on our roads.  One in five deaths on British roads involves newly-qualified drivers. 
Press release ~ Events finder ~ DfT – Learning to Drive ~ Online booking service ~ Learning to Drive public consultation ~ Learning to drive: the evidence ~ Cohort 11: a study of learner and new drivers
 
DefraDefra, the Forestry Commission and the Welsh Assembly Government have launched a joint consultation (closes on 10 October 2008) on the future management of Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae, which are fungus-like pathogens which can kill some types of shrubs & trees, such as the European beech, and pose a threat to garden plants, woodlands and native heathland.
 
The presence of Phytophthora ramorum in Great Britain was first detected in 2002, and the first discovery of Phytophthora kernoviae in Great Britain occurred in 2003.  Since the first discovery of each disease, emergency action has been taken and a policy of containment & eradication has been pursued.
 
The consultation paper seeks asks whether controls should be reduced to a level which meets the minimum requirements set by the EU, but which may involve some continued disease spread within England & Wales; or whether a programme of increased activity aimed at reducing the presence and potential spread of the diseases should be implemented.
Press release ~ Consultation on future management of Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae
 
ScotGov: Representatives of the Scottish Government have met with veterans' organisations to discuss how to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of men & women who have given selfless duty to their country. The meeting came three weeks into the Government's consultation (closes 29 August 2008) on the wellbeing & welfare of Scotland's veterans and armed forces.

Mr Crawford also announced a doubling of the funding available through the Scottish Veterans' Fund, from £40,000 to £80,000p.a. The Government has also proposed extending the concessionary fares scheme for elderly & disabled people to ensure that injured forces veterans will be included & able to benefit from free public transport.
Press release ~ ScotGov – Veterans Issues ~ 'Scotland's Veterans and Forces' Communities: meeting their well-being and welfare needs' ~ Poppy Scotland ~ NHS priority guidance ~ Veterans Scotland ~ Veterans agency ~ Challenge fund for veterans
 
NA: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has launched a public consultation on the early transfer of some historic armed forces service personnel records to The National Archives. As these records are personnel files they need to be handled correctly, in accordance with data protection legislation.  
 
If you want to give your suggestions & comments, or simply express your support for the proposed transfer process, you can find out more about the transfer and add your thoughts HERE.
Press release ~ National Archives
 
ScotGov: A new future for Scotland's seas, balancing conservation and economic growth, has been outlined in a new consultation (closes on 6 October 2008). Proposals in Sustainable Seas For All - A Consultation On Scotland's First Marine Bill include:
* Improved conservation to ensure a healthy future for Scotland's unique marine wildlife
* A new marine planning system and a streamlined licensing system
* Measures to ensure a viable future for Scotland's traditional & new marine industries
* Creation of Marine Scotland combining the efforts of existing bodies to act as a champion for Scotland's seas
Press release ~ Sustainable Seas for All: a consultation on Scotland's first marine bill ~ Scotland's Seas: Towards Understanding their State ~ Sustainable Seas Task Force ~ Fisheries Research Service (FRS) ~ Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) ~ Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) ~ Scottish Coastal Forum ~ COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) ~ EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre
 
DCMS: Plans to double jackpot and proceeds limits for charity lotteries have announced by Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe. The proposal, announced in a written statement to Parliament, will see the maximum jackpot for individual draws increased from £200,000 to £400,000 and the maximum amount raised for charity from each draw increased from £2m to £4m.
 
The move, designed to help charities raise more money, will now go to consultation (closes on 16 October 2008) and should come into force early next year.
Press release ~ Consultation ~ Minister’s written statement ~ Hospice Lotteries Association (HLA)
 
MoJ: Proposals to increase the powers, funding and duties of the Information Commissioner will be examined in a consultation (closes on 27 August 2008) launched last week, following the publication of the Data Sharing Review Report. The Government claims it wants to ensure that the Information Commissioner has the powers & resources to continue to be able to carry out his duties under the Data Protection Act 1998 effectively in a rapidly changing environment.
 
The consultation proposes to:
* examine the Information Commissioner's inspection powers
* scrutinise funding the Information Commissioner's duties
Press release ~ Consultation: Inspection powers and funding arrangements of the Information Commissioner ~ Data Sharing Review report ~ Data Sharing Review consultation ~ Office of the Information Commissioner
 
CLG: A consultation (closes on 24 October 2008) on the South East's vision to tackle climate change & flooding, address housing shortages & affordability, secure & strengthen the region's economy, provide essential infrastructure and enhance the environment, has been launched by the Government.
Press release ~ Government Office South East ~ Consultation
 
CLG: Ministers are consulting (closes 31 October 2008) on a plan to focus on ‘real-life' measures about improving people's lives rather than bricks & mortar targets for regeneration funding.  This is so communities get more than a cosmetic facelift and are helped to unlock their potential and take responsibility for their own regeneration.
 
Building on last week's White Paper, new 'priority maps' would map out regeneration priorities to steer funding and inform residents where money is spent, and decisions on how to regenerate would be devolved to regions, towns & villages.  Maps will help focus and bring together investment from Whitehall, regions and the private sector on strengthening the local economy and improving prospects for residents, so for example, investment in housing & environmental improvements will be linked to residents' economic chances.
Press release ~ Consultation 'Transforming places, changing lives' ~ White Paper: Communities in control: real people, real power ~ Prosperous Places: Taking forward the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration ~ Homes and Communities Agency ~ Working Neighbourhoods Fund
 
HM TreasuryHM Treasury has launched a consultation (closes on 9 October 2008) on extending the statutory regime on liability for fraudulent misstatement by issuers of securities.  This consultation responds to last year's review by Professor Paul Davies Q.C. of the statutory regime, which recommended that the scope of the system should be extended to provide greater security for both investors and issuers.
Press release ~ Consultation on extending the statutory regime and related documents
 
Defra: A debate (closes on15 September 2008) on how to continue to ensure a secure & sustainable supply of food in the future has been launched by Hilary Benn. Publishing the discussion paper - Ensuring the UK's food security in a changing world - he stressed that, while ‘the UK was currently secure in its food supply, it was important to consider whether the UK food supply chain is sufficiently resilient to deal with short term shocks and sufficiently strong to face long term challenges’.
 
The paper - which will feed into a more detailed statement on food security policy expected later this year - poses five key questions for the public & industry to comment on.  In particular the Government is keen to hear the views of the agricultural sector, consumer groups and food retailers.  To this end Defra will be holding a series of meetings, workshops & events to encourage discussion.
Press release ~ Ensuring UK food security in a changing world ~ Defra Food Security website ~ For details of the series of meetings, workshops & events please e-mail: foodmatters.security@defra.gov.uk
 
DIUS: Promoting public engagement on increasingly complex science issues and encouraging more people to choose science as a career are the key issues to be tackled by a new consultation (closes on October 17, 2008).  The consultation to develop a Science and Society Strategy was launched by the Minister for Science and Innovation, Ian Pearson, at Thinktank in the Birmingham Science Museum.
 
It seeks input on three keys areas - How to:
* improve communication, generate interest, increase participation and convey the relevance of science
* build trust & confidence in scientific research in the public & private sectors
* inspire young people from diverse backgrounds to become tomorrow's skilled scientists
Press release ~ Online interactive consultation hub ~ Thinktank in the Birmingham Science Museum ~ 10-year Science and Innovation Framework 2004 - 14 ~ Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ~ STEMnet ~ STEM support centres ~ DIUS 2008-09 business plan
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