WAG: Wales’s strategy for the future of the Supporting People Programme (SPP) was recently unveiled for consultation (closes on 12 May 2009). An Action Plan will then be developed with all partners, including service users and will provide more detail on how the SPP moves forward.
Supporting People, set up in 2003, provides a policy & funding framework for voluntary organisations, Local Authorities and Housing Associations to provide housing help & advice to the most vulnerable people in Wales.  It is centred on supporting independent living and those most affected are:
* Older people who live in sheltered accommodation
* Women escaping domestic abuse
* Young people leaving care
The SPP is central to the development & sustainability of many support & care services in Wales, including those working with vulnerable young people and individuals and families affected by disabilities, homelessness, domestic violence and health problems.
Press release ~ Supporting People – Housing Related Support Strategy consultation ~ WAG - Supporting People ~ WAG - Housing ~ Cymorth Cymru
HM Treasury: The Government has launched a consultation document (closes on 4 May 2009) on secondary legislation to establish a UK dormant accounts scheme.  Subject to responses, the Government will introduce the secondary legislation in Parliament later in 2009.
The consultation document sets out draft secondary legislation to extend the scope of the Financial Services Authority's regulation to include dormant accounts reclaim funds.  It also places a requirement on building societies participating in the scheme for smaller institutions to publicly disclose information in line with the requirements placed on smaller banks by the Act.
Press release ~ A UK dormant accounts scheme: a consultation on secondary legislation ~ HM Treasury – Dormant Accounts ~ Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has set out for consultation (closes on 30 April 2009)how it aims to regulate the new reclaim funds – the institutions that will be responsible for dormant accounts transferred to them from banks and building societies.
Under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 (the Act), which received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008, reclaim funds will be authorised and regulated by the FSA.  They will be under an obligation to transfer surplus money, after meeting FSA requirements and their own expenses, to the Government’s ‘Big Lottery Fund’ (BIG), which will reinvest the money according to Government priorities.
As part of the reunification exercise, The BBA, BSA and National Savings and Investments (NS&I) have joined forces to develop the FREE, which brings together the three separate tracing schemes for dormant accounts with banks, building societies, and national savings in a single website. 
Press release ~ Consultation Paper 09/8 Regulating Reclaim funds.
DCMS: The ticketing & events industries need to improve the service they offer to fans and cut down significantly on the number of tickets being sold to touts, Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has said. The Government is proposing a package of measures designed to help consumers and wants to see much more use of innovative approaches that have successfully prevented touts from buying up tickets for high profile events.
In a cross-Government approach, designed to tackle the problems associated with ticket touting, the Government has published:
* a consultation (closes on 15 May 2009) which seeks to find consensus on how best to improve the ticketing market for the benefit of consumers and
* new advice from Consumer Direct with tips on how to safely shop for tickets online
A further measure proposed is to ask more football clubs to adopt official exchange arrangements for fans who want to sell tickets they can no longer use.  Under current public order legislation, unofficial resale of football tickets is illegal, but official, club-sanctioned exchange systems are allowed.
Press release ~ STAR (The Society for Ticket Agents and Retailers) ~ Consumer Direct advice ~ DCMS Consultation on Ticketing and Ticket Touting
LLUKLifelong Learning UK has secured funding from the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland to develop Professional Standards for Learning Delivery. The objective of the project is to develop Northern Ireland specific Professional Standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector.  These will then underpin appropriate guides for application in an e-learning environment to ensure practitioners have access to updated guidance.
The consultation phase is now open (closes on Friday 13 March 2009) and the draft Professional Standards & a questionnaire is available to download.  Consultation workshop event dates are also available for booking.
Press release ~ Draft Professional Standards ~ The questionnaire (includes guidance) ~ Consultation workshop details
DIUS: Further Education colleges are at the heart of communities and have a key role to play in isolating & challenging the minority who promote violent extremism, Skills Secretary John Denham claimed as he launched new guidance for FE colleges (for consultation – closes 6 May 2008) to help them promote mutual respect & understanding and encourage debate around the social challenges posed by the threat of extremism – See ‘Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides’ for more information
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