Consultations

EU News:  In the context of its state aid modernisation initiative (SAM), the European Commission has launched a review of the risk capital guidelines (as amended on 1/12/2010), which outline the criteria for assessing the compatibility of public support measures in this field. 

The review starts with a public consultation, seeking stakeholders' views on the functioning of the guidelines since their adoption in 2006 and in particular on market developments concerning the supply of equity and debt finance to SMEs.  Submissions can be made until 5 October 2012.

Press release & links

Ofgem:  Ofgem has recently announced proposals (consultation closes on 20 September 2012) to upgrade & renew Britain's electricity & gas networks. These include funding £17bn of investment with around a further £5bn potentially available over the course of the price control period (1 April 2013 – 2021).

Press release & links

DfT:  Proposals on applying new European rules which aim to bring the rights of passengers taking long-distance coach trips into line with those using planes & trains have been set out by Transport Minister, Norman Baker. 

The Department for Transport has launched a consultation (closes on 11 October 2012) putting forward the UK’s plans for applying Europe-wide regulations that aim to ensure bus & coach passengers have similar legal protection to those using other forms of transport.

Press release & links

LC:  The Law Commission is asking how, in the criminal law of England & Wales, the defences of insanity & automatism are working, if at all.  The current rules that govern the insanity defence date from 1843.  

Despite the many criticisms, there is very little evidence to show that the defence causes significant difficulties in practice.  With this scoping exercise (closes 18 October 2012), the Commission is asking judges, lawyers, psychiatrists and other professionals with experience of working in this area whether the current law causes problems in application in practice, and if so, the extent of those problems.

Press release & links

EU News:  In these difficult times of increasing unemployment, Europe needs more entrepreneurs.  Whilst actually only 11% of European citizens are entrepreneurs, 45% would like to be their own boss if they could. 

To unlock this enormous potential for jobs & growth, the European Commission intends to launch in autumn 2012 a European Entrepreneurship Action Plan to boost entrepreneurship at all levels.

To this end, the Commission has launched a public consultation (closes 1 October 2012) with the aim to gather inputs from stakeholders and citizens on the scope of possible future actions at EU, national and regional level in promoting entrepreneurship.

Press release & links

NE:  Natural has invited further contributions to the second stage of a wide-ranging evidence review into land management, biodiversity & ecosystem services in the uplands. Views & contributions are welcome from upland land managers, land owners, industry, academic, scientific and third sector groups.  The deadline for submissions is 14 September 2012.

Press release & links

BIS:  The Government is asking anyone involved in making investments and running large projects on the coast to feed in their experiences, good & bad, of dealing with local & national regulators as part of the Focus on Enforcement campaign.  This move has been welcomed by the Engineering Employers Federation and the Marine Management Organisation

The campaign allows comments to be posted anonymously as well as ‘on the record’ and is also interested to learn of any evidence that third parties are implying that regulations require companies or individuals to take action when in fact the regulations do not require this.

Press release & links

HMT:  The Government has published a consultation on the future regulation & governance of the payments industry, Mark Hoban, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has announced.  The payments industry, which sets strategy on important payment mechanisms including the future of cheques, is central to the functioning of the economy, yet the Government does not feel it has always responded effectively to the needs of consumers.

The consultation, which proposes 3 options for reform of the payments services industry, closes on 10 October 2012.

Press release & links

DWP:  Parents, early years professionals & others with an interest in childcare are being urged to come forward with their ideas to help improve the accessibility & affordability of childcare.   The childcare commission is calling for evidence & ideas on how to make childcare more affordable for working families and reduce any unnecessary burdens on providers.  The call for evidence runs until 31 August 2012 and the Commission will report in the autumn.

Press release & links

 WAG:  A plan to improve oral health & dental services across the country has been opened for public consultation (closes on 12 October 2012).  The draft Plan fits in with the Welsh Government’s vision for the NHS in outlined in Together for Health and sets out the vision for improving oral health and reducing oral health inequalities over the next 5 years & beyond.
Press release & links

EU News:  The European Commission has launched a consultation (closes on 19 November 2012) to help victims of cross-border traffic accidents, who may currently face difficulties because of varying time limits for claiming compensation for damage in case of an accident abroad in the EU.
Press release & links

TNA:  The National Archives has released a draft of a new Records collection policy (comments by 5 October 2012).  This policy is a refresh of the existing Acquisition and Disposition Strategy and sets out which records the NA will & will not collect from public records bodies, when they will collect them and where they will be held.
Press release & links

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