Consultations

HMT: The government has launched a consultation on a proposed tax regime for shale gas, including a new shale gas ‘pad’ allowance.  The ‘pad’ allowance is based on the highly successful existing field allowances for oil and gas production which are expected to help encourage nearly £14bn investment in 2013 – the highest on record. The new allowance will reduce the tax on a portion of a company’s production income from 62% to 30% at current rates.
 
Alongside this, new guidance was published recently that explains to industry & local communities how applications for exploratory shale gas developments should proceed through the planning system. Consultation closes on 13 September 2013.
Press release & links
 
TfLCrossrail 2 would create a new high frequency, high capacity rail line with shorter journey times between southwest and northeast London. People are encouraged to share their views on Crossrail 2 before the consultation closes on 2 August 2013.
Press release & links
 
HO: The government wants to make tramadol a Class C drug but ensure it is available to those who need it as a prescription medicine. Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne has launched a consultation in conjunction with the Department for Health, on access to tramadol. Consultation closes on 11 October 2013.
Press release & links
 
BISEmployers could be funded directly to purchase the apprenticeship training they want as part of proposals which will put businesses in the driving seat. The government is consulting on funding reforms proposed by the entrepreneur Doug Richard.

 These will give employers freedom to choose the training that is most relevant to the needs of the Apprentices and their businesses, and which represents best value. The consultation closes on 1 October 3013.
Press release & links
 
CLG: Property owners could get a greater role in revitalising their high streets under plans announced by Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk. The minister visited London’s West End to see an example of how business improvement district partnership can bring regeneration to an area. The consultation closes on 17 September 2013.
Press release & links
 
FRC: The Financial Reporting Council has issued a proposed revised version of its practice note on ‘The Audit of Housing Associations in the United Kingdom’.  The consultation closes on Friday 25 October 2013.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission is consulting the public on draft guidelines on how Member States can support the provision of risk finance to SMEs.  Based on the results of a first consultation in July 2012), the draft proposes more flexibility in defining eligible companies & forms of financing.  Consultation closes on 18 September 2013.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: A joint marine consultation has been launched that will help decide how Scotland’s seas are managed in the future.  The joint consultation includes:
* Scotland’s first National Marine Plan
* Proposals for a network of new Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
* Draft sectorial marine plans for a sustainable offshore renewable energy industry in Scotland
 
Throughout the consultation process Marine Scotland along with SNH and Joint Nature Conversation Committee (JNCC) will be hosting a series of events & workshops throughout Scotland.  The consultation closes on 13 November 2013.
Press release & links
 
HEFCE: Views are invited on the open access proposals for the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).   The 4 UK higher education funding bodies aim to further increase the proportion of research outputs published in open-access form by introducing this as a requirement in the next REF.
 
The proposals set out the details for implementing this requirement, and were developed following the advice received by the funding bodies in response to HEFCE’s earlier letter on open access. The consultation document is available on the Higher Education Funding Council Englandweb-site. The consultation closes 30 October 2013 - please use the electronic response form which can be accessed alongside the consultation document.
Press release & links
 
Ofgem: Ofgem has launched a consultation on a proposal for £205mn of funding to reinforce the transmission infrastructure between the Kintyre peninsula and Hunterston. Consultation closes on 18 September 2013.
Press release & links
 
Ofcom: Ofcom has set out proposals for the renewal of the Channel 4 licence, which is due to expire at the end of 2014.  Under the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom is required to issue a licence to Channel 4 Corporation for the broadcast of the Channel 4 service, and is required to impose certain obligations on the licence.
 
Ofcom is consulting on whether 2 of Channel 4’s current licence conditions remain appropriate, or whether amendments might be considered. Ofcom considers that the other licence conditions remain appropriate and should remain unchanged in the renewed licence. The consultation closes on 10 October 2013.
Press release & links
 
Additional Consultations: Readers should be aware that many consultations are never publicised with a press release, so do not appear in either the email alerts or Wired - GOV Plus. Many of these consultations can be found at the following links:
GOV.UK consultations ~ Current ScotGov consultations ~ Recently added WAG consultations
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