Ofwat: The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) has launched a consultation (closes 18 June 2007) over the regulatory issues arising from the sale of Deutsche Bank's stake in Aqueduct Capital (UK) Ltd (ACUK), the UK holding company of Sutton and East Surrey Water plc.
Ofwat is now asking for views on the following issues:
- the capacity of ACUK and its investors to be the owner of a regulated business
- who should provide the ultimate controller undertaking required by Sutton and East Surrey Water's (SES) licence, and
- the addition of the cash lock-up conditions to SES's licence
TfL is holding public consultation exhibitions on route options for East London Transit from Barking town centre to Dagenham Dock via Barking Riverside - these will be held on Saturday 9 June between 10am and 4pm and Monday 18 June between 9am to 8pm at the Sue Bramley Centre, Bastable Avenue, Barking. More than 3,000 leaflets are also being sent to local businesses and people living near the route options asking them for their opinions.
Press release ~ East London Transit
Home Office: New Government proposals to give law enforcement agencies new powers to make it easier to seize criminals' luxury possessions and high value goods used in crime, such as cars & boats, have been announced. The range of new proposals outlined in the Asset Recovery Action Plan consultation paper (closes 23 November 2007) include:
- New powers to seize 'bling', such as jewellery & plasma TVs, from those charged with acquisitive crimes
- Extending powers to include the seizure of cash & other assets used in crimes
- Offering citizens a percentage of assets seized for whistle-blowing
- Removing the time limit for the seizure of assets through civil recovery
- Asset sharing with other countries to target assets sent overseas
- Giving law enforcement agencies the authority to decide which assets should be seized to pay the confiscation order and extending the use of tax powers to target unexplainable criminal assets
The Assets Recovery Agency Annual Report 2006/2007 has also been published, showing that it met or exceeded all of its key disruption and enforcement targets.
Press release ~ Asset Recovery Action Plan ~ Assets Recovery Agency Annual Report ~ NAO Report on Asset Recovery Agency ~ Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ~ Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) ~ Written Ministerial Statement on proposals to merge ARA with SOCA and the NPIA
A guideline for these offences is important because of the volume of offences committed each year (which can occur at any stage of criminal proceedings), and because the behaviour has significant direct & other consequential effects on victims & witnesses, police and & resources and public confidence in the criminal justice system.
The draft guideline should be considered in conjunction with the advice of the Sentencing Advisory Panel (also published just published) which sets out a proposed approach and relevant principles in relation to sentencing those who fail to surrender to bail imposed by the police or courts. The advice and guideline also provide guidance to sentencers in relation to procedural issues relevant to sentencing for this offence.
CIOB: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is consulting on proposals to make Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) a legal requirement for construction and demolition projects in England. The regulations would require the preparation and implementation of a SWMP for works involving construction, demolition or excavation above £250,000 in value.
This paper provides you with a summary of the proposals and requests your feedback on the need for, and the potential costs and benefits of, a mandatory system. The CIOB would like to make a submission and it is important that this is informed by our members.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP)
DfES: A public consultation (closes 3 September 2007) aimed at providing seamless services that meet the individual needs of children and their parents, has been launched by the Department for Education and Skills. The guidance will hopefully help improve outcomes of children and as it calls for closer working between local authorities, Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Trusts and Jobcentres Plus.
The Early Years outcomes duty in the Childcare Act 2006 is a statutory duty on local authorities in England to improve the Every Child Matters outcomes for all young children aged 0-5 and reduce inequalities between them, through the planning and delivery of integrated early childhood services.
The draft statutory guidance outlines what local authorities and their partners, Primary Care Trusts, Strategic Health Authorities and Jobcentre Plus should do to fulfil the duties (which will commence on 1 April 2008) set out in sections 1- 4 of the Childcare Act 2006.
Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Childcare Act 2006 ~ Every Child Matters
DfT: A draft Bill to help improve public transport across the country and cut congestion in our towns and cities has been published for consultation (closes 7 September 2007) by the Government. It sets out proposals to restructure how local transport is delivered within communities – See ‘In the News’ above for more details.
CLG: Ruth Kelly has unveiled major reforms of the country's planning system in a White Paper (consultation ends 17 August 2007), to ‘make it fit to tackle new challenges in the 21st century - speeding up the system alongside improved community consultation’ – See ’In the News’ above.
DTI: Greater energy efficiency and a secure, low carbon energy mix for the long-term are claimed to be at the centre of the new Energy White Paper published by Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling. The Energy White Paper takes forward the conclusions set out in the Energy Review report 'The Energy Challenge' published in July 2006 with a selection of consultations - See ’In the News’ above.
Defra: Environment Secretary David Miliband has published a new strategy for cutting waste and the Government is also launching a parallel public consultation (closes 16 August 2007) on removing the ban on local authorities introducing financial incentives for recycling - See ’In the News’ above.