CLG: The Government has announced that they will be implementing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Home Information Packs (HIPs) from 1 August instead of 1 June 2007, having reached agreement with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) on their judicial review of Energy Performance Certificates.
The Government will revise regulations and implement the following changes:
- From 1 August 2007packs - including energy performance certificates - will be required for the sale of four bedroom properties & larger as these are usually the properties which are the most energy inefficient
- Packs for smaller properties will be phased in as sufficient energy assessors become ready to start work
- Until the end of the year, they will allow people to market their properties as soon as they have commissioned a pack - rather than making them wait until they have received them
- As a temporary measure, they will allow EPCs to be up to twelve months old when the property is put up for sale and will consult further on the long-term arrangements for the age of EPCs
- They will also be inviting councils and registered social landlords to work with them to introduce EPCs on a voluntary basis in social housing, for example at the time of stock transfers
NSG: The National School of Government has created a new Centre for Working with Ministers & Parliament devoted to giving officials the skills, confidence & understanding they need to excel in their support for ministers.
The Centre offers officials training which provides an understanding of the ministerial & parliamentary environment - what ministers and Parliament need & why - and training in briefing and drafting speeches & replies to Parliamentary Questions and letters from MPs & the public. It also helps officials prepare for Select Committee appearances.
Press release ~ Centre for Working with Ministers & Parliament ~ NSG - Professional Skills for Government
DfES: Adults under the age of 25 who have missed out on education and training opportunities will be able to get free tuition to obtain a first, full Level 3 qualification (equivalent to 2 A levels), from this August. The new entitlement for the key intermediate technician level skills employers say they need will provide routes back for those who left education early and want to return to improve their qualifications and job prospects.
The entitlement is expected to benefit some 60,000 learners in 2007/08, enabling more young adults to achieve higher level technical and professional qualifications.
Press release ~ Further Education White Paper 'Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances' ~ Adult Learning Grant (ALG) ~ Leitch Review of skills ~ Learning and Skills Council
MoD: To mark the 90th anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, helped launch a photographic exhibition and a new illustrated history. The Remembered exhibition features photographs by the award-winning photographer Brian Harris and the accompanying illustrated history book also contains more than 40 images from the Commission's own archives.
The War Graves Commission was established in 1917 and is responsible for marking & maintaining the graves of Commonwealth personnel who died during the two World Wars.
The Remembered photographic exhibition is on show at Canada House in Trafalgar Square until 16 July and entry is free to the public.
Press release ~ Commonwealth War Graves Commission ~ Remembered Exhibition ~ Campaigners for War Grave Commemorations
CIOB: The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) have been working in partnership to establish a suite of qualifications, which will offer a coherent programme of education for housing maintenance, repairs and development professionals. The aim is to support development, underpin progression and ultimately assist staff retention.
The Qualification and Curriculum Authority has now approved the establishment of the CIOB-CIH Joint Awarding Body, which will offer a range of qualifications from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) to a Level 4 Certificate / Diploma programme (HNC equivalent), covering maintenance management, repairs management and development.
MCA: The Hydrography Unit of the MCA's Navigation Safety Branch have released a selection of files for download to the general public which provide information regarding some of the MCA's bathymetric multibeam surveys.
The files can be viewed by downloading free Google Earth and show extensive information about the areas the MCA has surveyed in recent years. Each file includes an image of the surveyed seabed.
Press release~ Google Earth ~ Hydrography website ~ UKSeaMap project ~ INTERREG IIIB ~ MESH (Developing a framework for Mapping European Seabed Habitats)