Legislation / Legal

OFT: The OFT has secured agreement from banks & travel money providers to significantly improve the information on options available for consumers purchasing foreign currency in the UK or using credit and debit cards abroad
Press release & links
 
CC: The Competition Commission (CC) has published its final report into the local bus industry ‘setting out comprehensive measures which will ensure that passengers benefit from greater competition’.  25 years after bus services were deregulated in the UK (excluding London & Northern Ireland), the CC’s proposals to open up the market will represent the biggest change in the industry since that time.
 
In its final report, the CC has confirmed that in many areas bus operators face little or no competition, leading to passengers facing less frequent services and, in some cases, higher fares than where there is some form of rivalry. The CC also states that the way some local authorities tender for supported services - necessary bus services which would not be provided without public support - can also restrict competition.
Press release & links
 
CO: The Government’s plans to ‘radically increase the transparency & accountability of public bodies’ moved forward when the Public Bodies Act received Royal Assent. This significant milestone in the reform programme will enable the Government to push on with its plans to simplify the quango landscape.  Reforms using the powers in the new Public Bodies Act will begin immediately.
Press release & links
 
CO: In a ‘Recall of MPs’ draft Bill published recently, the Government is proposing to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.
Press release & links
 
DfT: Tough new measures to crack down on drivers who abuse the disabled parking system - including a new Blue Badge design which is harder to forge - came into force on 1 January 2012. 

The new badge will have security features such as a unique hologram, digital photo & serial number allowing parking attendants to check for genuine badges more easily through the windscreen.
Press release & links
 
DH: With just 100 days to go before tobacco displays in supermarkets must be removed, retailers are being reminded that they need to start getting their shops in order. The tobacco display provisions in the Health Act 2009 and related regulation will be implemented for large shops from 6 April 2012 and for all other shops from April 2015.
Press release & links
 
DECC: A DECC spokesperson has responded to the Feed-in tariff for solar PV appeal.
Press release & links
 
DfT: Ministers are tackling the misery caused by lorry drivers following satnavs down narrow & inappropriate roads as part of a package of new traffic signs rules.  Under the new rules, laid before Parliament by Transport Minister Norman Baker, councils will no longer need Whitehall approval to introduce certain new signs or some existing ones that they need to use on a regular basis – See ‘Policy Statements & Initiatives’ section for more information.
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