Legislation / Legal

DfT: Measures to reduce time-consuming & costly bureaucracy for councils wanting to use 20mph schemes were announced last week by Regional & Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker.  The changes - the first to be announced as part of the Traffic Signs Policy Review - will mean that councils can use signs painted on roads as an alternative to expensive upright signs, cutting street clutter as well as costs.
 
The Traffic Signs Policy Review is due to publish its final report later this summer.  In addition, the DfT plans to revise the guidance on speed limits with the aim of increasing flexibility for local authorities.  The Department will provide an economic tool to help them to assess the full costs & benefits of any proposed schemes so that they can use measures which are both appropriate and good value for money.
Press release ~ Traffic Signs Policy Review ~ Strategic road safety framework
 
DfT: A scheme which gives councils greater power to co-ordinate works on their roads will extend into a further 7 London boroughs after they received the go-ahead by Regional & Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker last week.
 
Greenwich, Harrow, Lambeth, Newham, Richmond, Southwark and Waltham Forest have all been successful in their application to run road works permit schemes.  The schemes will allow the boroughs to require anyone carrying out road works to apply for a permit in advance and to set conditions on timing, coordination or the amount of road space to be left available to road users during the works.  Those companies who break the terms of their permit or work without a permit can be fined.
Press release ~ London Permit Scheme
 
HOMigrants coming to the UK to work on temporaryvisaswill no longer be able to apply for settlement, under proposals announced by the government last week. The government is implementing reforms to the immigration system which will reduce immigration to sustainable levels.  Today's announcement is the next step in this process.
 
Launching a public consultation (closes on 9 September 2011) on reforms to the work routes leading to settlement, Immigration Minister, Damian Green set out plans to re-classify visas as either 'temporary' or 'permanent' and introduce stricter criteria for those who want to stay.
Press release & links ~ Employment related settlement, Tier 5 & overseas domestic workers ~ Related VSO PR
 
BIS: Government legislation to safeguard the future of Royal Mail and keep the Post Office in public ownership has been agreed by both Houses of Parliament.  During the final debate in the House of Commons last week, the Minister for Postal Affairs, Edward Davey, set out the next 2 crucial steps that need to be taken to secure the future of Royal Mail: obtaining state aid approval from the European Commission and changing the regulatory regime. The Postal Services Bill is expected to receive formal Royal Assent shortly.
Press release & links ~ Mutual options for Post Office Ltd ~ BIS: Securing the Post Office network in the digital age ~ The Postal Services Bill ~ Saving the Royal Mail's universal postal service in the digital age: an update of the 2008 independent review of the postal services sector
 
DCMS: The maximum stake that can be gambled on each turn on a B3 fruit machine, found in adult gaming centres & bingo premises, is to rise from £1 to £2 under proposals set out recently.  Alongside this measure, bingo halls & arcades will also be able to offer more of this type of machine, which has a maximum prize limit of £500.
Press release & links
 
Newswire – LC: The Law Commission is recommending reforms that will simplify & clarify the laws that govern relationships between neighbouring plots of land.  The Commission’s proposals will make it easier for the people who develop, mortgage, sell & buy land to identify & manage the rights & responsibilities that attach to it. The report focuses on 3 areas of land law:
* Easements: rights for one landowner to make use of another’s land, for example a right of way over a neighbour’s drive
* Profits à prendre: rights to take something from someone else’s land, for example, the right to take minerals from a neighbour’s land
* Freehold covenants: obligations relating to the use of land, for example an obligation not to use land for business use, or to maintain a driveway
Press release & links