Legislation / Legal
WAG: The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Bill, which aims to improve democratic processes concerning Local Government, has been approved by the National Assembly for Wales. The Bill will be enacted after it has received Royal Assent and has been sealed.
HO: All long-term undercover policing operations will be independently authorised under government plans announced last week. Minister for Policing, Damian Green, unveiled the proposals for new secondary legislation at the Home Affairs Select Committee.
It means the Office for Surveillance Commissioners (OSC) will be notified at the start of all undercover police deployments - and must approve any lasting beyond 12 months. The new legislation will also ensure the same long-term operations must be authorised internally by a chief constable.
OFT: The OFT has suspended, with immediate effect, the consumer credit licence of Staffordshire-based Donegal Finance Limited (DFL) - trading as Donegal Finance, Donegal Investigations and Donegal Recovery. This is the first time the OFT has used its new power to suspend a credit licence. It concluded that suspending DFL's licence is urgently necessary to protect consumers.
DFL was licensed to offer consumer credit, credit brokerage & debt collecting services. The suspension means it is now a criminal offence for DFL or any of its directors, employees or agents to engage in any of these activities using DFL's licence. This press notice has been issued to inform consumers and other consumer credit businesses.
Civitas: Burdensome regulation is preventing credit unions providing a widespread affordable alternative to loan sharks, a report by the independent think tank Civitas warned last week. Restrictions on their fees and the size of deposits are also curbing the role the non-profit organisations could play in supporting finance-starved small business, it says.
MoJ: Families will be given extra help to cope when a loved one goes missing under new plans announced by Justice Minister Helen Grant. The proposals are to create a new power of ‘guardianship’ for relatives of missing people. This would allow families to deal with the legal & financial issues that arise in the initial months when someone vanishes – for example being able to suspend direct debits for mobile phone & utility bills. A consultation with detailed proposals is due to be launched later this year with a view to taking a final decision in 2014.
This latest announcement follows the recent creation of new laws which, once they are introduced in April 2014, will enable bereaved families to deal with the affairs of someone who is missing & presumed dead.