Policy Statements and Initiatives

DfTFull information about speed cameras will be published by local authorities and the police for the first time, Road Safety Minister Mike Penning has announced. 

Figures showing the numbers of accidents & casualties at camera sites (both before & after cameras were installed) will be published by local authorities. The Department will review the position related to implementation of the publication of speed camera information after six months with ACPO and the working group.
Press release & links
DECC: The Government recently published its finalised Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs) in order for them to be debated in Parliament.  This follows an extensive public consultation earlier this year which received over 2.500 responses.
The Energy NPSs provide a clear framework for decision making and set out the need for a surge of investment in new energy sources, including 33GW of new renewable energy capacity.  The Nuclear NPS lists eight sites across the country as suitable for new nuclear power stations by 2025.
Press release & links ~ WWF comment ~ CBI comment
CLG: Planning Minister, Greg Clark, recently said the Government could scrap red tape in order to encourage 'meanwhile uses' of empty buildings, transforming them into new shops, business start-ups, and community projects.
Mr Clark believes that it should be easier for businesses & communities to arrange meanwhile uses for empty buildings without having to jump through unnecessary hoops in the planning system. Removing the need for planning permission to temporarily change the use of empty buildings could be a key part of a future Government consultation on deregulating the use class order system.  The Government wants to hear similar ideas & views on how the 'change of use' part of the planning system can be improved.
Press release & links
DfE: Top graduates will be attracted into the teaching profession to help drive up standards in schools, under new plans published last week. There has also been a longstanding problem recruiting the high quality maths and science teachers we need.  Ministers have also launched a new £2m Scholarship Scheme for existing teachers.
The Initial Teacher Training Strategy sets out plans to build on the strengths of the existing system, as well as addressing some important weaknesses. The strategy is now for public discussion (comments by 22 July 2011) with the final strategy being published later this summer.  

The new system is planned to come into effect from September 2011, with most changes affecting new trainee teachers starting in September 2012.
Press release & links ~ Online response form for initial TS document
DHMore money & expertise will be ploughed in to dementia research in the hope of moving closer to finding a cure or better treatment for the millions of families affected by this devastating condition, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced last week.
The Minister has joined forces with 17 experts & interested parties from across Government, universities, charities, industry & research organisations to look at ways to work together to increase the volume & impact of dementia research and improve the lives those living with this devastating condition.  They have launched a ‘Route Map for Dementia Research’.
Press release & links
DH: A new NHS Leadership Framework, which will be the cornerstone for leadership across all professions in the NHS, has been launched by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley. It sets out what is vital for clinicians & other professionals to lead & inspire.  It will fundamentally underpin the new structures that have already been announced as part of the modernisation plans for the NHS.
Press release & links
WAG: Libraries across Wales will be welcoming children to this year’s circus-themed Summer Reading Challenge™ that will keep them reading throughout the school summer holidays. Children between 4 & 11 are encouraged to read 6 or more books of their choice during the Summer holidays and they will get collectable incentives & rewards - plus a certificate or medal for every child who completes the ‘Circus Stars’ Challenge.
Press release & links
ScotGov: Proposals to transfer broadcasting powers to Scotland have been set out in a paper published by the Scottish Government. It is 1 of 6 papers, prepared by Ministers, proposing amendments to the Scotland Bill that aim to support Scotland's economic recovery.
Press release & links ~ Click HERE (& scroll down) for related previous item - ScotGov:  We know what we want and we want it now
HMT: The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban MP, has confirmed that the first cheques were sent to Equitable Life policyholders on Thursday 30 June 2011, meeting the Government’s commitment that payments will start by the end of June.

Hundreds of policyholders will receive cheques in the coming weeks at the start of a 3-year payment programme, and the Government has set aside £500m for the Equitable Life Payment Scheme over the coming year. Policyholders do not need to get in contact at this time – the Government will be writing to all the eligible policyholders it can by June 2012 to provide information about their personal status within the Scheme.
Press release ~ Equitable Life Payment Scheme website ~ HMT: ELPS
WAG:   A new statutory National Literacy & Numeracy Framework for all learners aged 5 to 14 is to be introduced in schools across Wales, Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, has announced. The Framework will provide schools with annual expected outcomes in literacy and numeracy for learners aged 5 to 14. It will be introduced in schools in September 2012 and rolled out across the whole of Wales by 2013.
Related Links
Press release & links
ScotGov: An action plan to drive forward Scotland's renewables revolution and to meet this Government's world-leading green energy targets, has been launched by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. The Renewables Routemap outlines the necessary steps needed to capitalise on the enormous economic potential of Scotland's green energy capacity and to meet ambitious targets, including supplying 100% of electricity demand equivalent from renewables by 2020.
Press release & links
DfT: The Government’s vision for recharging infrastructure, to support the electric vehicles revolution, has been announced by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.  The publication – Making the Connection: the Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy – identifies how recharging infrastructure will develop in a way that is targeted, convenient and safe.
The Transport Secretary also announced that the Renault Fluence has become the 10th vehicle now eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant - a generous consumer grant of up to £5,000.  The Renault ‘Fluence’ model will be available in the UK from Autumn 2012.
Press release & links ~ Making the Connection: the Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy ~ Plug-in Car Grant
HO: Police will be able to prevent suspected domestic abusers from returning to a victim's home, under a pilot scheme launched by the Home Office last week. Greater Manchester, West Mercia and Wiltshire police will run the 12 month trial of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), which officers can use to stop perpetrators from contacting victims or returning to their home for up to 28 days.

The scheme is designed to provide protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident, before civil proceedings can be progressed.  Domestic violence is a widespread problem and comprised 14% of all violent incidences reported in the British Crime Survey last year.
Press release ~ The Magistrates’ Courts (Domestic Violence Protection Order Proceedings) Rules 2011
CLG: Pioneering councils eager to demonstrate how they would ensure the benefits of development would be shared with their community were last week named by Decentralisation Minister, Greg Clark. The group of 20 Local Authorities are the second to join the Community Infrastructure Levy Front Runners project, which was set up to ‘support Local Authorities eager to develop effective ways of implementing the reformed levy in their local areas’.
The levy gives councils more choice & flexibility in how they fund infrastructure that local communities need & want and has the potential to raise an estimated £1bn a year of funding by 2016 that can be used by neighbourhoods and councils to support local growth.
Press release & links
ScotGovEducation Scotland, the Scottish Government's national development & improvement agency for education, was launched last week. Led by transitional Chief Executive, Dr Bill Maxwell, the agency brings together the functions of Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE), the National CPD Team and the SG's Positive Behaviour Team.
Press release & links
ScotGov: Ensuring access for all to next generation high-speed broadband by 2020 is a key priority for rural Scotland, Richard Lochhead said last week. A recent parliamentary debate on Rural Connectivity highlighted the need for rural Scotland to be included in the digital revolution for high-speed broadband and 4G mobile coverage.
It is envisaged that the roll-out of next generation broadband to rural Scotland can be achieved through a small number of regional broadband projects.  Two regional projects are already under development in the Highlands & Islands and the south of Scotland. Scotland's Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland was published in March 2011 and sets out in detail how the Scottish Government intends to achieve its digital ambition.
Press release & links