Policy Statements and Initiatives

HO: A ‘radically different strategy to prevent people being drawn into terrorism’ was unveiled this week by Home Secretary, Theresa May. The new Prevent Strategy was published alongside a detailed review of past Prevent work and an assessment of the extent & causes of radicalisation in this country & overseas.
Press release ~ Prevent programme ~ Review of past Prevent work
10 DS: PM David Cameron has delivered a speech on the future of the NHS, stating the case for change and outlining some of the proposed reforms. In his speech, Mr Cameron also set out ‘5 guarantees’ on the future of the NHS which he said ‘he expects to be held personally accountable on’. Mr Cameron pledged, as part of these guarantees, that there would be no cuts in NHS spending.
Press release & links ~ NHS Confederation comment  ~ Homeless Link comment

DECC: In a new document entitled ‘Consumer Protection in the Green Deal’, DECC has set out its plans for consumer protection & redress. The Green Deal is the government’s flagship energy saving plan to transform the country’s homes to make them warmer & cheaper to run.  From 2012, people will be able to access up to £10,000 upfront to pay for energy efficiency work, repaying the costs through savings on energy bills.
A further two documents have also been published:
*  ‘Extra help where it is needed: a new Energy Company Obligation’ gives further information on the scheme’s twin objectives - how it will help the most vulnerable and how it will help deliver major measures, such as solid wall insulation, in homes which need more work than Green Deal finance alone can stretch to.
* Eligible measures under the Green Deal which outlines the framework for determining whether a measure or package of measures are likely to be financed under the Green Deal.
Press release ~ Extra help where it is needed: A new Energy Company Obligation ~ Consumer protection in the Green Deal ~ What measures does the Green Deal cover?
CLG: 40 communities - a mix of cities, urban & rural areas - are to join 50 other communities already trialling neighbourhood planning a powerful new right being introduced in the Localism Bill.  Each of the 40 areas will receive £20,000 towards developing their plan from a £5m fund set up to help those communities eager to trial neighbourhood planning in 2011/12.
Local people will be able to decide the types of development given automatic planning permission through a Neighbourhood Development Order.  If approved by a local referendum, a council will need to adopt a neighbourhood plan providing it is line with wider ambitions for growth in their area. Applications are also being invited from other communities eager to trial neighbourhood planning as part of the fourth wave of frontrunners. 
Press release & links
BIS: Vince Cable speech: GMB Congress – 6 June 2011, Brighton Conference Centre
Press release for speech ~ CBI comment ~ PCS comment ~ CIPD comment
DCMS: Local TV in the UK last week came one step closer to being a reality as the Culture Secretary said that a series of individual stations could be more feasible & faster to deliver. The announcement came as DCMS published a summary of the 140 responses to its consultation on local TV
One of the key issues in the consultation was the ‘model for delivery’ - a national ‘spine’ or individually licensed stations.  In parallel with the consultation, ministers have also been considering issues on technical capacity, implementation, costs and the overall timetable. 
There are a number of issues still to be resolved (for example, around technical capacity, electronic programme guide prominence and licensing), and work on this continues apace.  The Secretary of State intends to set out final proposals by the end of July 2011.
Press release & links ~ Summary of consultation responses on the Local Media Action Plan ~ DCMS: Local television
Defra: England’s natural environment will be better protected, restored & improved under new plans published by Defra this week.  The proposals set out a detailed programme of action to repair damage done to the environment in the past, and urges everyone to get involved in helping nature to flourish at all levels – from neighbourhoods to national parks.
The plans are contained in ‘The Natural Choice’, the first White Paper on the natural environment in 20 years, and are directly linked to the research in the National Ecosystem Assessment published last week that showed the strong economic arguments for safeguarding and enhancing the natural environment.
The White Paper also acts on the recommendations of ‘Making Space for Nature’, a report into the state of England’s wildlife sites, led by Professor John Lawton and published in September 2010, which showed that England’s wildlife sites are fragmented and not able to respond to the pressures of climate change and other pressures we put on our land.
Press release & links ~ Related Natural England PR
DfE: Michael Gove has confirmed the closure of Partnerships for Schools and the appointment of the new Chief Executive of the Education Funding AgencyPfS will be wound up and its functions transferred to the Department for Education policy directorates and the new EFA, an executive agency of the Department.  His intention is that this will happen in April 2012.
Press release & links
10 DS: Following a request by the Home Secretary to help promote greater public trust in crime statistics, the National Statistician has published a report.
Press release ~ National Statistician's Review of Crime Statistics ~ Accompanying news release
Red Hat on automation (pt 2)