Policy Statements and Initiatives
DECC: The Government recently confirmed its intention to substantially increase the third party liabilities of operators in the event of a nuclear incident. This follows a public consultation held last year on the UK’s proposals to implement changes made to an international treaty on nuclear third party liability – the Paris and Brussels Conventions, to which the UK and most of the other EU countries are signatories.
DECC: DECC is introducing a range of changes to the FITs scheme to come into effect on 1 April 2012 following a consultation at the end of last year. The changes will help ensure that current tariff levels for solar PV are more closely matched to installation costs, and that solar PV is considered as part of a whole-house approach to saving energy & carbon.
Press release & links
Press release & links
BIS: The Better Regulation Delivery Office, a new streamlined independent body that will ensure the voice of business is heard in regulation policy, has been created within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). BRDO has been formed from the Local Better Regulation Office, with expert staff continuing the operation of Primary Authority business engagement and developing practical tools for regulators.
WAG: First Minister, Carwyn Jones and Business Minister, Edwina Hart have both expressed their support for top level internet domain names for Wales - .wales and .cymru. A bid to use the distinctive Welsh domain names is due to be officially submitted to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) later this month. It follows a decision last year by the body responsible for managing domain names on the internet to increase the number of Internet domain name endings.
WAG: Equalities Minister Jane Hutt has outlined ‘what the Welsh Government is doing to take forward equalities, tackle discrimination and to encourage cohesive communities in Wales’. Publishing the Welsh Government’s Equality Objectives and Strategic Equality Plan the Minister said that they had been developed to make a real difference to people’s lives.
WAG: Some of Wales’ 22,000 empty private sector properties could soon be turned into new homes thanks to the Welsh Government’s £5m Houses to Homes’ Recyclable Loans Fund which opened for business recently.
The new Fund enables local authorities to offer interest free loans to landlords to renovate empty run-down residential properties and return them to use as homes for sale or rent. Loans will be repaid over a fixed period, making the money available for further loans to turn more empty houses into homes.
CLG: Over 180 potential bids have been sent in from councils who want to take up the Government's £250m offer to support better, more frequent, more environmentally friendly bin collections for residents, Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, revealed recently.
A number of bids are proposing to use the funding to invest in new infrastructure or technology to improve services or increase recycling. Others focus on better services like tackling 'bin blight' by reducing bin numbers or tailoring collections for specific neighbourhoods.
MoD: The new Joint Forces Command (JFC) achieved its Initial Operating Capability on, 2 April 2012. The launch of the Joint Forces Command is a major milestone in the MOD's Transforming Defence programme - the most significant programme of Defence reform for a generation.
No10: The Government has launched the re-invigorated Right to Buy, with a new discount of up to £75,000. Since 1980, 2m social homes have been bought by their occupants under the scheme, but numbers have gradually fallen – to fewer than 4,000 sales last year – as discounts have declined, making the scheme virtually meaningless in some parts of the country.
From April 2012 2m social tenants could benefit from a discount of up to £75,000 – more than quadrupling the discount cap in London and trebling it in most parts of the country.
ScotGov: Households in every local authority area in Scotland will be offered free insulation measures under the Universal Home Insulation Scheme (UHIS). The scheme, administered by local authorities, offers a range of free home insulation measures including loft & cavity wall insulation. These measures can help improve energy efficiency, keep heating bills down and reduce fuel poverty.
EST: A new telephone line will open shortly to give the public advice on how to save energy in their homes and businesses, run by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) with Careline Services.
As well as giving out advice on energy efficiency, it will provide information about existing government schemes like the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), which requires energy suppliers to install free or subsidised insulation, and Warm Front, the government’s heating grant scheme.
DWP: The Minister for Employment Chris Grayling has urged employers to sign up to a new work experience charter published recently by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Highlighting the enormous benefits to young people, employers and society of good work experience, Minister called for more employers to get involved in offering work experience.
DCLG: Communities Minister Andrew Stunell has unveiled a package of measures to make energy information on properties easier to understand, which if followed could help customers save money on their fuel bills.