Policy Statements and Initiatives

Defra: Shoppers in the UK each get through 13,000 carrier bags in their lifetimes, new research shows as the Government launches a new campaign on reusing bags. In 2008 alone, 9.9bn carrier bags were distributed - enough to fill 188 Olympic swimming pools - and if laid end to end they would reach to the moon and back 7 times.
 
The ‘Get a bag habit’ campaign, launched with the British Retail Consortium, aims to encourage the reuse of carrier bags and follows a commitment by 7 leading supermarkets to reach a 50% cut in the number of bags given out by the end of May 2009.  Since 2006 retailers have reduced the amount of bags by 26%.
Press release ~ Get a Bag Habit ~ British Retail Consortium ~ Related previous ScotGov press release ~ ScotGov: Carrier bags campaign - case studies ~ Scottish Retail Consortium ~ Waste Aware Scotland ~ Action on carrier bags ~ WRAP – material matters
 
CLG: Chapter 3 of the 2008 White Paper, Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power (July 2008), set out how the government would help local authorities to provide better information to their citizens on local services, performance and opportunities to get involved in their local areas.  The Timely Information to Citizens project was set up to take this forward.
 
A mix of councils in rural & urban areas are sharing £620,000 to pilot schemes that provide better local information for an estimated 1m people, ranging from crime maps in Gloucestershire, to a website for parents & carers of disabled children in Cambridgeshire.  There will be a second round of pilots in Spring 2009.
Press release ~ Timely Information to Citizens project ~ 2008 White Paper, Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power
 
HO: Working restrictions for Eastern Europeans will not be scrapped, the Government has announced, following independent, expert advice from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on the benefits of the scheme to the British labour market. The European Treaty of Accession means that the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) will automatically come to an end in 2011, but had to be reviewed after five years.
 
The WRSenables the Government to monitor the work A8 nationals do, and where in the country they do it - and so better plan for local services and ensure migration is working for the British labour market and the country as a whole. Maintaining the restrictions also means A8 nationals will not have full access to benefits until they have been working and paying tax for at least 12 consecutive months.
HO press release ~ MAC press release ~ Worker Registration Scheme ~ Accession Monitoring Reports ~ Review of the UK’s transitional measures for nationals of member states that acceded to the European Union in 2004
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