Policy Statements and Initiatives

DfT: The A1 north of Newcastle to the Scottish border has been made a route of strategic national importance following a consultation, Regional & Local Transport Minister Norman Baker announced this week.  The move sees approximately 65 miles of the A1 join a key list of nationally important roads. It is part of the Government's move to ensure the economic importance of routes from England to the capital cities of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are properly recognised.
A number of roads linking Bootle with Twelve Quays Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead, Merseyside, will also become a route of strategic national importance.  This is because it is the main passenger & freight ferry terminal for traffic travelling between Liverpool & Belfast.
Press release & links
WAG: An initiative which prevents drug related deaths will be rolled out across Wales, Carl Sargeant, the Minister for Local Government & Communities announced last week. The Take Home Naloxone Rescue Scheme offers free Naloxone kits to all drug users at risk of overdose.
The announcement comes on the day of a conference organised by the Swansea Drugs Project about the successful use of heroin antidote, Naloxone, in preventing a drugs overdose. The decision follows a successful evaluation of the pilots carried out over the last two years in a number of areas in Wales.
Press release & links ~ BBC: Take Home Naloxone Rescue Scheme ~ Swansea Drugs Project
Newswire – CWDC: The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) social work programme will transfer to DfE by April 2012.
Press release & links
MoD: Members of the Armed Forces will from now on be given top priority for housing help Housing Minister, Grant Shapps has said. The move follows a Military Covenant Housing Summit chaired by the Housing Minister on Monday, and means that serving members of the Armed Forces, as well as those recently retired, will be able to benefit from the FirstBuy Scheme, providing £400m to help 10,000 families across the country get on the property ladder over the next 2 years.
The Minister has also signalled that the Government will ensure that all low-cost home ownership schemes will now routinely place members of the Armed Forces at the top of their priority lists and that government housing agents will be instructed to go out & actively recruit military personnel for such schemes.
Press release & links ~ FirstBuy Scheme
BIS: The Business Secretary set out this week his vision for the Green Investment Bank (GIB) as a new & enduring institution to complement existing green policies.  Vince Cable published a progress report on the GIB setting out more detail on its governance & business model.
The GIB’s mission will be to accelerate private sector investment in the UK’s transition to a green economy.  It will play a vital role in addressing market failures which are holding back private sector investment. Sectors likely to be eligible for intervention initially include offshore wind, non-domestic energy efficiency and waste. Work is ongoing to explore other sectors which will change over time.
Press release ~ Green Investment Bank ~ TUC comment ~ CBI comment
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