Policy Statements and Initiatives
ScotGov: A single national body is to be established bringing together the various bodies involved in supporting, organising and delivering the Children's Hearings system, to improve the support given to vulnerable young people across Scotland.
While there will be national co-ordination of the Children's Hearings system, local delivery, links with local communities and the vital role of volunteer Panel members will all be preserved, through Scotland's unique approach to care and justice for children and young people.
Press release ~ Children's Hearings system ~ ScotGov – Young People ~ CoSLA ~ Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA)
BERR: The potential for tidal power from the Severn Estuary to provide low carbon, renewable electricity has been highlighted by Energy Secretary, John Hutton, with the publication of the terms of reference for the Government's feasibility study.
Tidal barrages and lagoons will be looked at in the feasibility study which will analyse the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of the possible projects. It will enable the Government to decide whether and on what terms it could support a tidal power project.
Press release ~ Severn Tidal Power Terms of Reference ~ Tidal Power: Severn Estuary - BERR ~ High level work plan
CLG: A major review to improve the private rented sector has been announced. A Citizens Advice Bureau report last year found 1 in 5 tenants were dissatisfied with the quality of repairs carried out by their landlord and feared retaliatory action if they complained to authorities. On the other hand, landlords can face problems with poor tenants not paying rent and anti-social behaviour.
The review will examine the impact of demographic and social change on the future demand & supply in the sector and also look at:
* how the increasing number of buy to let accommodation and student tenants has impacted on the private rented sector
* the quality of homes and
* who the users of the sector are
Press release ~ Terms of Reference ~ CLG - Private renting and letting ~ CLG Housing strategies and reviews ~ Centre for Housing Policy at York University
CLG: The government claims that local authorities in England will benefit from a £2.7bn increase in funding from central government next year. Local Government Minister, John Healey, also set out firm proposals for further funding increases for the following two years.
Councils will be expected to make 3% efficiency gains, like the rest of the public sector, each year for the next three.
Press release ~ Details of settlement ~ CLG - Local Government Finance Information for Local Authorities
CLG: The government has set out how the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), will help fund massive new investment to sustain new homes. Ministers say that it is essential that new developments have parks, play areas and are also keen to ensure that small developments which can have a cumulative impact on areas make a contribution to local infrastructure and facilities.
The Levy is intended to give councils the power to set charges to pay for infrastructure when a new development takes place, which will hopefully provide hundreds of millions of pounds more for local infrastructure and services.
The Government is creating these new powers in the Planning Bill which has just begun its passage through the committee stage. It is anticipated that local councils will be able to take advantage of these powers from spring 2009.