Policy Statements and Initiatives

DECC: The government will take additional action to help independent renewable generators gain entry to the electricity market, in order to promote competition & innovation. 

An amendment has been tabled to the Energy Bill that will make it easier for independent generators of renewable electricity to sell their power to suppliers via Power Purchase Agreements, thereby improving their access to market.
Press release & links
 
BIS: The UK will become a world leader in agricultural science & technology following the launch of a new strategy to deliver sustainable, healthy & affordable food for future generations. Breakthroughs in nutrition, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology & precision farming mean the agriculture sector is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.
Press release & links ~ ScotGov: Fields ahead in agriculture innovation
 
DHMore than 650 lives a year could be saved if simple NHS Health Checks were offered throughout the country & taken up, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said recently in a call to action for people to start thinking more seriously about their health.
 
A Public Health England (PHE) review has reiterated that checking 40 to 74-year-olds’ blood pressure, cholesterol, weight & lifestyle could identify problems earlier and prevent 650 deaths, 1,600 heart attacks and 4,000 cases of diabetes a year. PHE, which leads the NHS Health Check programme, has now launched a 10-point plan to help councils roll them out to 20% of their eligible local population a year –15m people by 2018/19.
Press release & links
 
DWP: The government's wage incentive scheme has encouraged UK businesses to offer over 21,000 jobs to young people at risk of long term unemployment. The scheme, which offers businesses up to £2,275 for taking on a young person who has been out of work for at least 6 months, or is attached to the Work Programme, is part of the cross-government Youth Contract package of measures to tackle youth unemployment.
Press release & links
 
CLG: Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, has confirmed that the Right to Transfer coming into force in the autumn, will mean tenants can take control over future investment into their communities by requesting a change of ownership & requiring new homes to be built.
Press release & links
 
GPS: The Cabinet Office recently announced the intention to establish an integrated commercial service for Government to deliver significant savings to the taxpayer and improve the quality of commercial & procurement activity across central government and the wider public sector

This will bring together Government Procurement Service and other Cabinet Office teams.  The Crown Commercial Service will be established this autumn building on the evolution of GPS over the last two years. 
Press release & links
 
DH: Building projects up & down the country have been given the green light to start producing homes that will support older & disabled people to live independently for as long as possible.   Last year the government asked local authorities to bid for a share of £300m to boost the supported housing market.  The Department of Health has now allocated funding to build 3,544 new homes.
Press release & links
 
WAG: Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies has announced new measures and an additional £6m to help halt the loss of wildlife & habitats in Wales.
Press release & links
 
DECC: A new £20m Green Deal Communities scheme to help local authorities drive street-by-street delivery of the Green Deal has been announced.  Under new proposals from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), local authorities in England will be able to bid for funding from a £20m pot to help households benefit from the Green Deal on a street-by-street or area basis.
 
Local authorities will identify target streets & areas in their regions that could most benefit from the Green Deal, and then offer incentives to households in these areas to encourage them to install energy efficiency home improvements under the Green Deal.  Local authorities will propose incentives as part of their bids for funding, which will be assessed by DECC.
Press release & links
 
CLG: A Southampton quayside development was last week the first to benefit from a government scheme to build homes specifically for private rent. Housing Minister Mark Prisk welcomed the first deal under the Government’s £1bn Build to Rent scheme, to deliver homes private rent as part of a 1,600-home development at the Centenary Quay development.
Press release & links
 
Defra: An action plan to help farmers prepare for risks to their businesses was agreed by major banks, farming charities & farming representatives at a summit convened by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson recently.
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The first farming resilience summit was held earlier this year following the bad weather that placed particular financial pressures on many of Britain’s farmers.  The experts in banking, farming, insurance and business convened again last week to agree new action to improve farmers’ resilience in the face of future challenges.
Press release
 
DH: 116 hospitals & care homes across England have been awarded a share of a £50m fund to create pioneering care environments designed with the needs of people with dementia in mind
Press release & links
 
ScotGovIndependence will allow Scotland to set defence priorities that reflect Scottish needs and develop the right capabilities to meet them, First Minister Alex Salmond said recently. In the third of a series of keynote speeches the First Minister is making over the summer,

Mr Salmond focussed on Scotland's defence needs and the difference between current capabilities based around maintaining the UK’s perceived prestige and Scottish priorities.
Press release ~ Scottish Affairs Committee publishes Report into the implications of terminating Trident ~ RUSI: A' the Blue Bonnets - Defending an Independent Scotland
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