TACKLING INEQUALITIES FACED BY GYPSY, ROMA AND TRAVELLER COMMUNITIES - INQUIRY
WOMAN AND EQUALITIES COMMITTEE – SUBMISSIONS 27TH JANUARY 2017
The Committee highlighted the poorer health, worse educational outcomes and the high level of infant mortality of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller of communities compared to many other groups in launching this review.
The Committee invites written evidence on issues including: the progress made in tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers to achieve the commitments made by the Ministerial Working Group; how well this work has been led, managed, monitored and funded across government; whether there has been a tangible improvement as a result; the adequacy of the data needed to under-pin policy; how policy takes into account the diverse needs of different Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities; the effectiveness of methods of engagement and dialogue between national and local policy makers with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities; and whether there there are any particular challenges faced by groups within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities such as women and LGB&T people?
Full details here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commonsselect/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2015/gypsy-roma-and-travellercommunities-inquiry-launch-16-17/
SOCIAL HOUSING REGULATION: USING A LEGISLATIVE REFORM ORDER TO ESTABLISH THE REGULATOR AS A STAND-ALONE-BODY - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT - CLOSES 27TH JANUARY 2017
The Department is inviting views on the proposals to use a Legislative Reform Order to establish the social housing regulator as a stand-alone non-departmental body, as recommended by the Tailored Review of the Homes and Communities Agency. This isintended to address the potential conflict of interest that arises from the Agency’s current configurations.
This consultation sets out the proposed legislative changed to the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 to implement the separation and to reflect the principles of better regulation, especially transparency and accountability. The measures will not change how registered providers are regulated.
LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE RATE - CONSULTATION
HM TREASURY AND SIMON KIRBY MP - CLOSES 28TH JANUARY 2017
The Government is consulting on offering discounted borrowing to local authorities to support infrastructure projects that are high value for the money. This follows the announcement at the Autumn Statement that the Government would consult on lending local authorities up to £1 billion at a discounted rate to support projects such as these. The Local Infrastructure Rate would be set at a gilts + 60 points basis with loans available for three years, having a maximum term of fifty years.
Full details here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/local-infrastructure-rate
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT - JOINT TECHNICAL CONSULTATION: PLANNING CHANGES TO REGULATIONS ON FORESTRY, AGRICULTURE, WATER RESOURCES, LAND DRAINAGE AND MARINE WORKS - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS – CLOSES 30TH JANUARY 2017
The proposed changes, first agreed in 2014, are intended to make the EIA regulations work more efficiently, focusing more on where environmental protection is really needed. The consultation is being jointly run by Defra, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.
Full details here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/environmental-impact-assessment-joint-technical-consultation-planning-changes-to-regulations-on-forestry-agriculture-water-resources-land-draina
ENGLISH CHURCHES AND CATHEDRALS SUSTAINABILITY REVIEW - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT – CLOSES 31ST JANUARY 2017
The English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review was commissioned by the Government in March 2016. Chaired by Bernard Taylor and supported by a distinguished panel of experts, the Review will consider the challenges faced by our ecclesiastical heritage buildings and their long term sustainability.
The challenge in ensuring that these outstanding buildings continue to be an integral part of local life is significant given the increasing level of support and expertise required to maintain them at a time when the limited resources in the community are becoming ever more stretched.
AMENDING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REGULATIONS - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT - CLOSES 1ST FEBRUARY 2017
The Department are consulting on amending the Town and Country and Infrastructure planning regulations, transposing the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. This European Directive is an amendment to an existing Directive and applies to the town and country planning system in England and to the nationally significant infrastructure planning regime established by the Planning Act in 2008. Member States have until 16th May 2017 to transpose the Directive into domestic legislation.
SUPPORTED HOUSING FUNDING REFORM - INQUIRY
COMMONS WORK AND PENSIONS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEES – SUBMISSIONS BY 3RD FEBRUARY 2017
The Work and Pensions Committee and the Local Government Committee launched a joint inquiry into the Government’s funding reform for supported housing. The inquiry is examining the planned changed for 2019-20, when core rent and services charges for supported housing will be funded through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit up to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. For costs above this, funding will go to local authorities for disbursement locally.
The Committees are considering whether the new system will ensure that the varied rate of the LHA caps will not adversely affect tenants and providers in low-value parts of the country. It examines how existing tenants will be protected and asks whether the changes should be piloted. The inquiry also looks at the effect that uncertainty about the new model is having on the sector and explores whether separate funding models are needed for refugees and other short-term supported housing services, or sheltered housing services for the elderly, which would require a higher cap.
How localised funding pots would work, including how the money will be ring-fenced and which factors should be used to determine an area’s allocation are also being investigated by the Committees.
NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENT - CALL FOR EVIDENCE
NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION - SUBMISSIONS BY 10TH FEBRUARY 2017
The National Infrastructure Commission is seeking views on the development of a National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) of the UK’s long-term needs over a 30 year horizon. The Commission’s role is to provide impartial, expert advice on major long-term infrastructure challenges, including a binding fiscal remit to ensure that the Commission’s recommendations are affordable.
The Commission is a permanent body that “will operate independently, at arm’s length from government, as an executive agency of HM Treasury”. It is operating in an interim form until it is formally established on a permanent basis, however no distinction is made between its interim and permanent forms.
In terms of individual sectors, the Commission will cover: transport, digital communications, energy, water and wastewater (drainage and sewerage), flood risk management, and solid waste.
The Commission will publish a Vision and Priorities document in summer 2017. This will inform the full NIA, which will be published in 2018. Please note that this call for evidence is separate from the recently completed call for ideas which was run jointly by the National Infrastructure Commission and HM Treasury to inform decisions on the Commission’s next in-depth study or studies.
HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON - WEST MIDLANDS) BILL: DRAFT CLASS APPROVAL CONTENT - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT – CLOSES 13TH FEBRUARY 2017
The Department for Transport is seeking views on the contents of the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill draft class approval. The class approval allows the Secretary of State to:
• approve appropriate measures to apply to the HS2 Phase One works
• remove the need for repeated individual approvals from planning authorities
POLICING FOR THE FUTURE: CHANGING DEMANDS AND NEW CHALLENGES - INQUIRY
HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE - CLOSES 16TH FEBRUARY 2017
This inquiry explores the challenges of modern policing and examines whether police forces are sufficiently equipped and resourced to keep the public safe and to respond to evolving demands and changing patterns of crime. This includes the emergence of on-line crime which changed the nature and impact on victims and communities. Technological change also presents new opportunities at a time of increased focus on efficiency and innovation.
The inquiry notes that many crimes are under-reported and that the police need to be proactive in certain communities and that a large proportion of police time is directed to non-criminal work, such as mental health crisis work. At the same time there remains a complex relationship between public expectations and policing realities in the face of spending cuts.
IMPROVING LIVES WORK, HEALTH AND DISABILITY - GREEN PAPER
DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE RT HON DAMIEN GREEN MP AND THE RT HON JEREMY HUNT MP - CLOSES 17TH FEBRUARY 2017
The Green Paper notes that less than half of disabled people are in employment compared to 80% of the non-disabled population. Some 4.6 million disabled people and people with long term health conditions are out of work, leaving individuals, and some large parts of communities disconnected from the benefits that work brings. People who are unemployed have higher rates of mortality and a lower quality of life.
The green paper sets out the nature of the problem and why change is needed by employers, the welfare system, health and care providers, and all of us, and asks how:
• big a role can we expect employers to play
• can work coaches play a more active role
• can we improve the welfare system
• can we promote mental and physical health and ensure timely access to the health and employment support
• can we develop better occupational health support
• to reinforce work as a health outcome
• can we encourage, harness and spread innovation
• can we built a culture of high hopes and expectations
SOCIAL WORK: NATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION SYSTEM - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION – CLOSES 14TH MARCH 2017
The Department is seeking views on a new national assessment and accreditation system for child and family social workers, as part of their reforms. They are inviting views on:
• a future pathway for child and family social workers
• the place of a national assessment and accreditation system in that pathway
The national assessment and accreditation system is intended to introduce a new practicefocused methodology to establish the knowledge and skills that child and family social workers need for statutory child and family social work.
BENEFITS OF DRONES TO THE UK ECONOMY - CONSULTATION
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT – CLOSES 15TH MARCH 2017
The Department for Transport is seeking views on proposals to harness the positive benefits of drones for the public and commercial services and the benefits to the UK economy.
It puts forward a number of proposals:
• to develop the UK’s policy and regulatory framework
• to keep pace with this fast and emerging market
• balance the challenges appropriately without restricting the opportunity to ensure global competitiveness
• innovation and technological investment
The consultation is only for the civil use of drones and not military drones.