• OVERLOOKED COMMUNITIES, OVERDUE CHANGE

    Last year (2012) the Parliamentary Information Office reported details of the Scope Report "Overlooked Communities, Overdue Change” which presented new, wide-ranging evidence about disabled people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

    Last Thursday, 9th January 2013, the House of Lords debated the Report, which recommended how policy-makers, local authority commissioners, and service providers can improve BME disabled people's access to services.

    The key points in the Report were:

    o There are at least one million disabled people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK. Many face considerable difficulties in their daily lives, yet are unable to access the services they need.

    o Demographic change means there will be many more BME disabled people in the future. If the needs of this growing community are to be met, it is vital that the accessibility of services is improved.

    o Increased community involvement in the design, commissioning and delivery of services is essential for such improvements to happen. More accurate evidence, better communication, and greater recognition of this group in policy-making are vital steps for developing fully inclusive services.


    Lord Boateng (Labour) opened the debate in the Lords. He said:

    "Disabled people from black and minority ethnic communities and their families are often left disengaged from the decisions of policymakers and practitioners, disconnected from support systems and services, and disempowered from finding local solutions to the problems that they face.
    In this House this afternoon we have an opportunity to address that issue. We will have the opportunity to do so again in the weeks and months ahead as the government take forward their own legislative programme, particularly in relation to the children and families bill.”

    Baroness Browning (Conservative), vice president of the National Autistic Society and the Alzheimer's Society, focused on recommendations for policy makers. She said:

    "These include, for example, a theme throughout the report: involving disabled people themselves, along with their immediate carers, and the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities with experience and background in what the needs and solutions are.”

    Baroness tyler of Enfield (Liberal Democrat), declared an interest as president of the National Children's Bureau. She explained:

    "It is vital - the report makes this very clear - that we understand that the disadvantages of disability can be amplified for children from within the black and minority ethnic community.”

    She continued: "In addition to poverty and language barriers, the disabled children of black and minority ethnic communities also face a number of more subtle disadvantages of social isolation and stigma.”

    Baroness Hollins (Crossbench) stated:

    "My Lords, people from BME communities are significantly under-represented in the uptake of learning disability services. This is despite the much higher prevalence of learning disability in certain BME groups.”

    She continued: "Differences in perception of mental health within various cultures and poor knowledge of availability of services can also significantly influence the health-seeking behaviour of people who have mental health problems and individuals with learning disabilities or their families.”

    She concluded: "I want to end by thinking about the importance of cultural competency as an essential component to our services. I hope the minister will agree above all that a person-centred and culturally competent approach will be key to the success of services in the future.”

    Baroness Thornton (Labour), Equalities Office opposition spokesperson, said:

    "Scope has been very concerned about the potential shift within government to a more watered-down commitment to assessing equality implications as a crucial part of decision-making.”

    She explained: "If we see a diminution in the commitment to monitoring, consulting and impact measurement, that also needs to be seen in the context of the impact of the welfare reforms that the Government are pursuing with regard to disabled people.”

    She added: "Impact assessments should consider not just aggregated impacts from one specific policy but the cumulative impact of several policies on individuals and their families.”

    Baroness Stowell of Beeston (Conservative) responded on behalf of the government. She said:

    "We are working as a united government to break down barriers of disability, race, religion, gender, age and social background. We are taking a personalised approach to enable people to reach their potential, rather than assuming that one size fits all.”

    The Parliamentary Information Office will continue to report on inclusiveness within all communities as we go through the months ahead.

    Web: www.parliamentaryyearbookinformationoffice.co.uk

    Email: parliamentaryyearbook@blakemedia.org


  • RAIL 2020 REPORT


    Recently the Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook has been reporting on the Government’s plans for railway upgrades including plans for High Speed 2. In a report setting out their vision for the railway by 2020 the Transport Select Committee endorses the quest for a more efficient railway but raises concerns about safety, staffing and the protection of passenger interests.


    Launching Rail 2020, the report of its inquiry examining government proposals to reform the railway, Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Transport Committee said:


    “The number of rail passengers has increased but train companies’ unit costs have not come down. The Government wants to reduce the cost of the railway to taxpayers, but it must not do so by ramping up fares which can be complex and are often very expensive. Ministers must urgently set out a long-term policy on fares and rule out using higher fares to reduce peak demand for train services.


    “There are good economic, social and environmental reasons for the Government to provide a £4 billion subsidy to the railway, but to drive efficiency savings across the sector the Government and the regulator must shine a light on complacent management, waste and profiteering by ensuring greater transparency in the finances of the rail industry.


    “It is vital we know far more about how public money is spent so that there is confidence it does not leak out of the system in the form of unjustified profits. The Government should publish and consult on a clear statement of what the subsidy is for and where it should be targeted. Commercial confidentiality should not be used to block legitimate requirements for information.”


    The Committee supports the McNulty Report’s general approach to achieving substantial savings. But it considers his target to save £3.5 billion by 2018/19 to be challenging and expresses specific concerns about safety, staffing and the protection of passengers' interests. Commenting on this


    Louise Ellman added:


    “If train operating companies do not realise substantial efficiency savings over the next five years, then the case for more far-reaching structural changes to the industry will become compelling. Changes to the numbers and duties of station staff should not be pursued solely to reduce costs or at the expense of passenger safety or service quality. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) should also monitor safety where Network Rail and train operating companies have formed alliances, ensuring these arrangements reflect the interests of taxpayers and passengers”.


    The report does not focus on the lessons of the West Coast Mainline Franchise debacle but the MPs make some recommendations about rail franchises, to influence the current government review. In particular, the Committee sees merit in continuing with longer rail franchises but suggests the Government explores options for reviewing contracts every five year and looks at spreading premium payments over the full length of each franchise contract. MPs also recommend that franchises which need to be re-let soon should be tendered on the basis of medium-term franchises of seven to ten years’ duration, to avoid holding up the whole process.


    The Committee calls on the Department for Transport to consider delegating the letting and management of rail franchises to an arms-length body with more commercial expertise than the Department has at its own disposal. It also suggests that franchises should be designed to deliver wider policy objectives such as the promotion of sustainable end-to-end journeys, the quality of the passenger experience, or economic development.


    Speaking about future franchising, Louise Ellman said, “Confidence in the DfT has been badly shaken by the collapse of the West Coast Main Line franchise. We are not convinced that the DfT as currently structured is best placed both to set rail policy and deliver the detailed work required to run each franchise competition. A new arms-length franchising body could employ staff with the appropriate specialist and commercial skills required to let and manage effective franchise contracts. However, ministers must remain fully accountable to Parliament for the railway.”


    The Transport Committee has set out its own vision for the railway, including:

    o Clarity about the purpose and effectiveness of rail subsidies.

    o A clear link between policy on rail and other aspects of transport policy, for example a focus on sustainable end-to-end journeys

    o A strategic approach to policy-making which does not sacrifice democratic accountability, takes passenger interests more clearly into account, upholds safety standards and develops a strategy for improving the security of the rail network.

    o Greater transparency about the costs of rail (and the assumptions underpinning the Department for Transport's analysis of the ratio of taxpayer to farepayer funding on different types of rail service), to ensure that new investment, operator alliances, profit or wastage levels and various forms of franchise can be better compared and evaluated.

    o More modern, flexible fares and ticketing options and a clear long-term policy on regulated fares that rules out even higher fares for commuters on peak time trains.

    o A strong single economic regulator for the rail industry with capacity and credibility to deliver savings across the board

    o Effective industry leadership via the Rail Delivery Group, scrutinised closely by the regulator to ensure that this strategic body acts in the best interests of the farepayer and taxpayer, rather than simply of established rail interests.

    o Devolution for some rail franchises, such as the Northern franchise, to local or regional bodies.


    The Committee recommends that the Rail Delivery Group, made up of senior industry leaders, should spearhead the swift implementation of innovative ticketing technology and work with Passenger Focus to develop a clear strategy for improving retail facilities on stations and trains.

    MPs also warn the rail regulator it must ensure that alliances between Network Rail and train operators don’t disadvantage rail freight. Likewise the regulator must take a cautious approach to approving the sale or redevelopment of former railway land in case such resources may be required for rail in future.


    The committee plans to issue a further report in due course examining franchising including lessons from the west coast mainline franchises debacle.


    We shall be adding to the article as there are further developments and any changes to the plans will be reflected in the content. The full report will be published in print and online in the next edition of the Parliamentary Yearbook.


    Web: www.parliamentaryyearbookinformationoffice.co.uk

    Email: parliamentaryyearbook@blakemedia.org

     

  • From Parliamentary Information Office : 50% INCREASE IN CYCLING INJURIES IN LONDON

    In recognition of the environmental advantages of the bicycle over the car, the Parliamentary Yearbook will be covering the cycling revolution as part of a major environmental feature in the next edition. But are the benefits outweighed by the dangers?

    Cycling in the capital is on the up, but the Mayor wants to go further to really make a difference to how Londoners get about their city. The Mayor is working with TfL to deliver a 400 per cent increase in cycling by 2026, compared to 2001 levels, while making two wheeled transport safer, more attractive, and more convenient.

    However, Pedal cyclist injuries rose 50 per cent in London from 2958 to 4497 between 2006 and 2011 (all roads). While the number of cycling journeys taken rose only 16 per cent over the same period, the number of injuries rose at nearly double this rate.

    As the number of cycling injuries on London’s roads has risen, a new report] – Gearing Up – by the London Assembly has recommended both doubling funding for cycling and targets for the number of journeys made by bike.

    Published during National Road Safety Week, the report calls on Mayor Boris Johnson to respond to falling cycle safety by prioritising ways to encourage more people on to bikes and reduce serious cycling incidents on London’s roads.

    The Assembly’s recommendations to the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL) and the Government include:

    o   doubling funding] for cycling in TfL’s transport budget
    o   timetabling an action plan for the east-west cycle ‘super corridor’
    o   appointing a commissioner to champion cycling
    o   more space on London's roads for cyclists, including using the experience of Games Lanes during London 2012
    o   developing a plan to ensure all children in London receive cycle training

    Gearing Up shows while cycle safety London has improved overall since 2001, injuries have been on the increase since 2006. Evidence collected by the Assembly cited safety as the main reason why Londoners wouldn’t take up cycling in the capital.

    The London Assembly’s Transport Committee also urges the Mayor to make his pledge to create a ‘cycling revolution’ more ambitious. The report calls for him to double his target of having 5 per cent of journeys made by bike by 2026 to ten per cent following its analysis of current trends in London and other European cities. Copenhagen, for example, has set a target of 50 per cent of journeys to be made by bike by 2015.

    The investigation showed that as cycling participation increased in other European cities, the safety of cyclists improved. But in London, rising cycle numbers do not appear to be having the same positive impact. The report also calls on the Mayor to encourage more participation as currently only 7 per cent of suitable journeys are made by bike.

    Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee, said:

    “Following a strong interest in cycling during the 2012 Games, it’s of great concern that cycle safety in London is now showing a decline in real terms. We are calling on the Mayor to act quickly to back up the warm words that make up his vision for cycling with real substance that has an impact on boosting safe cycling in London.

    “Our report shows measures such as doubling cycling funding, making more space on our roads for cyclists and improving junction design, and trialling creative ideas to improve safety could all play a part in encouraging more journeys in London to be made by bike. A more ambitious vision backed by real political will and safer conditions could help London reach the high levels of cycling seen in other European capitals.”

    Evidence from other countries indicates that higher cycling rates have led to fewer casualties. The Dutch Cycling Embassy says that as cycling increased in the Netherlands in the 1970s and 1980s, cycling fatalities dropped. In Copenhagen, as cycling grew by 50 per cent between 1995 and 2010, the risk of cycle casualties reduced four-fold in the same period. TfL’s evidence suggested that cycling casualty increases in 2011 should be seen in the context of an increase in the number of cyclists. However, the safety in numbers effect in London has not prevented an increase in the cycling casualty rate between 2007 and 2010.

    The Parliamentary Yearbook will continue to report on this and other environmental issues and their impact on our lives as we go through the months ahead.

    Web: www.parliamentaryyearbookinformationoffice.co.uk

    Email: parliamentaryyearbook@blakemedia.org

  • "ACCESS TO WORK” TO GET MORE DISABLED PEOPLE INTO MAINSTREAM JOBS

    Following the success of the London Paralympic Games and as part of its commitment to monitor community action to increase diversity and inclusiveness in our business and social activities, the Parliamentary Information Office is following with considerable interest developments in attitudes and facilities for the disabled

    It was announced on Monday, 19th November 2012 that disabled entrepreneurs and small businesses will benefit from more support to pay for specialised equipment and other costs faced by disabled people in work under changes to the Government's disability employment programme announced today.

    The programme, Access to Work, provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people at work, such as travel costs, specially adapted equipment and support workers.

    Access to Work is a disability employment programme delivered by Jobcentre Plus. It is different to most other DWP programmes in that it supports disabled people who are in work or about to start work to stay in work by funding either partially or fully the cost of necessary workplace adjustments that are above what the Equality Act would define as reasonable for an employer to pay.

    The programme provides grants direct to individual disabled people to reimburse them for approved costs, and is very flexible to meet individual needs.

    Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey said:

    "Work is more than a job – it's one of the best ways to increase independence, life fulfilment, social engagement and is central to someone's identity. And although the disability employment rate has increased over recent years, there is still more we need to do to close the gap with non-disabled people.

    "That is why we are now making these changes to Access to Work, to widen the scope of those who can benefit from this support, because disabled people aspire to the same jobs as everyone else.

    "By opening up the Access to Work programme it will give disabled people more opportunities to have the same choice of jobs as everyone else, in every sector from hairdressing to engineering, and at every level."

    The changes announced on Monday mean:
    •         Businesses with up to 49 employees will no longer pay a contribution towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work, saving them up to £2,300 per employee who uses the fund;
    •         Disabled jobseekers who want to set up their own business through the New Enterprise Allowance will now be eligible for Access to Work funding from day one of receiving Job Seekers Allowance; and
    •         Access to Work advisers will be given more flexibility in deciding which equipment is funded through the scheme, offering more choice to disabled people in work.

    The Government will also implement a package of measures recommended by the Access to Work expert panel, chaired by Mike Adams from the Essex Coalition of Disabled People (ECDP). The measures include funding the physical transfer of equipment, introducing a ‘fast-track' application process where appropriate, and working with employers to find more imaginative solutions to support individuals. The panel will continue to advise DWP on further reforms to ensure the best use of funding.

    Access to Work has previously been called ‘the Government's best kept secret' so to raise awareness of the changes, the Government will expand the marketing campaign – targeting particularly at young disabled people and those with mental health conditions.
    The Government has already announced £15m additional funding for Access to Work and the extension of the support to young people taking part in work experience through the Youth Contract.

    Last year the programme helped 30,000 disabled people keep or get employment. Research also shows that around half (45 per cent) of Access to Work customers would be out of work if they did not receive support through the scheme.

    Additional measures recommended by the Access to Work expert panel that will be implemented include:
    •         Fast-tracked applications where appropriate, for example where a disabled person already knows the type of support they need;
    •         Access to Work will pay for the transfer of equipment so that this support can go with the individual as they move jobs where this is cost-effective
    •         Grassroots disability organisations (Disabled People's User Led Organisations) will be invited to look at what else can be done to provide one-to-one peer support to disabled people using the Access to Work scheme
    •         Access to Work advisers working more closely with employers to clarify application processes and provide advice on more imaginative ways to put in-work support in place.

    The Parliamentary Information Office will continue to report on inclusiveness in the business environment as we go through the months ahead.

    Web:  Parliamentary Information Office

    Email: parliamentaryyearbook@blakemedia.org

  • THE FUTURE OF EU EMISSIONS TRADING

    The Parliamentary Information Office, as part of its ongoing reports on energy and climate change policy,  has been following closely progress on proposed options for strengthening EU measures to reduce emission.

    Progress towards a global deal to curb aviation emissions and proposals to delay the release of greenhouse gas allowances in the Emissions Trading System (ETS) dominated a special meeting of the Environment Committee yesterday, 12th November 2012.


    The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the European Union's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. The first and biggest international scheme for the trading of greenhouse gas emission allowances, the EU ETS covers some 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 30 countries.


    Launched in 2005, the EU ETS works on the "cap and trade" principle. This means there is a "cap", or limit, on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the factories, power plants and other installations in the system. Within this cap, companies receive emission allowances which they can sell to or buy from one another as needed. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value.


    At the end of each year each company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances. The flexibility that trading brings ensures that emissions are cut where it costs least to do so.


    The number of allowances is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. In 2020 emissions will be 21% lower than in 2005.


    At the Committee Meeting yesterday Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard relayed a new Commission proposal to "stop the clock" on enforcing international aspects of aviation in EU emissions trading. The proposed suspension of obligations was to recognise recent progress at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and look towards a global deal to be reached by autumn 2013.


    Some MEPs questioned whether the level of progress in ICAO merited a suspension of the rules. In the debate and in a press statement, Environment Committee Chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE) and Peter Liese (EPP, DE), rapporteur for the legislation adopted in 2008, cautiously welcomed the progress.


    Matthias Groote
    mep (S&D, Germany) said:

    "I welcome the positive signal from ICAO with cautious optimism. Thanks to the EU taking the first step, the world is now moving towards a global deal to tackle growing aviation emissions. While the EU may conditionally suspend some requirements in our legislation, the clock will be ticking to agree a global deal within the next year".


    Peter Liese (EPP, Germany) said:


    "I welcome the substantial progress under ICAO that shows that it was very important that the European Union took a firm stand. Now it is clear that we need to be flexible. But we have to look at the Commission proposal very carefully. On the one hand we shouldn't be too generous. On the other hand we should avoid distortion of competition as much as possible", said


    Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the Commission was proposing to delay the availability of allowances (known as "backloading") in response to Parliament's call to tackle surplus credits. On Wednesday, the Commission will publish a report on the carbon market and a proposal following one of three possible action 'scenarios' they had previously mooted.


    MEPs gave a mixed response on backloading, with some concerned about market intervention and others fearing that the proposals would not go far enough to boost the weak carbon price. External experts also gave their input.


    "Backloading the release of allowances will only buy time. We need to take account of all the concerns and doubts that have been raised", said Matthias Groote, who is rapporteur for the proposal.


    Looking at the wider picture in his concluding remarks, he said, "The EU's ETS is strongest tool in the world of its kind and we should be proud of it".


    The Parliamentary Information Office
    will report further on the progress of these and other measures as we go through the months ahead.

    Web:
    http://www.parliamentaryyearbookinformationoffice.co.uk/

    Email: parliamentaryyearbook@blakemedia.org

  • Arbitration & Mediation Services (Equality) Bill

    The Parliamentary Information Office is watching with considerable interest the progress of the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill  as part of its commitment to monitor action to increase diversity and inclusiveness in our business, domestic and social activities

    Last Friday, 19th October, Members of the Lords discussed the main aspects of the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill during its second reading, the first opportunity for them to debate the aspects of the bill.

    The intention of the Bill, introduced into the House of Lords by Baroness Caroline Cox, is to make arbitration services in the UK subject to equality laws and to bar any arbitration where parties are of unequal standing; for example, it would disallow arbitration providers placing greater weight on the testimony of one party over another, as is the case with sharia law where a wife's word is worth only half of her husband's. The Bill will also create a criminal offence and make it illegal for arbitration bodies to pretend they have greater jurisdiction than they do – in other words, preventing them from misinforming people that they must obey their rulings. It will also place a duty on public bodies in the UK to inform women of their rights under British law.

    The Bill's proposals include:
    •         A new criminal offence of 'falsely claiming legal jurisdiction' for any person who adjudicates upon matters which ought to be decided by criminal or family courts. The maximum penalty would be five years in prison.
    •         Explicitly stating in legislation that sex discrimination law applies directly to arbitration tribunal proceedings. Discriminatory rulings may be struck down under the Bill.
    •         Requiring public bodies to inform women that they have fewer legal rights if their marriage is unrecognised by English law.
    •         Explicitly stating on the face of legislation that arbitration tribunals may not deal with matters of family law (such as legally recognised divorce or custody of children) or criminal law (such as domestic violence).
    •         Making it easier for a civil court to set aside a consent order if a mediation settlement agreement or other agreement was reached under duress.
    •         Explicitly stating on the face of legislation that a victim of domestic abuse is a witness to an offence and therefore should be expressly protected from witness intimidation.

    The Bill received its 1st reading in the House of Lords on 7 June, 2011. At its second reading last week Baroness Cox (Crossbench) moved the bill, saying:

    “The bill seeks to address two interrelated issues: the suffering of women oppressed by religiously sanctioned gender discrimination in this country; and a rapidly developing alternative quasi-legal system which undermines the fundamental principle of one law for all. The bill is strongly supported by many Muslims and by Muslim women's organisations such as Inspire, as well as by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, the Henna Foundation, Karma Nirvana, British Muslims for Secular Democracy and the National Secular Society. I am grateful to them all for their support.

    “Awareness of the need for the bill arose from mounting evidence of serious problems affecting some women in this country from the application of Sharia law. I immediately reassure your Lordships that I am not anti-Muslim. Indeed, I am deeply concerned that Muslim women enjoy their full legal and civil rights under the law of this land. If women from other faiths experience comparable problems of systematic discrimination, the provisions of this bill would also be available for them as it does not name any religion.”

    She went on to give a number of examples of areas the bill will address and concluded that:

    “We cannot continue with the present situation in which so many women are suffering from gender discrimination in our country today in ways that would make the heroines of the suffragette movement turn in their graves. We must address the danger that a parallel de facto legal system may become entrenched, thereby undermining the fundamental principle of our liberal democracy: the principle of one law for all.”

    Baroness Donaghy (Labour) supported the bill by saying:

    “As long as some women live in fear and are trapped in their situation, we should act. The government may well feel that this bill is unnecessary as the law in this area is adequate. I would argue that turning a blind eye to fear and exploitation is not adequate. I do not believe that this is confined to Sharia law or the Muslim religion. These parallel laws that discriminate against women exist, sometimes, in other religions. It is important to emphasise that this is not an attack on one particular religion or, indeed, on any right to worship. It could also be said that the bill does not go far enough and that it is too weak to make a difference. I would argue that this can be dealt with by means of amendments to the bill.”

    The Lord Bishop of Manchester expressed some concern over the bill, he said:

    “I do not for a moment doubt the sincerity of the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, in her wish not to inhibit religious freedoms through this bill. The point has already been made in this debate that she is a well-known and respected campaigner for the cause of religious liberty at home and abroad. She is much respected, not least by the Bishops' bench. However, as currently drafted, the bill appears to present anomalies which could create problems for those who are well aware of their rights, are independently advised and want to approach their faith tribunals for adjudication in a matter which they believe to be covered by the rules of their faith.”

    Lord Gardiner (Conservative), spoke on behalf of the government, stating that:

    “Many of the issues that the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, raises are already addressed in existing legislation. For example, the Equality Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act prohibits intimidation of all witnesses.

    “The government are fully committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, and there is legislation in place to uphold those rights... the government are actively working with groups to ensure that there is awareness and a change of attitude.”

    Baroness Cox replied:

    “The position of the minister and the government is, among others, that the bill is unnecessary because Sharia courts are not proper courts with powers of jurisdiction. The minister made the point that every citizen in the country has access to the UK justice system. However, the power of Sharia councils lies in how they are perceived by their communities, allowing the creation of de facto legal structures and standards which contradict fundamental British legal principles.”

    The Parliamentary Information Office will continue to report on inclusiveness as we go through the months ahead.

  • More About the Parliament

    Look into the current process and working scenario of Parliament,

    What the updates takes place?

    What plan to be converted into development?

    How they give pleasure to the normal people?

    How to save the nation against unexpected climate changes situation (Global Warming)?

    New inventions are making new suitable nation or not

    How youth can think towards nation?

    Normal people can feel also comfort life

    Preplan care about the new disease

    Every discussed point in the parliament can really on working position or not

    Encouragement needs into education, sports, culture

    Agriculture Growth

    Everyone needs to join for the development of the Nation.

    This Parliamentary information office blog post meets you the view about the Parliament considering above discussed topics can take place (working condition) and then just see the prosperous nation.

  • A BOOST FOR UK HOUSEBUILDING

    The Parliamentary Yearbook is currently gathering news items for major features on the regeneration of our urban landscape in the next edition. One of the major subjects for debate both within and outside Parliament is the coalition government’s commitment to deliver homes and strengthen the economy via a regeneration programme based on decentralisation of decision-making and power.

    “This Government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing it all it can to kick-start the economy” The Rt Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister.

    Since Housing Minister Grant Schapps announced, in August 2011, plans to give councils financial freedoms to improve, buy and build new housing for their local communities, the government has embarked upon a regeneration programme which is shifting control and decision-making away from central government to local authorities, local businesses, communities and city leaders.

    The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister last week announced a major housing and planning package that will help deliver:

    •    Up to 70.000 new homes, including affordable housing and opportunities for first-time buyers to get onto the housing ladder
    •    140 000 jobs and a boost to the construction sector
    •    A £40bn guarantee for major infrastructure projects and £10bn for new homes

    This includes a series of measures aimed at supporting businesses, developers and first-time buyers, while slashing unnecessary red tape across the planning system.

    The measures include:

    •    Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
    •    New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
    •    Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
    •    An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
    •    Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
    •    Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
    •    16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
    •    For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

    The Prime Minister said:

    “The measures announced today show this Government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing it all it can to kick-start the economy. Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming. But along with our Housing Strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation. That means more investment around the county; more jobs for our people; and more young families able to realise their dreams and get on the housing ladder.”

    The Deputy Prime Minister said:

    “This is a Coalition Government, determined to get on with the job of delivering a healthier economy. Today’s major boost to housing and planning will make it easier to build a home, easier to buy a first home and easier to extend a home. A boost that will get Britain building again. Building thousands of affordable homes and generating thousands of new jobs.”

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

    "This Government wants to get the economy growing. To remove unnecessary red tape. To support locally-led sustainable development.

    "Today we are announcing a further series of common sense measures to promote house building, speed up planning decisions and appeals, and major infrastructure.

    "These practical measures build on the housing, local government finance and planning reforms already in play. Delivering sustainable development and getting Britain building."

    This brief article summarises the situation as it stands today. We shall be adding to the article as there are further developments and any changes to the plans will be reflected in the content. The full report will be published in print and online in the next edition of the Parliamentary Yearbook.

  • Parliamentary Information Office - BOOST FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

    The Parliamentary Information Office has been monitoring progress in Government policy relating to education, particularly relating to the plurality of our system and continues to report on changes as they occur

    Thousands more pupils in England are set to benefit from high-quality academic study combined with practical learning as 11 more Studio Schools and 3 further University Technical Colleges (UTCs) open this September

    The first two Studio Schools opened in September 2010 in Luton and Huddersfield and by September 2013 thirty Studio Schools are expected to be open. The figures also mean that, between September 2011 and September 2012, a total of 97 new UTCs, Studio Schools and Free Schools have been opened by passionate teachers, parents, charities, employers and education groups. These schools are helping to give power back to teachers to raise standards in education, and are providing greater choice for parents.

    UTCs and Studio Schools are new schools for 14- to 19-year-olds. Pupils of all abilities can choose to go to them at ages 14 or 16. These schools typically operate on business hours, and many have shorter school holidays.

    Studio Schools are set up with the backing of employers, and are a key part of the Government's drive to ensure the education system gives school leavers the skills that business needs to grow and prosper.

    They offer academic and vocational qualifications but teach them in a practical way. Study is combined with work placements … often paid … with local and national employers involved in the school. These include the BBC, The National Grid, Hilton Hotels, Michelin and Aston Villa and Fulham Football Clubs.

    Along with University Technical Colleges, Studio Schools will increase choice for parents and pupils in communities across the country, help raise standards in vocational education and ensure young people have the skills that employers demand.

    UTCs are sponsored by a local university and employers, and they focus on providing technical education that meets the needs of modern business. Each has one or two specialisms – ranging from engineering, to manufacturing, to construction or bio-medical sciences.

    Both UTCs and Studio Schools are part of the Government's drive to ensure the education system responds to demands from employers for the skills they need to grow and prosper.

    Education Secretary Michael Gove said yesterday:

    “New Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges will ensure more young people get great jobs. They are a brilliant way for employers to get more involved in education so that young people can be better prepared than ever before for the world of work.”

    The UTCs and Studio Schools opening this September include:

    •    Aston University Academy of Engineering UTC, Birmingham, which will focus on engineering and science through a partnership between Aston University, the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEMNET) and a range of industry partners, including the National Grid.
    •    Hackney UTC, London, sponsored by Hackney Community College, the University of East London, BT and Homerton University Hospital, will specialise in medical technologies and new digital technologies, working closely with the pioneering start-up companies based in Hoxton.
    •    Hull Studio School, Hull, sponsored by outstanding-rated Hull College, will focus on business and enterprise and will provide young people with the essential employability skills they need to enter the world of work, by working with local employers such as British Land and Humberside Police.
    •    The Studio College for construction and building excellence, Stoke-on-Trent, will specialise in construction and give students the opportunity to learn in a small, supportive environment to get the qualifications and training they need to be work ready. Sponsored by Stoke-on-Trent College, the Studio School will work with a network of construction industry partners including Wates Construction.

    David Frost CBE, Chair of the Studio Schools Trust, said:

    “I am delighted that eleven new Studio Schools are opening this September, and the enthusiasm of parents and students for these schools is extremely heartening.

    “Lack of work readiness amongst school leavers is a key issue for businesses up and down the country, and Studio Schools are designed to address this concern. With their unique combination of mainstream qualifications, real work, and the development of employability skills and entrepreneurialism, Studio Schools will play a vital role in providing young people with the skills and experience that our economy needs.”

    Lord Baker, Chair of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said:

    “The UTC curriculum is built around projects created by employers. This brings education to life – students understand not just what they are learning, but why – and where they can go next. It’s hugely exciting, hugely motivating and just what young people want.

    “Employers report that they are struggling to find the skills they are looking for in school leavers. In the May 2010 CBI employer survey, more than two thirds of employers (70 per cent) wanted to see the new Government make the employability skills of young people its top education priority.”

    Both UTCs and Studio Schools are part of the Government's drive to ensure the education system responds to demands from employers for the skills they need to grow and prosper. They will also increase choice for parents and pupils in communities across the country.

    The Parliamentary Information Office will continue to report on the proposed changes as we go through the months ahead.

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