Current Government Consultations - January 2019


A brief summary of current government consultations of potential interest to RSN members. This is not intended as an exhaustive list of all relevant consultations.

JANUARY 2019 RSN DRAFT RESPONSE SERVICE:

This edition includes a suggested RSN draft response in relation to the Infrastructure Levy consultation. If you wish to view this draft response please click here

CURRENT CONSULTATIONS:
Review of local authorities’ relative needs and resources – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This consultation seeks views on the approach to measuring the relative needs and resources of local authorities, which will determine new baseline funding allocations for local authorities in England in 2020-21.

This consultation:

  • proposes to simplify the assessment of local authorities’ relative needs
  • considers the type of adjustment that will be made to an authority’s relative needs assessment to take account of the relative resources available to them to fund local services
  • proposes a set of principles that will be used to design potential transitional arrangements and examines how the baseline for the purposes of transition should be established.

This consultation closes on 21 February 2019.

The RSN will shortly be distributing a draft response in relation to this consultation to all of our members. If you would like to make sure this is sent directly to you please contact us with your details at admin@sparse.gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-local-authorities-relative-needs-and-resources


Business rates retention reform – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This consultation seeks views on proposals for sharing risk and reward, managing volatility in income and setting up the reformed business rates retention system.

The reform of the business rates retention system will sit alongside wider changes to the local government finance system which the government aims to introduce in 2020.

This consultation closes on 21 February 2019.

The RSN will shortly be distributing a draft response in relation to this consultation to all of our members. If you would like to make sure this is sent directly to you please contact us with your details at admin@sparse.gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/business-rates-retention-reform


Developer contributions reform: technical consultation – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy draft regulations focuses on technical implementation of the reforms outlined in the government response to supporting housing delivery through developer contributions. The reforms seek to improve the operation of the Community Infrastructure Levy by reducing complexity and increasing market responsiveness and transparency.

This consultation closes on 31 January 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/developer-contributions-reform-technical-consultation


Good practice on how residents and landlords work together to keep their home and building safe: call for evidence – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Dame Judith Hackitt’s report – Building a safer future – noted the important role of residents in helping keep their building safe. This call for evidence invites views on how residents and landlords/building managers work together regarding fire and structural safety and good practice on how residents are supported to each play a part in meeting their responsibilities.

Responses are particularly welcomed from residents of multi-occupancy residential buildings, owners and managers of such buildings and anyone else with an interest in this issue.

This consultation closes on 12 February 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/good-practice-on-how-residents-and-landlords-work-together-to-keep-their-home-and-building-safe-call-for-evidence


Tree and woodlands: introducing measures for felling street trees – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government want to know what you think about proposals to introduce new measures for the process of felling street trees. These measures are intended to make it clearer who is responsible for decisions and what process they should follow. Government are also asking for views on strengthening the Forestry Commission’s power to deal with illegal tree felling. Four measures are proposed which include: introducing 2 new duties on local authorities – a duty to consult on the felling of street trees and a duty to report on tree felling and replanting; creating best practice guidance to support local authorities in drawing up a Tree and Woodland Strategy; giving the Forestry Commission more powers to deal with illegal tree felling and strengthen protection of wooded landscapes.

This consultation closes on 28 February 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tree-and-woodlands-introducing-measures-for-felling-street-trees


25 year environment plan: measuring progress – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government want to know your thoughts on the indicators and measures they should be using to monitor environmental change. A draft indicator framework has been published to show progress towards the final framework and to enable wider discussion on improving it. They aim to publish an updated framework in early 2019.

This consultation closes on 25 January 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/25-year-environment-plan-measuring-progress


Williams Rail Review – Department for Transport

This call for evidence is to support the Rail Review, led by independent chair Keith Williams. The review was established to recommend the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to support the delivery of the government’s vision for the railway.

The review invites written contributions to inform its work on any or all of the review principles, as set out in its terms of reference:

  • commercial models for the provision of rail services that prioritise the interests of passengers and taxpayers
  • rail industry structures that promote clear accountability and effective joint-working for both passengers and the freight sector
  • a system that is financially sustainable and able to address long-term cost pressures
  • a railway that is able to offer good value fares for passengers, while keeping costs down for taxpayers
  • improved industrial relations, to reduce disruption and improve reliability for passengers
  • a rail sector with the agility to respond to future challenges and opportunities

The review will look at the whole rail industry, including:

  • increasing integration between track and train
  • how to improve transport services across UK regions and devolved nations, including exploring options for devolution of rail powers
  • improving value for money for passengers and taxpayers

Your evidence will inform the review and will be considered alongside other evidence received. The review’s findings and recommendations will be published in a government white paper in autumn 2019, with reform of the sector to begin in 2020. Where possible they ask that evidence is submitted by 18 January 2019. However the evidence portal will remain open until the end of May 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/williams-rail-review


Draft National Policy Statement for Water Resources Infrastructure – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government want to know what people think about the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for Water Resources Infrastructure. It sets out the need and government’s policies for development of nationally significant infrastructure projects relevant to water resources in England. The types of infrastructure that the NPS will specifically apply to are reservoirs, water transfer and desalination projects in England.

In particular, they want to know if the draft NPS provides an appropriate and effective framework to make decisions on development consent applications. They also want views on the Assessment of Sustainability and Habitats Regulations Assessments that accompany the NPS.

This consultation closes on 31 January 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-national-policy-statement-for-water-resources-infrastructure


Proposal for a New Approach to Building: Call for Evidence – HM Treasury

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced at Budget 2017 that five central government departments would adopt a presumption in favour of offsite construction. This signalled that the government was committed to leveraging its buying power to support the modernisation of the construction sector.

Following these commitments the government are now taking the next steps to implement this measure by setting out a new approach to building, to be adopted across government departments where it presents value for money. They have called this a platform approach to design for manufacture and assembly (P-DfMA).

This consultation closes on 17 February 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposal-for-a-new-approach-to-building-call-for-evidence


Business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

The consultation paper considers options to strengthen the criteria for holiday lets to be liable for business rates, and therefore potentially at a financial advantage due to the small business rate relief scheme.

It will be of particular interest to owners of holiday lets, trade representatives of the self-catering and tourism industry and local authorities.

This consultation closes on 15 January 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/business-rates-treatment-of-self-catering-accommodation


Private shared homeownership: call for proposals – Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government & HM Treasury

Government is seeking proposals from private investors, delivery organisations or partnerships between them to provide new routes into affordable home ownership.

Government state that they would welcome proposals in 3 categories:

  • private shared ownership which would be primarily privately funded
  • other private affordable homeownership products which should be primarily privately funded
  • other innovative routes into homeownership which do not require government investment but may require the removal of regulatory or other barriers

Proposals should not rely on government grant funding, government guarantees or developer s106 contributions. Government are particularly interested in private shared ownership proposals where they believe government loan funding will play an important part in removing the risk and financial uncertainty created by staircasing. (Staircasing is the term given to buying extra shares in a shared ownership property.)

This consultation closes on 1 February 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/private-shared-homeownership-call-for-proposals


Planning reform: supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes – Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government & HM Treasury

The government states: “We are committed to simplifying and speeding up the planning system, to support the high street, make effective use of land and deliver more homes. Building on existing planning reforms, the government is consulting on proposals that will allow greater change of use to support high streets to adapt and diversify, support extending existing buildings upwards to create additional homes, and speed up the delivery of new homes.”

The consultation includes separate proposals in respect of:

  • Part 1: new and amended permitted development rights and changes to use classes, including to support the regeneration of the high street and to extend existing buildings upwards to create new homes.
  • Part 2: the disposal of surplus local authority land - rationalising and updating the rules which govern disposal of public land at less than best value.
  • Part 3: a draft listed building consent order to support the work of the Canal & River Trust.
  • Part 4: draft guidance on the compulsory purchase powers of new town development corporations

This consultation closes on 14 January 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-reform-supporting-the-high-street-and-increasing-the-delivery-of-new-homes 

Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network
Email: andy.dean@sparse.gov.uk

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