Current Government Consultations - June 2020

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.

→ Download a printable version of the Government Consultationst here

Public Works Loan Board: Future lending terms consultation – HM Treasury

The government is seeking views from local authorities and other stakeholders on the lending terms of the Public Works Loan Board.

Government state: “Local authorities invest billions of pounds of capital every year in their communities. The government supports this activity in part by offering low cost loans through the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). However, in recent years a minority of councils have used this cheap finance to buy very significant amounts of commercial property for rental income, which reduces the availability of PWLB finance for core local authority activities.

“To address this the government is consulting on revising the terms of PWLB lending to ensure that local authorities continue to invest in housing, infrastructure, and public services. To further enable high-quality investment by local authorities, the government is cutting the interest rates for investment in social housing by one percentage point and making available an extra £1.15 billion of discounted loans for local infrastructure projects.”

This consultation closes on 31 July 2020.

Future support for low carbon heat

Government state that heating of homes, businesses and industry is responsible for a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonisation of heat is one of the biggest challenges we face in meeting our climate targets.

This consultation sets out proposals for:

  • a Green Gas Support Scheme: increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid through support for biomethane injection
  • a Clean Heat Grant: support for heat pumps and in certain circumstances biomass, through an upfront capital grant to help address the barrier of upfront cost
  • budget control and financial management of the spending proposals for green gas and buildings technologies
  • participant compliance

Interaction with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes:

In the March 2020 budget, the government announced:

  • an extension to the domestic RHI for a further year to 31 March 2022
  • the introduction of a flexible, third allocation of tariff guarantees on the non-domestic RHI. The non-domestic RHI will close to new applications on 31 March 2021

Alongside this consultation government has also published:

This consultation closes on 7 July 2020.

Consultation on expanding the dormant assets scheme – Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

The government has launched a consultation in order to gather views on its proposals to expand the dormant assets scheme to include new financial assets.

The public consultation follows two industry-led reports, which made a series of recommendations on broadening the current scheme beyond bank and building society accounts to include assets from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors.

Having considered industry’s recommendations, the government is now inviting input on the detailed proposals to expand the scheme. They are particularly interested in hearing views from potential participants, consumer groups, regulators, and interested individuals.

This consultation closes on 16 July 2020.

Consulting on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans – Department for Transport

Government is seeking views on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible.

They are asking for views on:

  • the phase out date
  • the definition of what should be phased out
  • barriers to achieving the above proposals
  • the impact of these ambitions on different sectors of industry and society
  • what measures are required by government and others to achieve the earlier phase out date

This consultation closes on 31 July 2020.

Reforming Regulation Initiative – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The government states: “Good regulation is essential to successful business. The government strives to achieve the right regulatory balance between supporting excellent business practice and protecting workers, consumers and the environment.

“The Reforming Regulation Initiative is an invitation to businesses and the public to help government ensure that regulation is sensible and proportionate. We’re particularly interested in the needs of small businesses.

“Please let us know how we could improve the system of UK regulation by responding to this short consultation.

“Please note that this is about improving the system rather than changing regulatory decisions about individual cases. If you want to challenge a decision about a case, you can get details of how to appeal from the relevant regulator’s website.”

This consultation closes on 11 June 2020.

Future of transport regulatory review: call for evidence on micromobility vehicles, flexible bus services and mobility as a service – Department for Transport and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

This call for evidence is asking for information and views on 3 areas of the ‘Future of transport regulatory review’. The 3 areas are:

  • micromobility vehicles
  • flexible bus services
  • mobility as a service (MaaS)

Questions cover a number of areas including:

  • whether certain micromobility vehicles (such as electric scooters) should be permitted on the road, and if so what vehicle and user requirements would be appropriate
  • how effective existing rules are around flexible bus services, and which other areas of the bus, taxi and private hire vehicle framework should be considered in this review
  • what the opportunities and risks of MaaS platforms might be, and what role central and local governments should play in their development

The ‘Future of transport regulatory review’ was first announced in March 2019 as part of the Future of mobility: urban strategy.

This consultation closes on 3 July 2020.

Energy Performance of Buildings: changes to The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2012, No. 3118 – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This consultation seeks views on proposals to amend the existing Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (SI2012/3118) for domestic and non-domestic buildings which will contribute to improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing carbon emissions.

The consultation sets out proposals about the Government‘s plans to meet the requirements for inspections of heating systems in England and Wales and also consults on options to revise requirements for the inspection of air-conditioning systems.

This consultation closes on 14 July 2020.

Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network


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