Current Government Consultations - March 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.

→ Download a printable version of the Government Consultationst here


Public consultation on the Statement of Strategic Priorities – Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Government want to know what you think about the draft Statement of Strategic Priorities (SSP) for telecommunications, the management of radio spectrum and post.

The power for the Government to designate an SSP was introduced in the Digital Economy Act 2017. This is the first time the Government is exercising this power. Once the SSP is formally designated, Ofcom must have regard to it when exercising its regulatory functions.

The Government has identified the following strategic priority areas to be covered by the Statement of Strategic Priorities (SSP):

Section 1 – World-class digital infrastructure: The Government’s commitment to world-class digital infrastructure for the UK, reflecting the conclusions of the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR).

Section 2 – Furthering the interests of telecoms consumers: The Government’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of telecoms consumers, including the vulnerable and less engaged, by ensuring they are better informed and protected.

Section 3 – Secure and resilient telecoms infrastructure: The Government’s commitment to ensuring the UK’s telecoms networks and services are secure and resilient.

Section 4 – Postal services: The Government’s commitment to a universal postal service and need for industry and Ofcom to work together to secure the long-term sustainability of the sector.

This consultation closes on 27 March 2019.

Waste and recycling: making recycling collections consistent in England – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government want to know what you think about their plans to make recycling collections consistent across England. Local authorities would collect the same kind of materials from households, such as plastic, glass, metal, paper and cardboard. They would also have separate food and garden waste collections. This will help to reduce confusion about what can be recycled.

Government also want views on changes to require businesses to separate their recyclable waste from residual waste for collection. They state that they are seeking views on making waste disposal more cost effective while at the same time increasing the amount of recycling collected from businesses.

This consultation closes on 13 May 2019.

Tackling homelessness together – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This is a consultation on structures that support partnership working and accountability in homelessness services. Government is seeking views on:

  • the effectiveness of existing non-statutory and statutory local accountability and partnership structures in homelessness services
  • whether the government should introduce Homelessness Reduction Boards and, if so, how this could be done most effectively
  • how else they might improve local accountability and partnership working in homelessness services

This consultation closes on 16 May 2019.

Consultation: Award of the 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum bands – Ofcom

Ofcom manage the airwaves – or spectrum – used by all wireless devices, including mobile phones. Reliable mobile services have become essential to how people live and work across the UK, and mobile phone networks must keep pace with the growing needs for capacity and for coverage. Ofcom state that “this is a priority for us. We want to see coverage of good quality mobile broadband from a choice of providers, wherever people live, work and travel. In this document, we set out proposals for an award of spectrum to enable the industry to provide services with greater capacity and wider coverage, and to pave the way for companies to take advantage of new wireless technologies, including 5G – the next generation of mobile technology. Importantly, we are proposing to provide strong incentives for the companies which participate in the award to invest in providing better quality services in rural areas, furthering our ambition to achieve comprehensive mobile coverage for people right across the UK.”

This consultation closes on 12 March 2019.

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.

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


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