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LGA CHECKLIST OF CIRCULARS 14/98

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Information sent to LGA member authorities in the week ending 24 April. ...
Information sent to LGA member authorities in the week ending 24 April.

Each week the association sends circulars to chief executives of member authorities. This checklist aims to help authorities see quickly what circulars have been issued each week. Further information is available from the LGA Information Unit on 0171 6643131 or at info@lgorgs.gov.uk, which can also be contacted for additional copies of circulars if necessary.

Community Safety

Home Office leaflet 'Peace of mind while you move home'

Figures from the British Crime Survey reveal that the risk of household property crime is 50% higher during the process of moving home than staying put. The risk is 30% greater before a move than just after, and increases further for those living in rented housing. The Home Office has therefore produced a leaflet in conjunction with the Association of British Insurers, to raise awareness of the issue and offer practical advice on precautionary measures. The Home Office has asked local authorities to consider including the leaflet in advice to tenants when transferring or moving to a new home. Copies of the leaflet are available free of charge from Crime Prevention Publicity, Communication Directorate, Room 155, Home Office, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AT (fax number: 0171 273 2568). Further queries should be directed to the Crime Prevention Agency on 0171 273 2193.

Contact: Jeanette York (0171 664 3317)LGA Circular Reference 275/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Crime and Disorder Bill - implementing the new community safety legislation: update

Further to Circular 105/98 of 12 February 1998, this is an update concerning the timetable for, and the publication of guidance about, the implementation of the community safety duty included within the Crime and Disorder Bill currently before parliament.

Contact: Michael Ashley (0171 664 3022)LGA Circular Reference 281/98 Date of Issue 23/04/98

Economic Development

Multilateral Agreement on Investment

Update for authorities on developments in relation to the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) since LGA Circular 490/98 dated 8 January 1998, and summarises the main provisions of the MAI, informs of correspondence with DTI and of Counsel's advice to LGA.

Contact: Ailsa Blair (0171 664 3159)LGA Circular Reference 283/98 Date of Issue 22/04/98

Environment

New commitment to regeneration

Clarification of some points from LGA circular No. 226/98, dated 2 April 1998)

Contact: Phil Swann (0171 664 3033) LGA Circular Reference 278/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Welfare to Work: New deal for lone parents

As has been indicated in previous circulars, the association has had less effective contact with Government in relation to this aspect of welfare to work than with other strands of the programme. However the LGA has had a more fruitful discussion with colleagues from the Department for Education and Employment and the Department for Social Security involving authorities from the areas in which the new deal for lone parents has been piloted. This circular summarises the discussions.

Contact: Gavin Wilson (0171 664 3199) LGA Circular Reference 279/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Welfare to Work: Stocktake report

LGA stocktake report 'Developing the Deal for Young People: The Challenges and the Opportunities'. The report, based on an LGMB survey of local authorities in the pathfinder areas for the new deal for young people, refers to a number of steps the LGA will be taking in conjunction with others to build on the success to date in getting the new deal up and running.

Contact: Gavin Wilson (0171 664 3199) LGA Circular Reference 277/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Fire

Fire service pensions review

Request for comments on the Home Office consultation paper on fire service pensions review which was circulated directly to local authorities by the Home Office. Comments are required by early June.

Contact: Kate Francis (0171 664 3173) LGA Circular Reference 282/98 Date of Issue 23/04/98

LGA Conference

Local Government Association - Annual Conference

Booking form and programme details for the LGA Annual Conference 'National Questions Local Answers' - to be held in Bournemouth 7 - 10 July 1998

Contact: Phil Reader (0171 664 3026) LGA Circular Reference 285/98 Date of Issue 23/04/98

Local Government

Communications and Best Value - The Missing Link- National Conference

Details of a national conference on Communications and Best Value on 11 June at the Barbican Centre, London. The conference has been organised by the Society of County and Unitary Public Relations Officers (SCRUPO), Municipal Journal and Citigate Westminster and is supported by the LGA.

Contact: Alison Cawley(SCRUPO) (0171 973 6400) LGA Circular Reference 272/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

LGA response to DETR Consultation Paper 'Modernising Local Government - Local Democracy and Community Leadership'.

LGA response to the DETR consultation paper 'Modernising Local Government: Local Democracy and Community Leadership'. The LGA paper responds to the issues raised in the DETR paper, makes a number of alternative suggestions and identifies areas for further joint work with Government in advance of the White Paper.

Contact: Nick Easton (0171-664-3278) LGA Circular Reference 265/98Date of Issue 16/09/98

Local Land Charges - Code of Practice

The Local Land Charges - Code of Practice has been produced by a working party involving representatives of local authorities, the legal profession and Government It would be helpful to receive comments on the suggestions set out in the Code of Practice - this will help inform the response which the LGA will need to make, in due course to the DETR study. Copies of the Code are available from the Publications Department at the LGMB on 296 6600.

Contact: John Rees (0171 664 3274) LGA Circular Reference 273/98Date of Issue 21/04/98

Planning

Improving Delivery of Local Plans and Unitary Development Plans (UDP) - DETR Consultation Paper

The DETR is inviting comments by 1st June on a consultation paper which sets out a series of measures designed to improve the preparation and adoption of local plans and UDPs. This is in the context of the government's commitment to a plan led system and concern from Ministers about the time taken to achieve full coverage of authority-wide plans. The consultation paper covers proposed changes to PPG 12, the Development Plan Regulations, and the Code of Practice on Local Plans and UDPs. It covers only those parts of PPG 12 which relate to procedural issues. Further copies of the consultation paper can be obtained from the DETR on 0181 691 9191.

Contact: Sam Richards (0171 664 3049) LGA Circular Reference 284/98 Date of Issue 23/04/98

Police

Police Disciplinary and Complaints Procedures

Authorities will have received a copy of the Home Secretary's detailed response to the Home Affairs Select Committee report on Complaints and Discipline. The package of proposed reforms will achieve a significant change in the balance of relationships between the service and its leadership, the public and Police Complaints Authority. The main changes are:

-New procedures for tackling poor performance. -Standard of proof to be 'balance of probabilities'.

-Officers to face both disciplinary and criminal action on the same facts (when appropriate).

-Introduction of fast track dismissal procedure.

-Completion of disciplinary hearings in absence of officer.

-Referral of all forfeiture of pension cases to Home Secretary. -Feasibility study into independent investigatory arrangements.

-PCA to be given powers to commission independent investigations if existing process inadequate.

-PCA to undertake investigations whether or not matter subject to complaint. This will operate on the Home Secretary's request.

-All matters of complaint to be recorded with ability to appeal to PCA where there is disagreement. PCA to register complaints directly in certain circumstances.

-Further consideration to improving the openness of complaint processing.

-Clearer picture required of how informal complaints are resolved. -Greater use of apologies and ex-gratia payments.

-Intention to establish adjudication panel of independent members for use in cases when PCA prefers charges against decision of chief officer.

-Right to legal representation retained for cases of dismissal, requirement to resign and reduction in rank.

-Chief officers to be asked to exercise their oversight of sickness arrangements more rigorously.

-Reduction in pay arrangements for officers sick to be extended to disciplinary cases: details to be negotiated in PNB.

Contact: Catherine Crawford (0171 664 3170) Police Circular Reference 26/98 Date of Issue 17/04/98

Police Spending Needs in 1999/2000.

Executive Summary from the interim report of the Home Office Services Expenditure Forecasting Group on police spending needs in 1999/2000

Contact: John Street (0171 664 3290) Police Circular Reference 25/98Date of Issue 17/04/98

Public Protection

Combating Cowboy Builders: A consultation paper

The DETR have released a consultation paper titled 'Combating Cowboy Builders' which makes a variety of proposals for action to tackle so called 'cowboy builders' in the repair and maintenance sector of the building industry. Comments on the proposals are invited from member authorities by the 25 May 1998

Contact: Ian D Foulkes (0171 664 3025) LGA Circular Reference 274/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Tourism

Sustainable Tourism

Authorities attention is drawn to the recently published Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Consultation Paper 'Tourism - Towards Sustainability' which was sent directly to local authorities. Member authorities are asked to copy their responses to the LGA.

Contact: David Bays (0171 664 3160) LGA Circular Reference 280/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Transport

Consultation by OPRAF on the type and level of services the rail network should provide

The new Objectives, Instructions and Guidance (OIG) given to OPRAF by the secretary of state in November 1997, require it to prepare an Annual Review 'assessing the type and level of services the (railway) network should provide' and 'to maintain effective liaison with other key bodies involved in the railway industry including local authorities'. OPRAF has now written formally to the LGA to ask for a collective local authority input into this consultation process. The association's Transport Policy Task Group will be meeting on 14 May to consider its general approach in responding, but any replies received by the end of May would be helpful in gaining an overall picture.

Contact: Vince Christie (0171 664 3047) LGA Circular Reference 276/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

Guidance on the Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 and Home Zones

LGA Circular 38/98 sought comments on the DETR's draft guidance on implementation of the RTRA 1997. A number of authorities made helpful comments to the Association, and common strands were identified. These have been incorporated into the Association's response to the Department which has been circulated. Also the Home Zones Bill, has been printed and is available from Thje Stationery Office (Bill 113). This would 'enable highway authorities to make provision in residential areas for the designation of highways where pedestrians and pedal cycles have priority....'. Given Parliamentary timetables, it seems unlikely that the Bill will make substantive progress in the current session, although there may be a Second Reading debate.

Contact: Vince Christie (0171 664 3047) LGA Circular Reference 271/98 Date of Issue 21/04/98

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