Current Government Consultations - November 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

Local air quality management: public authorities call for evidence – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government are seeking views and evidence on which public authorities should be considered for designation by the Environment Secretary as ‘Relevant Public Authorities’. A relevant public authority may then be required to co-operate with local authorities acting as an ‘Air Quality Partner’ within the Local Air Quality Management Framework.

This is under a new power which we intend to introduce through the Environment Bill, amending Part IV of the Environment Act 1995.

In particular, they are looking to understand:

  • the bodies’ contribution to local air pollution
  • the actions the bodies could realistically take to reduce the contribution in a local context
  • the resource implications for the body

Responses are welcomed from local authorities and potential relevant public authorities.

This consultation closes on 18 January 2021.

Toilet provision for men and women: call for evidence – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This call for evidence launches a technical review of provision of toilets for men and women.

Women often have to face excessive queues for toilets or don’t have access to appropriate facilities that meet their needs when out. In some cases this can mean women are reluctant to go out or take trips that many take for granted.

Over recent years there has also been a trend towards replacing female only facilities with gender neutral toilets.

The review aims to address this by considering the ratio of female toilets needed versus the number for men, given the need for women to always use cubicles. It would also take into account the needs of all members of the community, to ensure there is a fair provision of accessible and gender-neutral toilets.

The review will also look at signage, which should be clearer and use gender-specific language, to avoid confusion.

This consultation closes on 29 January 2021.

Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The government has committed to upgrade as many private rented sector homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030, where practical, cost-effective and affordable.

This consultation sets out a suite of policy proposals towards achieving this. These proposals aim to bring significant benefits to landlords, tenants and the environment including:

  • reducing energy bills and increased comfort for tenants and supporting delivery of our statutory fuel poverty target of EPC C by 2030
  • potential property value improvements for landlords
  • delivering carbon emission savings over Carbon Budgets 4 and 5, making progress towards our net zero target

This consultation closes on 30 December 2020.

Managing pavement parking – Department for Transport

This consultation asks whether a change of existing pavement parking legislation should occur.

Government are proposing 3 options:

  1. Improving the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, under which local authorities can already prohibit pavement parking.
  2. A legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’.
  3. A legislative change to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.

This consultation closes on 22 November 2020.

Raising accessibility standards for new homes – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This consultation considers how to raise accessibility standards, recognising the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people.

In particular, it considers how the existing optional accessible and adaptable standard for homes and the wheelchair user standard are used and whether government should mandate a higher standard or reconsider the way the existing optional standards are used.

This consultation closes on 1 December 2020.

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


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