[unable to retrieve full-text content]This plan details outcomes, policies and actions on waste for organisations, companies and individuals in the industrial and commercial sectors in Wales.
Environment and countryside
Posts Tagged ‘sector’
Consumer to benefit from better regulation of building sector
Mr Phil Hogan TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (23rd October 2013) addressed key stakeholders at the Grant Thornton Construction Workshop. The Minister spoke about measures introduced in the budget aimed at providing a boon for the building sector.
The Minister said, “Perhaps the most helpful announcement in the budget, from a construction perspective, is the Home Renovation Initiative which will incentivise domestic renovations and increase demand for small construction jobs. Under the scheme homeowners will gain an income tax credit of 13.5 per cent for an investment of between €5,000 and €35,000 on home improvements carried out by a tax-compliant contractor.”
This comes after the announcement that under Budget 2014 The Department of the Environment , Community and Local Government will oversee a capital investment programme of €311m that will be allocated to a variety of large, medium and small-scale capital projects in the areas of urban regeneration, social housing development, and upgrade works, pyrite remediation, rural water schemes, local and community services and fire and emergency services.
“Indeed, said the Minister, “A further €50m is also being made available to the Department for investment in the new Infrastructure Stimulus Plan.
But the Minister was particularly anxious to highlight measures being taken to put the consumer first where the building sector was concerned. After the shambles of Priory Hall and the problems faced by people whose homes suffered from pyrite, and all this as a result of light-touch building regulation by previous administrations, the Minister wanted to make it clear that those days will be well and truly relegated to the past.
“These initiatives along with the Governments capital investment programme provide an important contribution to growing our construction sector. However, the nature of the sector must be very different from that which developed during the so-called boom years. In particular, better regulation and oversight of the sector is essential to ensuring a more sustainable industry and better protection for the consumer. I see these as critical reforms if we are to demonstrate that we have learned anything from the experience of the last two decades, said the Minister.
Earlier this year Minister Hogan signed The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations. “These regulations are part of a wider package of building control reforms which, taken together, will provide stronger consumer protection than heretofore in this critically important area, said the Minister.
Minister Hogan also announced the creation of a new statutory register of builders and contractors which he said will enable consumers to ensure they hire competent contractors while simultaneously ensuring that all statutory, regulatory and legal requirements are complied with in a verifiable and transparent manner.
“I see this register as the keystone to the future of a quality construction industry in Ireland and a robust statutory system will be in place by 2015, said the Minister.
“The register will play a vital role in the continuing clampdown on activity in the shadow economy and I expect industry to work together with Government in driving out reckless and non-compliant contractors from the industry, added the Minister.
The House of Lords is set to challenge the Government over the decarbonisation of the UK’s power sector after prominent peers tabled a clean power amendment to the Energy Bill today [Tuesday 22 October 2013].
The amendment, which would commit the UK to remove almost all carbon from electricity generation by 2030, has been put down by former Shell chairman, Lord Oxburgh, and Lord Stern, a former World Bank chief economist and author of a landmark 2006 report on economics and climate change.
The amendment is expected to attract wide-spread support from across the political spectrum when it is debated and voted on next Monday (28 October 2013). A clean power target would help provide greater certainty to investors, create tens of thousands of clean power jobs and would wean the UK off dirty gas, which has driven up household fuel bills and threatens Britain’s world-leading climate targets.
Earlier this year the Committee on Climate Change said “there are significant economic benefits from investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies through the 2020s rather than investing in gas-fired generation… Investment in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies could save consumers £25-45 billion, rising to £100 billion with higher gas and carbon prices.”
Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins said:
“Rocketing gas prices have caused household energy bills to soar – a clean power target is the only way to free ourselves from the tyranny of world gas markets for good.
“Firms are queuing up to develop the UK’s huge renewable energy potential and create tens of thousands of jobs, but without a clean energy target they lack the long-term certainty they need to invest.
“Ministers must accept the urgent need to replace our broken energy system with a low-carbon and affordable alternative – or face defeat in the House of Lords.”
Notes to editors:
1. Lords Stern and Oxburgh’s amendment to the Energy Bill.
2. Aldersgate Group: Investors call on Chancellor for greater clarity on energy policy.
3. Committee on Climate Change press release: Government commitment to support investment in low-carbon technologies would secure significant savings for UK consumers (23 May 2013):
Speaking in the Senedd, the Minister spoke of the importance of focusing on strong leadership, vision and a close working relationship between business and government to help establish Wales as a world leader when it comes to food.
The Minister set out a series of targeted actions to deliver sustainable jobs and growth for Wales that are both economically and environmentally sound. The strategy will focus on the following seven key areas:
- Market development and growth – building a strong, distinctly Welsh brand to help develop domestic and export markets
- Food culture, heritage and tourism – simplifying food supply routes to the tourism sector and improving the international reputation of Welsh food
- Green growth – helping food businesses grow while becoming more resource efficient
- Supply chain efficiency – working with businesses to develop business plans to increase innovation and efficiency within the industry
- A more integrated food industry – improving communication and developing integrated supply chains from farmer through to consumer to deliver fairer prices, build trust and produce quality produce
- Food assurance and resilience – developing a Food Security and Industry Assurance Network to improve preparedness for major incidents and resilience if problems occur
- Health and social wellbeing – working with the industry on product development and improving communications on healthy eating
The Minister said:
“This plan is all about action – it sets out my vision that, by 2020, the quality of Welsh food will enjoy increased international recognition, food businesses will be more efficient and environmentally balanced with supply chains more integrated and adding far more value to our products here in Wales.
“I also hope to see consumers making well informed choices about the affordable and healthy food they need, leading to significant improvement in public health.”
The Minister also set out his intention to establish a Welsh Food and Drink Forum drawn from the industry to provide guidance, advice and a closer link between business and government. He explained that closer working between business and government is central to the plan, saying:
“I am confident that, although highly ambitious, the objectives set out in this plan can be achieved if government and industry work together. In fact, I am sure that we will achieve results that exceed our expectations.”
More detail on the plan will be available when the 12 week consultation is launched later this autumn.
DRIVE THE DREAM – California PEV Collaborative and Governor Jerry Brown Announce Private Sector Investments to Drive Consumer Market for PEVs
SOURCE: California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative
Business Leaders Join Governor Brown to Announce Powerful Partnerships Around New Plug-in Electric Vehicle Incentives and Infrastructure to Spur Market Growth in California
Business Leaders Join Governor Brown to Announce Powerful Partnerships Around New Plug-in Electric Vehicle Incentives and Infrastructure to Spur Market Growth in California
SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – August 29, 2013) – The California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative will host a private meeting with Governor Jerry Brown and California corporate leaders at the Exploratorium to further position California as a global leader in the PEV market, through increased workplace charging, fleet purchases and corporate incentives. A press conference will follow:
DATE: Monday, September 16, 2013
TIME: 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
WHERE: The Exploratorium, Pier 15
San Francisco, California
DETAILS: Governor Brown and California business executives will discuss expansion of the electric vehicle market in California at a press conference following the meeting. DRIVE THE DREAM will feature the newest models of plug-in electric vehicles, charging stations and new corporate commitments.
Business executives representing the leading organizations headquartered and operating throughout California will include: AT&T, Bank of America, BMW, CBRE, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Cox Communications, Enterprise Holdings, Ford, General Motors, Google, Hertz, Honda, InterContinental Hotels Group, Kara’s Cupcakes, Daimler, Kimco Realty, Kleiner Perkins, Nissan, Northrop Grumman, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Qualcomm, San Diego Gas & Electric, SAP, Southern California Edison, SMUD, Tesla, Toyota, Walgreens, Zero Motorcycles and more. To learn more about DRIVE THE DREAM visit: http://www.pevcollaborative.org/drivethedream
ABOUT the CALIFORNIA PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE COLLABORATIVE
The California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative (Collaborative), a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership, is working to ensure a strong and enduring transition to PEVs in California. The Collaborative members include key California PEV stakeholders such as elected and appointed officials, automakers, utilities, infrastructure providers, environmental organizations, research institutions and others.
Under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder executive membership, the Collaborative facilitates the deployment of PEVs in California to meet economic, energy and environmental goals. Using the broad and diverse expertise of each member, the Collaborative convenes, communicates and collaborates on emerging PEV market trends and works to address challenges. The Collaborative seeks to broaden and communicate existing PEV stakeholder activities to enable PEV market growth. For more information on the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative please visit: http://www.pevcollaborative.org
The following files are available for download:
New Regulation Code Heralds a New Era For Housing Sector
Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today (15/7/2013) launched a new voluntary regulation code for approved housing bodies.
Speaking at the launch Minister O’Sullivan said, “The launch of this voluntary code marks a new era for the not-for-profit housing sector in Ireland. For the first time approved housing bodies will sign up to a code that promotes and enhances accountability and transparency. It is a step change for the sector and for its relationship with Government, funders and tenants.”
“At present the not-for-profit sector contains approximately 27,000 homes. The Government has recognised that this sector has the capacity to play a significant role in social housing supply in the coming years. I want to encourage and facilitate that development, and providing a clear, transparent regulatory system is one of the ways the Government can assist the sector.
“Today we are launching a voluntary code. We have consulted extensively with the sector in drafting the code and I expect widespread take-up of the initiative across the sector. My long-term plan is to introduce a statutory regulatory system during the lifetime of this Government. The experience we gain from the operation of the voluntary code will shape my approach to a future statutory code so I would encourage all approved housing bodies to play their part in making the voluntary code a success.”
“Having a clear, transparent regulatory system will allow the not-for-profit sector to develop. It will enable the sector to access private finance to complement the state-funding that it currently receives. A regulatory system will also increase the knowledge and confidence that tenants, local authorities and other stakeholders have about the sector.”
“Today marks a milestone in the development of the approved housing body sector. Approved housing bodies have provided good quality, secure accommodation in communities across the country for more than a century. It is now time for the sector to take on the challenges that will arise in the decades ahead. Regulation will enable the sector achieve that goal and continue to provide homes to our citizens.”
Note for Editors:
The approved housing body sector currently provides 27,000 high quality, secure homes throughout Ireland.
The sector serves mainstream social housing need and also people with a special housing need such as people with a disability, the elderly and people who are homeless.
Tracing its roots back to the 1890s the sector is now poised to play an enhanced role in the delivery of social housing, a role that is recognised in the Government’s Housing Policy Statement (June 2011).
All approved housing bodies signing up to the voluntary regulation code will submit a signed Charter of Commitments on a yearly basis and make themselves available for examination by the Department and the Housing Agency (www.housing.ie)
The voluntary regulation code uses a three tier system, aligned to the size and profile of approved housing bodies. It outlines a range of minimum regulatory standards that will apply to all AHBs as well as additional standards and requirements that will apply to larger AHBs or those taking on more risk / lending.
See link for more information.
Local government sector saves €229m through efficiency measures in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., today (11 July 2013), made his comments on the publication of the latest Report of the Local Government Efficiency Review (LGER) Implementation Group.
The County and City Managers’ Association, in its input to the Report, has confirmed total savings of €839m since 2008, the beginning of the economic crisis. In the period since the preparation of the LGER Report (2010 to end 2012), the savings achieved and projected are reported at €561m. This includes €229m (already more than half the €346m identified as potential direct efficiency savings in the LGER Report) attributed to efficiency measures (as opposed to reduction in activity) in the years 2010 to the end of 2012. The majority of the efficiency savings identified relate to staffing reductions and procurement.
Minister Hogan welcomed the substantial efficiency savings achieved by the local government sector over the past 3 years. “The local government sector continues to make significant progress on implementing the efficiency changes recommended in the original LGER Report”, said Minister Hogan, “however, it is imperative that the rate of implementation of the efficiency agenda is accelerated by the sector to ensure the overall targeted efficiency savings (€346m) are achieved in a timely manner. He added, “Substantial savings have been delivered in the sector from improved efficiencies and better business processes, while maintaining and improving services to citizens”.
Minister Hogan acknowledged the ongoing reduction of staffing levels within the local government sector, “local authorities have shed some 8,900 staff since June 2008 whilst continuing to maintain an impressive level of public service delivery”. Staff numbers at end-December 2012 were 28,344, down from 37,243 in 2008.
“The establishment of the CCMA Programme Management Office and the Public Service Reform Oversight Group has facilitated the sector in addressing the particular challenges arising from the implementation of the LGER Report as it involved the allocation of a specific resource and governance structure to address that specific agenda” Minister Hogan continued, “While the current implementation structures have delivered the first wave of savings and assessing approaches for further savings, and have ensured commitment of all local authorities to the efficiency agenda, it is now timely to consider the establishment of a national organisational structure with sufficient qualified resources to design and deliver the proposals successfully, and with the present structures being replaced by more permanent structures.
The Implementation Group, with independent chair Pat McLoughlin and private sector expertise, was established by Minister Hogan in April 2011 and tasked with overseeing and advising on the implementation of the Report of the Local Government Efficiency Review Group.
The Group and the CCMA prioritised the implementation of key recommendations relating to procurement, ICT, human resources/staffing and shared services as areas with potential yield the optimum level of savings in regard to the implementation of the efficiency agenda within the sector.
The Minister also made reference to the establishment of the National Oversight and Audit Commission. “The Action Programme for Effective Local Government, which I published late last year, sets out Government policy for reform of local government and, inter alia, includes the establishment of a National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC)”.
“To maintain and enhance the impetus of the efficiency agenda in the local government sector, the NOAC will provide an independent high quality scrutiny of local government performance in fulfilling national, regional and local mandates”, the Minister continued, “The independently chaired Commission, involving external evaluation expertise, combined with political and administrative experience is not intended to involve the creation of a new costly bureaucracy, rather will be a key part of a new system of national, regional and local accountability, providing appropriate external scrutiny, evaluation and audit of local authority performance”.
The Commission will report publicly and to relevant Ministers, Oireachtas Committees, regional assemblies and local authorities and its establishment will be undertaken as part of the implementation of the wide ranging reforms set out in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government, legislation for which is currently being drafted.
Global Witness welcomes a statement from the Afghan government reinforcing its commitment to manage its natural resource sector openly, transparently and in line with international best practice, but warns that effective implementation will be key to success. The statement comes days after a coalition of 36 civil society groups, including Global Witness, wrote to the Afghan government and donors calling on them to strengthen their commitments in the extractives sector.
The declaration was contained in the Co-Chair’s Statement following a crucial meeting between the Afghan goverment and its donors on July 3rd in Kabul. In the statement the Afghan government reaffirmed “its commitment to the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive and effective development framework for the Extractive Industries, including measures incorporating international best practice on social, environmental, as well as on community engagement.”
“This is a positive step forward, and one which we welcome,” said Stephen Carter, Afghanistan Campaign Leader at Global Witness. “Now the test will be whether the Afghan government will develop a truly world-class set of mechanisms to safeguard against the full range of potential dangers in the extractives sector – and most importantly take steps to implement them effectively.”
Global Witness was one of a coalition of 36 civil society groups that wrote to the Afghan government and donors urging them to use the Kabul meeting to clarify and strengthen their commitment to effective governance of the country’s extractives sector. The commitment, first made at an international conference on Afghanistan held in Tokyo in July 2012, is critical to ensuring Afghanistan’s natural resource wealth does not fuel conflict and corruption, as it has in many other countries in conflict.
The 3rd July Kabul meeting declaration will play an important part in setting the agenda for the implementation of the Tokyo agreements. But the declaration was silent on some key issues, notably the need for the framework to cover security questions, and the actual process through which individual mechanisms would be developed. In their letter the CSOs had argued that participation of civil society and other interested parties in the process was crucial to generating effective and legitimate structures.
“Given the concerns over armed groups in Afghanistan, it is important the framework addresses the issue of security forces and their role in mining. It is also crucial that civil society are able to contribute meaningfully to discussions about the design of any framework from the very beginning,” said Carter. “The Afghan government has indicated they want an open dialogue and a effective framework, and I think they mean it. But the proof will be in what emerges from this process in a few months,” Carter concluded.
Stephen Carter, Afghanistan Campaign Leader, Global Witness on [email protected] / +447803052872
Notes for Editors
• The Senior Officials Meeting in Kabul took place on July 3 under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. The full text of the Co-Chair’s statement can be accessed at
• The joint civil society letter urging government and donors to live up tot heir promises at the SOM meeting can be found here: