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Consultations and inquiries

Posted on 3 January 2018 (Permalink)

Consultations and inquiries

To start the New Year, here are some recently announced Government consultations and committee inquiries which should be of interest to councils and their partners.


Assistive technology

Work and Pension Select Committee inquiry


Submissions by Friday 19th January 2018


In launching this inquiry, the Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field said that “progress in reducing the disability employment gap in the last decade has been glacial” and called for a “radical new system to incentivise employers to take on, retain and progress disabled workers”, saying that “assistive technology has an important role to play”. The Committee are therefore inviting evidence on the role of assertive technology in improving disabled people’s employment rates. Assistive technology includes products, equipment and systems that enhance learning, working and daily living for people with disabilities.

The Committee is seeking submissions addressing any or all of the following questions:

  • What role can assistive technology play in removing barriers to work and helping disabled people stay in work?

  • How should the Government support the development of this technology, and are there any particular innovations it should look to support?

  • Is Access to Work the most effective means of providing access to assistive technology? Should other funding models be considered?

Full details can be found here.


Young people living independently: benefit support

Social Security Advisory Committee call for evidence


Submissions by 31st January 2018


The Social Security Advisory Committee’s (SSAC) next research project will focus on the effectiveness and impact of the support provided through the benefit system to young people living independently. As such, the Committee is seeking to build a better understanding of the cumulative effect of the impact of recent welfare policies on young people (including both changes targeted at young people and more general reforms which apply to all age groups), and the outcomes for young people in terms of education, work and housing. They are particularly interested in hearing about impacts on groups in vulnerable situations and the effectiveness of any exemptions put in place to protect them.


Before this work starts, the SSAC is seeking evidence which will help define its scope and provide a pool of evidence on a range of issues on which they can draw. Among other things, the Committee are interested in views on:

  • which groups of young people the research should focus on, and what are the key issues for these groups and why? What evidence exists to support this view?

  • How do opportunities and challenges intersect with characteristics and experiences such as gender, race, disability, mental health conditions, addiction, domestic abuse etc? To what degree is geography a factor - for example, are there specific challenges faced by young people living in rural or de-industrialised areas?

Full details can be found here.


Shaping the future of England’s strategic roads (RIS2)

Department for Transport consultation


Consultation closes 7th February 2018


To set investment in the Strategic Road Network (SRN) the government publishes a multi-year “Road Investment Strategy” (RIS). The second RIS will cover the financial years 2020/21 to 2024/25. As the first step in the process, Highways England has published its Strategic Road Network (SRN) initial report and supporting documents. The SRN initial report sets out:

  • Highways England’s assessment of the current state of the SRN

  • its potential future needs

  • their proposed priorities for RISS2

To inform its response to Highway England’s initial report, the Department for Transport (DfT) is seeking views on:

  • the proposals made by Highways England in the SRN initial report

  • the DfT analytical approach for developing RIS2 and whether it is sufficiently robust

  • whether DfT has heard the full range of views that should be incorporated into the RIS2 programme, including about the shape of the SRN.

Full details can be found here.


Proposals for the creation of a Mayor Road Network

Department for Transport consultation


Consultation closes on 19th March 2018


As part of the Transport Investment Strategy, the Government committed to creating a Major Road Network (MRN). In developing the MRN, the Department for Transport (DfT) is seeking views on:

  • how to define the MRN

  • the role that local, regional and national bodies will play in the MRN investment programme

  • which schemes will be eligible for MRN funding

The DfT state that a new MRN would help reduce congestion, support economic growth and rebalancing, support housing delivery, support all road users, and support the Strategic Road Network. The creation of a MRN would also allow for dedicated funding from the National Roads Fund to be used to improve this middle tier of the nation’s busiest roads and the most economically important local authority “A” roads.

Full details can be found here.