Wednesday 26 June 2013
Departmental Business Plans 2013
Today the Government published, in a digital format, an updated set of departmental business plans.
Each Department’s business plan sets out:
the Department’s coalition priorities;
the actions each Department will undertake to meet these priorities and the dates when it will implement these actions;
expenditure for each year of the current spending review; and
indicators and other data it will publish on the cost and impact of the public services for which it is responsible.
In particular, the business plans have been updated to reflect:
a new growth priority has been added showing each Department’s contribution to promoting UK growth; and
the commitments made in the coalition Government’s mid-term review.
The business plans can be accessed at, http://transparency.number10.gov.uk, which also sets out cross-Government priorities and details of departmental input and impact indicators.
A full list of the changes to the structural reform plan and input and impact indicators contained in the business plans is also attached. This list can also be found at, http://transparency.number10.gov.uk.
Financial Policy Committee
The June 2013 “Financial Stability Report” of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) and the FPC’s response to the Chancellor’s “Remit and Recommendations for the Financial Policy Committee” have today been laid before Parliament.
The “Financial Stability Report” includes the committee’s view of the current stability of the UK financial system, its assessment of the outlook for stability, a summary of the activities of the committee over the previous five months, and any new policy decisions by the committee by way of recommendations and directions.
The report forms a key part of the accountability mechanism for the FPC under the Bank of England Act 1998 as amended by the Financial Services Act 2012.
On 30 April 2013, the Chancellor wrote to the Governor of the Bank of England, as chair of the FPC, to specify the Government’s economic policy and to make recommendations to the committee concerning its objectives and functions.
The FPC is required to respond to the Treasury setting out any action it has taken or intends to take in accordance with the Treasury’s recommendations and, if it does not intend to act in accordance with a recommendation, why not.
Communities and Local Government
2014 Local Elections
As I informed the House on 26 March, Official Report, column 84WS, we published a consultation document inviting views on whether or not we should, subject to parliamentary approval, move the date of the English local elections from Thursday 1 May 2014 to the same day as the European parliamentary election. At the time of the consultation the actual date of the European parliamentary elections had yet to be formally decided.
That consultation closed on 13 May and we have received 155 representations, including from the Electoral Commission, the Association of Electoral Administrators, the Local Government Association and many of the councils that would be affected. While the consultation shows there are mixed views on moving the date, some two thirds of the 155 consultation responses favoured the change of date, including the Electoral Commission.
The Council of the European Union has now confirmed that the European parliamentary elections will be held between 22 to 25 May 2014 and so the date for elections to the European Parliament in the United Kingdom will be 22 May.
In the light of the European decision, and having carefully considered all the representations received, the practical course of action is to move the local government elections to the same day. Holding two elections within three weeks of each other would be inconvenient to voters. I appreciate that the arguments are finely balanced, and I would observe that this does not necessarily create a precedent for any future set of elections.
So I am today laying a draft of the Local Elections (Ordinary Day of Elections in 2014) Order 2013 which, if approved by Parliament and made no later than 31 October, would move the local election day in England, in 2014, to the date of the European parliamentary election.
The local elections which are affected by this change of date are the elections to over 90 district councils in England, all metropolitan district councils, and all London boroughs plus a small number of parishes, as well as five mayoral elections. A list of the relevant local authorities is included in the explanatory memorandum which accompanies the draft order I have today laid before the House.