Regulate Scrap Metal Collectors

Bring the growing 'community' of scrap metial collectors/dealers into a lawfully-managed framework.

Limit the frequency of collections. Give people the right to know where their scrap metal is going.

Allow genuine operators to prosper, but stop cowboys or rogue traders operating.

Why is this idea important?

Bring the growing 'community' of scrap metial collectors/dealers into a lawfully-managed framework.

Limit the frequency of collections. Give people the right to know where their scrap metal is going.

Allow genuine operators to prosper, but stop cowboys or rogue traders operating.

Repeal all laws designed to protect ourselves from ourselves

All laws that seek to protect adults from their own actions should be repealed.

 

We are responsible for our own health and well being and it is not right that the State treats adults like children.

Why is this idea important?

All laws that seek to protect adults from their own actions should be repealed.

 

We are responsible for our own health and well being and it is not right that the State treats adults like children.

Legalise all Drugs

I believe not all drugs, even the harmful ones should be legalised. Why? Because while something is illegal there is NO regulation of it. Which is why it is so harmful to users and so profitable to sellers.

Legalisation does not have to mean encourage the use of drugs. It can mean make it a medical problem, rather then a legal one, when the only person an addict harms through their drug use is themselves. All drug related crime, be it addicts stealing for a fix or gang related crime, all come from the legal status of drugs. If there was legal, safe, regulated access to drugs, then the only problem remaining is treating the addicts. Which would be far cheaper for the tax payer then funding a hopeless drug war. Especially considering the potential money there is to be made from taxing the mostly harmless drugs such as cannabis.

The final point I have to make is that it is very foolish to keeps drugs illegal when after years of fighting to end drug use it has only inreased. It is impossible to stop people using drugs. Even in places such as China where drug users are executed, there are still plenty who use them anyway.

So please, lets change our drug policy from one based on racism and propaganda to one based on scientific evidence. Before too much damage is done.

Why is this idea important?

I believe not all drugs, even the harmful ones should be legalised. Why? Because while something is illegal there is NO regulation of it. Which is why it is so harmful to users and so profitable to sellers.

Legalisation does not have to mean encourage the use of drugs. It can mean make it a medical problem, rather then a legal one, when the only person an addict harms through their drug use is themselves. All drug related crime, be it addicts stealing for a fix or gang related crime, all come from the legal status of drugs. If there was legal, safe, regulated access to drugs, then the only problem remaining is treating the addicts. Which would be far cheaper for the tax payer then funding a hopeless drug war. Especially considering the potential money there is to be made from taxing the mostly harmless drugs such as cannabis.

The final point I have to make is that it is very foolish to keeps drugs illegal when after years of fighting to end drug use it has only inreased. It is impossible to stop people using drugs. Even in places such as China where drug users are executed, there are still plenty who use them anyway.

So please, lets change our drug policy from one based on racism and propaganda to one based on scientific evidence. Before too much damage is done.

Enlarge the small print that no-one can read

 

Make it illegal for manufacturers to list their ingredients and instructions in ultra small print that even people with optimum vision cannot read.

Print on packaging has become smaller and smaller over the years so that now it is quite often little more than an unintelligible fuzz.

For people who have to avoid certain ingredients and additives due to personal choice, dietary requirements etc it is becoming increasingly difficult to see the important information they need when the print is far too small.

I feel that is every citizen's right to know what they are purchasing, and think this is an issue of civil liberty because we all need to have the freedom of choice to find out what is in the item we are buying and we need to know how to safely follow the instructions on a product and be able to see those instructions clearly, but it is often impossible to even see the relevant information one needs. 

Please introduce a minimum standard size on how small the small print can be. 

Why is this idea important?

 

Make it illegal for manufacturers to list their ingredients and instructions in ultra small print that even people with optimum vision cannot read.

Print on packaging has become smaller and smaller over the years so that now it is quite often little more than an unintelligible fuzz.

For people who have to avoid certain ingredients and additives due to personal choice, dietary requirements etc it is becoming increasingly difficult to see the important information they need when the print is far too small.

I feel that is every citizen's right to know what they are purchasing, and think this is an issue of civil liberty because we all need to have the freedom of choice to find out what is in the item we are buying and we need to know how to safely follow the instructions on a product and be able to see those instructions clearly, but it is often impossible to even see the relevant information one needs. 

Please introduce a minimum standard size on how small the small print can be. 

Cycle to Work Scheme – Transfer of Ownership

The cycle to work scheme is currently a hugely popular way of enabling employers to offer their employee's the chance of obtaining a tax free bike with most people saving in the region of 40% off the cost of a bicycle and accesories. In return the employee has to enter into a hire agreement with their employees over a set period and repay the cost of the bike (Minus VAT and with tax benefits) in equal monthly payments.

However, HMRC are threatening the very existence of the scheme.

HMRC's rules mean that an employer cannot state to the employee that they will either agree to enter into discussions to transfer the legal ownership of the bike before they sign up to the scheme, thus putting people off the scheme (who is going to want to pay up to a £1,000 for a bike without the guarentee of at least being made an offer to ownership in the future)

Secondly, HMRC state that the employee needs to pay what is known as a ‘fair market value' for the bike and accessories, otherwise further tax implications will apply for the individual concerned. The only problem is that they offer no guidance on how to do this other than that you cannot apply a rate of transfer on bikes across the board.

What instead they propose is that the bike is individually assessed, what this means in practice is that this increases the administrative burden associated with the scheme increasing costs and wasting resources by over complicating the process. They give no guarentee that this complies with their vague ruling thus reducing confidence in the scheme.

By also making the process more complicated and daunting than it needs to be it also makes the scheme less attractive to individuals wanting to sign up which will simply result in less people cycling and only contributing to this country’s huge carbon footprint.

It would be much simpler if a set of nationally agreed guidelines are drafted stating that a bicycle packages’ value after a defined time period is a % figure of the bicycle packages original retail value. This would make the scheme much easier to administer and it would save a enormous amount of time and effort from for organisations administering the scheme. As I say it is not just private sector businesses that run this scheme but public sector organisations too. This is one way government could actually bring about increased efficiency in the public sector.

Why is this idea important?

The cycle to work scheme is currently a hugely popular way of enabling employers to offer their employee's the chance of obtaining a tax free bike with most people saving in the region of 40% off the cost of a bicycle and accesories. In return the employee has to enter into a hire agreement with their employees over a set period and repay the cost of the bike (Minus VAT and with tax benefits) in equal monthly payments.

However, HMRC are threatening the very existence of the scheme.

HMRC's rules mean that an employer cannot state to the employee that they will either agree to enter into discussions to transfer the legal ownership of the bike before they sign up to the scheme, thus putting people off the scheme (who is going to want to pay up to a £1,000 for a bike without the guarentee of at least being made an offer to ownership in the future)

Secondly, HMRC state that the employee needs to pay what is known as a ‘fair market value' for the bike and accessories, otherwise further tax implications will apply for the individual concerned. The only problem is that they offer no guidance on how to do this other than that you cannot apply a rate of transfer on bikes across the board.

What instead they propose is that the bike is individually assessed, what this means in practice is that this increases the administrative burden associated with the scheme increasing costs and wasting resources by over complicating the process. They give no guarentee that this complies with their vague ruling thus reducing confidence in the scheme.

By also making the process more complicated and daunting than it needs to be it also makes the scheme less attractive to individuals wanting to sign up which will simply result in less people cycling and only contributing to this country’s huge carbon footprint.

It would be much simpler if a set of nationally agreed guidelines are drafted stating that a bicycle packages’ value after a defined time period is a % figure of the bicycle packages original retail value. This would make the scheme much easier to administer and it would save a enormous amount of time and effort from for organisations administering the scheme. As I say it is not just private sector businesses that run this scheme but public sector organisations too. This is one way government could actually bring about increased efficiency in the public sector.

Simplify ADR regulations for small goods vehicles

Currently, drivers of all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (ie Transit size and up) which are used to transport dangerous goods by road are required to take an ADR course and pass a test on the topic every 5 years.  Costs for this course are at least £300 per person, plus 2 to 5 days off work since the training course has to be attended in person.  The examination costs another £60 to £250, and is marked centrally by the Scottish Qualifications Agency.

Of course safety is important, but the ADR training course is over-the-top for drivers of small vehicles, and much too expensive for small companies.  It should be possible to take at least the refresher training online, or for small companies only operating small veicles (ie 3.5-5 tonnes) to have delegated authority to run the training courses and exams for their own staff once a manager has attended the training course and passed an exam.  Of course, the small company taking this responsibility would have to take on liability if they fail to run it properly.

The current system is bureaucratic, and adds nothing to the saftey of road users or drivers.  A huge industry has sprung up testing drivers, often cheating so that the instruction company can attain high pass marks.  It is box-checking and not value-added.

Why is this idea important?

Currently, drivers of all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (ie Transit size and up) which are used to transport dangerous goods by road are required to take an ADR course and pass a test on the topic every 5 years.  Costs for this course are at least £300 per person, plus 2 to 5 days off work since the training course has to be attended in person.  The examination costs another £60 to £250, and is marked centrally by the Scottish Qualifications Agency.

Of course safety is important, but the ADR training course is over-the-top for drivers of small vehicles, and much too expensive for small companies.  It should be possible to take at least the refresher training online, or for small companies only operating small veicles (ie 3.5-5 tonnes) to have delegated authority to run the training courses and exams for their own staff once a manager has attended the training course and passed an exam.  Of course, the small company taking this responsibility would have to take on liability if they fail to run it properly.

The current system is bureaucratic, and adds nothing to the saftey of road users or drivers.  A huge industry has sprung up testing drivers, often cheating so that the instruction company can attain high pass marks.  It is box-checking and not value-added.

stop over regulation of gas engineers

Gas engineers have to go to college every five years and take the same exams over and over again. The cost is massive with all the different modules required, basic safety, flues, cookers, fires, boilers etc. Plus the three or four days off of work.

I have now done it four times and every time it has been exactly the same, what is the point !

I did a five year apprenticeship to start with which covered everything, now I have to keep on doing the same exam every five years. We are not stupid, if there are any updates we need to know we can read it in the Gas Safe Magazine.

There is a huge training con here making a very good living of off the backs of gas engineers. 

Why is this idea important?

Gas engineers have to go to college every five years and take the same exams over and over again. The cost is massive with all the different modules required, basic safety, flues, cookers, fires, boilers etc. Plus the three or four days off of work.

I have now done it four times and every time it has been exactly the same, what is the point !

I did a five year apprenticeship to start with which covered everything, now I have to keep on doing the same exam every five years. We are not stupid, if there are any updates we need to know we can read it in the Gas Safe Magazine.

There is a huge training con here making a very good living of off the backs of gas engineers. 

THE DUTCH MODEL TRANSLATED FOR THE UK

regulated commercial supply under license to the coffee shops

 licensed coffee shops to sell to  public  that are of age also well trained staff in place to advise

allow the public to grow in an area of two meter square without license on condition they do not sell cannabis, but leave the seed trade open , this would still allow hobby growers to prefect better strains

no advertising

do not allow commercial cannabis premises to sell alcohol

 only allow premises to operate out of town away from pubs and schools

and can i just add, rescheduling cannabis would also allow better research for non toxic cancer cures and such
 

—————————————————————————————————————————–
i would go even further and say we should also ban supper markets and shops form selling alcahol and give all them powers back to the good old fashioned pub land lords ,but still allow home brewers to the same level


 

Why is this idea important?

regulated commercial supply under license to the coffee shops

 licensed coffee shops to sell to  public  that are of age also well trained staff in place to advise

allow the public to grow in an area of two meter square without license on condition they do not sell cannabis, but leave the seed trade open , this would still allow hobby growers to prefect better strains

no advertising

do not allow commercial cannabis premises to sell alcohol

 only allow premises to operate out of town away from pubs and schools

and can i just add, rescheduling cannabis would also allow better research for non toxic cancer cures and such
 

—————————————————————————————————————————–
i would go even further and say we should also ban supper markets and shops form selling alcahol and give all them powers back to the good old fashioned pub land lords ,but still allow home brewers to the same level


 

Make it easier for cafes and pubs to have seats, tables & drinks outside.

Pubs and cafes have to apply for licences to put seats and tables outside, and then they are restricted on numbers, allowed hours, and positioning.  My idea is to loosen up the regulations on licencing of pavement usage outside of cafes and pubs.

Presumably there are already laws to prevent businesses from being a nuisance or an obstruction, so why do we need local authority departments presiding over yet more regulation, inspections & paperwork?

Why is this idea important?

Pubs and cafes have to apply for licences to put seats and tables outside, and then they are restricted on numbers, allowed hours, and positioning.  My idea is to loosen up the regulations on licencing of pavement usage outside of cafes and pubs.

Presumably there are already laws to prevent businesses from being a nuisance or an obstruction, so why do we need local authority departments presiding over yet more regulation, inspections & paperwork?

More intelligent regulation

Having been in a senior position in a major professional body I can vouch for the fact that much regulation  is ineffective. People such as financial advisers, insolvency practitioners and many other professionals are required to follow rule books of amazing complexity, breach of any provision of which can result in disciplinary proceedings. Large firms can afford to employ  regulatory departments to make sense of these. Sole practitioners and smaller firms ignore much of the guff.

What is needed is a short set of principles together with examples of good practice. These can be more readily enforced than massive rule books. I accept that in some areas, such as client money handling, detailed rules may be called for but otherwise they do more harm than good.

Why is this idea important?

Having been in a senior position in a major professional body I can vouch for the fact that much regulation  is ineffective. People such as financial advisers, insolvency practitioners and many other professionals are required to follow rule books of amazing complexity, breach of any provision of which can result in disciplinary proceedings. Large firms can afford to employ  regulatory departments to make sense of these. Sole practitioners and smaller firms ignore much of the guff.

What is needed is a short set of principles together with examples of good practice. These can be more readily enforced than massive rule books. I accept that in some areas, such as client money handling, detailed rules may be called for but otherwise they do more harm than good.

Reduce the remit of the GLA

The Gangmasters Licencing Authority needs to be disbanded or it's remit greatly reduced to decrease the impact on small business. It could mean that small businesses I use can't tender for contracts (and potential lose money and go out of business) and larger firms are at an advantage being able to absorb the cost of a licence up front. The licence duplicates much of the regulation under health and safety and employment law.

Why is this idea important?

The Gangmasters Licencing Authority needs to be disbanded or it's remit greatly reduced to decrease the impact on small business. It could mean that small businesses I use can't tender for contracts (and potential lose money and go out of business) and larger firms are at an advantage being able to absorb the cost of a licence up front. The licence duplicates much of the regulation under health and safety and employment law.

Repeal Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006

The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act allows ministers to repeal and modify primary legislation by order.

This act should be repealed to restore the principle that Acts of Parliament can only be modified by other Acts of Parliament.

Why is this idea important?

The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act allows ministers to repeal and modify primary legislation by order.

This act should be repealed to restore the principle that Acts of Parliament can only be modified by other Acts of Parliament.

We want the governement to explain this –Sativex– vs–Cannabis–

As a matter of fact…

Sativex is an oromucosal (mouth) spray developed by the UK company GW Pharmaceuticals for multiple sclerosis patients, who can use it to alleviate neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other symptoms. Sativex is also being prescribed to alleviate pain due to cancer and has been researched in various models of peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Sativex is distinct from all other pharmaceutically produced cannabinoids currently available because it is derived from botanical material, rather than a solely synthetic process. Sativex is a pharmaceutical product standardised in composition, formulation, and dose. Its principal active cannabinoid components are the cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The product is formulated as an oromucosal spray which is administered by spraying into the mouth. Each spray of Sativex delivers a fixed dose of 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD.

Now can the government to explain to us this:

Why do you approve prescribing a medicine that is made of cannabis to people with multiple sclerosis But at the same time you send the same ill people to prison for cultivating their own plants?

Is it all about money ? how can you tell people that they can buy cannabis of the governement but if they are caught bying it elswhere or growing it you would send them to prison?

Is this not denying civil liberties to people?

Why is this idea important?

As a matter of fact…

Sativex is an oromucosal (mouth) spray developed by the UK company GW Pharmaceuticals for multiple sclerosis patients, who can use it to alleviate neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder, and other symptoms. Sativex is also being prescribed to alleviate pain due to cancer and has been researched in various models of peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Sativex is distinct from all other pharmaceutically produced cannabinoids currently available because it is derived from botanical material, rather than a solely synthetic process. Sativex is a pharmaceutical product standardised in composition, formulation, and dose. Its principal active cannabinoid components are the cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The product is formulated as an oromucosal spray which is administered by spraying into the mouth. Each spray of Sativex delivers a fixed dose of 2.7mg THC and 2.5mg CBD.

Now can the government to explain to us this:

Why do you approve prescribing a medicine that is made of cannabis to people with multiple sclerosis But at the same time you send the same ill people to prison for cultivating their own plants?

Is it all about money ? how can you tell people that they can buy cannabis of the governement but if they are caught bying it elswhere or growing it you would send them to prison?

Is this not denying civil liberties to people?

Abolish the ban on the burial of fallen livestock on the farm

Abolish the legislation banning the disposal of dead livestock on the farm.

This legislation requires farmers to pay an abattoir to remove all carcases, even those of tiny lambs.

It is inconceivable that on-farm burial poses any health risk to humans. Anybody suggesting that there is such a risk is taking the Precautionary Principle to absurd and extreme lengths.

This is European legislation. I suggest that Britain either pulls out of the EU or gets a bit tougher in rejecting ludicrous legislation.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish the legislation banning the disposal of dead livestock on the farm.

This legislation requires farmers to pay an abattoir to remove all carcases, even those of tiny lambs.

It is inconceivable that on-farm burial poses any health risk to humans. Anybody suggesting that there is such a risk is taking the Precautionary Principle to absurd and extreme lengths.

This is European legislation. I suggest that Britain either pulls out of the EU or gets a bit tougher in rejecting ludicrous legislation.

No Licence Vehicles

Introduce vehicles where no driving licence is required to run them.

Across Europe several categories of speed limited micro cars and small sizedengine scooters are driven by people without a licence. These vehicles allow access to th roads for the young, the elderly and those who only want motors for very short distance driving. They are limited to 45kmph (just under 30mph) and usually have weight and power limits.

 

This would take young people out of high speed deathtraps which they can use immediately they pass the test and also tends to push up the age at which young people take their driving test.

 

It would also introduce an incentive for people to drive eco friendly low power cars around town. and it would create a new economic market in the uk for sale service and repair of these vehicles. One scheme in france rents low power scooters to the young for only 20 euros a month to allow them to easily and cheaply get to college/work.

 

We should have no licence motoring in this country to give us someof the freedoms of the EU that would offset all the additional regulation brought in.

Why is this idea important?

Introduce vehicles where no driving licence is required to run them.

Across Europe several categories of speed limited micro cars and small sizedengine scooters are driven by people without a licence. These vehicles allow access to th roads for the young, the elderly and those who only want motors for very short distance driving. They are limited to 45kmph (just under 30mph) and usually have weight and power limits.

 

This would take young people out of high speed deathtraps which they can use immediately they pass the test and also tends to push up the age at which young people take their driving test.

 

It would also introduce an incentive for people to drive eco friendly low power cars around town. and it would create a new economic market in the uk for sale service and repair of these vehicles. One scheme in france rents low power scooters to the young for only 20 euros a month to allow them to easily and cheaply get to college/work.

 

We should have no licence motoring in this country to give us someof the freedoms of the EU that would offset all the additional regulation brought in.

HOW TO IMPROVE HOUSING MARKET FAST WITH A BETTER CONVEYANCING SYSTEM (i.e., take a leaf from North of the Border!)

 

When I moved from London to Edinburgh, I realised the big difference between the way houses are bought and sold in Scotland , and how it is done in England.

I know some folks living in England might not like to hear this, but the housing system of conveyancing in Scotland , I find, is a LOT MORE EFFECIENT, FAR SUPERIOR AND A LOT FASTER than in England (and Wales).

It took me several months to get the sales of my house  through in England, but in Scotland, I managed to offer, buy and own it in a matter of a couple of days !

For those who are not aware of how house sales works in England (and Wales) , and in Scotland, it goes something like this:

IN ENGLAND

In England, the vendor puts on his house for sale. The buyer sees the property, likes it and makes a bid. The vendor can accept the offer. However, the acceptance of the offer is not legally binding. If the vendor has another buyer who offers a higher price, he can turn change his mind with the first offer from the first buyer (i.e. "gazumping"). Likewise, if the buyer sees another property, he can say to the vendor he has changed his mind and move away. This could be he has found another property. The buyer can also wait until everyone is ready to exchange contracts before deciding to lower the offer on the property, threatening the collapse of a whole chain of house sales waiting for the deal to go through (the word "gazundering" is often used).

To make the tedious sale of the house take even longer go through in England and Wales, the buyer then usually have to go to a bank or building society after the bid of the property has been accepted,  to apply for a mortgage. Before the mortgage is approved, the lending bank or building society then send a surveyor who comes to see the property and then makes a report. The Lending bank then wait for the surveyor to write and send the report. They have to receive it, read it and only then decide whether to approve the mortgage.  This can take weeks – if not months.

IN SCOTLAND

This is not the same in Scotland. Under Scots Law, in their system of conveyancing, the survey is often made prior to a bid – or a bid is made "subject to survey". However, the buyer would have secured the mortgage BEFORE he makes the bid. The sale can go through in a matter of days !

When you make a bid in Scotland (unlike in England and Wales)and it is accepted, that is legally  binding. The buyer can face a hefty penalty, or even be sued, if he changes his mind. Likewise, the seller has to keep his side of the bargain. As a result, both "gazumping" and "gazundering" are extremely rare in Scotland.

In Scotland, there is also less chance of the collapse of the housing sales chain because of the failure of one deal along the chain.

I have spoken to estate agents in England and they all seem to agree the Scottish system of conveyancing is better. So why has it not been adopted in England? Is it because of "Pride" to refuse any idea from "North of the Border"?

If England (and Wales) were to adopt the Scottish system of conveyancing, house sales would go through more smoothly and faster. There is less gazumping and gazundering , and there is less chance of collapse of the housing sales chain. This could improve the housing market – and of course, it will help the TREASURY as well with more money from stamp duties.

Why is this idea important?

 

When I moved from London to Edinburgh, I realised the big difference between the way houses are bought and sold in Scotland , and how it is done in England.

I know some folks living in England might not like to hear this, but the housing system of conveyancing in Scotland , I find, is a LOT MORE EFFECIENT, FAR SUPERIOR AND A LOT FASTER than in England (and Wales).

It took me several months to get the sales of my house  through in England, but in Scotland, I managed to offer, buy and own it in a matter of a couple of days !

For those who are not aware of how house sales works in England (and Wales) , and in Scotland, it goes something like this:

IN ENGLAND

In England, the vendor puts on his house for sale. The buyer sees the property, likes it and makes a bid. The vendor can accept the offer. However, the acceptance of the offer is not legally binding. If the vendor has another buyer who offers a higher price, he can turn change his mind with the first offer from the first buyer (i.e. "gazumping"). Likewise, if the buyer sees another property, he can say to the vendor he has changed his mind and move away. This could be he has found another property. The buyer can also wait until everyone is ready to exchange contracts before deciding to lower the offer on the property, threatening the collapse of a whole chain of house sales waiting for the deal to go through (the word "gazundering" is often used).

To make the tedious sale of the house take even longer go through in England and Wales, the buyer then usually have to go to a bank or building society after the bid of the property has been accepted,  to apply for a mortgage. Before the mortgage is approved, the lending bank or building society then send a surveyor who comes to see the property and then makes a report. The Lending bank then wait for the surveyor to write and send the report. They have to receive it, read it and only then decide whether to approve the mortgage.  This can take weeks – if not months.

IN SCOTLAND

This is not the same in Scotland. Under Scots Law, in their system of conveyancing, the survey is often made prior to a bid – or a bid is made "subject to survey". However, the buyer would have secured the mortgage BEFORE he makes the bid. The sale can go through in a matter of days !

When you make a bid in Scotland (unlike in England and Wales)and it is accepted, that is legally  binding. The buyer can face a hefty penalty, or even be sued, if he changes his mind. Likewise, the seller has to keep his side of the bargain. As a result, both "gazumping" and "gazundering" are extremely rare in Scotland.

In Scotland, there is also less chance of the collapse of the housing sales chain because of the failure of one deal along the chain.

I have spoken to estate agents in England and they all seem to agree the Scottish system of conveyancing is better. So why has it not been adopted in England? Is it because of "Pride" to refuse any idea from "North of the Border"?

If England (and Wales) were to adopt the Scottish system of conveyancing, house sales would go through more smoothly and faster. There is less gazumping and gazundering , and there is less chance of collapse of the housing sales chain. This could improve the housing market – and of course, it will help the TREASURY as well with more money from stamp duties.

Scrap Local Authority Prosecution Powers

Abolish s.222 of the Local Government Act 1972. Transfer all prosecution powers of local authorities to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Currently (in England and Wales) local authorities bring their own prosecutions based on their own investigations by their own departments – including trading standards, environmental health, housing benefit, etc.

There is a lack of independent assessment of the merits of prosecution meaning that great expense can be incurred by businesses, particularly small businesses, if the prosecutions are unwarranted. It is not suggested that all prosecutions are unwarranted – clearly there are rogue traders, benefit cheats and poor environmental practices. However, the separation of these powers would be likely to force local authorities to engage in more positive forms of regulation – such as advice and support – rather than opt for prosecution as an easy option.

In addition, each local authority employs 3 – 4 prosecution lawyers at a cost of around £80m per year. Only a fraction of this is ever recouped from offenders. Lawyers often have to sit around in court waiting for their CPS counterparts to complete a whole bundle of cases before the local authority lawyer gets on to deal with just one. This is grossly inefficient.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish s.222 of the Local Government Act 1972. Transfer all prosecution powers of local authorities to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Currently (in England and Wales) local authorities bring their own prosecutions based on their own investigations by their own departments – including trading standards, environmental health, housing benefit, etc.

There is a lack of independent assessment of the merits of prosecution meaning that great expense can be incurred by businesses, particularly small businesses, if the prosecutions are unwarranted. It is not suggested that all prosecutions are unwarranted – clearly there are rogue traders, benefit cheats and poor environmental practices. However, the separation of these powers would be likely to force local authorities to engage in more positive forms of regulation – such as advice and support – rather than opt for prosecution as an easy option.

In addition, each local authority employs 3 – 4 prosecution lawyers at a cost of around £80m per year. Only a fraction of this is ever recouped from offenders. Lawyers often have to sit around in court waiting for their CPS counterparts to complete a whole bundle of cases before the local authority lawyer gets on to deal with just one. This is grossly inefficient.

Fossilised studentification

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Why is this idea important?

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Tree Preservation Orders-restoring natural justice

 

Town & Country Planning Act 1990 – sections 197 -214 as amended

The Planning & Compensation Act 1991 (Section 23)

Forestry Act 1967 (as amended)

The Town & Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999

 

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Council can impose a TPO on privately owned trees  without the consent of their owners.  Such an Order  prevents the owners from doing anything whatsoever to the trees without the express permission of the Council.   The owners are warned   they will remain responsible for the trees and any damage  they may cause.  In short, the Council say, the owners still have a ‘duty of care’ and should the trees cause damage or continue to be a nuisance  they  will be held liable.

 

This is contrary to natural justice.   Why should   owners be held responsible for something that the Council has prevented them from remedying?  Surely the Council should accept responsibility and liability?

 

Example 

We own an ever green Lucombe oak.   A large part of its canopy is over  a Pre school  playground.  The school,  on health and safety grounds, wanted the tree removed because of the dangers it was posing to its infants aged 3 – 5  years.   Their reasons being that it drops small branches, dead leaves (all year round  being an ever green)  small acorns and birds excrement into their  playground.  As owners of the tree we made the application but the Council refused  its removal and made it the subject of  a TPO.   Even the  Council’s Arboricultural  Officer,  having objected to its removal,  agreed  about its danger and nuisance  describing it as causing   “inconvenience all year round  due to leaf cast ,  branch shedding,  bird excrement and causing anxiety to residents in periods of adverse weather conditions”   

 

Why is this idea important?

 

Town & Country Planning Act 1990 – sections 197 -214 as amended

The Planning & Compensation Act 1991 (Section 23)

Forestry Act 1967 (as amended)

The Town & Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999

 

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Council can impose a TPO on privately owned trees  without the consent of their owners.  Such an Order  prevents the owners from doing anything whatsoever to the trees without the express permission of the Council.   The owners are warned   they will remain responsible for the trees and any damage  they may cause.  In short, the Council say, the owners still have a ‘duty of care’ and should the trees cause damage or continue to be a nuisance  they  will be held liable.

 

This is contrary to natural justice.   Why should   owners be held responsible for something that the Council has prevented them from remedying?  Surely the Council should accept responsibility and liability?

 

Example 

We own an ever green Lucombe oak.   A large part of its canopy is over  a Pre school  playground.  The school,  on health and safety grounds, wanted the tree removed because of the dangers it was posing to its infants aged 3 – 5  years.   Their reasons being that it drops small branches, dead leaves (all year round  being an ever green)  small acorns and birds excrement into their  playground.  As owners of the tree we made the application but the Council refused  its removal and made it the subject of  a TPO.   Even the  Council’s Arboricultural  Officer,  having objected to its removal,  agreed  about its danger and nuisance  describing it as causing   “inconvenience all year round  due to leaf cast ,  branch shedding,  bird excrement and causing anxiety to residents in periods of adverse weather conditions”   

 

Stop plans for the HPC to regulate psychotherapists and counsellors

The HPC is not the appropriate body to regulate the talking therapies.  Regulation is necessary – but not by an organisation that signally fails to understand the field.

Why is this idea important?

The HPC is not the appropriate body to regulate the talking therapies.  Regulation is necessary – but not by an organisation that signally fails to understand the field.

CE Marking imposed on small manufacturers over the last 10 years has killed Creativity, Productivity and lost Jobs!

CE Marking conformity assessments and examination facilities for EMC, R&TTE and LVD are simply too expensive at around 500 to 5000 pounds for the small manufacturer making one offs or small runs. These facilities need to be made available to all small manufacturers at a reasonable price. I don’t think the examinations should be for free, but I do think that they should be made at a cost that is affordable, maybe for the same price as a car MOT examination. Ofcom, Universities and some technical colleges have the test equipment to make these assessments and examinations very easily. Such an examination could be made in 1 to 2 hours. I know Ofcom have regional offices all over the UK in the major cities for policing communications in those areas. It is also Ofcom that is responsible for monitoring compliance with the EMC and R&TTE directives. Without evidence of this compliance you cannot CE Mark your product and therefore you cannot place it on the market. Surely it must be possible to make a program or process where the small manufacturer can take new designs for assessment and examination at the regional Ofcom offices for a small fee that will cover the cost of the time used by the of Ofcom employee. This would not result in any further cost to the taxpayer, in fact if enough assessments were made Ofcom may make a profit, this would open the market up to small manufacturers with new inventions, innovations and ideas that would lead to more jobs and skills.

Why is this idea important?

CE Marking conformity assessments and examination facilities for EMC, R&TTE and LVD are simply too expensive at around 500 to 5000 pounds for the small manufacturer making one offs or small runs. These facilities need to be made available to all small manufacturers at a reasonable price. I don’t think the examinations should be for free, but I do think that they should be made at a cost that is affordable, maybe for the same price as a car MOT examination. Ofcom, Universities and some technical colleges have the test equipment to make these assessments and examinations very easily. Such an examination could be made in 1 to 2 hours. I know Ofcom have regional offices all over the UK in the major cities for policing communications in those areas. It is also Ofcom that is responsible for monitoring compliance with the EMC and R&TTE directives. Without evidence of this compliance you cannot CE Mark your product and therefore you cannot place it on the market. Surely it must be possible to make a program or process where the small manufacturer can take new designs for assessment and examination at the regional Ofcom offices for a small fee that will cover the cost of the time used by the of Ofcom employee. This would not result in any further cost to the taxpayer, in fact if enough assessments were made Ofcom may make a profit, this would open the market up to small manufacturers with new inventions, innovations and ideas that would lead to more jobs and skills.

Overhaul The Companies Act And Various Revisions For SME’s

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have an annual accounts audit.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to make an annual return to Companies House.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to file annual accounts.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to have their information publicly displayed.

 

Why is this idea important?

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have an annual accounts audit.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to make an annual return to Companies House.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to file annual accounts.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to have their information publicly displayed.