Consultation on criteria for waste PFI projects 
In September 2000, the Government introduced new criteria which changed the focus of waste PFI away from incineration towards recycling led solutions. The criteria ensured that projects submitted for PFI credits would follow the waste hierarchy (minimisation, re-use, recycling and composting, recovery and finally landfill) and placed a £25m cap on PFI projects in an effort to enable a larger number of projects to receive funding.  The current criteria that proposed waste infrastructure projects must meet in order to be considered for waste PFI credits have been in place since 2000, with two amendments in 2003.  Now that several PFI projects are up and running and a dozen more are in procurement, DEFRA is looking to establish whether these criteria are still appropriate, and to make any changes in time for the start of the next financial year in April 2006.

The closing date for this consultation is 6 January 2006.

Advancing Equality for Men and Women: Government proposals to introduce a public sector duty to promote gender equality
The  Government is seeking views on its proposals to ensure that the public sector can better meet the needs of men and women.  On 4 October, it launched a consultation document on its proposals to introduce a public sector duty to promote gender equality - commonly referred to as the ‘gender duty’.  These proposals will require public authorities to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity between men and women.  The detailed proposals, drawn up in consultation with government departments, wider public sector and external stakeholders, centre around 3 main components obliging public authorities to:

  • identify and implement specific gender equality goals;
  • develop and publish an equal pay policy statement; and
  • assess the impact of new policies and changes to services on men and women - allowing negative effects to be mitigated.

The closing date for this consultation is 12 January 2006.

Towards a National Transport Strategy for Scotland - Rail Priorities
The consultation seeks views on what the strategic priorities for Scotland's rail should be. Following the Railways Act 2005, Scottish Ministers have a new power to produce a long term rail strategy and a new duty to specify the outputs to buy from Network Rail in Scotland.

The closing date for this consultation is 28 December 2005.

Local Authority Best Value: Public Performance Reporting Regulations
Consultation on regulations to provide for certain information about the performance of Local Authorities in Scotland to be put in the public domain each year.

The closing date for this consultation is 18 November 2005.

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