1. Housing policies are working, says new housing minister

2. The Smart Metering System Leaflet

3. Understanding criminal careers in organised crime

4. Travellers' Essex development rejected a second time

5. Reshuffle moves

6. Appeals advice – Includes a bit on Sec 106.

7. Combined forces team up to beat anti social behaviour.

8. Crime wave (goodbye): Rochdale's burglary, violent crime and robbery rates fall

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1. Housing policies are working, says new housing minister
More than 15,000 reservations have been made under the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, the new housing minister Kris Hopkins said (October 8). “With over 15,000 reservations for new build homes in six months, it’s clear the first part of our Help to Buy scheme has captured the imagination of the public and is boosting the supply of new homes across the country,” he said. “Our policies on housing are working: housebuilding is growing at its fastest rate for ten years, and the tough decisions we’ve taken to tackle the deficit are now delivering real help to hardworking people.” DCLG added that 334,000 new homes were built over the past three years, the highest level since 2008.

2. The Smart Metering System Leaflet
This leaflet explains how the smart metering system works from late 2015, when a new shared smart metering national infrastructure is in place. Some energy suppliers are already offering smart meters using their own systems and technologies. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-smart-metering-system-leaflet

3. Understanding criminal careers in organised crime
Home Office Research Report 74 looks at the criminal careers of offenders involved in organised crime. It examines the characteristics, criminal histories and the offence trajectories for organised crime offenders, and also the offence-based risk factors for subsequent involvement in organised crime.
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-criminal-careers-in-organised-crime

4. Travellers' Essex development rejected a second time
A redetermined recovered appeal over proposals for a 12-plot Travellers' site at Laindon, near Basildon, Essex, has ended with the scheme's refusal for a second time. Basildon Borough Council had originally refused permission for Dale Farm Residents Association for the change of use of land currently used for grazing horses to become a site for 12 plots for residential use and the stabling and grazing of horses at a location to the west of Church road, Laindon, Basildon, Essex. That decision was appealed and dismissed but a successful High Court challenge prompted the redetermination of the case as the Treasury Solicitor did not defend the case after acknowledging that the wrong environmental legislation was cited in the appeal hearing. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said in his decision letter that the appeal had to be dismissed because of the threat the scheme posed to a designated local wildlife site which would be affected by the proposed development.
The decision letter agreed the families involved had pressing needs for housing and the local council had failed to make provision to meet their requirements. However, he argued that those factors did not outweigh the prospect of the “irreversibility of harm to the local wildlife site including the habitats of protected species”. Download the decision letter.

5. Reshuffle moves
The latest Government ministerial reshuffle has brought three new faces into the Department for Communities and Local Government. Housing Minister Mark Prisk has been replaced by Kris Hopkins, the Conservative MP for Keighley in Yorkshire. As well as housing he will handle planning policy and casework in relation to wind farms.
Don Foster, who has become Liberal Democrat chief whip and Comptroller of HM Household, has been replaced by Bristol West Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams who was a party spokesman on public health. Baroness Hanham has been replaced by Baroness Stowell, a former civil servant and one time head of corporate affairs at the BBC.
Elsewhere in Westminster, former DCLG minister Greg Clark has been appointed a minister of state for cities and constitution at the Cabinet Office and will attend Cabinet when policy on cities is discussed. Lib Dem peer Baroness Kramer has become a transport minister. She is a vocal opponent of further growth at Heathrow. Environment Minister Richard Benyon has been replaced by George Eustice, the Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth.

6. Appeals advice – Includes a bit on Sec 106.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has published guidance on the changes that have been introduced to the appeals procedure for planning and some other appeals. This guidance provides information on planning and other appeals and the award of costs, and the introduction of the Commercial Appeals Service. This provides an expedited procedure for some minor commercial appeals such as those relating to advertisement consent or shop fronts. Access the guidance.

7. Combined forces team up to beat anti social behaviour.

One of the South’s leading housing associations, Radian, has teamed up with the police, councils and lawyers to pioneer fresh ways of beating anti-social behaviour. The aim is to create a unified approach to victims and offenders – speeding up responses, getting better results and keeping residents more informed.
As part of the strategy, Radian delivered training sessions to 100 police officers across Hampshire and Berkshire to explain how it operates and, crucially, what actions it legally can and cannot take against tenants.
The project involved nine two-hour sessions with officers in locations such as Reading, Winchester and Portsmouth. Accredited community safety officers from Hampshire County Council also attended. More at: http://www.crp-news.com/htm/n20131009.169809.htm

8. Crime wave (goodbye): Rochdale's burglary, violent crime and robbery rates fall
Crime in Rochdale has decreased significantly over the past 12 months, a new report to the Borough Council’s Cabinet has revealed. Burglary, vehicle crime and robberies saw the biggest reduction, which fell by more than 21%, according to the report by the Safer Communities Partnership. Criminal damage (19.2%) and violent crime (10.2%) enjoyed considerable reductions, with victim-based crimes and anti-social behaviour also declining. The report also highlights that 92% of drug users in the town are engaged in treatment for their problems, which is the highest figure of this kind in the region. More at: http://mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/250912643-crime-wave-goodbye-rochdales-burglary-violent-crime-and-robbery-rates-fall

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