Government

Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation

silhouette of figureTransforming the response to domestic abuse

Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Opened 8 Mar 2018
Closes 31 May 2018

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, shattering the lives of victims and their families, and in recognition of this the government has put forward proposals for new laws which would transform our approach to this terrible crime.

The consultation launched today (Thursday 8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke, will seek views on measures to be included in the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

To ensure they get this landmark legislation right the Government now want to hear from all those who have been affected by abuse, from survivors, front line professionals, charities and the public, to gather views on how, together, we can best put a stop to it once and for all.

This consultation seeks to address domestic abuse at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation. It references the connections and provisions of cross-sector agencies and departments and reinforces the Government’s aim to make domestic abuse everyone’s business.

By consulting the Government aims to harness the knowledge and expertise of victims and survivors, support organisations and research experts. They are also interested in the views of professionals across policing, criminal justice, health, welfare, education and local authorities who deal with these issues everyday.

The main aim through this work is to prevent domestic abuse by challenging the acceptability of abuse and addressing the underlying attitudes and norms that perpetuate it. This consultation asks questions under four main themes with the central aim of prevention running through each.

  • Promote awareness – to put domestic abuse at the top of everyone’s agenda, and raise public and professionals’ awareness.
  • Protect and support – to enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.
  • Pursue and deter – to provide an effective response to perpetrators from initial agency response through to conviction and management of offenders, including rehabilitation.
  • Improve Performance – to drive consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas, agencies and sectors.

For each of these themes the current position is outlined and any potential areas identified where it is thought more could be done. These areas will be at different stages of development, and the accompanying questions will reflect this. In some instances feedback will be requested on specific proposals, whilst in others evidence or experiences will be asked for to further understand the problem.

The consultation includes some topics which are complex and/or technical.

Participate in this consultation

There are two versions of the consultation questionnaire:

Full version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/

Short Version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation-short-version/

Documents

Transforming the response to domestic abuse 1.8 MB (PDF document)
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/supporting_documents/Transforming%20the%20response%20to%20domestic%20abuse.pdf

Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse
Home Office and Ministry of Justice  08 March 2018
www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-action-to-tackle-domestic-abuse

‘Opt-out’ consent for organ donation in England consultation

Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England

Department of Health and Social Care

Opens: 12 December 2017
Closes: 6 March 2018

Summary

The government wants views from as many people as possible on plans to make it easier for people to give consent to be an organ donor.

Consultation description

The Department of Health and Social Care have launched a consultation about organ and tissue donation. The government wants to know what people think about proposed changes in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’.

They want to find out what people think of how the changes to the system should be made, and what else they think the government needs to consider.

The defining issues of the new system are:

  • how much say families have in their deceased relative’s decision to donate their organs
  • when exemptions to ‘opt-out’ would be needed, and what safeguards would be necessary
  • how a new system might affect certain groups depending on age, disability, race or faith

Documents

Consultation on introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england/consultation-on-introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england HTML

Quick Read: organ and tissue donation consultation
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england/quick-read-organ-and-tissue-donation-consultation HTML

Impact Assessment: organ donation opt-out
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666518/Organ_Donation_Opt-Out_Consultation_Impact_Assessment.pdf PDF, 707KB, 24 pages

Have your say on organ donation

https://engage.dh.gov.uk/organdonation/

Department of Health and Social Care 12 December 2017
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-opt-out-consent-for-organ-and-tissue-donation-in-england

Combatting ‘rogue landlords’ inquiry

Private Rented Sector

Commons Select Committee for Communities and Local Government
Opens: 09 October 2017
Closes: 24 November 2017

The Communities and Local Government Committee launches inquiry into whether councils have adequate powers to tackle ‘rogue landlords’.

This inquiry into the role of local authorities in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will focus on the provision by councils of private rented accommodation and whether they have sufficient powers to deal with bad practices.

The inquiry will also examine barriers to intervention in the private rented sector, whether landlord licensing schemes are promoting higher quality accommodation and the effectiveness of complaint mechanism for tenants. (more…)

Election Results

The results of the General Election and Victoria Ward By-election are:

Ashford constituency results

Name of candidate Party Votes  % of Votes
Damian GREEN Conservative  (Elected) 35,318  59
Sally GATHERN Labour 17,840  30
Adrian GEE-TURNER Liberal Democrat 3,101  5
Gerald O’BRIEN UKIP 2,218  4
Mandy ROSSI Green 1,402  2
The turnout was: 68.69%

Damian Green is therefore re-elected as MP for the Ashford constituency.

Victoria ward results

Name of candidate Party Votes
Charles SUDDARDS Labour  (Elected) 1,052 45
David ROBEY Conservative 753  32
James GALLOWAY Liberal Democrat 260 11
Serge GOLDENBERG UKIP 181 8
Maria PIZZEY Green 99 4
Turnout was 56.82%.

Charles Suddards now joins Cllr Dara Farrell (Labour) as ward member for Victoria.

Your vote matters

Your vote matters - don't lose itWhatever you are doing tomorrow, remember to take time to vote in the General Election and, if you live in Victoria Ward, the Ashford Borough Council By-election.

If you need help at the polling station please ask. You can be accompanied by a companion if you need their assistance.

Polling stations are open from 7:00am to 10:00pm. The address of your Polling Station is shown on your Polling Card. You can also find the location from the search facility on the Ashford Borough Council website – www.ashford.gov.uk/where-can-i-vote

You do not need your Polling Card to vote but you must be registered to vote.

If you have applied to vote by post, you cannot vote in person at the polling station. However, on polling day you can return your postal vote to the polling station (before 10pm) or to the Returning Officer at Ashford Borough Council (before they close) if you do not want to post it or it is too late to post it. It should be sealed in the return envelope provided.

The Candidates for the General Election and Victoria Ward By-election are listed in our post of 12 May 2017 https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/05/12/election-candidates-announced/

#YourVoteMatters #GE2017

Election campaign literature

We noticed a number of comments on social media regarding the lack of information relating to the candidates for the recent Kent County Council Election.

We have asked all of the parties fielding candidates for the Ashford Constituency for the General Election and the Ashford Borough Council By-election for the Victoria Ward to provide us with pdf copies of their campaign leaflets. Those that have been provided can be viewed from the links below.

Neither South Ashford Community Forum nor the South Ashford website supports any of the candidates nor their parties for either election, nor do we accept any responsibility for, nor necessarily agree with, the information provided by the candidates.

General Election

Name of Candidate Party Literature
GATHERN Sally Labour Party Not yet available
GEE-TURNER Adrian John Liberal Democrats View
GREEN Damian Conservative Party Not yet available
O’BRIEN Gerald Michael UKIP View
ROSSI Mandy Green Party View

By-election

Name of Candidate Party Literature
GALLOWAY James Angus Liberal Democrats View
GOLDENBERG Serge UKIP View
PIZZEY Maria Ann Green Party View
ROBEY David Conservative Party Not yet available
SUDDARDS Charles Labour Party Not yet available

As we do not want this website used for political debate, comments are disabled on this post.

Last chance to register for elections

Your vote matters - don't lose itIf you want to vote in the General Election or
the Victoria Ward by election
you must be registered by 11:59pm tonight.

Register now:

Online

You will need to provide your national insurance number to register. This can be found on your national insurance card if you have one, or on paperwork such as your payslip, letters about benefits, tax credits and some pension documents. Please make sure you enter it correctly as it will be checked before you can be registered.  If you do not have a national insurance number you can still use the website to make an application but it will ask you to give a reason and you may be contacted for more details.
www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Telephone

the Electoral Services Office on 01233 330402,

Write to

Electoral Services
Ashford Borough Council
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Ashford
Kent
TN23 1PL

Am I already registered?

It is not possible to check online whether or not you are already registered. You can contact Electoral Services on 01233 330402 if you want to discuss any issues around your registration or call into our offices to view the current electoral register. Please note Electoral Services will not discuss your registration with anyone else including family members.

Electoral registration

About My Vote www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote

gov.uk www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Ashford Bourough Council www.ashford.gov.uk/electoral-registration

#YourVoteMatters

Voters with no fixed address

Your vote matters - don't lose itYou can still register to vote even if you do not have a fixed address. This may be because you are:

  • A patient in a mental health hospital
  • Homeless
  • A merchant seaman
  • Part of the gypsy or travelling community
  • Living on a boat or other moveable residence
  • A person remanded in custody

If you are staying at an address for an extended length of time then you can be considered as residing there and can register for that address. This could be a hospital, hostel, prison facility or similar place.

You can register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

If you do not have a permanent address, you can register at an address where you spend a substantial part of your time or have some connection. This could be a previously permanent address, shelter or similar place.

You can register by filling in a form called a ‘Declaration of local connection’. You can download a Register to vote form (no fixed address) from gov.uk. There are two forms – one for people in England and Wales and one for people in Scotland. Alternatively, you can get the form from your local electoral registration office:

Telephone

the Electoral Services Office on 01233 330402,

Write to

Electoral Services
Ashford Borough Council
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Ashford
Kent
TN23 1PL

You can read more detailed information relevant to you on the Your Vote Matters website
www.yourvotematters.co.uk/can-i-vote/registering-to-vote-with-no-fixed-address

You must register to vote by the coming Monday, 22 May, to vote in the General Election or the Victoria Ward By-election

Voting for those with visual impairment

Your vote matters - don't lose itVoters who have sight loss or visual impairment can get help when voting.

In partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, The Electoral Commission has produced an information sheet to help those with sight loss, explaining how to vote and register to vote and explaining what help they can get.

We have reproduced the text below or the document can be downloaded as a pdf from the Your Vote Matters website. www.yourvotematters.co.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/226827/FINAL-RNIB-factsheet-UKPGE-2017.pdf

If you want to vote, you must be registered. You can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by contacting the electoral services department at your
local council.

The deadline to apply to vote in these elections is Monday 22 May (more…)

NCSC: International ransomware cyber attack

 

“It is important that organisations reduce the risks of these attacks happening to them.  There are three pieces of important advice to help protect your organisation:

1) Make sure your security software patches are up to date
2) Make sure that you are running proper anti-virus software
3) Back up your data somewhere else because you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre said:

“Today we have seen a set of global cyber attacks against thousands of organisations and individuals in dozens of countries.

“The National Cyber Security Centre is working round the clock with UK and international partners and with private sector experts to lead the response to these cyber attacks.

“The picture is emerging that this is affecting multiple countries and sectors and is not solely targeted at the NHS. As the Prime Minister said, we have no evidence that UK National Health Service patient data has been stolen.

“We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services.

“It is important that organisations reduce the risks of these attacks happening to them.  There are three pieces of important advice to help protect your organisation:

1) Make sure your security software patches are up to date
2) Make sure that you are running proper anti-virus software
3) Back up your data somewhere else because you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

National Cyber Security Centre 12 May 2017
https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/statement-international-ransomware-cyber-attack