Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
New plans being considered by energy regulator Ofgem include a price cap on energy bills for more households on low incomes.
With the cost of gas and electricity for those currently on pre-payment meters already saving approximately four million people £80 a year, the extension could raise this number by another two million.
Research from Ofgem and the findings of the Competition and Markets Authority investigation point to vulnerable consumers in particular getting a poor deal.
Other Ofgem proposals include: a trial that would allow households to enter only their postcode and current supplier into a ‘digital deal checker’ to view the cheapest tariff; requiring suppliers to inform customers of cheaper deals with rival companies, under a trial scheme; a clickable option on all price comparison websites to ensure customers see prices in the whole of the market, not just preferred suppliers; and a cap on the charges levied when a pre-payment meter is installed under warrant.
Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Protecting vulnerable consumers is a priority for Ofgem. We are committed to ensuring that the more disadvantaged in society are not left behind as we move towards a smarter, more competitive energy market.
“That’s why we are starting new work to protect vulnerable customers, including the option of introducing a safeguard tariff for them. Suppliers must also do more to get all their consumers, particularly those on poor value standard variable tariffs, a better deal. We are pressing ahead with a raft of reforms to make it even easier for people to switch no matter how they choose to shop around.”
Accessibility is the name of this game. Web designers are getting better at addressing the issues, but general awareness of accessibility requirements is still low. This is worrying – websites that are not currently accessible are potentially breaching the Equality Act of 2010. One of the first places to look for help should be the Government Digital Service (GDS), which provides help, advice and guidance on legislation regarding accessibility.
It is surprisingly easy to start meeting the government’s accessibility requirements.
The Emergency Services Show is the UK’s leading annual showcase of the blue light sector, featuring over 450 exhibitors, live demonstrations, unique learning opportunities and unrivalled networking.
Poppy Welch looks at the role of local authorities in setting a green driving agenda and the schemes available to councils across England