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Cover of report showing vegetable stall

Helping Farm Businesses in England

“Farming remains an important business in the UK, employing some 530,000 people and generating over £8 billion a year in income. Many farm businesses face an uncertain future, and Defra’s efforts to find innovative ways to help them adapt to new realities should be encouraged. My report considers good practice emerging in other countries, and makes recommendations as to how the Department can use this experience to improve its efforts to help farmers adapt to the commercial marketplace.”

Published:
16 Sep 2004
Cover of report showing four images of people at work

Welfare to Work: Tackling the Barriers to the Employment of Older People

“Good progress has been made in increasing the employment rate for older people. As people are living longer it is important that they have better opportunities to continue working for longer, should they wish to do so, than has been the case in the past. There is scope for government agencies to focus their efforts on improving the employability of older people and for targeting disadvantaged groups. Success will bring benefits not only for the individual, but also for business, the taxpayer and the economy at large.”

Published:
15 Sep 2004
Cover of report showing dials on an electricity meter

Ofgem – Social Action Plan and Household Energy Efficiency

“Ofgem’s actions are to be applauded both in its attempts to help vulnerable consumers and in its attempts to increase energy efficiency. It is important now to continue to improve awareness among vulnerable consumers of the ways in which they can benefit. It is also important that we all take further steps to improve our energy efficiency. To these ends in addition to my report I am issuing a pamphlet to inform consumers of the ways that they can improve their household’s energy efficiency.”

Published:
22 Jul 2004
Cover of UK Emissions Trading Scheme report

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme: A New Way to Combat Climate Change

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that the Emissions Trading Scheme has brought about a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases and that the Scheme has benefited the UK economy. He noted that, whilst some reductions were likely to have happened without the Scheme, most of the reductions were generated … Read more

Published:
21 Apr 2004
Report cover showing two people reading leaflet

Department of Education and Skills – Connexions Service for all Young People

“In a relatively short period of time the Connexions Service has made significant progress towards reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training. The costs of not tackling this issue are huge, both to society and to the individuals affected. Connexions is providing valuable services to help young people make important life decisions but more can be done to ensure that all young people obtain the support they need and my report makes recommendations to help build on the very good results achieved to date.”

Published:
31 Mar 2004
Nuclear power station

Risk Management: The Nuclear Liabilities of British Energy plc

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that contingent risks he and the Public Accounts Committee had identified following British Energy’s privatisation had materialised. The Department for Trade and Industry had clearly recognised the risks to the taxpayer arising from the nuclear liabilities of British Energy. However, while the Company appeared … Read more

Published:
6 Feb 2004
Public sewer network - man in a tunnel

Out of Sight – Not Out of Mind: Ofwat and the Public Sewer Network in England and Wales

“While incidents of sewer flooding in properties are relatively rare, few could deny that it is highly distressing. This must be especially so for those who suffer repeat incidents. And the harm to the environment should not be dismissed. That is why I have made these recommendations to encourage the work that is already being done to reduce the risks of sewer flooding.”

Published:
16 Jan 2004
Report cover showing herd of cows

Identifying and Tracking Livestock in England

“Information on the movement of animals around the country is of vital importance in the fight to prevent the spread of animal disease, all the more so when there is a serious outbreak. It is also vital to consumers confidence in the food that they eat. The animal identification and tracking systems in place at present have helped to protect public health but both systems are in need of improvement.

“For both of its current systems and in the implementation of its new Livestock Identification and Tracing Programme, Defra should work with the livestock industry to improve levels of data accuracy and encourage the use of online methods of communicating information.”

Published:
12 Nov 2003
Report cover showing Colorado Beetle larvae eating potato leaves

Protecting England and Wales from plant pests and diseases

“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has a key role to play in maintaining the high international reputation for plant health possessed by England and Wales. But increasing trade and travel, new farming practices and climate change increase the risk of new plant pests and diseases being introduced and spreading here. The Department should now take steps to improve its plant health inspection regime and research and how it works with others, to keep new and emerging threats at bay.”

Published:
23 Oct 2003
Report cover showing red and blue houses

Warm Front: Helping to Combat Fuel Poverty

“The Warm Front Scheme makes a difference to the warmth and fuel bills of so many people.

“However, more could be done to help those households most in need by reducing expenditure on measures which have limited impact on fuel costs and on homes which are already energy efficient. And funds should be redirected to better assist, for example, those in ‘hard to treat’ homes such as those not connected to mains gas or without cavity walls.”

Published:
25 Jun 2003