Digital Innovation Funding Awards: Councils are to received a share of £800,000 to build and develop so ftware tools for delivering public services during during this #pandemic following on the 11-projects that h ave already received funding #AceFinanceDesk report

#AceFinanceReport – July.27: Councils have responded to the #coronavirus #pandemic by rapidly introducing innovative new ways of serving their communities: This new funding will help ensure they continue to modernise and improve the way they deliver public services: Examples include £67,500 for Newcastle City Council to develop a tool which predicts whether parts of a city are overcrowded which will help understand whether social distancing can be followed: Projects will also build on recent rule changes allowing councils to focus on letting people have their say on major planning applications online: Another project will expand on community and council networks to speed up local support for vulnerable people:

Councils awarded £800,000 to build on digital advances made during pandemic

Communities across the country are set to benefit from better local services as councils receive a share of £800,000 for innovative digital projects.

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Local Government Minister Simon Clarke MP said:

Councils have made huge efforts to support their residents at this testing time – by housing rough sleepers quickly, supporting vulnerable people and ensuring services such as bin collections continue.

They have had to adapt their services from in-person to online, using technology to do so and I am determined we capitalise on this and use everything we have learned to improve efficiency and make services better for residents and communities.

That’s why we’re giving them £800,000 to build on the rapid digital innovation of recent months so that local communities continue to feel the benefits of more efficient public services.

The announcement comes 2 years since the start of the Local Digital Declaration, a pledge signed by over 220 councils and public sector bodies committing to driving efficiency and improvements in services through digital technology: An important part of the pledge is to share their success with other councils, and to work collaboratively with them, so people living across the whole country can benefit.

Further information

Eleven projects have been awarded funding:

  • Camden Council will receive £80,000 to make it easier for local people and businesses to have their say online on things like major planning projects and town centre changes. This will build on changes to rules on 14 May to allow councils to publicise planning applications mainly on social media and other electronic means if they couldn’t do site notices, neighbour notifications or newspaper publicity. They will work with Middlesbrough Council.
  • South Gloucestershire Council and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames will jointly receive £80,000 to build on increased online access to public meetings which has been improved quickly due to social distancing measures stopping people attending in person. This will also cover citizens’ assemblies and statutory consultations. They will work withWest Berkshire Council, Oxford City Council, Staffordshire County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Waltham Forest Council, and Milton Keynes Council.
  • Leeds City Council will receive £79,500 to develop a guide for all councils to ensure that people who may struggle with digital technology, especially those who are vulnerable of socially isolated, get the help they need. This will make it easier for them to use services and help with loneliness and local support. They will work with Croydon Council and Eastbourne Council.
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority will receive £80,000 to develop a predictive modelling system to understand and prepare for the possible knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable children.
  • Newcastle City Council will receive £67,500 to develop a tool for people to use to know which parts of a city may be overcrowded and therefore where it would be difficult to adhere to social distancing measures. Their work to understand data could be used to help councils predict overcrowding.
  • Central Bedfordshire Council will receive £80,000 to build on successful data sharing between councils and voluntary community services that has helped to give vulnerable people support during the pandemic. Both groups would have better information about who needs support in their area and would be able to share information quickly and securely to help more people. They will work with the Greater London Authority, and Camden Council.
  • A group of councils will receive £120,000 to build on successful work to help vulnerable residents during the pandemic. They will use the information that’s been most useful to improve and speed up how councils identify vulnerable people so they can predict and give the right support. This merger of proposals will be worked on by Huntingdonshire District Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, North Yorkshire County Council, Bolton Council, Sedgemoor District Council, and Somerset’s councils.
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council will receive £76,000 to build on what they’ve learned about changes to how staff have worked during the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing measures have meant dramatic changes to how we work, with large numbers mostly working at home for the first time and others changing when they work to keep the workplace safe. This will help to design future working patterns that maximise productivity, efficiency and wellbeing for council staff delivering public services. They will work with North East Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council and Hull City Council.
  • Manchester City Council will receive £80,000 to learn from how council teams – across housing, social care, healthcare and more – have worked together to support residents including some of society’s most vulnerable people.
  • Bolton Council will receive £23,000 to help ensure people who aren’t used to accessing council services online, and would normally prefer face-to-face contact by visiting council offices, are not stopped from accessing services. They will look at remote and self-service ways such as considering the introduction of sealed pods for face-to-face conversations.
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council will receive £34,000 to help them add extra functionality to a smartphone application they have developed that will help to prevent overcrowding on its beaches by telling people how busy sections are so they can do their bit to help ensure social distancing.
  • For more information, visit the Local Digital Collaboration Unit’s website: https://localdigital.gov.uk/c19-challenge/

#AceFinanceDesk report ………….Published: July.27: 2020:

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Law Commission Proposals: 27/07/2020: Consumers who have pre-paid for goods would be better protected if a retailer goes insolvent, as under the existing rules, if a company becomes insolvent, goods are held by administrators as assets belonging to the business under a law dating back to 1893 #AceFinanceDesk report

#AceFinanceReport – July.27: Under the existing rules, if a company becomes insolvent, goods paid for in advance that are still in its possession may be considered as assets belonging to the business: These goods can then be held by the company’s administrators and used to pay off the firm’s debts, potentially leaving consumers out of pocket: Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Scully has asked the Law Commission to consult on draft legislation to update the law that establishes when consumers legally own goods for which they have pre-paid: This is known as the transfer of ownership, and the law in this area has remained largely unchanged since 1893:

Law change to better protect consumers in event of insolvencies

Proposals will make it fairer for consumers and reduce the risk of them missing out if the company they have pre-paid for goods from becomes insolvent

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Consumer Affairs Minister, Paul Scully, said:

With more and more people prepaying for goods online, it is so important our laws are up to date to reduce the risk of customers losing out if a business unfortunately becomes insolvent.

This consultation will look at how the law can be brought into the 21st century, providing clarity for those managing insolvencies and better protection for consumers.

The law change would apply to scenarios where, for example, a person may have pre-paid for a pair of blinds tailored to fit their windows: If the company they have ordered from goes out of business before they have received the blinds, insolvency practitioners may label them as assets of the business, and use the proceeds to pay back creditors in the insolvency:

The proposals would also support those shopping online where goods are not immediately handed over at the point of sale, unlike when shopping in store: In 2020, around 20% of all retail sales take place online and require prepayment. The last few months have seen internet sales jump from 19.9% of all retail sales in January 2020 to 32.8% in May 2020.

The Law Commission recommends that, in that situation, legislation should include a list of events and circumstances which would be sufficient to transfer ownership to the consumer: For example, goods having been manufactured to the consumer’s own specifications, such as a sofa, or goods having been labelled with the consumer’s name.

Law Commissioner, Professor Sarah Green, said:

The current transfer of ownership rules are shrouded in complex language which consumers can find difficult to understand.

We believe it is time for the rules to be modernised so that consumers have clarity on their rights of ownership, especially in an insolvency situation.

The changes would build on the recent Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, which made permanent additions to the UK insolvency regime, as well as containing a series of measures to amend insolvency and company law to support business to address the challenges resulting from the impact of coronavirus: The Bill received Royal Assent on 25 June 2020:

Rules & Regulations:

  • The rules governing transfer of ownership were developed for commercial contracts and codified in statute in 1893. Since then, they have been restated in the Sale of Goods Act 1979 but not changed in their substance. Additional provisions were introduced in 1995 for goods forming part of a bulk. Although these apply to all sales contracts, including with consumers, they were developed with commodity trading in mind.
  • The Law Commission has agreed to produce and consult on draft legislation to amend the Consumer Rights Act 2015, in order to create a non-exhaustive list of events that will be sufficient to identify goods as being linked to a contract and result in a transfer of ownership from the business to the consumer.
  • This work will implement recommendations from the Law Commission’s July 2016 report, Consumer Prepayments on Retailer Insolvency, which was commissioned by the government.
  • The Law Commission recommends that legislation should include the following non-exhaustive list of events and circumstances which would be sufficient to identify ownership by the consumer:
  1. the goods have been labelled with the consumer’s name in a way that is intended to be permanent;
  2. the goods have been set aside for the consumer in a way that is intended to be permanent;
  3. the goods have been altered to a specification agreed between the consumer and the retailer;
  4. the consumer is told that goods bearing a unique identifier will be used to fulfil the contract;
  5. manufacture of the goods is completed, if the goods are to be manufactured to a specification agreed between the consumer and the trader;
  6. the consumer examines the goods and agrees they are to be used to fulfil the contract;
  7. the goods are delivered to a courier for delivery to the consumer;
  8. the goods are delivered to the consumer; or
  9. the goods are identified in some other way by the retailer, and the retailer intends the identification to be permanent.
  • The changes will not benefit a consumer if the item they have purchased has not yet been made.

Case studies:

Citizens Advice has provided the Law Commission with evidence that consumers sometimes think their goods are ready for collection, only to be turned away when they go to collect them. In this example, the consumer bought furniture for around £2,400:

Because our flat was in a state [the trader] told us that they would store our furniture until we were ready for delivery…. Our flat is now nearly there, so I tried to call [the trader] last week, to arrange a date to have our furniture delivered, only to discover that they had gone into receivership. I am horrified. I paid my money in good faith trusting that I would get what I had paid for.

Alternatively, goods may be left for alteration:

We ordered some curtains, paid for them and had them shortened by the shop… We called in today to collect them and were told that the shop had gone into receivership as of 12 noon yesterday and that we couldn’t have the curtains as they were assets of the company and the assets were frozen. Surely if we have paid for them, they are no longer the company’s assets but they are our assets and we should have been able to pick them up?

#AceFinanceDesk report …..Published: July.27: 2020:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports are provided at https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, links can be found at here Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com