Conservative Diary

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Rolling record of Conference policy announcements

This rolling blog records policy announcements by Conservative ministers in the run up to and during the 2010 Tory Conference in Birmingham.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announces that pilots for an inter-school sports competition will take place next year and that within weeks he will return the National Lottery to its original four pillars, with grassroots sport, but art and heritage all benefiting by as much as £50m each year from 2012. He also said that he will insist that lottery distributors spend no more than 5% of what they distribute on admin.

Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that the Government will legislate this autumn to put a sovereignty clause on EU law onto the statute book to enshrine the principle that what a sovereign parliament can do, a sovereign parliament can also undo (BBC).

Defence Secretary Liam Fox confirmed that Trident would be replaced and made several announcements taking on board recommendations from Andrew Murrison MP's review of mental health care for the armed forces, namely a dedicated 24 hour support line for veterans and introducing 30 additional mental health nurses in Mental Health Trusts to ensure the right support is organised for veterans. He also announced new funding to replace 125 Service Families Accommodation Units on Canadian Estate at Bulford with 260 new units at a cost of £47m (ToryDiary).

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announces the establishment of the New Enterprise Allowance: "If you have been unemployed for 6 months and want to start your own business we want to support you. We will provide business mentoring and a financial package worth up to £2000 to get your business up and running. We want to see 10 000 new small businesses by next year."

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announces that prisoners will be expected to work a full 40-hour working week, with some of their earnings going to victims in compensation (ToryDiary).

Michael Gove will instruct the National Curriculum review to ensure that narrative British history is "put back at the heart of the school curriculum" (ToryDiary).

Home Secretary Theresa May announced that she will will give victims and communities the right to force the authorities to take action against anti-social behaviour where they have failed to do so (Daily Telegraph).

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announces that £70 billion will be spent on "re-enablement packages" to help people settle back in to their homes after leaving hospital (Press Association)

Universities minister David Willetts announces that the children of any servicemen killed in combat since 1990 will benefit from scholarships to pay their university tuition fees (The Sun).

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond unveils plans for high speed rail lines north of Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester (Guardian).

George Osborne pledges that no workless household will get more money than the average working family (ToryDiary).

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that higher rate taxpayers will lose child benefit. The measure will save £1bn and affect 1.2 million families (ToryDiary).

Iain Duncan Smith and George Osborne agree a ten year programme of welfare reform that will see existing complex benefits replaced with a simple universal credit that will mean people are better off when they work (ToryDiary).

Michael Gove unveils package of reforms to help teachers enforce school discipline (ToryDiary).

Range of measures to tackle health and safety culture (BBC).

Andrew Lansley announces £50m cancer drugs fund: "Cancer patients will from Friday begin to get access to drugs that Nice, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, has turned down as insufficiently cost effective. Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, announced that a £50m ($79m) fund will be available between now and March, which he said will help thousands of patients access costly treatments that typically prolong life for a few weeks or months." (FT (£)).

Philip Hammond scraps John Prescott's M4 bus lane: "The controversial M4 bus lane, introduced by former transport secretary John Prescott in 1999, is to be scrapped. The transport secretary, Philip Hammond, will announce on Monday that the oft-derided 3.5-mile-long lane on a London-bound section of the M4 will be suspended from 24 December this year until the London Olympics in July 2012. Hammond is expected to announce that thereafter it will be scrapped permanently." (Guardian).

Eric Pickles says that City Mayors will be given the power to bring agencies together for a co-ordinated and decentralised assault on poverty: "We see the new generation of Mayors as being crucial to bringing these different programmes together in order to turn around the lives of families with the worst problems, and be at the forefront of this decentralisation...So we will create the opportunity for Mayors to bring together different devolved budgets and pool them with our national payment-by-results systems. Together, Mayors will be able to help design services specifically targeted at the hardest-to-help families. They will be able to add their own budgets – social services, care, housing, health improvement – to the national programmes. This will give Mayors the power to change lives, and help save money at the same time." (ToryDiary)


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