Open consultation: Proposed acquisition of Cobham PLC by Advent International: draft undertakings

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News story: Proposed acquisition of Cobham by Advent International – Business Secretary to consult on undertakings

Today (19 November 2019) the Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has announced that she is consulting on steps to address the national security concerns raised by the proposed acquisition of Cobham, a UK defence company, by Advent International, a US private equity firm. She is minded to accept undertakings offered by the acquiring company to address the concerns identified. No decision will be taken until the consultation has concluded and the representations have been carefully considered.

This decision follows further advice from the Ministry of Defence.

The proposed undertakings are now out for public consultation until midnight at the end of 17 December 2019, in accordance with the process set out in the Enterprise Act 2002. They would require Cobham’s new owners to:

  1. ensure that existing security arrangements which currently apply to Cobham and protect sensitive HMG information will be continued and strengthened, ensuring new Board structures that Advent plan to institute will also comply with nationality requirements, in addition to existing boards
  2. maintain capability and honour the terms of existing contracts, notify the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in advance if there is a material change to Cobham’s ability to supply key services, and also refrain from withdrawing from any of the specified service, for 5 years
  3. give the MOD prior notice of plans to sell-on the whole, or elements of, Cobham’s business

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

Following my update to Parliament on 5 November, I have now reviewed further national security advice from the MOD and met with both Cobham and Advent who have offered legally-binding undertakings designed to mitigate national security concerns, which I am minded to accept.

They will now be considered by a public consultation and I will provide a further update once that process has concluded. No decision will be taken on whether to accept the undertakings until the consultation has closed and the representations have been carefully considered.

This decision on the national security considerations is separate to any discussions on the economic implications of the proposed merger.

The Business Secretary’s decision is made in a quasi-judicial capacity, which means that the Secretary of State must act, and be seen to act, in a scrupulously fair and impartial manner.

Research and analysis: Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2019

Please note that to correct an error the conversion factors for managed refrigerated HGVs were updated in November 2019. This affects the ‘Managed assets- vehicles’ factors.

We provide 3 sets of conversion factors:

Condensed set

Most frequently requested. An abridged version of the full set: the reduced volume of information makes it easier to find the factors you need. Recommended for most, and new, users of conversion factors.

Full set

All available factors for the selected year: recommended for advanced users only due to the volume of information.

Flat file set

Same information as the full set, but arranged for automated processes. Available from 2014 onwards. Not recommended for most users.

The methodology paper explains how the conversion factors are derived. The major changes document summarises the emission factors that have seen the largest changes in the 2019 factors compared to the 2018 factors.

For new users of the conversion factors, we recommend you download the condensed set of conversion factors from the latest available year and read the guidance in the document’s introductory sheet. Then follow the informative text at the top of each conversion factor tab in the output files.

For repeat users of the conversion factors we suggest that you download your preferred factor set and read the ‘what’s new’ sheet before using the conversion factors. This highlights the most significant changes to the conversion factors made in this update. Following the ‘what’s new’ guidance ensures that reporting is consistent and comparable year-on-year.

Defra’s Environmental reporting guidelines provides more detail.

Government support for recovery from flooding

Flood recovery diggers

Since the first day of flooding on Friday, 8 November, the government is providing the following support to help the recovery of people, communities and businesses:

  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) activated the emergency Bellwin scheme on the first day of the flooding. Under Bellwin, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

The government has activated the Flood Recovery Framework

Meaning that for all lower tier or unitary local authority areas which have 25 or more flooded households:

  • MHCLG has committed funding to give all eligible households and businesses affected by the recent severe flooding immediate relief on their Council Tax and Business Rates for at least the next three months. This would mean a home owner in a Band D property in Doncaster, for example could see a saving of over £400 over three months.

  • MHCLG is providing a Community Recovery Grant to local councils – equivalent to £500 per eligible household – to help communities and vulnerable people in areas severely affected by the flooding with their immediate recovery.

Also, as part of the framework; The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is also providing funding for a Business Recovery Grant which will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

MHCLG has also deployed Recovery Liaison Officers to the most intensely affected local authorities who will work closely with all councils and Local Resilience Forums.

The government set up the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce, attended by Ministers and representatives from local councils to ensure their voices are heard. The taskforce will meet daily to provide local areas with bespoke support and guidance.

Published 15 November 2019

Government announces business rates and council tax relief following severe flooding

Households and business owners significantly affected by recent flooding will have immediate relief on their council tax and business rates, the Prime Minister announced today (Friday 15 November).

The measure was announced following the first meeting of the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce yesterday, chaired by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to support communities as they respond to this serious emergency.  

Under the measures, households and businesses which have been intensely affected by the flooding will be eligible for 100% relief on their council tax and business rates for at least the next three months.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said:

It will take time for communities to get back on their feet, and hard-working people and businesses who have experienced intense flooding should not have to worry about paying council tax and business rates while they focus on their recovery.

Funding announced today will give all eligible, flooded households and businesses immediate relief on their council tax and business rates for at least the next three months, and help communities recover.

Measures announced today means a home owner in a Band D property in Doncaster could see a saving of over £400 over three months – helping them back on their feet following the floods.

Today’s announcement follows a series of measures introduced by the government to respond to the severe weather in the North of England and the Midlands and support communities’ recovery:

  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) activated the emergency Bellwin scheme on the first day of the flooding. Under Bellwin, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime

  • MHCLG is providing a Community Recovery Grant to local councils – equivalent to £500 per eligible household – to help communities and vulnerable people in areas severely affected by the flooding with their immediate recovery.

  • The department has deployed Recovery Liaison Officers to the most intensely affected local authorities who will work closely with all councils and Local Resilience Forums.

  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing funding for a Business Recovery Grant which will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has extended its Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the recent flooding. Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover repair costs.

  • The government set up the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce, attended by Ministers and representatives from local councils to ensure their voices are heard. The taskforce will meet daily to provide local areas with bespoke support and guidance.

The public can check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Detailed guide: Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project

The Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps in Great Britain by installing them in a representative range of 750 homes. Additionally new products and services have been designed to overcome some of the barriers to deployment.

Project objectives

The project objectives are to:

  • develop, test and evaluate innovative products and services that increase the appeal of heat pumps and identify optimal solutions for a wide range of homes
  • demonstrate that heat pumps, including gas-electric hybrids, can deliver high consumer satisfaction across a wide range of consumers in Great Britain
  • demonstrate the practical and technical feasibility of heat pumps, including gas-electric hybrids, across Great Britain’s diverse housing stock
  • capture learning from the project to help improve awareness across the heating supply chain, raise acceptance and support wider deployment of heat pumps in Great Britain

Project delivery

Approximately £16.5 million will be made available as part of the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme’s Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project.

The project will install and monitor 750 heat pumps across a representative range of housing archetypes, with the majority on the gas grid.

Key roles

The tender process for these appointments will ensure bids are evaluated fairly and transparently, in accordance with the agreed assessment criteria. The invitation to tender (ITT) specification will contain further details of the criteria and processes.

Management contractor

This post will manage and coordinate the project on behalf of BEIS. The contract was awarded in November 2019.

Delivery contractors

We expect to publish an invitation to tender for 3 delivery contractors in December 2019.

Evaluation contractor

This independent role will evaluate the overall delivery of the project against the agreed performance indicators and metrics. We expect to publish an invitation to tender for the evaluation contractor in December 2019.

Apply to participate

Members of the public will be able to participate in the project, which will install free heat pumps and energy efficiency upgrades (where appropriate) in eligible homes across selected areas of Great Britain. Further details on how to take part will be announced here in early 2020.

Contact

For any query about the project, contact heatpumpdemo@beis.gov.uk.

News story: Flooding in England

The Environment Agency (EA), emergency responders and local authorities are helping to protect people and properties following the flooding in:

  • Yorkshire
  • Derbyshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Lincolnshire

River levels in the River Don around Doncaster remain high and flood warnings, meaning there is still a risk of flooding, remain in place.

Approximately 14,400 properties have been protected by flood defences, including nearly 5,000 properties in South Yorkshire. Sadly, over 800 properties have been affected by floods and people have been evacuated from properties in Bentley and Fishlake in Doncaster.

What you need to do

Communities are urged to continue to:

Further rain is forecast on Thursday and Friday which could bring further severe water and river flooding to those areas already affected by floods and cause flooding in other parts of the country.

How we are responding

Over 300 EA staff are working 24/7 around the country. Our incident rooms are open and we are working with the military to put up temporary flood barriers and move sandbags to areas across South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

We have also deployed 39 pumps across five locations to pump away water as soon as water levels allow.

In Fishlake, five ultra-high volume pumps are fully operational and pumping out 16 cubic metres of water per second. Environment Agency teams have now deployed more than 2,200 sandbags in affected areas.

We are working closely with partners including local authorities, Defra and the military to support the cross-government effort.

Read the latest news and advice from the EA.

Cross-government support – announcements

The Government announced on 12 November 2019 further support for people and businesses in areas affected by recent flooding.

An additional 100 UK Armed Forces personnel will also be deployed to South Yorkshire to help support the recovery effort.

Under the Flood Recovery Framework, the Government will provide funding to support the recovery efforts of local councils where households and businesses have been affected by the severe weather.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will provide a Community Recovery Grant to local councils – equivalent to £500 per eligible household - to help communities with their immediate recovery.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will provide funding for a Business Recovery Grant. This will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized business which has suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

Sign up for flood warnings and latest flood updates

Check for flood warnings and find out if you are at risk of flooding

Sign up for flood warnings

Follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates

Press release: Government announces further support for those affected by flooding

The Government has today (Tuesday 12 November 2019) announced further support for people and businesses in areas affected by recent flooding.

An additional 100 UK Armed Forces personnel will also be deployed to South Yorkshire to help support the recovery effort.

The measures were agreed at this afternoon’s COBR briefing, chaired by the Prime Minister.

Under the Flood Recovery Framework, the Government will provide funding to support the recovery efforts of local councils where households and businesses have been affected by the severe weather.

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will provide a Community Recovery Grant to local councils – equivalent to £500 per eligible household - to help communities with their immediate recovery.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will provide funding for a Business Recovery Grant which will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

The UK Standby Battalion, based in Catterick, will be deployed from tomorrow.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The recent flooding has had a devastating effect on people and businesses, and it’s essential that our communities have the support they need to recover.

We’re announcing this funding to support households and businesses get back on their feet.

I want to express my deep gratitude to the emergency services, Armed Forces, Environment Agency and local authorities across the country who have responded to the flooding with distinction.

Today’s announcements come after the Government activated the emergency Bellwin scheme on Friday, 8 November 2019.

Under the scheme, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the Government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is also establishing a national Flood Recovery Group to provide individual areas with bespoke support and guidance.

The Department has deployed Recovery Liaison Officers to the most intensely affected local authorities who will work closely with all councils and Local Resilience Forums.