Each fortnight we round up some of the latest news, research, and policies that are shaping our thinking.  These are things that have led to an interesting conversation at Design Council HQ.  Feel free to add to the conversation in the comments below.   

Missing infrastructure  

The government published their draft Neighbourhood Planning Bill, which quietly dropped the word ‘infrastructure’ from its title, along with the proposals to privatise the Land Registry, and to formalise the National Infrastructure Commission.  What’s left are some essential reforms to neighbourhood planning, which the government are consulting on, here and here

Government advises on baby capes and stormtroopers  

In the intellectual property world, the government updated their guidance on the “repeal of section 52”, which affects copyright in industrially-manufactured art.  A few court cases have clarified the law since the major change in July.  We now know it doesn’t affect “patchwork bedspreads”, “baby capes” or “Stormtrooper helmets”.

Be audit you can be

The National Audit Office are good at keeping track of multiple moving parts, and have done a very useful round-up of the many government initiatives on public service reform, and how they’re working locally.  They’ve also done a clear briefing on BEIS, the new business and energy department.  

Vaizey's lament

Ex-culture minister Ed Vaizey’s weekly email included an interesting note on design this week, in the wake of the comments made at the London Design Biennale:

"A controversial note was sounded by Barber and Osgerby, designers of the London pavilion, who said the UK government is not doing enough to support the design industry.  Well George did give the RCA a slug of money, but it is fair to say that support for design is too fragmented and it is a world-class industry we neglect at our peril".

Meanwhile, the new culture minister Matt Hancock gave a talk at the BFI, where he reiterated the government’s support for the creative industries.

Other interesting things we read this week:

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