Subj:Re: public consultation
Date:20/12/2002 14:33:53 GMT Standard Time
"Edmund.Hopkins@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk" 12/20/02 09:05am >>>wrote;
has rapidly become one of the mantras of modern governance.
Quite right. Why should you assume that you know best? Consultation is
difficult, but there has to be the attempt. Some of us do respond. I would
not want to be excluded simply because the majority don't care.
I regard it as a case of having to consult to test the level if interest. If
you only consult when there is proven interest then people would likely not
know what is going on. Regard it as sowing the seed.
My employer, like
central government, is keen to trumpet consultation credentials, but I am
Provided that the consultation process is sincere then they can claim the
brownie points. Don't let it be a cosmetic exercise.
I have twice had a go at public consultation, each time earned points, but
felt I missed the mark. It needs lots of time to do a thorough job, but
haemorrhaging inbox and indifferent managers that time is not available to
most tree officers.
The trouble with much that does happen is that it stops with the great and
good. The Residents' Association is on board but the kids who hang out in
community wood and are perhaps its main stakeholders (as well as generating
litter and lighting fires)remain excluded.
If the kids don't have forum, such as a youth club, then you can hardly be
blamed for excluding them. Perhaps you could approach them direct and try
and get some interest. After all, they will probably be the one's to benefit
in later years when the trees have grown.
I don't think you can hope to measure the views of the "rank and file" for
three main reasons;
1/ By not commiting themselves they can blame someone (The Residents
Association) other than themselves (which is not an option) when things
go absolutely their way.
Rather cynical, but probably true in many cases.
2/ They don't believe their views will be considered.
Very true. Often of course they are not considered, or at least there is no
feedback that summarises all the views expressed and why they were not
adopted. You can't blame people for putting the case as they see it, and it
up to the LA to consider the wider public interest.
3/ Someone else is bound to speak for them (Apathy). Having chaired
meetings for my Parish Council, I have first hand experience of
all the above. The public only attend meetings to air their grievances, and
only very rarely to offer support. I have never taken this personally but
nevertheless have lost some respect for human nature. For the most part we
would put seats out for the public knowing that if no-one turned up then
public apathy was likely to be our only mandate (Shades of "The Vicar of
Dibley"). Most of our meetings have no public presence other than the local
journo, and this despite having modernised to allow questions from the
at any time.
Much the same with us, although it is not suprising because meeting are not
advertised very well. Public NBs are few and far between.
When people do get vociferous there is no way of knowing whether the
share the same view and so democracy is sometimes hard to deliver. It
one to take the postion of a moderator sitting on a fence.
Depending on the nature of the parish you can usually have a feel local
Not my problem for now as I have formally been disqualified for refusing to
sign up to the Local Government 2000 Act "Code of Conduct". IMO this is an
innappropriate and burdensome piece of legislative madness extended to
Parish Councils in a belated attempt on the part of Central Government to
appear transparent at all levels.
Couldn't disagree more. I can see circumstances that would make each
I am vigorously apolitical so can afford to suggest that Central Government
should get its own house in order instead of hoping to hide its sins behind
the propriety of the regions. I'm Appealing by the way.
Couldn't agree more. The government is a perfect example of 'do as I say'.
Of course MP's don't have to be coerced - after all they are all 'Right
Honourable' - aren't they? Have to go now to wash my mouth out with soap!!
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