Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do you believe in government consultations?

Unlike fairies at the bottom of the garden, we can be quite sure they do exist, but are the responses acted upon, or ignored?

According to this story, 70% of parents responding did not want the law to be changed in relation to smacking and because of this response the law will not be changed.

I wonder if the 900+ responses to the recent consultation about home education will be given the same weight. I do hope so. If our views really are taken properly into account on that issue I will then be more inclined to feel safely confident about the process of government consultations and will also go to the bottom of our garden to peer closely for signs of those fairies.

Meanwhile, while we wait for a delayed period of time for those responses to be processed, there's at least one other underway to which I will submit a response.

This is the question of whether lone parents should continue to be eligible for Income Support payments [opens pdf]. For more details on how to easily respond to this consultation please see this post on the Stories From the Playground blog. You might also consider contributing to the blog, if you have anything to recount about your child's experiences in the school system.

I would be happier about the effectiveness of the lone parent consultation if it cast its net wider as regards informing people of its existence. It would have been a simple matter for DWP lone parent advisors to have passed an informative leaflet on the matter to all lone parent 'clients' as they attended their regular compulsory Work-Focused Interviews, but this was not done as far as I know, for reasons best known to DWP.

The closing date for the consultation about lone parents is 31st October.


Blogger Elaine said...

Thankyou for highlighting this Gill I really hope people respond to this consultation not least because of the underhand way they have run it. There is in my opinion no practical reason why this consultation was not online or the pamphlets handed out at interviews as you mention, leading me to believe they have deliberately tried to prevent the very people that will be affected from having a fair opportunity to respond

7:33 pm, October 25, 2007  
Blogger Augustin Moga said...

I believe the 'Stories From the Playground' link is wrong. It still points to the .pdf document on the Gov site.

8:06 pm, October 25, 2007  
Blogger Elaine said...
here is the link

8:43 pm, October 25, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Thanks Augustin - it's fixed now.

9:27 pm, October 25, 2007  
Blogger Elaine said...

Statistically Gill you have done such a great job of bringing this consult to peoples attention thankyou. I am thinking of other groups who could benefit from knowing about it .

10:35 am, October 26, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Glad it's helped Elaine :-)

4:43 pm, October 26, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think there are two kinds of government consultations: the ones that are really surveys to see what people think so they can do what makes them popular and get re-elected (and also claim that they are listening to what people want), and the ones in which they're going to do whatever they want and not listen anyway. Guess which kind the HE and DWP ones are? :-(

8:02 pm, October 26, 2007  
Blogger R said...

yes it always baffles me when other home edders cry" there are only 20 responses!" and I think "But I know the 20 people who we will WIN..we are the majority! They have to listen to us and publish the results in our favour!" but somehow it never happens that way does it? We give all the responses and some heavy hitting local authorities shout really loud and we get ignored. Or do we? I don't see how they can ignore us when they are putting together the stats? If they mess with the 900+ stats I shall have something to say about it!

12:12 am, October 27, 2007  

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