Being heard properly in a public consultation – Are you hearing me? How often are consultees unsure who has been listening to them?
Janice Turner is a respected columnist for ‘The Times’ and last week she turned her fire on Keith Vaz MP. Her criticism was not his personal behaviour per se but what she regards as the hypocrisy of the Home Affairs Select Committee he chaired. The issue is an emotive one, the case for the decriminalisation of prostitution, and Turner is one of those who have been arguing in favour of a ‘sex buyer’ statute as has been introduced in some Scandinavian countries and also now in France.
Ms Turner says she is a trustee of a small charity that supports women in street prostitution and had drafted her evidence and sent it to the Select Committee. From her article:
“I expected the committee to take evidence from one of the professional team, who spend long nights talking to shivering women on the streets. But we heard nothing. And when the Interim Report was published in July, not a word of our submission was included. Nor were the views of about 20 similar charities who support the Nordic model ….”