In case you missed it…

The 20 most popular articles from Institute Directors in 2018

When the weekly Consultation Institute newsletter is distributed on Friday afternoons, we can monitor how many clicks each article receives. Based on this, here are the most popular all available in one place ….

1. Three consultations ruled unlawful in ten days!.. and another where there should have been one…

A remarkable period in August when a succession of important legal judgments on consultation emerged.

2. Spot-on: the ‘Times’ editorial on public consultations is correct

Reflects upon a perceptive Leading article, critical of Government failures on delayed consultation analysis.

3. A good news story from the NHS…and plaudits for patient involvement

Elizabeth Gammell celebrates the opening of a new GP surgery, and the role played by a PPG.

4. BBC Women’s charge of ‘no consultation’ highlights transparency need in institutional problem-solving

On the reluctance of big organisations to engage properly with key stakeholders.

5. Is Gove the most consultation-savvy Minister?

How a clever Minister dislodged the Windrush scandal from the headlines merely by promising a consultation on ending single use plastic straws!

6. Never boycott a consultation!

“I told you so” may not be a very edifying sentiment. But maybe “I never bothered to tell you” is even worse!

7. First Gambling. Now Grenfell: Is the Labour Party right to oppose consultation?

Why it is dangerous for Oppositions to play fast and loose with consultations.

8. Is that OK then? – Consultations without choices

Explaining what is meant by a ‘programme approval’ consultation.

9. Consultation lessons from Haringey’s housing hiatus

How local politics killed a project, and the High Court rules it was too late to challenge.

10. Windrush woes; a failure of consultation?

Major policy blunders are often avoidable is there is good consultation. But here – there were plenty of warnings.

11. Three 2018 Court judgments that changed the Law of Consultation

Another review of the most critical legal decisions affecting consultation.

12. Further reflections on the Kohler v MOPAC case

How a failure to appreciate the politics of this particular consultation compounded its many other failures.

13. Councils in crisis – consult more, not less

Northants CC shows that running out of money is not a good reason to ignore the law of consultation.

14. Is THIS consultation best practice?

The controversial consultation on transgender rights highlights the case for independent quality assurance.

15. Mayor loses London police counters case – Yes, it was a poor consultation!

The High Court (Kohler v MOPAC) confirms the Institute’s view that this was possibly the worst consultation of 2017.

16. Tackling the ‘black hole’ of consultation

Explaining the case for public consultation hearings.

17. CCG loses judicial review for failure to consult Overview & Scrutiny

The Nascot Lawn case was an important milestone in confirming Councils’ rights to be consulted on NHS changes.

18. Special educational needs become’s the new battleground for consultation

Bristol, Surrey, Hackney – and others where funding issues are leading to legal challenges.

19. ‘Playing Politics’ after a consultation: tales from the streets of London

The Cycle Superhighway has led to bitter disagreements.

20. Late consultation output analysis by Government – is this the worst yet?

A hilarious account of the consultation analysis that appeared 816 days after the closing date.


I make the point that popularity is not the only criterion. There were about 100 articles posted on the Institute website in 2018 – and we re-published many hundreds of others, often with insightful commentaries from Institute Directors or Associates. Keyword searches of the News pages will reveal a massive amount of relevant content. Let us know if you have a favourite.

About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Read more about Rhion

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