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Uninformed debate – One of the differences between opinion polling and consultation

February 19, 2013 By

Hands up who feels really well-informed about the European market for horse-meat? Maybe not too many of us – but certainly rather more than did so three weeks ago! One…

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Counting signatures – Was the Roman Catholic Archbishop right to call the Equal Marriage consultation a sham?

February 18, 2013 By

Happy New Year! Those who woke up on Christmas Day expecting our Churches to be promoting peace and harmony might have been surprised to hear Archbishop Vincent Nichols make a…

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Constructive Consultation – How can we make the act of dialogue a more positive process with constructive outcomes?

February 18, 2013 By

One of the frequent arguments against public and stakeholder consultation is that it often produces negative reactions to reasonable plans that public authorities wish to implement. Worse, it acts as…

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Mid-Staffs Report spells engagement challenges for NHS and Councils

February 12, 2013

Anyone reading Robert Francis’ massive Report into the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Scandal(1) will surely be appalled at the widespread failures which meant that hundreds of patients suffered whilst Regulators and bureaucrats vacillated.…

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When stakeholders seem too close… – It is not only Regulators that can be criticised for being too close to some of their consultees

February 6, 2013 By

Last week’s Radio Four programme File on Four was called ‘Taxing questions’ and looked critically at HMRC’s recent activities in engaging openly with key stakeholders. Two current situations were dealt…

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The House of Lords Scrutiny Committee’s Report on the Cabinet Office Consultation Principles

January 6, 2013 By

In July 2012, the Cabinet Office produced a new set of Consultation Principles, intended to replace the 2008 Code of Practice, and put into effect immediately. Many established stakeholder organisations…

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Unannounced consultations! – No-one now waits for the consultation to start

January 1, 2013 By

Consultation has always been a formal process within a wider environment of public engagement. No-one has ever suggested that we have to declare a consultation before a public debate can…

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Not quite force majeure – When events appear to compromise a consultation

December 12, 2012 By

Three quite separate and seemingly unrelated situations arose in one day last week. The Government’s decision to provide transitional help for Councils who are currently in consultation on new Council…

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Consultation and the “Schofield Syndrome” – Why broadcaster’s experience of social media holds important messages for public engagement

December 12, 2012 By

In preparation for the Institute’s Tenth Anniversary in 2013, there has been a good deal of discussion about the most significant changes that have taken place over the decade. We…

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