Consultation Exercise

Or, why I love the community council…

“So, item three on the agenda is the draft new policing plan for Scotland, which arrived a couple of days ago and we’re supposed to respond with any comments by the end of the week [waves large densely printed document]. Seeing as they’re planning to go ahead with it anyway from the beginning of April I don’t expect they’re sitting in Edinburgh waiting with bated breath to see whether Nearest Village community council approves or not, but if anyone’s interested and wants to have a look … no? OK well I’ll just respond and say that we’ve received it then. Next item..”

Of course it helps if you hold your meetings in a draughty village hall where the one electric fire barely takes the edge off the chill and nobody removes their fleece or even their hat until we’re well into Matters Arising, if not actually Any Other Business. Presumably come April we’ll be more in the mood for more prolonged discussion but if you’ve got anything controversial you’d like to sneak through your local democratic institutions, I recommend you time it for the period between November and March…

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10 Responses to Consultation Exercise

  1. welshcyclist says:

    Consultation, is an ugly and very false word in both the world of our “demcracy” and the world of work. As you point out, it should be our democratic right to comment on government proposals, but those proposals are already planned to go ahead. In the world of work it means jobs are going to go, the employees and their representatives have no say or comeback, other than to strike. Why do they use such a word?

  2. Kim says:

    Actually that sounds rather like the community council meetings I have been to in Edinburgh too…

  3. disgruntled says:

    When it comes to the stuff we can change (bus stops, mostly, so far) we do go into more detail, naturally

  4. Bob says:

    All part of their cunning plan. “Send it to them in the dead of winter, they’ll not bother.”

  5. WOL says:

    All this reminded me of the opening conflict in Douglas Adams’ book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” Where the “hero”
    Arthur Dent is about to get his house bulldozed to make way for a bypass. To whit:
    “But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning
    office for the last nine months.”
    “Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them,
    yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call
    attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or
    anything.”
    “But the plans were on display…”
    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find
    them.”
    “That’s the display department.”
    “With a torch.”
    “Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
    “So had the stairs.”
    “But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”
    “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a
    locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the
    door saying Beware of the Leopard.”

    Mr. Adams had a keen insight into the workings of the bureaucratic mind.

  6. disgruntled says:

    heh. When you get into bike politics, you find where the consultation documents are hidden… usually in a basement with all the responses from the last consultation which they ignored as well…

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