Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Less Public Engagement.

Despite claims by David Cameron (prior to the election) that he will enhance the ability of the public to engage with politicians by allowing House of Commons debate on petitions with more than 100,000 names, what has actually happened is that Cameron's government has reduced opportunities for the public to engage as the following demonstrates:

I tried to create a petition on the 10 Downing Street website to petition the Prime Minister to abolish the Welsh Office recently but was unable to do so. I then emailed the Downing Street web team and got the following response:

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for your email.

The petitions system is closed.

The website states that the Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young announced on 2 December 2010 that online petitions to the Coalition Government will be moving to DirectGov in 2011.

Paper petitions can still be posted to Downing Street and should be sent to: 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA. To hand deliver a paper petition, please contact the Diplomatic Protection Group Liaison Office on 020 7321 7154 to discuss the process and requirements.

You can also make your views known by writing to or emailing the Prime Minister. Contact details can be found on the Number 10 website: http://www.number10.gov.uk/footer/contact-us

Kind regards

Downing Street Web team

I wonder when if ever in 2011 does Sir George Young intend to reinstate the petitioning system on the DirectGov website.

Another backward step for open government and democracy...Liberal Democrats asleep on the job again.

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