Archive for March, 2011

Consultation – #wco Family Courts (Children deserve better from Family Justice system)


Norgrove, David raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Family Courts; Equality; Justice; Legislation; NRP Rights; Parenting; Scrutiny; Relationships

The family justice system needs significant reform to tackle delays and ensure that children and families get the service they deserve, says an independent panel set up to review how the system works.

The panel, who publish their interim report today, have recommended a package of proposals aimed at improving children’s and families’ experience of the system. A public consultation on these proposals is now underway

Comment by #wco: Please read the interim report, read the consultation questions, consider what has been written and influence the final report by replying in a measured, accurate and comprehensive way.

Other Contacts:

More information can be read at:

Published: 31/03/2011 09:00:00

Debate in Parliament – #wco Equality (Ten Minute Rule Bill: Presumption of Shared Care)


Elphicke, Charlie raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Equality; Childcare; Family Courts; Justice; LocalGov; NRP Rights; Parenting; Parliament-UK

Ten Minute Rule Bill

On 29 March 2011, Tory MP Charlie Elphicke proposed a bill aiming to require courts and local authorities to take into account the rights of a child to grow up seeing both parents when determining custody arrangements.
The bill would make it an offence for a relevant body to disregard this presumption.
Mr Elphicke argues children who see both parents have better education and employment prospects in later life.

Comment by #wco: Let us all hope this is given the time to have a proper, thorough and objective debate leading to introduction of this bill.

Well done Charlie !

Other Contacts:

More information can be read at:

Published: 29/03/2011 16:40:00

Gov Written Answer – #wco Scrutiny (Cabinet Office: Government: Accountability)


Lloyd, Tony raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Scrutiny; FoI; Governance; Metadata; LocalGov; Parliament-UK

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he plans to take to increase levels of transparency in Government decision-making in order to improve accountability to the public.

Comment by #wco: We like this, however as part of the Big Society, more and more services will be delivered by organisations that are not subject to FOI requests – we suggest the following changes to FOI legislation:
where a civic service or function is provided,
or where a partnership exists where one parter is already subject to FOI then that subsequent provider and partnership is also a “derived” subject to FOI requests
in addition, the preamble to the legislation is to inclusive, rather that prescriptive for organisations to be subject to it. ie, any organisation spending central/local government money is subject to FOI unless specifically time-limited excluded – with scrutiny for the decision.

Other Contacts: Maude, Francis

More information can be read at:

Published: 01/03/2011 12:00:00

Gov Written Answer – #wco Legal Aid (Justice: Legal Advice and Assistance: Telephone Services)


Offord, Matthew raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Legal Aid; Equality; Family Courts; Justice; NRP Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department has assessed the merits of providing telephone legal advice on certain family law matters in order to divert individuals away from the courts to alternative routes such as mediation.

Comment by #wco:

Other Contacts: Djanogly, Jonathan

More information can be read at:

Published: 01/03/2011 12:00:00

Finally IR35 under review ..


In 1997 Dawn Primarolo introduced, what many in the IT Contracting industry felt, was flawed regulations for so-called “service companies”.

This was at the same time that federal authorities were repealing similar legislation in the USA.  A MASSIVE movement of technical talent left the UK and for the remaining IT Contractors, they had the burden of unjust “meddling” into their affairs.

Now the Office of Tax Simplification have announced they have looked at this regime and suggested changes to the Chancellor and

Hopefully, this woefully inept piece of tax burden will be removed in the Budget on 23 March 2011 –

Consultation – #wco Regulation (Tackling burdens: Reducing burdens on local government)


Clark, Greg raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Regulation; Democracy; LocalGov; Parliament-UK; Metadata; Scrutiny

Local authorities are bound by statute. Their functions are set out in numerous Acts of Parliament and many of these functions have associated legal duties.

The duties on local authorities have accumulated over the years with successive pieces of legislation. While some duties remain vital, others may no longer be needed or may create unnecessary burdens or restrictions on local authorities. To address this, the Government is carrying out a wide ranging review to establish the duties which are no longer needed and to remove them, giving local authorities freedom to operate in a way that meets local needs and priorities.

Comment by #wco: Excellent news – especially the removal of Data burdens for open data access and scrutiny

Other Contacts:

More information can be read at:

Published: 07/03/2011 12:00:00

Gov Written Answer – #wco Money (Work & Pensions: Social Fund Crisis Loans)


Webb, Steve raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Money; Regulation

To meet genuine need, and in addition to continually recycling from the £1.3 billion fund, this Government are committed to maintaining core funding of £178 million a year for the discretionary social fund scheme over the spending review period. ….(read more) …

Comment by #wco: So the government are state “we will implement a cap of three crisis loan awards for general living expenses in a rolling 12-month period.” – So when claims are messed up by the civil servants (and I’ve had personal experience of being destitute for over 8 weeks and having to have at least 3 crisis loans as a direct result of administration errors) then claimants may suffer more distress and homelessness as Housing Allowance is not paid while there is this situation.


Other Contacts:

More information can be read at:

Published: 03/03/2011 12:00:00

For the UK & EU fathers that don’t see


For the UK & EU fathers that don’t see their child(ren) as much as you should – join #wco at 🙂

Consultation – #wco Democracy (Have your say on MPs’ Code of Conduct )


Somebody raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Democracy; Governance; Parliament-UK; Scrutiny

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is seeking views on the scope and content of the House of Commons Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has published a consultation paper which sets out a number of questions for consideration. Consultees are invited to respond to all or any of these questions, and to make any other points they would wish to have considered.

Comment by #wco:

Other Contacts:

More information can be read at:

Published: 07/03/2011 09:00:00

Gov Written Answer – #wco Scrutiny (Prime Minister: Childhood and Families Ministerial Taskforce)


Shuker, Gavin raised an interesting point.

Subjects: Scrutiny; Childcare; Education; Equality; Parenting

To ask the Prime Minister

(1) on which dates the Childhood and Families Taskforce has met; which Ministers were in attendance on each such occasion; and who else attended;

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference of the Childhood and Families Taskforce;

(3) when he expects the Childhood and Families Taskforce to report;

(4) whether the Childhood and Families Taskforce will be taking (a) oral and (b) written evidence in the course of its work.

Comment by #wco: So what is the point of the task force if we cannot see the results?

Other Contacts: Cameron, David

More information can be read at:

Published: 28/02/2011 12:00:00

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