Thursday, February 22, 2007

Liberal Democrats' Better Governance Working Group

I am currently a member of the Liberal Democrats Better Governance Working Group which which was set up by the Liberal Democrats Federal Policy Committee to look at issues such as how we can re-engage citizens with government & politics, how we can ensure effective scrutiny & accountability in our democratic system, how we should respond to issues relating to decentralisation, and in particular the “English Question”, and how boundaries between the state and citizens should be defined.

Under the chairmanship of Lord Paul Tyler the working group has produced How can we improve the way we are governed? a consultative document which will be discussed at the Liberal Democrats in Harrogate conference next week.

However people also have the opportunity to participate in the discussion online at People can post their comments and views at or if they wish they can submit an article or articles which should be sent to

Last night we had another one of our “evidence” sessions which involve someone who has expertise in the area coming into discuss their ideas. I happen to miss the first witness session a couple of weeks ago with Lord Anthony Lester QC however yesterday I was were pleased that Baroness Helena Kennedy QC came along to speak to us. As you may know Helena Kennedy QC chaired the Power Inquiry and is one of the country's leading barristers. She had some interesting comments, ideas and views on issues such as public participations and the constitution yesterday.

I would encourage anyone reading this to take a look at the consultation paper available at and use to let us know what their ideas and views are with regard to accountability & scrutiny, citizen & the state, the constitutional settlement, decentralisation & devolution and re-engaging citizens.

If you will be in Harrogate for the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference there is a consultation session at 3pm on Friday 2nd March in the Holiday Inn (Harewood 1).



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