I am keen that constituents and members of local groups and societies are made aware of the current government consultations that are taking place so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to contribute to them.

Consultations (also known as Green Papers) are produced by government and enable people both inside and outside Parliament to give their feedback on policy or legislative proposals. It is one of the most important activities government can undertake - by consulting effectively it improves the development of government policies.

I urge you to look at the following page on the gov.uk website which lists all the open consultations: http://tinyurl.com/z5zxfon

Below is more detailed information on some of the latest consultations:

Child Maintenance: a new compliance and arrears strategy

This consultation is to inform the government’s new child maintenance compliance and arrears strategy and proposals include: improvements to child maintenance calculations and new compliance measures; stronger collection and enforcement measures; how to deal with the historic debt that accrued on Child Support Agency cases.  It ends on 8 February.


Changes to teaching of sex and relationship education, and PSHE

The Government is looking into how to improve these subjects and will be asking specific questions depending on whether you are a young person or an adult.  The updated guidance will support schools in delivering the new subjects of Relationships Education in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in secondary schools, as well as, potentially, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE). The consultation closes on 12 February 2018.


Consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures

This consultation covers proposals relating to: maximum stakes and prizes for all categories of gaming machines permitted under the Gambling Act 2005; allocations of gaming machines permitted in all licensed premises; and social responsibility measures for the industry as a whole to minimise the risk of gambling-related harm, including on gambling advertising, online gambling, gaming machines and research, education and treatment. Responses are required by 23 January 2018.


Funding for supported housing

The Government has launched two consultations, one on housing costs for sheltered and extra care accommodation, and one on housing costs for short-term supported accommodation.  Both seek the views on the design of the government’s new supported housing funding models. The consultation closes on 23 January 2018.


Implementation of T level programmes

The Government is seeking views on the development of new T level programmes, and how they should be designed to deliver the Sainsbury Report and Post-16 Skills Plan recommendations. The consultation will run until 8 February 2018.


Future of community rail strategy

The Government is consulting on how community rail partnerships such as the one at Marston Vale can; improve their journeys; improve the accessibility of the rail network; achieve better integrated communities; increase employment opportunities; use local resources most effectively; improve the way the network is run. You can respond here by 28 January 2018:


Social Housing Questionnaire

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Minister for Housing has been working hard to address the issues and concerns which were raised relating to tenants of social housing in order to ensure they have an effective voice and access to redress.  He has held meetings across the country to meet and hear from social tenants and, in addition, has set up an online questionnaire to make sure that all social tenants have the chance to make their views heard. 

The questionnaire can be found here and is open until 31 January 2018:


The views expressed by tenants will inform the proposals put forward for consultation in the Social Housing Green Paper, to be published in Spring 2018.

Consultation on the draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill

The draft Bill sets out that the Government "must have regard to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings in formulating and implementing government policy".  It will also increase the sentences available to the courts in the most severe cases of animal cruelty to up to five years' imprisonment. The consultation ends on 31 January and you can find it here:


Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England

In order to increase organ donation, the Government wants to know what people think about proposed changes in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’. It ends on 6 March and you can respond here:


Accelerated degrees: widening student choice in higher education

Accelerated degrees give students the opportunity to study the same content and quality of degree as a standard 3-year course over 2 years. The Government is consulting on a range of measures to incentivise innovation and encourage wider provision and take-up of accelerated degrees, along with changes to the annual tuition fee cap. You can reply to the consultation by 11 February here:


Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision

The Government is asking people for their views on a Green Paper setting out measures to improve mental health support for children and young people. The Green Paper focuses on earlier intervention and prevention, especially in and linked to schools and colleges.  You can reply here before 2 March:


Improving assisted travel on railways

Research has been completed and released on assisted travel and where it can be improved. The Office of Rail and Road are consulting on potential improvements and seek experiences of assisted travel including:

  • views on how passenger awareness might be increased
  • user experience and what actions could be taken to improve the reliability of assistance for passengers
  • how training for company staff can be strengthened
  • how to strengthen monitoring of assisted travel

The consultation closes on 31 January and can be found here: