Energy Performance Certificates

We own a single property which is available for holiday lets throughout the year. Can you explain why I need an energy performance certificate? Do you think my guests are really interested? Do they not just want to enjoy their holiday? This is just an additional expense and regulation placed upon property owners for no additional benefit to anyone other than the contractor carrying out an inspection and is completely needless, unlike fire assessments and landlord’s gas certificates. I can see that many owners, such as ourselves will decide to discontinue providing holiday accommodation if the burden from regulations becomes, as it seems, ridiculous.

Why is this idea important?

We own a single property which is available for holiday lets throughout the year. Can you explain why I need an energy performance certificate? Do you think my guests are really interested? Do they not just want to enjoy their holiday? This is just an additional expense and regulation placed upon property owners for no additional benefit to anyone other than the contractor carrying out an inspection and is completely needless, unlike fire assessments and landlord’s gas certificates. I can see that many owners, such as ourselves will decide to discontinue providing holiday accommodation if the burden from regulations becomes, as it seems, ridiculous.

Repeal laws that prevent members of the public from recording telephone calls and using the recordings as evidence.

Several posts on the site imply or claim that social workers and other officials misrepresent what has taken place during dealings with members of the public. When ringing many organisations we are told that our calls may be recorded.

Please repeal the laws that prevent members of the general public from recording telephone calls which they make or receive, and recording or filming interviews with Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, etc. with the intention of using such recordings in evidence if this becomes necessary.

We have probably all had experience of salespeople who miss-sell, miss-describe the product or the payment methods, etc. often by telephone. Please repeal the laws that prevent us from recording these calls and using them as evidence if necessary.
 

Why is this idea important?

Several posts on the site imply or claim that social workers and other officials misrepresent what has taken place during dealings with members of the public. When ringing many organisations we are told that our calls may be recorded.

Please repeal the laws that prevent members of the general public from recording telephone calls which they make or receive, and recording or filming interviews with Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, etc. with the intention of using such recordings in evidence if this becomes necessary.

We have probably all had experience of salespeople who miss-sell, miss-describe the product or the payment methods, etc. often by telephone. Please repeal the laws that prevent us from recording these calls and using them as evidence if necessary.
 

Jury Service by over seventy year olds

 

People over 70 years old should be allowed to serve on a jury if they so wish or to choose to opt out on age grounds alone; but do not assume that healthy older persons of sound mind should not serve. 
 

Why is this idea important?

 

People over 70 years old should be allowed to serve on a jury if they so wish or to choose to opt out on age grounds alone; but do not assume that healthy older persons of sound mind should not serve. 
 

Repeal Sections 62 – 68 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009

The Act created the somewhat misleadingly titled offence of Possession of Prohibited Images of Children.

 

The offence is misleadingly titled as unlike the offence under the Protection of Children Act 1978, Possession of an Indecent Photograph of Children (and Pseudo-photographs), Section 62 does not require a child, indeed it does not require a human being at all, the offence covers imaginary "children" (being characters under the age of 18 or appearing to be so) , imaginary "persons" and for good measure, "imaginary animals".

 

While the Protection of Children Act 1978 rightly sought to punish those who make and possess images of the sexual abuse of children, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 seeks to punish expression, it specifically criminalises that which is nothing more than the imagination set down on paper, canvas or bytes.

 

In board terms it is fundemantally important the the limits on individual freedom in a free society are set where an identifiable harm is occassioned or likely to be occassioned, this law does not do that.

 

Reference: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/25/contents

Why is this idea important?

The Act created the somewhat misleadingly titled offence of Possession of Prohibited Images of Children.

 

The offence is misleadingly titled as unlike the offence under the Protection of Children Act 1978, Possession of an Indecent Photograph of Children (and Pseudo-photographs), Section 62 does not require a child, indeed it does not require a human being at all, the offence covers imaginary "children" (being characters under the age of 18 or appearing to be so) , imaginary "persons" and for good measure, "imaginary animals".

 

While the Protection of Children Act 1978 rightly sought to punish those who make and possess images of the sexual abuse of children, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 seeks to punish expression, it specifically criminalises that which is nothing more than the imagination set down on paper, canvas or bytes.

 

In board terms it is fundemantally important the the limits on individual freedom in a free society are set where an identifiable harm is occassioned or likely to be occassioned, this law does not do that.

 

Reference: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/25/contents

Replace Speed Cameras with ANPR Cameras

With some authorties removing speed cameras altogether perhaps a better solution would be to convert all speed cameras to ANPR cameras and catch  uninsured untaxed vehicles and possibly unlicensed drivers.

With modern technology the Cameras could be linked by radio to the national computer and a message sent out to police vehicles in the area of "suspicious vehicles." a patrol car in the area could then intercept and investgate, assuming it wasn't on more important business.

 

speed cameras could then possibly be replace by flashing "overspeed" warning signs.   

Why is this idea important?

With some authorties removing speed cameras altogether perhaps a better solution would be to convert all speed cameras to ANPR cameras and catch  uninsured untaxed vehicles and possibly unlicensed drivers.

With modern technology the Cameras could be linked by radio to the national computer and a message sent out to police vehicles in the area of "suspicious vehicles." a patrol car in the area could then intercept and investgate, assuming it wasn't on more important business.

 

speed cameras could then possibly be replace by flashing "overspeed" warning signs.   

donate the money from the Goldman Sachs fine to local authorities

Today, September 9, it has been reported that the bank  Goldman Sachs has been fined £20 million by the FSA.

This money should be put to good use; some of it could be use to renovate my local library, Sydenham, for example.

Yesterday, the BBC Breakfast programme reported that many schools need heavy maintenance.

This money should be spent on such projects which will also stimulate local economies, instead of being "invested" in some bank at interest.

Why is this idea important?

Today, September 9, it has been reported that the bank  Goldman Sachs has been fined £20 million by the FSA.

This money should be put to good use; some of it could be use to renovate my local library, Sydenham, for example.

Yesterday, the BBC Breakfast programme reported that many schools need heavy maintenance.

This money should be spent on such projects which will also stimulate local economies, instead of being "invested" in some bank at interest.

DELIVER JUSTICE, PROTECT THE PUBLIC: MANDATORY LENGTHY CUSTODIAL SENTENCES FOR UNPROVOKED VIOLENT CRIMES

Current sentencing policy for wanton violence & sex crime is shockingly lenient, a complete abuse of the civil liberties of the peaceful majority, especially the law-abiding poor in our inner-city communities whose lives are blighted by a culture of violence

Many dangerous violent thugs are given non-custodial or short sentences for heinous acts thus causing more torment and anxiety of victims and their communities whilst completely undermining faith in the justice system. It creates a culture of lawlessness

At the same time lots of harmless non-violent offenders are imprisoned for petty offences such as low-level fraud. It's these that should be on community sentences wherever possible (unless they breach them) to create the necessary space in our prisons to ensure all dangerous offenders can be incarcerated & those that want to change can be rehabilitated in a controlled environment over a lengthy period of time.  

At present, many violent offenders given short or non custodial sentences go on to re-offend and in some cases, kill. A lengthy period of incarceration combined with a programme of hard work, education, training and exercise stands a much better chance of rehabilitating an offender than a flimsy non-custodial sentence (whilst protecting the victims) If dangerous offenders don't conform to this they don't get released, simple

Mandatory sentences for violent crime (unless in cases of self-defence) will also serve as a firm deterrent (it's worked with Gun Crime – gun murders are down significantly) whilst protecting the public. Automatic early release should also be scrapped, it deceives people

Violent Young offenders should not be exempt from this policy, in many cases it will nip their activity in the bud and put them on the straight and narrow, and give them the education they need. 

Don't forget a million kids were the victims of serious violence last year committed by young offenders, they need protecting from the violent kids – if you're kind to the cruel, you're cruel to the kind. If most youths know they'll be punished for committing a crime they'll certainly think twice beforehand – it will help keep them out of trouble

Violent Women should be equal under the law, therefore they should be subject to the same sentences as Men, it's completely sexist otherwise. If they're a danger to the public it doesn't matter what their gender is

The Mentally ill who commit unprovoked violent crime should be detained in secure units (not prison) indefinitely (with a minimum period specified) and only released if it's safe to do so

Too many people have been maimed, raped and killed by people who've committed previous acts of violence and should have been in detention.

Why is this idea important?

Current sentencing policy for wanton violence & sex crime is shockingly lenient, a complete abuse of the civil liberties of the peaceful majority, especially the law-abiding poor in our inner-city communities whose lives are blighted by a culture of violence

Many dangerous violent thugs are given non-custodial or short sentences for heinous acts thus causing more torment and anxiety of victims and their communities whilst completely undermining faith in the justice system. It creates a culture of lawlessness

At the same time lots of harmless non-violent offenders are imprisoned for petty offences such as low-level fraud. It's these that should be on community sentences wherever possible (unless they breach them) to create the necessary space in our prisons to ensure all dangerous offenders can be incarcerated & those that want to change can be rehabilitated in a controlled environment over a lengthy period of time.  

At present, many violent offenders given short or non custodial sentences go on to re-offend and in some cases, kill. A lengthy period of incarceration combined with a programme of hard work, education, training and exercise stands a much better chance of rehabilitating an offender than a flimsy non-custodial sentence (whilst protecting the victims) If dangerous offenders don't conform to this they don't get released, simple

Mandatory sentences for violent crime (unless in cases of self-defence) will also serve as a firm deterrent (it's worked with Gun Crime – gun murders are down significantly) whilst protecting the public. Automatic early release should also be scrapped, it deceives people

Violent Young offenders should not be exempt from this policy, in many cases it will nip their activity in the bud and put them on the straight and narrow, and give them the education they need. 

Don't forget a million kids were the victims of serious violence last year committed by young offenders, they need protecting from the violent kids – if you're kind to the cruel, you're cruel to the kind. If most youths know they'll be punished for committing a crime they'll certainly think twice beforehand – it will help keep them out of trouble

Violent Women should be equal under the law, therefore they should be subject to the same sentences as Men, it's completely sexist otherwise. If they're a danger to the public it doesn't matter what their gender is

The Mentally ill who commit unprovoked violent crime should be detained in secure units (not prison) indefinitely (with a minimum period specified) and only released if it's safe to do so

Too many people have been maimed, raped and killed by people who've committed previous acts of violence and should have been in detention.

DELIVER JUSTICE, PROTECT THE PUBLIC: MANDATORY LENGHTY CUSTODIAL SENTENCES FOR UNPROVOKED VIOLENCE

Current sentencing policy for wanton violence & sex crime is shockingly lenient, a complete abuse of the civil liberties of the peaceful majority, especially the law-abiding poor in our inner-city communities whose lives are blighted by a culture of violence

Many dangerous violent thugs are given non-custodial or short sentences for heinous acts thus causing more torment and anxiety of victims and their communities whilst completely undermining faith in the justice system. It creates a culture of lawlessness

At the same time lots of harmless non-violent offenders are imprisoned for petty offences such as low-level fraud. It’s these that should be on community sentences wherever possible (unless they breach them) to create the necessary space in our prisons to ensure all dangerous offenders can be incarcerated & those that want to change can be rehabilitated in a controlled enviroment over a lenghty period of time.

At present, many violent offenders given short or non custodial sentences go on to re-offend and in some cases, kill. A lengthy period of incarceration combined with a programme of hard work, education, training and excercise stands a much better chance of rehabilitating an offender than a flimsy non-custodial sentence (whilst protecting the victims) If dangerous offenders don’t conform to this they don’t get released, simple

Mandatory sentences for violent crime (unless in cases of self-defence) will also serve as a firm detterent (it’s worked with Gun Crime – gun murders are down signifiantly) whilst protecting the public. Automatic early release should also be scapped, it deceives people

Violent Young offenders should not be exempt from this policy, in many cases it will nip their activity in the bud and put them on the straight and narrow, and give them the education they need.

Don’t forget a million kids were the victims of serious violence last year commited by young offenders, they need protecting from the violent kids – if you’re kind to the cruel, you’re cruel to the kind. If most youths know they’ll be punished for commiting a crime they’ll certainly think twice beforehand – it will help keep them out of trouble

Violent Women should be equal under the law, therefore they should be subject to the same sentences as Men, it’s completely sexist otherwise. If they’re a danger to the public it doesn’t matter what their gender is

The Mentally ill who commit unprovoked violent crime should be detained in secure units (not prison) indefinitly (with a minumum period specified) and only released if it’s safe to do so

Too many people have been maimed, raped and killed by people who’ve commited previous acts of violence and should have been in detention.

Why is this idea important?

Current sentencing policy for wanton violence & sex crime is shockingly lenient, a complete abuse of the civil liberties of the peaceful majority, especially the law-abiding poor in our inner-city communities whose lives are blighted by a culture of violence

Many dangerous violent thugs are given non-custodial or short sentences for heinous acts thus causing more torment and anxiety of victims and their communities whilst completely undermining faith in the justice system. It creates a culture of lawlessness

At the same time lots of harmless non-violent offenders are imprisoned for petty offences such as low-level fraud. It’s these that should be on community sentences wherever possible (unless they breach them) to create the necessary space in our prisons to ensure all dangerous offenders can be incarcerated & those that want to change can be rehabilitated in a controlled enviroment over a lenghty period of time.

At present, many violent offenders given short or non custodial sentences go on to re-offend and in some cases, kill. A lengthy period of incarceration combined with a programme of hard work, education, training and excercise stands a much better chance of rehabilitating an offender than a flimsy non-custodial sentence (whilst protecting the victims) If dangerous offenders don’t conform to this they don’t get released, simple

Mandatory sentences for violent crime (unless in cases of self-defence) will also serve as a firm detterent (it’s worked with Gun Crime – gun murders are down signifiantly) whilst protecting the public. Automatic early release should also be scapped, it deceives people

Violent Young offenders should not be exempt from this policy, in many cases it will nip their activity in the bud and put them on the straight and narrow, and give them the education they need.

Don’t forget a million kids were the victims of serious violence last year commited by young offenders, they need protecting from the violent kids – if you’re kind to the cruel, you’re cruel to the kind. If most youths know they’ll be punished for commiting a crime they’ll certainly think twice beforehand – it will help keep them out of trouble

Violent Women should be equal under the law, therefore they should be subject to the same sentences as Men, it’s completely sexist otherwise. If they’re a danger to the public it doesn’t matter what their gender is

The Mentally ill who commit unprovoked violent crime should be detained in secure units (not prison) indefinitly (with a minumum period specified) and only released if it’s safe to do so

Too many people have been maimed, raped and killed by people who’ve commited previous acts of violence and should have been in detention.

The government should encourage self-moderated forums

Many site users here including myself have had posts removed by the moderators for in our view inadequate reasons, based on other protests I've seen here.

Moderated forums in general present a problem, because the moderator is constantly asked to take sides – i.e. decide between somebody's right to post, and the rights of somebody complaining about a post.

The best solution would be SELF-MODERATED forums, such as exist on the BBC 606 site, so that whoever starts a thread can delete abusive comments on it if they please, as the BBC put it "are in control of their space."

Because otherwise we just have the constant DENIAL OF FREE SPEECH.

To put it simply, I want the right to say what I want on MY idea page without being abused, and I give in return the right to everybody else to do the same, say what they like on THEIR PAGE, and delete any comments they find abusive.

The tag system on this site is for example a major source of ANONYMOUS ABUSE, and once again, should be under the control of whoever starts the page, unless the site administrators are quite happy about the poster being abused, as appears to be the case on this site to date.

Why is this idea important?

Many site users here including myself have had posts removed by the moderators for in our view inadequate reasons, based on other protests I've seen here.

Moderated forums in general present a problem, because the moderator is constantly asked to take sides – i.e. decide between somebody's right to post, and the rights of somebody complaining about a post.

The best solution would be SELF-MODERATED forums, such as exist on the BBC 606 site, so that whoever starts a thread can delete abusive comments on it if they please, as the BBC put it "are in control of their space."

Because otherwise we just have the constant DENIAL OF FREE SPEECH.

To put it simply, I want the right to say what I want on MY idea page without being abused, and I give in return the right to everybody else to do the same, say what they like on THEIR PAGE, and delete any comments they find abusive.

The tag system on this site is for example a major source of ANONYMOUS ABUSE, and once again, should be under the control of whoever starts the page, unless the site administrators are quite happy about the poster being abused, as appears to be the case on this site to date.

Don’t scrap clamping on private land, regulate it and the release fees

Regulate clamping companies and release fees and/or strengthen private PCN's and put them on the same footing as local authority parking charge notices (i.e. criminal not civil law).

Why is this idea important?

Regulate clamping companies and release fees and/or strengthen private PCN's and put them on the same footing as local authority parking charge notices (i.e. criminal not civil law).

Ban chuggers

Not sure if this isn't a legal issue, but after seeing last night's BBC exposé of this disgraceful practice, the attempts of one charity to defend it, and of one parasite who has grown fat off it to justify it, common sense and decency demand that the government outlaw this obscene practice.

If people want to shake a poppy tin, or as I saw earlier this week, a bucket appealing for aid to flood victims in Pakistan, that's fine, but stopping people in the street, and in effect stealing money from them due to their good nature is not just obscene but wicked.

The government should totally overhall charity legislation, and if civil servants and others are to have their salaries, expenses and practices subjected to greater public scrutiny, so too should people who earn their livelihoods from the generosity of others.

Why is this idea important?

Not sure if this isn't a legal issue, but after seeing last night's BBC exposé of this disgraceful practice, the attempts of one charity to defend it, and of one parasite who has grown fat off it to justify it, common sense and decency demand that the government outlaw this obscene practice.

If people want to shake a poppy tin, or as I saw earlier this week, a bucket appealing for aid to flood victims in Pakistan, that's fine, but stopping people in the street, and in effect stealing money from them due to their good nature is not just obscene but wicked.

The government should totally overhall charity legislation, and if civil servants and others are to have their salaries, expenses and practices subjected to greater public scrutiny, so too should people who earn their livelihoods from the generosity of others.

Privatised Met Office – Bring It on…..

Go ahead and privatise the Met Office: it might stop them banging on about 'Climate change' as if it's a foregone conclusion.

Hang on – I'll just have a look…

Wait…. they already have! It's 'Climate Science' Now.. All very different from just a few months ago. It was all cut and dried then; anyone who disagreed was likened to a member of the Flat Earth Society. Now, they're using phrases like :

"Because we can’t know the future for certain, our climate change scientists use computer-based climate models to project plausible scenarios, or projections, for coming centuries. It is important to be aware that projections from climate models are always subject to uncertainty because of limitations on our knowledge of how the climate system works and on the computing resources available. Different climate models can give different projections…."

"Despite the uncertainties, all models show that the Earth will warm in the next century"…

NEXT CENTURY…. pretty safe bet that – it could be ANY time in the next century. It could be by ANY amount.

Uncertanties – What uncertainties? When New Labour was in power, global warming, caused by CO2 emissions, was presented as FACT! (And of course, provided bags and bags of possibilties for 'Green Taxes' – for those green enough to swallow it.)

So – what's changed, in 6 months? The climate? Not really – typical British Summer.

Or could it be the change of government, a chance that their funding may be in danger, and having to face the possibility of life in the real world? 

But wait… What's this? 'Global Dimming?'

Caused by…. pulling the wool over our eyes?  No – aerosols actually. Haven't we been here before?

Why is this idea important?

Go ahead and privatise the Met Office: it might stop them banging on about 'Climate change' as if it's a foregone conclusion.

Hang on – I'll just have a look…

Wait…. they already have! It's 'Climate Science' Now.. All very different from just a few months ago. It was all cut and dried then; anyone who disagreed was likened to a member of the Flat Earth Society. Now, they're using phrases like :

"Because we can’t know the future for certain, our climate change scientists use computer-based climate models to project plausible scenarios, or projections, for coming centuries. It is important to be aware that projections from climate models are always subject to uncertainty because of limitations on our knowledge of how the climate system works and on the computing resources available. Different climate models can give different projections…."

"Despite the uncertainties, all models show that the Earth will warm in the next century"…

NEXT CENTURY…. pretty safe bet that – it could be ANY time in the next century. It could be by ANY amount.

Uncertanties – What uncertainties? When New Labour was in power, global warming, caused by CO2 emissions, was presented as FACT! (And of course, provided bags and bags of possibilties for 'Green Taxes' – for those green enough to swallow it.)

So – what's changed, in 6 months? The climate? Not really – typical British Summer.

Or could it be the change of government, a chance that their funding may be in danger, and having to face the possibility of life in the real world? 

But wait… What's this? 'Global Dimming?'

Caused by…. pulling the wool over our eyes?  No – aerosols actually. Haven't we been here before?

abolish dogs

Increase the dog licence to £500 per animal, and sanction corporal punishment for owners who allow their animals to foul the pavement. Any dog that does so should be put down.

Why is this idea important?

Increase the dog licence to £500 per animal, and sanction corporal punishment for owners who allow their animals to foul the pavement. Any dog that does so should be put down.

use disposal medical implements in hospitals

I'm not sure if this is a business issue but it can certainly be made one.

Yesterday there was a report that human flesh had been found on surgical implements in a hospital. Having been treated in this particular hospital – albeit more years ago than I care to remember – I was horrified.

Though the contaminated batch was spotted at the hospital, I cannot think there must be better, more efficient, and possibly cheaper ways of running operating theatres.

These instruments are sterilised by private companies. This is a job that could surely be better done in-house but it would be much better if scalpels and other such implements were only ever used once.

These instruments are all made from high quality steel. There is no reason most of them could not be manufactured from plastic, mostly it is only the blades that need to be metal. Scalpels made of plastic apart from the blades would be cheaper, lighter and easily disposed of and recycled. Ditto other such implements.

Disposable instruments bought in bulk would almost certainly be no more expensive than regular ones, and the possibility of contamination would be eliminated.

 

Why is this idea important?

I'm not sure if this is a business issue but it can certainly be made one.

Yesterday there was a report that human flesh had been found on surgical implements in a hospital. Having been treated in this particular hospital – albeit more years ago than I care to remember – I was horrified.

Though the contaminated batch was spotted at the hospital, I cannot think there must be better, more efficient, and possibly cheaper ways of running operating theatres.

These instruments are sterilised by private companies. This is a job that could surely be better done in-house but it would be much better if scalpels and other such implements were only ever used once.

These instruments are all made from high quality steel. There is no reason most of them could not be manufactured from plastic, mostly it is only the blades that need to be metal. Scalpels made of plastic apart from the blades would be cheaper, lighter and easily disposed of and recycled. Ditto other such implements.

Disposable instruments bought in bulk would almost certainly be no more expensive than regular ones, and the possibility of contamination would be eliminated.

 

Mandatory Use of Architects for Planning Applications

The UK Planning System is unusual in relation to other European Countries in not requiring the involvement of an architect at any stage of the planning process.

Although planning policy is well-endowed with requirements to maintain visual amenity etc. – there is no mandatory requirement to use a trained professional to achieve these requirements.

If it is a requirement to use a doctor if you have an operation in hospital for example – it seems strange for there to be no requirement to use an Architect for any type of planning application.

Across Europe, an Architect is required to sign-off the plans before submission, and often the Local Authority will use an Architect to review the plans. In some countries, a second review is undertaken by the Local Chamber of Architects, particularly if the site is in an historic area or is a large, complex application.

The UK is blighted with many sub-standard buildings which received no input from any architect.

But the issue is not just aesthetic – an architect can help ensure that low-energy and sustainable standards are being adhered to or even exceeded.

An architect can help ensure that the quality of living and working spaces is maximised to the benefit of the occupants.

An Architect can often see the potential to realise commercial value to a client which may not be apparent to un-trained persons.

Only an architect has this wide range of skills.

Idea: Mandatory use of an Architect for all planning applications above a sensible size-threshold (for example – 75m2 upwards + all applications in historic areas or to listed buildings). Proposed use of Architects to reinforce planning teams in local authorities and to assist in the decision making process.

Why is this idea important?

The UK Planning System is unusual in relation to other European Countries in not requiring the involvement of an architect at any stage of the planning process.

Although planning policy is well-endowed with requirements to maintain visual amenity etc. – there is no mandatory requirement to use a trained professional to achieve these requirements.

If it is a requirement to use a doctor if you have an operation in hospital for example – it seems strange for there to be no requirement to use an Architect for any type of planning application.

Across Europe, an Architect is required to sign-off the plans before submission, and often the Local Authority will use an Architect to review the plans. In some countries, a second review is undertaken by the Local Chamber of Architects, particularly if the site is in an historic area or is a large, complex application.

The UK is blighted with many sub-standard buildings which received no input from any architect.

But the issue is not just aesthetic – an architect can help ensure that low-energy and sustainable standards are being adhered to or even exceeded.

An architect can help ensure that the quality of living and working spaces is maximised to the benefit of the occupants.

An Architect can often see the potential to realise commercial value to a client which may not be apparent to un-trained persons.

Only an architect has this wide range of skills.

Idea: Mandatory use of an Architect for all planning applications above a sensible size-threshold (for example – 75m2 upwards + all applications in historic areas or to listed buildings). Proposed use of Architects to reinforce planning teams in local authorities and to assist in the decision making process.

Simplifying Public Sector PQQs for SMEs

Simplifying Public Sector Pre-Qualification for Local / Central Government Contracts for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

Many small to medium enterprises are missing out on winning public sector contracts – and the Public Sector is missing out on the chance to gain more innovative, customer focused and often cheaper, locally based services.

There are two main problems – the first is that most of the PQQ points are awarded at Pre-Qualification Stage only if the enterprise can demonstrate past experience in a particular, specific area – even though they may operate in the right industry. This is very difficult for some businesses – eg an architect's practice may have much experience in housing, but little or none in education – so it is effectively excluded from this sector, even if it has staff with education experience and offers the lowest tender price.

The second is the wide ranging and often irrelevant and absurd requirements for company policies and credentials e.g: staff ethnic monitoring policies (even if the firm has only ten people or less), membership of third party organisations with their own rigid and costly entry PQQ criteria e.g. Health and Safety Organisations, Investors in People etc. 

Some PQQs (e.g. ODA) award points if companies exceed the minimum standards for maternity pay – a worthy incentive – but how many SMEs can afford this? 

These requirements for pre-qualification present barriers to SMEs joining in with Public Sector Contracts.

The result is that the same, larger companies win most of the work, time and time again.

The idea:

1. Simplify and reduce PQQ requirements to the absolute minimum required to do the job – nothing more, nothing less.

2. Do not dis-qualify companies at the first PQQ stage who are operating in the right market sector, just because they have not had specialist experience of the exact type of contract offered.  

Why is this idea important?

Simplifying Public Sector Pre-Qualification for Local / Central Government Contracts for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

Many small to medium enterprises are missing out on winning public sector contracts – and the Public Sector is missing out on the chance to gain more innovative, customer focused and often cheaper, locally based services.

There are two main problems – the first is that most of the PQQ points are awarded at Pre-Qualification Stage only if the enterprise can demonstrate past experience in a particular, specific area – even though they may operate in the right industry. This is very difficult for some businesses – eg an architect's practice may have much experience in housing, but little or none in education – so it is effectively excluded from this sector, even if it has staff with education experience and offers the lowest tender price.

The second is the wide ranging and often irrelevant and absurd requirements for company policies and credentials e.g: staff ethnic monitoring policies (even if the firm has only ten people or less), membership of third party organisations with their own rigid and costly entry PQQ criteria e.g. Health and Safety Organisations, Investors in People etc. 

Some PQQs (e.g. ODA) award points if companies exceed the minimum standards for maternity pay – a worthy incentive – but how many SMEs can afford this? 

These requirements for pre-qualification present barriers to SMEs joining in with Public Sector Contracts.

The result is that the same, larger companies win most of the work, time and time again.

The idea:

1. Simplify and reduce PQQ requirements to the absolute minimum required to do the job – nothing more, nothing less.

2. Do not dis-qualify companies at the first PQQ stage who are operating in the right market sector, just because they have not had specialist experience of the exact type of contract offered.  

Allow people to pay council tax and local authority in kind

Ordinary people and perhaps small businesses could be permitted or encouraged to pay their council taxes and other, related charges wholely or partly in kind, perhaps by carrying out a certain amount of work for the authority.

This could be coupled to a local currency.

Why is this idea important?

Ordinary people and perhaps small businesses could be permitted or encouraged to pay their council taxes and other, related charges wholely or partly in kind, perhaps by carrying out a certain amount of work for the authority.

This could be coupled to a local currency.

Abolish the television licence

As almost every home has one there is really not much point in licencing it. It would be better for the government to create the credit necessary and give it to the BBC or find some other way of funding it.

On top of that there would be no need to send detector vans out to track down defaultors and drag them into court, which must cost even more money, and court time, both of which could be used for more productive reasons.

Why is this idea important?

As almost every home has one there is really not much point in licencing it. It would be better for the government to create the credit necessary and give it to the BBC or find some other way of funding it.

On top of that there would be no need to send detector vans out to track down defaultors and drag them into court, which must cost even more money, and court time, both of which could be used for more productive reasons.

Abolish the ‘Challenge 21/25’ requirements when buying alcohol

I would like to propose that the 'challenge 21' or in some cases 'challenge 25' requirements when purchasing alcohol be repealed.

 

Currently, the legal age to purchase alcohol in a shop is 18. However, the law requires that employees challenge anyone who appears to be under 21, or 25 in some cases, to provide ID before they can purchase alcohol. 

These regulations lead to a creeping criminalisation of people's legal right to enjoy an alcoholic drink, and foster a culture of suspicion and mistrust by enshrining in law the assumption that a customer is attempting to purchase alcohol illegally, and requiring them to prove otherwise. 

The poorly thought out nature of this law has lead to its over-zealous application in numerous instances – there have been no shortage of reports in the media of people who are clearly and unquestionably over 18 – in some cases quite evidently of pensionable age – being denied alcohol because they do not have, or cannot provide, a passport, driving licence or the one specific type of ID card permitted; and even cases where parents accompanied on a shopping trip by their children have been denied their purchase, despite showing the required ID, on the pretext that the children might drink the alcohol!

In addition, the law criminalises employers and employees who fail to check a customer's ID.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to propose that the 'challenge 21' or in some cases 'challenge 25' requirements when purchasing alcohol be repealed.

 

Currently, the legal age to purchase alcohol in a shop is 18. However, the law requires that employees challenge anyone who appears to be under 21, or 25 in some cases, to provide ID before they can purchase alcohol. 

These regulations lead to a creeping criminalisation of people's legal right to enjoy an alcoholic drink, and foster a culture of suspicion and mistrust by enshrining in law the assumption that a customer is attempting to purchase alcohol illegally, and requiring them to prove otherwise. 

The poorly thought out nature of this law has lead to its over-zealous application in numerous instances – there have been no shortage of reports in the media of people who are clearly and unquestionably over 18 – in some cases quite evidently of pensionable age – being denied alcohol because they do not have, or cannot provide, a passport, driving licence or the one specific type of ID card permitted; and even cases where parents accompanied on a shopping trip by their children have been denied their purchase, despite showing the required ID, on the pretext that the children might drink the alcohol!

In addition, the law criminalises employers and employees who fail to check a customer's ID.