Allow cycling on pavements

Ban the law which states you cannot cycle on pavements. One should just be asked to cycle safely by paying due attention to others. Cycling on pavements does not kill people and causes unnecessary time-wasting by police forces. If a cyclist is knocked over he/she is always going to come off worse, so it is in their best interests not to bump into anything. This natural law requires no other cycle-restricting law to be in place, since falling off and hurting yourself is a much better deterrent than being 'caught' by the police.

By extension, this should also apply to red-lights, since once again, the natural law of falling off bike and getting hurt is a much better deterrent than cameras and police. If you jump a red as a cyclist, you know you will die unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing. Hence a better deterrent.

 
By extension, this should also apply to red-lights, since once again, the natural law of falling off bike and getting hurt is a much better deterrent than cameras and police. If you jump a red as a cyclist, you know you will die unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing. Hence a better deterrent.

Why is this idea important?

Ban the law which states you cannot cycle on pavements. One should just be asked to cycle safely by paying due attention to others. Cycling on pavements does not kill people and causes unnecessary time-wasting by police forces. If a cyclist is knocked over he/she is always going to come off worse, so it is in their best interests not to bump into anything. This natural law requires no other cycle-restricting law to be in place, since falling off and hurting yourself is a much better deterrent than being 'caught' by the police.

By extension, this should also apply to red-lights, since once again, the natural law of falling off bike and getting hurt is a much better deterrent than cameras and police. If you jump a red as a cyclist, you know you will die unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing. Hence a better deterrent.

 
By extension, this should also apply to red-lights, since once again, the natural law of falling off bike and getting hurt is a much better deterrent than cameras and police. If you jump a red as a cyclist, you know you will die unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing. Hence a better deterrent.

Allow Pets to Travel Internationally

Where did this crazy myth start up, that the Continent is riddled with rabies?

Fill in the missing letters: T*b*oids.

There might have been some rabies issue in the 80s, but within a few years of spraying animal habitats with antidote food-pellets, the number of infected aniimals had dimininshed to practically zero. This was achieved within a few years by the 1990s.

Yet it was NEVER reported on.

Well, it’s now 20 years on from 1990, and we’re still the nanny state we were then. (Even worse if you count everything else.)

A number of other rabies-free countries (like Finland and Cyprus) have already signed up for the Schengen freedom-of-movement agreement. And I’d hate to count the number of times I’ve been scratched and bitten by playful cats on the Continent.

Time we reviewed and reformed this uniquely British crazy law.

Why is this idea important?

Where did this crazy myth start up, that the Continent is riddled with rabies?

Fill in the missing letters: T*b*oids.

There might have been some rabies issue in the 80s, but within a few years of spraying animal habitats with antidote food-pellets, the number of infected aniimals had dimininshed to practically zero. This was achieved within a few years by the 1990s.

Yet it was NEVER reported on.

Well, it’s now 20 years on from 1990, and we’re still the nanny state we were then. (Even worse if you count everything else.)

A number of other rabies-free countries (like Finland and Cyprus) have already signed up for the Schengen freedom-of-movement agreement. And I’d hate to count the number of times I’ve been scratched and bitten by playful cats on the Continent.

Time we reviewed and reformed this uniquely British crazy law.

Remove Gypsies/Travellers’ Status As A Racial Group

The status of travellers as a racial group is undermining measures to tackle the illegal actitivites of (some) of the members of this group, whether it's breaches of planning law, trespassing, or other anti-social actititives where the authorities have to wear "kit gloves" to deal with them, because of their status under equalities law.

Travelling is a lfestyle choice, not a race, regardless of how many generations have been doing it.

Why is this idea important?

The status of travellers as a racial group is undermining measures to tackle the illegal actitivites of (some) of the members of this group, whether it's breaches of planning law, trespassing, or other anti-social actititives where the authorities have to wear "kit gloves" to deal with them, because of their status under equalities law.

Travelling is a lfestyle choice, not a race, regardless of how many generations have been doing it.

Remove all planning regulations on use of holiday homes

Please remove all planning regulations on use of holiday homes whereby an owner can not "reside" in his home, but he can "occupy" it, i.e. he has to prove he has a permanent home somewhere else in order to use it. He can let it to holiday makers all year round if the site has a 12 month licence, but he is not allowed to live in it himself for 12 months. This is utter nonsense. Does it really matter who occupies/resides in it? It is there to be used. The excuses from councils are that these homes are not well insulated like bricks and mortar. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. If they are prepared to live in them, let them. Councils seem to enjoy the power they have over the people in respect of holiday homes and it should be stopped – it is against human rights. It also costs us a fortune paying councils to enforce it.

There are many holiday home sites all over the country with different licences allowing owners to use their mobile homes/pine lodges for 10, 11 or 12 months. A huge number of these homes are owned by elderly people enjoying their retirement years.

If these sites were to be given FULL RESIDENTIAL licences, a great many, elderly people especially, would sell their family homes and live permanently in their holiday homes, thus PROVIDING HOUSES for young families. The homes are there. They should be used, and we NEED TO USE THEM if we are to keep our countryside. 

Why is this idea important?

Please remove all planning regulations on use of holiday homes whereby an owner can not "reside" in his home, but he can "occupy" it, i.e. he has to prove he has a permanent home somewhere else in order to use it. He can let it to holiday makers all year round if the site has a 12 month licence, but he is not allowed to live in it himself for 12 months. This is utter nonsense. Does it really matter who occupies/resides in it? It is there to be used. The excuses from councils are that these homes are not well insulated like bricks and mortar. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. If they are prepared to live in them, let them. Councils seem to enjoy the power they have over the people in respect of holiday homes and it should be stopped – it is against human rights. It also costs us a fortune paying councils to enforce it.

There are many holiday home sites all over the country with different licences allowing owners to use their mobile homes/pine lodges for 10, 11 or 12 months. A huge number of these homes are owned by elderly people enjoying their retirement years.

If these sites were to be given FULL RESIDENTIAL licences, a great many, elderly people especially, would sell their family homes and live permanently in their holiday homes, thus PROVIDING HOUSES for young families. The homes are there. They should be used, and we NEED TO USE THEM if we are to keep our countryside. 

Equal representation for women

While we are considering reforming the voting system, why don't we make sure that women are equally represented?  This could be done by electing one man and one woman for each constituency.  It would mean that constituencies would have to be larger, but it's the only way that women will get equality in Parliament – we are really not making any progress worth mentioning.  I expect someone will comment that we can't do that for every group in society – true, but I'm not proposing that.  Whilst someone can be black and a man or women, a smoker and a man or woman, etc, as far as I know you can't be registered as a man and a woman at the same time.  Minority groups are fairly represented in Parliament already. Women form more than half of our population, but they are not properly represented in Parliament.  Women do think differently from men and approach life in a different way.  Their experience of life is totally different from men and yet we only have a few women MPs.  This should apply to all elected bodies.

Why is this idea important?

While we are considering reforming the voting system, why don't we make sure that women are equally represented?  This could be done by electing one man and one woman for each constituency.  It would mean that constituencies would have to be larger, but it's the only way that women will get equality in Parliament – we are really not making any progress worth mentioning.  I expect someone will comment that we can't do that for every group in society – true, but I'm not proposing that.  Whilst someone can be black and a man or women, a smoker and a man or woman, etc, as far as I know you can't be registered as a man and a woman at the same time.  Minority groups are fairly represented in Parliament already. Women form more than half of our population, but they are not properly represented in Parliament.  Women do think differently from men and approach life in a different way.  Their experience of life is totally different from men and yet we only have a few women MPs.  This should apply to all elected bodies.

Schools should be secular, mixed, presenting religion as a comparative subject

State schools should be secular, mixed sex and present religion as a comparative subject, thus encouraging greater integration, understanding of gender roles, all faiths and cultures, rather than promoting one as the only right path and way of life.They should be well funded and easily accessed countrywide. Private, independent schools should fund themselves, without financial help, either from the State or charitable status.

Why is this idea important?

State schools should be secular, mixed sex and present religion as a comparative subject, thus encouraging greater integration, understanding of gender roles, all faiths and cultures, rather than promoting one as the only right path and way of life.They should be well funded and easily accessed countrywide. Private, independent schools should fund themselves, without financial help, either from the State or charitable status.

Ban so-called ‘Mediums’

I understand this page is about restoring civil liberties and not introducing new prohibitory laws, however i felt the need to raise this concernt anyway!

The government should ban the con-artists who operate up and down the country and on television who 'claim' to be able to communicate with the dead and relay vague and construed messages to their surviving family members, often for extortionate fee's.

I myself do not believe in an afterlife, however if I did, I cannot imagine an afterlife where we float around our surviving family members in the hope that they will pop along to a medium communicator so that I can relay some vague piece of information on them. If indeed I could truly communicate with these 'mediums' I could think of many many important things to tell them other than the arbitrary comments you regularly here such as 'they are happy now', 'they are in a good place', 'they want you to move on with your life' etc etc.

The whole thing is a complete sham and in my opinion the worst kind of sham… one that plays on the grief and sadness of people who have lost loved ones.

I would urge every one to look into the art of 'cold reading' if you truly believe these 'mediums' have special powers. A quick 5 minute read on this subject will swiftly bring you to the conclusion that these people are filthy fraudsters.

I could ramble on about these disgusting individuals all day, however I hope the jist of my feelings on these con-artists has been raised.

Thank you, comments are welcome

Why is this idea important?

I understand this page is about restoring civil liberties and not introducing new prohibitory laws, however i felt the need to raise this concernt anyway!

The government should ban the con-artists who operate up and down the country and on television who 'claim' to be able to communicate with the dead and relay vague and construed messages to their surviving family members, often for extortionate fee's.

I myself do not believe in an afterlife, however if I did, I cannot imagine an afterlife where we float around our surviving family members in the hope that they will pop along to a medium communicator so that I can relay some vague piece of information on them. If indeed I could truly communicate with these 'mediums' I could think of many many important things to tell them other than the arbitrary comments you regularly here such as 'they are happy now', 'they are in a good place', 'they want you to move on with your life' etc etc.

The whole thing is a complete sham and in my opinion the worst kind of sham… one that plays on the grief and sadness of people who have lost loved ones.

I would urge every one to look into the art of 'cold reading' if you truly believe these 'mediums' have special powers. A quick 5 minute read on this subject will swiftly bring you to the conclusion that these people are filthy fraudsters.

I could ramble on about these disgusting individuals all day, however I hope the jist of my feelings on these con-artists has been raised.

Thank you, comments are welcome

Job Seekers Allowance – New Rules

Any persons receiving job seekers allowance for 6 months or longer should also have to donate a set amount of time per week to work voluntary for their local council or have their payments stopped.

JSA Volunteers could help keep our streets clean,  repair roads,  look after public parks. 

Not only would this idea allow the tax payers to see some kind of return on their money but it would also be a great way of getting people used to the idea of working.

Why is this idea important?

Any persons receiving job seekers allowance for 6 months or longer should also have to donate a set amount of time per week to work voluntary for their local council or have their payments stopped.

JSA Volunteers could help keep our streets clean,  repair roads,  look after public parks. 

Not only would this idea allow the tax payers to see some kind of return on their money but it would also be a great way of getting people used to the idea of working.

Lift Restrictions on Unisex Toilets

There are several regulations under HASAWA and elsewhere that restrict or prohibit unisex toilets in workplaces and public buildings, including entertainment venues. Properly managed unisex toilets make possible more flexible use of facilities.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

There are several regulations under HASAWA and elsewhere that restrict or prohibit unisex toilets in workplaces and public buildings, including entertainment venues. Properly managed unisex toilets make possible more flexible use of facilities.

 

 

Thatcher’s Needle Exchange Was Revolutionary

In 1986, Margaret Thatcher initiated a scheme to prevent the spread of HIV and protect society. In its day, the Needle Exchange Programme was hailed as debauchery and was seen to condone drug use.

Margaret Thatcher, love her or hate her, took charge and did was right for the people, she took a brave step and stuck by her guns.

Regulation of drugs is the inevitable and logical conclusion to this "revolutionary" programme.

We are now 24 years into this programme, and the UK and Thatcher are hailed as flag bearers to a modern day stance on health related drug use. As cited in the source below, many countries still do not have such programmes and refuse to do so, the U.S and Russia being most notable. The evidence speaks volumes, there is not a single person that can argue the programme has not worked and is an overwhelming success. The UK has kept HIV rates in drug use down to a steady 1%- compared to Russia who have no interest in anything but judicial stance, they have a 60% HIV rate.

Regulating and controlling drugs in the UK is not revolutionary, it is a continuation of the exchange programme in its essence. We look to Portugal, Holland, Italy, Czech Republic, these countries have decriminalised; drug use has lowered, crime has dropped dramatically, HIV rates have plummeted, harms reduced considerably, and every area of society has benefited. Abuse in children has also seen a noticeable change for the better.

Continue Thatcher's legacy, her work remains unfinished. Clean up our country and take drugs away from cartels and gangs. Regulate, decriminalise, and control that which has been uncontrollable under prohibition.

Thatcher, for better or for worse, was a leader, not afraid of media bias. We need leading, we cry out for leadership:

http://stats.org/stories/2008/needle_exchange_drug_czar_dec03_08.html

Why is this idea important?

In 1986, Margaret Thatcher initiated a scheme to prevent the spread of HIV and protect society. In its day, the Needle Exchange Programme was hailed as debauchery and was seen to condone drug use.

Margaret Thatcher, love her or hate her, took charge and did was right for the people, she took a brave step and stuck by her guns.

Regulation of drugs is the inevitable and logical conclusion to this "revolutionary" programme.

We are now 24 years into this programme, and the UK and Thatcher are hailed as flag bearers to a modern day stance on health related drug use. As cited in the source below, many countries still do not have such programmes and refuse to do so, the U.S and Russia being most notable. The evidence speaks volumes, there is not a single person that can argue the programme has not worked and is an overwhelming success. The UK has kept HIV rates in drug use down to a steady 1%- compared to Russia who have no interest in anything but judicial stance, they have a 60% HIV rate.

Regulating and controlling drugs in the UK is not revolutionary, it is a continuation of the exchange programme in its essence. We look to Portugal, Holland, Italy, Czech Republic, these countries have decriminalised; drug use has lowered, crime has dropped dramatically, HIV rates have plummeted, harms reduced considerably, and every area of society has benefited. Abuse in children has also seen a noticeable change for the better.

Continue Thatcher's legacy, her work remains unfinished. Clean up our country and take drugs away from cartels and gangs. Regulate, decriminalise, and control that which has been uncontrollable under prohibition.

Thatcher, for better or for worse, was a leader, not afraid of media bias. We need leading, we cry out for leadership:

http://stats.org/stories/2008/needle_exchange_drug_czar_dec03_08.html

Social Housing Tenants To Live Rent Free after 25 years of rental Payment.

This proposal would allow social housing tenants to live in social housing rent free after a total of 25 years of rent payments.

After the tenant dies, the rent payments would then continue, even if the tenancy is taken over by family members.

This would bring Social Housing tenants inline with Mortgage holders, but still of course at a disadvantage because obviously the mortgage holders would own the property at the end of 25 years and this proposal would mean the Social Housing home would still remain the property of the landlord at the end of 25 years but allow the tenant to live a rent free retirement.

I think this would be fair on the tenant as they would of paid a lot of money over 25 years and with the current situation they get nothing back. This proposal gives them something back and it would probably improve rent payments amongst the tenants as their would be something to aim for.

Why is this idea important?

This proposal would allow social housing tenants to live in social housing rent free after a total of 25 years of rent payments.

After the tenant dies, the rent payments would then continue, even if the tenancy is taken over by family members.

This would bring Social Housing tenants inline with Mortgage holders, but still of course at a disadvantage because obviously the mortgage holders would own the property at the end of 25 years and this proposal would mean the Social Housing home would still remain the property of the landlord at the end of 25 years but allow the tenant to live a rent free retirement.

I think this would be fair on the tenant as they would of paid a lot of money over 25 years and with the current situation they get nothing back. This proposal gives them something back and it would probably improve rent payments amongst the tenants as their would be something to aim for.

Cancel the Barnet Formula

This outdated legislation has no place in the democracy called The United Kingdom.

It is not right that one country of the UK should subsidise another to the extent that that subsidised country can afford to provide services that the donor cannot. There was £26 Billion in subsidies paid by English taxpayers to the Scottish assembly in 2009.

Why is this idea important?

This outdated legislation has no place in the democracy called The United Kingdom.

It is not right that one country of the UK should subsidise another to the extent that that subsidised country can afford to provide services that the donor cannot. There was £26 Billion in subsidies paid by English taxpayers to the Scottish assembly in 2009.

Stop Incapacity Benefit for “Depression”

I have a feeling the new government are looking at this one already. If not, I believe they should do, quickly.  

I'd never heard of this one until only a few years ago – since not too many years ago anyone asking for time off work due to 'stress' or 'depression' would be laughed out of the doctor's surgery. 

How it ever became accepted as an 'Incapacity' in relation to work, I have no idea. I'm not talking about short term depression after life changing events, where a few days of work may be necessary to get through .  I'm talking about the so-called 'clinical' depression – where there is no obvious cause, and the symptoms are merely a desire not to work and to stay on benefits.

Why is this idea important?

I have a feeling the new government are looking at this one already. If not, I believe they should do, quickly.  

I'd never heard of this one until only a few years ago – since not too many years ago anyone asking for time off work due to 'stress' or 'depression' would be laughed out of the doctor's surgery. 

How it ever became accepted as an 'Incapacity' in relation to work, I have no idea. I'm not talking about short term depression after life changing events, where a few days of work may be necessary to get through .  I'm talking about the so-called 'clinical' depression – where there is no obvious cause, and the symptoms are merely a desire not to work and to stay on benefits.

Reducing Reoffending – Employing Ex Offenders and Equality Legislation

There are two important issues that stimulates re-offending.  The first is a lack of suitable accomodation and the second being unable to secure meaningful employment.

Ex-offenders are required to declare all unspent criminal convictions if asked on an application form.  Research undertaken by CIPD (Chartered Institute for Professional Development) and the Social Exclusion Unit (Previously based in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) acknowledges that the vast majority of employers disregard applications where declarations of criminal convictions are provided, regardless of the position that an ex-offender is applying for.

Would there be some merit in including ex-offenders in equality law to ensure that disposing of application forms soley on a criminal record being declared is simply not acceptable?  Whilst I appreciate that some may argue that equality law is not about what 'one' has done but is about who one is I would suggest that the disproportional number of BME boys in prison reflects that in some cases people are more likely to obtain a criminal record than others because of who they are.

Why is this idea important?

There are two important issues that stimulates re-offending.  The first is a lack of suitable accomodation and the second being unable to secure meaningful employment.

Ex-offenders are required to declare all unspent criminal convictions if asked on an application form.  Research undertaken by CIPD (Chartered Institute for Professional Development) and the Social Exclusion Unit (Previously based in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) acknowledges that the vast majority of employers disregard applications where declarations of criminal convictions are provided, regardless of the position that an ex-offender is applying for.

Would there be some merit in including ex-offenders in equality law to ensure that disposing of application forms soley on a criminal record being declared is simply not acceptable?  Whilst I appreciate that some may argue that equality law is not about what 'one' has done but is about who one is I would suggest that the disproportional number of BME boys in prison reflects that in some cases people are more likely to obtain a criminal record than others because of who they are.

Broadband providers must be truthful about their download speeds

Broadband providers should have to provide the service they say they will in their contract.  At the moment, companies can sell you a certain speed of internet access, but in reality get away with providing far lower than this, a lot of the time. 

You wouldn’t pay to stay in a five star hotel for a month, only to be given a four star hotel for two weeks and then a two star hotel for the rest of that month.  So we shouldn’t have to accept less than we pay for when it comes to Internet services.

As a bare minimum, Internet providers should have to provide speeds 95% as fast as they advertise, for 95% of the time you pay for.  If they fail in this, they should have to reimburse their customers for that month.

Why is this idea important?

Broadband providers should have to provide the service they say they will in their contract.  At the moment, companies can sell you a certain speed of internet access, but in reality get away with providing far lower than this, a lot of the time. 

You wouldn’t pay to stay in a five star hotel for a month, only to be given a four star hotel for two weeks and then a two star hotel for the rest of that month.  So we shouldn’t have to accept less than we pay for when it comes to Internet services.

As a bare minimum, Internet providers should have to provide speeds 95% as fast as they advertise, for 95% of the time you pay for.  If they fail in this, they should have to reimburse their customers for that month.

Legalize Segways, Go-Peds and other personal electric transporters

Please update outdated and archaic statutes to permit new electric vehicles to be ridden on the road like electric bicycles.

Personal transporters and electric scooters, e.g. the Segway Personal Transporter or the Go-Ped, are considered motorized vehicles by the Department for Transport and subject to road traffic laws. Oddly enough, electric bicycles, which are also powered, are waived from these requirements and are legal to ride in the United Kingdom without any encumbrances.

There are four laws that need to be updated to permit these vehicles to be used.

Highway Act of 1835
Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986
Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA) and
Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Highway Act of 1835 bans these vehicles from being operated on pavement or road in England Wales (Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835). Certain vehicles used by disabled drivers are exempted from these requirements but only where they use Class 2 or Class 3 invalid carriages. Scooters are not classed as invalid carriages and so cannot be used on pavements.

Under the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986, the Department of Transpor considers these electric scooters to be motor vehicles even though they travel at less than 18mph. These vehicles need to obtain registration and comply with basic safety standards. Most two-wheeled vehicles that travel faster than 4mph have to comply with the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), which came into operation on 17 June 1999. The European Union does not understand how to classify these new personal electric vehicles. Member countries can pass their own specific legislation to handle them but the United Kingdom has refused to do so. The European Commission have indicated to the DfT that:

“No EC whole vehicle type- approval has been sought as the Segways is not primarily intended to travel on the road. If this manufacturer (or manufacturer of a similarly propelled vehicle), should eventually decide to seek EC type approval for such a vehicle intended for road travel, [the Commission] consider that it would need to be on the basis of Directive 2002/24/EC on the type approval of two or three wheel vehicles.”

“Member States have the right to lay down the requirements which they consider are necessary to ensure the protection of road users (i.e. may fix the conditions for allowing non EC type-approved vehicles on its roads).”

The Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA) also needs to be updated. This states that every mechanically propelled vehicle used or kept on a public road should be registered and licensed. Electric scooters are mechanically propelled so they require registration and a vehicle registration licence (tax disc). Additionally, the user would need a driving licence and motor insurance. This legislation also enforces certain construction and lighting requirements that should not be relevant to electric bicycle substitutes.

Because electric scooters do not meet the relevant requirements for use on UK roads, and because there is no separate legislation here for public road use by non-EC type-approved vehicles, they cannot be registered and licensed for use on a public road in the United Kingdom. As a consequence, any user of such a vehicle on a public road is likely at the very least to be committing the offences of using the vehicle without insurance and using the vehicle without an excise licence.

Finally, drivers of electric scooters are in breach of section 87 and section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. As such drivers require a driving licence and third party insurance. Because these vehicles cannot be licensed for use on a road, they do not come within the categories of vehicle covered by a driving licence. Therefore, any person using an electric scooter on a road, even with the best of intentions, will be violating their driving licence.

Why is this idea important?

Please update outdated and archaic statutes to permit new electric vehicles to be ridden on the road like electric bicycles.

Personal transporters and electric scooters, e.g. the Segway Personal Transporter or the Go-Ped, are considered motorized vehicles by the Department for Transport and subject to road traffic laws. Oddly enough, electric bicycles, which are also powered, are waived from these requirements and are legal to ride in the United Kingdom without any encumbrances.

There are four laws that need to be updated to permit these vehicles to be used.

Highway Act of 1835
Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986
Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA) and
Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Highway Act of 1835 bans these vehicles from being operated on pavement or road in England Wales (Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835). Certain vehicles used by disabled drivers are exempted from these requirements but only where they use Class 2 or Class 3 invalid carriages. Scooters are not classed as invalid carriages and so cannot be used on pavements.

Under the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986, the Department of Transpor considers these electric scooters to be motor vehicles even though they travel at less than 18mph. These vehicles need to obtain registration and comply with basic safety standards. Most two-wheeled vehicles that travel faster than 4mph have to comply with the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), which came into operation on 17 June 1999. The European Union does not understand how to classify these new personal electric vehicles. Member countries can pass their own specific legislation to handle them but the United Kingdom has refused to do so. The European Commission have indicated to the DfT that:

“No EC whole vehicle type- approval has been sought as the Segways is not primarily intended to travel on the road. If this manufacturer (or manufacturer of a similarly propelled vehicle), should eventually decide to seek EC type approval for such a vehicle intended for road travel, [the Commission] consider that it would need to be on the basis of Directive 2002/24/EC on the type approval of two or three wheel vehicles.”

“Member States have the right to lay down the requirements which they consider are necessary to ensure the protection of road users (i.e. may fix the conditions for allowing non EC type-approved vehicles on its roads).”

The Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA) also needs to be updated. This states that every mechanically propelled vehicle used or kept on a public road should be registered and licensed. Electric scooters are mechanically propelled so they require registration and a vehicle registration licence (tax disc). Additionally, the user would need a driving licence and motor insurance. This legislation also enforces certain construction and lighting requirements that should not be relevant to electric bicycle substitutes.

Because electric scooters do not meet the relevant requirements for use on UK roads, and because there is no separate legislation here for public road use by non-EC type-approved vehicles, they cannot be registered and licensed for use on a public road in the United Kingdom. As a consequence, any user of such a vehicle on a public road is likely at the very least to be committing the offences of using the vehicle without insurance and using the vehicle without an excise licence.

Finally, drivers of electric scooters are in breach of section 87 and section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. As such drivers require a driving licence and third party insurance. Because these vehicles cannot be licensed for use on a road, they do not come within the categories of vehicle covered by a driving licence. Therefore, any person using an electric scooter on a road, even with the best of intentions, will be violating their driving licence.

Allow Anyone To Set Up A Local TV Station

Allow any one to set up a local TV station.  Impose a low power limit and prevent operators having licences for more than one area, but just make it easier.  Don't force people to categorise their channels. Remove massive bureacratic and operational hurdles – it's all but impossible to operate a TV channel without a legal department. Remove scope for malicious complaints.

OK, impose a few conditions. Convicted criminals, sex shop onwers and people "convicted" of trading offences in civil courts should be required to undergo full "Appropriate Person" checks, and debtors, but let ordinary people set up channels.

Let people sub-lease capacity at different times of day without assuming liability for content.

Make it even easier by making Ofcom provide "TV station in a box" model kits, eg docs, retention of recordings, etc.

And keep local council out of it, there is enough bland well meaning rubbish out there.

Why is this idea important?

Allow any one to set up a local TV station.  Impose a low power limit and prevent operators having licences for more than one area, but just make it easier.  Don't force people to categorise their channels. Remove massive bureacratic and operational hurdles – it's all but impossible to operate a TV channel without a legal department. Remove scope for malicious complaints.

OK, impose a few conditions. Convicted criminals, sex shop onwers and people "convicted" of trading offences in civil courts should be required to undergo full "Appropriate Person" checks, and debtors, but let ordinary people set up channels.

Let people sub-lease capacity at different times of day without assuming liability for content.

Make it even easier by making Ofcom provide "TV station in a box" model kits, eg docs, retention of recordings, etc.

And keep local council out of it, there is enough bland well meaning rubbish out there.

Take down Facebook

Facebook is endangering millions of British citizens through its cavalier approach to users' privacy. It continual push to make more and more user information public (with the occasional strategic backdown for PR purposes) continues to put British people at risk of identity fraud.

The site is storing information such as scraped e-mail contact lists without fully disclosing this to its users. Additionally, it is storing information about people who choose not to subscribe to it, without their consent.

The British government should protect its citizens' freedom by insisting that Facebook discontinue its corrupt practices, or by educating people clearly on the intentions of this malevolent organisation.

Why is this idea important?

Facebook is endangering millions of British citizens through its cavalier approach to users' privacy. It continual push to make more and more user information public (with the occasional strategic backdown for PR purposes) continues to put British people at risk of identity fraud.

The site is storing information such as scraped e-mail contact lists without fully disclosing this to its users. Additionally, it is storing information about people who choose not to subscribe to it, without their consent.

The British government should protect its citizens' freedom by insisting that Facebook discontinue its corrupt practices, or by educating people clearly on the intentions of this malevolent organisation.

Reduce restrictions for dog walkers

It is increasingly hard for responsible dog owners to give their dogs the exercise they need. The previous government made it easier for local government to bring in new restrictions. This doesn't work. Local government often does not follow proper consultation, failing to consider the needs of dog owners. Dogs are simply banned from large areas with no thought for the impact. In effect, responsible dog owners are being punished because of an irresponsible minority. There would be outrage if cars were banned from any road on which more than say ten people broke the speed limit in a month !

This sort of approach just does not work. In 1980 or 1990 not all dog owners cleared up poo. Now virtually all do, yet there are more restrictions than ever before. The impact on more eldely dog owners (or those with older dogs), those without a car, or anyone who has rescued an ill-treated dog can be huge, yet there is no benefit to society. Otherwise unnecessary car journeys are hardly a good thing, either. 

The power of local government to ban dogs outright has been misused, and should be severely curtailed. Existing dog bans should be converted to 'dogs on leads' restictions – still a compromise – unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

If Britain really is to become a fair and open society, the attitude of a small minority should not be allowed to make a simply, everyday activity so hard for so many decent, responsible dog owners.

Why is this idea important?

It is increasingly hard for responsible dog owners to give their dogs the exercise they need. The previous government made it easier for local government to bring in new restrictions. This doesn't work. Local government often does not follow proper consultation, failing to consider the needs of dog owners. Dogs are simply banned from large areas with no thought for the impact. In effect, responsible dog owners are being punished because of an irresponsible minority. There would be outrage if cars were banned from any road on which more than say ten people broke the speed limit in a month !

This sort of approach just does not work. In 1980 or 1990 not all dog owners cleared up poo. Now virtually all do, yet there are more restrictions than ever before. The impact on more eldely dog owners (or those with older dogs), those without a car, or anyone who has rescued an ill-treated dog can be huge, yet there is no benefit to society. Otherwise unnecessary car journeys are hardly a good thing, either. 

The power of local government to ban dogs outright has been misused, and should be severely curtailed. Existing dog bans should be converted to 'dogs on leads' restictions – still a compromise – unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

If Britain really is to become a fair and open society, the attitude of a small minority should not be allowed to make a simply, everyday activity so hard for so many decent, responsible dog owners.

Join Schengen

Remove the exclusion from the Schengen Agreement.  This would then enable UK citizens to return as easily to the UK, as we can now move within those parts of the EU who have signed the Schengen agreement.  Recently I found there was less formaility (in fact, none) in moving from Netherlands to France, than subsequently in moving from France back to the UK.  We dont need our own border police to monitor our movements within the UK

Why is this idea important?

Remove the exclusion from the Schengen Agreement.  This would then enable UK citizens to return as easily to the UK, as we can now move within those parts of the EU who have signed the Schengen agreement.  Recently I found there was less formaility (in fact, none) in moving from Netherlands to France, than subsequently in moving from France back to the UK.  We dont need our own border police to monitor our movements within the UK

Amnesty for illegal Immigrants

Illegal immigrants should be allowed to legalise by being given a conditional amnesty.  The conditions being:

  • They must have resided in the UK for 10 years or more
  • Have no criminal record
  • Be made to do charitable work or community service to 6 months
  • Be made to pay a fee which will cover the costs of the amnesty so that it does not burden the taxpayer.
  • Not be allowed access to public funds for 5 years.  e.g. NHS, benefits etc.  (This period of time will allow for the illegal immigrants to contribute to the system that they have and will in future have access to)
  • Be made to register for income tax contributions
  • Pass the 'Life in UK' test

Why is this idea important?

Illegal immigrants should be allowed to legalise by being given a conditional amnesty.  The conditions being:

  • They must have resided in the UK for 10 years or more
  • Have no criminal record
  • Be made to do charitable work or community service to 6 months
  • Be made to pay a fee which will cover the costs of the amnesty so that it does not burden the taxpayer.
  • Not be allowed access to public funds for 5 years.  e.g. NHS, benefits etc.  (This period of time will allow for the illegal immigrants to contribute to the system that they have and will in future have access to)
  • Be made to register for income tax contributions
  • Pass the 'Life in UK' test

Give Communities the Power to Deal with their Own Food Waste

Allow communities to deal with their own food waste by removing the unnecessarily strict interpretation of the Animal By Products Regulations (ABPR) and increasing the limits of food waste which can be composted under a T23 anaerobic composting exemption.

Any community group which wishes to compost their own food waste must comply with the very strict time, temperature and particle size requirements set out in the Animal By Product Regulations. These regulations came into force in aftermath of Foot and Mouth and other crises to regulate collection, transport, storage, handling, processing and use of animal by products in EU Member States but their application in the UK has been far too restrictive.

Under the ABPR all catering waste must be composted in line with the ABPR. Catering Waste is defined  as ‘all waste food including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens’ this includes waste from vegetarian kitchens, and no distinction is made for purely vegetable waste (DEFRA website). In practice this means that even a tea bag which may have theoretically touched some milk cannot be composted by community groups unless they can meet the strict guidelines set out in the ABPR.  This means that community groups wishing to compost their carrot peelings must be able to afford expensive in-vessel composting systems and the associated testing and recording.

 Those community groups which do manage to meet the requirements of the ABPR are then only allowed 10 tonnes of food waste on site at anyone time under a free exemption. As the quantities most community groups are processing are less than is financially sustainable for PAS100 accreditation the whole of the material – finished compost of excellent quality included is classed legally as food waste and thus limited to 10 tonnes on site at anyone time. Thus the free exemption treats normal kitchen waste in the same way as animal tissue waste (including blood and carcasses!). 

If groups cannot meet  these limits they must apply for a Standard Permit or Bespoke Permit. These permits were developed with large scale commercial composters in mind and cost thousands of pounds. As most community groups operate on tiny budgets, relying on the good will of volunteers these costs simply cannot be meet. 

Why is this idea important?

Allow communities to deal with their own food waste by removing the unnecessarily strict interpretation of the Animal By Products Regulations (ABPR) and increasing the limits of food waste which can be composted under a T23 anaerobic composting exemption.

Any community group which wishes to compost their own food waste must comply with the very strict time, temperature and particle size requirements set out in the Animal By Product Regulations. These regulations came into force in aftermath of Foot and Mouth and other crises to regulate collection, transport, storage, handling, processing and use of animal by products in EU Member States but their application in the UK has been far too restrictive.

Under the ABPR all catering waste must be composted in line with the ABPR. Catering Waste is defined  as ‘all waste food including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens’ this includes waste from vegetarian kitchens, and no distinction is made for purely vegetable waste (DEFRA website). In practice this means that even a tea bag which may have theoretically touched some milk cannot be composted by community groups unless they can meet the strict guidelines set out in the ABPR.  This means that community groups wishing to compost their carrot peelings must be able to afford expensive in-vessel composting systems and the associated testing and recording.

 Those community groups which do manage to meet the requirements of the ABPR are then only allowed 10 tonnes of food waste on site at anyone time under a free exemption. As the quantities most community groups are processing are less than is financially sustainable for PAS100 accreditation the whole of the material – finished compost of excellent quality included is classed legally as food waste and thus limited to 10 tonnes on site at anyone time. Thus the free exemption treats normal kitchen waste in the same way as animal tissue waste (including blood and carcasses!). 

If groups cannot meet  these limits they must apply for a Standard Permit or Bespoke Permit. These permits were developed with large scale commercial composters in mind and cost thousands of pounds. As most community groups operate on tiny budgets, relying on the good will of volunteers these costs simply cannot be meet. 

Remove 16-Month Time Limit for New Teachers

Currently Newly-Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have a 16-month time limit within which they need to start their first year of teaching (first job).  This limit is too short – someone who graduates in June 2010 would, by November 2011, have become unqualified, even if they had done supply teaching as often this does not count.

In my case I completed my training in March 2010, and fortunately got a job to start in August.  Had I not got a job for the new academic year (and jobs that start at other times in the year being few and far between), I would have to had given up teaching as by July 2011 I would have rendered myself unqualified as I would not have started my first job.  In this situation I would not even have been able to work as an unqualified teacher as my teaching qualification rules this impossible.

Why is this idea important?

Currently Newly-Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have a 16-month time limit within which they need to start their first year of teaching (first job).  This limit is too short – someone who graduates in June 2010 would, by November 2011, have become unqualified, even if they had done supply teaching as often this does not count.

In my case I completed my training in March 2010, and fortunately got a job to start in August.  Had I not got a job for the new academic year (and jobs that start at other times in the year being few and far between), I would have to had given up teaching as by July 2011 I would have rendered myself unqualified as I would not have started my first job.  In this situation I would not even have been able to work as an unqualified teacher as my teaching qualification rules this impossible.