educating children with special needs

My idea is that we need to cut through the red tape that makes achieving an educational statement for children with special needs often a two-year process.  Caring parents push through echelons of teachers untrained in psychology to reach diagnosis by an educational psychologist.  Children without that care fall by the wayside even at this initial level, often being deemed ‘naughty’ and from problem families.  They can cause havoc in the classroom, become resentful, alienated and drop out.  Our prisons are full of illiterates and localities are scrawled with graffiti as such people try to validate their existence.

It’s simply wrong to try to herd our children into a ‘one size fits all’ education system.  A Freedom Bill should acknowledge the right of the individual to be respected by society, within legal limits.

I propose that we cut through hierarchy to make Educational Psychologists directly available in schools, acknowledging that the extent of the ‘special needs’ issue has been vastly under-recognized to date in a pejorative society where punishment and justice have taken precedence over prevention of anti-social behaviour.

If children were diagnosed early and given appropriate support and direction then we could save millions, or even billions, on mopping up the mess created by alienated, unhappy individuals.  This would not just save money, but alleviate human suffering.

I speak as a teacher of 25 years experience, now running my own educational consultancy.  I do 121 coaching and find that of the students referred to me 90% have undiagnosed special needs.  I liaise frequently with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Trinity College, Cambridge and publish regularly on educational matters in ‘Mensa Magazine’, being a member of the high IQ society.

Why is this idea important?

My idea is that we need to cut through the red tape that makes achieving an educational statement for children with special needs often a two-year process.  Caring parents push through echelons of teachers untrained in psychology to reach diagnosis by an educational psychologist.  Children without that care fall by the wayside even at this initial level, often being deemed ‘naughty’ and from problem families.  They can cause havoc in the classroom, become resentful, alienated and drop out.  Our prisons are full of illiterates and localities are scrawled with graffiti as such people try to validate their existence.

It’s simply wrong to try to herd our children into a ‘one size fits all’ education system.  A Freedom Bill should acknowledge the right of the individual to be respected by society, within legal limits.

I propose that we cut through hierarchy to make Educational Psychologists directly available in schools, acknowledging that the extent of the ‘special needs’ issue has been vastly under-recognized to date in a pejorative society where punishment and justice have taken precedence over prevention of anti-social behaviour.

If children were diagnosed early and given appropriate support and direction then we could save millions, or even billions, on mopping up the mess created by alienated, unhappy individuals.  This would not just save money, but alleviate human suffering.

I speak as a teacher of 25 years experience, now running my own educational consultancy.  I do 121 coaching and find that of the students referred to me 90% have undiagnosed special needs.  I liaise frequently with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Trinity College, Cambridge and publish regularly on educational matters in ‘Mensa Magazine’, being a member of the high IQ society.

Abolish employee national insurance

National Insurance has not been hypothecated for years.  When initially introduced it was set aside for welfare and the NHS but it is now simply another form of general taxation that largely duplicates income tax.  Abolish it.  Doing so would free employers from having to administer two independent tax systems with different rules, rates and thresholds.  It would also make an entire bureaucracy in the form of the National Insurance Contributions Office almost entirely surplus to requirements.  Income tax rates would of course need to be raised to compensate, but currently NI and income tax become payable at similar income levels.  This means you could achieve a roughly similar effect in broad brush terms by getting
rid of NI, raising the basic rate of income tax to 31%, and introducing a discounted basic rate for pensioners who do not currently pay NI.

I'll admit that there are one or two details that complicate the picture slightly.  Making this change in a revenue neutral manner would impact on the plans to raise the income tax threshold, but I am sure that it could still be raised by a slighty lower amount and the lowest paid would benefit as much as they would from a £10,000 basic tax allowance.  Benefits entitlement would need looking at as well.  The obvious approach would be to replace the
requirement that NI is paid with payment of income tax but if the objective is to take the lowest paid out of income tax altogether that would need addressing to ensure they do not lose future benefits entitlement.  However, I am sure addressing these details would be
easy enough for the Treasury experts to work out.

Why is this idea important?

National Insurance has not been hypothecated for years.  When initially introduced it was set aside for welfare and the NHS but it is now simply another form of general taxation that largely duplicates income tax.  Abolish it.  Doing so would free employers from having to administer two independent tax systems with different rules, rates and thresholds.  It would also make an entire bureaucracy in the form of the National Insurance Contributions Office almost entirely surplus to requirements.  Income tax rates would of course need to be raised to compensate, but currently NI and income tax become payable at similar income levels.  This means you could achieve a roughly similar effect in broad brush terms by getting
rid of NI, raising the basic rate of income tax to 31%, and introducing a discounted basic rate for pensioners who do not currently pay NI.

I'll admit that there are one or two details that complicate the picture slightly.  Making this change in a revenue neutral manner would impact on the plans to raise the income tax threshold, but I am sure that it could still be raised by a slighty lower amount and the lowest paid would benefit as much as they would from a £10,000 basic tax allowance.  Benefits entitlement would need looking at as well.  The obvious approach would be to replace the
requirement that NI is paid with payment of income tax but if the objective is to take the lowest paid out of income tax altogether that would need addressing to ensure they do not lose future benefits entitlement.  However, I am sure addressing these details would be
easy enough for the Treasury experts to work out.

Abolish Statements of Investment Principles

The requirement for a pension scheme to prepare and maintain a Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) is contained in Section 35 of the Pensions Act 1995.  This Section should be repealed.

Why is this idea important?

The requirement for a pension scheme to prepare and maintain a Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) is contained in Section 35 of the Pensions Act 1995.  This Section should be repealed.

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 ( known colloquially as TUPE, are the United Kingdom's implementation of the European Union Acquired Rights Directive. This act is being used against its purpose. For instance: if I hire a cleaning company and they supply a cleaner, if I am not happy with the service and decide to change cleaning contractors, the new contractor has to offer employment to the orignal cleaner at the same salary and benefits they were on before. This is maddness, as then I would end up with the same cleaner.

Why is this idea important?

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 ( known colloquially as TUPE, are the United Kingdom's implementation of the European Union Acquired Rights Directive. This act is being used against its purpose. For instance: if I hire a cleaning company and they supply a cleaner, if I am not happy with the service and decide to change cleaning contractors, the new contractor has to offer employment to the orignal cleaner at the same salary and benefits they were on before. This is maddness, as then I would end up with the same cleaner.

IR35

IR35 views contract workers as 'disguised employees' and makes them subject to the same tax law as individual PAYE employees rather than companies

I would like to see one or the other.  Either treat contractors as full employees with the assosciated benefits and protections or as separate companies allowed to conduct their business as most other companies.

Why is this idea important?

IR35 views contract workers as 'disguised employees' and makes them subject to the same tax law as individual PAYE employees rather than companies

I would like to see one or the other.  Either treat contractors as full employees with the assosciated benefits and protections or as separate companies allowed to conduct their business as most other companies.

Scrap passports for horses

Horse passports do not serve the purpose they are intended to serve. They are beaurocratic and an imposition on horse owners. The cost to horse owners is effectively a tax on horse ownership. Horse passports should therefore be scrapped, or made voluntary rather than compulsory.

Why is this idea important?

Horse passports do not serve the purpose they are intended to serve. They are beaurocratic and an imposition on horse owners. The cost to horse owners is effectively a tax on horse ownership. Horse passports should therefore be scrapped, or made voluntary rather than compulsory.

Common Sense Clause

All regulations and laws should be accompanied by a clear "statement of purpose". It should be an adequate legal defence that what you are accused of doing, while admittedly contravening the detailed provisions of the law, did not in practice compromise the stated purpose of the law.

As a stand-alone extension of this, all laws and regulations should be reviewed every five years and, if found not to be delivering the stated purpose, automatically repealed.

Why is this idea important?

All regulations and laws should be accompanied by a clear "statement of purpose". It should be an adequate legal defence that what you are accused of doing, while admittedly contravening the detailed provisions of the law, did not in practice compromise the stated purpose of the law.

As a stand-alone extension of this, all laws and regulations should be reviewed every five years and, if found not to be delivering the stated purpose, automatically repealed.

Reform and clarify the planning system to progressive beauty

The planning system is an out of date, dishonest and currupt monster. It restricts, hinders and punishers those who dare to challenge it and lead business forward with new ideas, buildings and concepts.

I and many of my collegues would invest far more money into business infrastructure to benefit the local enconomy, lower rents and capital costs, improve efficiency, and lower carbon footprints and improve the life of all who work in the economy. I personally invest only 20% of my potential in my business because of the problems, uncretainties and vagarities of the planning system.

This planning system is a mess. Since it was introduced the quality, range and visual amenity of all properties has deteriated, and has only seen a small improvement in the last decade, but still we live in a world of poor quality buildings and workspaces.

This system is policed by biased and corrupt planners who nearly always make a decision to refuse a progressive application and then bend and manipulate the law to fit their decisions. That is unless one of their pals on the planning committee is involved in which case they do just the opposite. Many progressive and highly functional and efficient buildings and land uses are stopped by the 1% of nimbies and their councillor chums whoc then unfairly and unconstitutionaly influence the planners to lie and missrepresent the planning law to refuse and application. I have a small business development which is both low impact and visually unintrusive for hi tech office use, but we have and continue to fight the planners for everything and 5 years in we are still fighting and subject to intrusive inspections by planning officers to try to stop us using our permitted development rights. Throughout this process we have shelved plans for wood fired heating, small wind turbine and a small solar project to progress our energy consumption and have had to aboandon all due to the local authority planning incompetance and obstructions.

here is the typical scenario. We contact the planner for some advice. Is this xyz alteration to our building okay. We then write in after no responce. We are told a load of rubbish that yes we will look at the application and we could not possibly issue a view on it prior to an application. Then as soon as we submit an application they are suddenly 100% sure that all they can do is refuse an application and there is no possibility of passing it. ??Why could they not have said it before. Then we go to appeal and as long as we do not get an x planning officer at appeal we get the permission granted and the planning authority make a fool of themselves lying through their back teeth to back up their reasons for refusal which were all fabricated.

This is all a long and drawn out unnecesary process and we should look at a form of zoning with restrictions on hieght and use in certain areas and alow a certain amount of land each year to be set aside fo new uses close to existing towns. Planners should be forced to represent the law correctly and not lie to applicants and give more honest and less obstructive advice. This unnecesary and overly beurocratic system is holding back business, increasing house rents and capital values andis not deliverying a better built environment or better houses to live in. The system has its head in the sand when in comes to solar gain through south facing windows, solar heating and panels, quality of living space and aspect and beauty.

We need to look at a total overhaul of this sytem and produce a postive progressive, not negative regressive process which encourages people to invest in quality eficient and beautiful buildings which are a joy to behold. When people look back at the buildings from 1960 to 2010 they will wonder what on earth we were doing bar a few fantastic exeptions. Lets make 2010 onwards more progressive, more beautiful, more postive and make Britain a fantastic place to live.

Why is this idea important?

The planning system is an out of date, dishonest and currupt monster. It restricts, hinders and punishers those who dare to challenge it and lead business forward with new ideas, buildings and concepts.

I and many of my collegues would invest far more money into business infrastructure to benefit the local enconomy, lower rents and capital costs, improve efficiency, and lower carbon footprints and improve the life of all who work in the economy. I personally invest only 20% of my potential in my business because of the problems, uncretainties and vagarities of the planning system.

This planning system is a mess. Since it was introduced the quality, range and visual amenity of all properties has deteriated, and has only seen a small improvement in the last decade, but still we live in a world of poor quality buildings and workspaces.

This system is policed by biased and corrupt planners who nearly always make a decision to refuse a progressive application and then bend and manipulate the law to fit their decisions. That is unless one of their pals on the planning committee is involved in which case they do just the opposite. Many progressive and highly functional and efficient buildings and land uses are stopped by the 1% of nimbies and their councillor chums whoc then unfairly and unconstitutionaly influence the planners to lie and missrepresent the planning law to refuse and application. I have a small business development which is both low impact and visually unintrusive for hi tech office use, but we have and continue to fight the planners for everything and 5 years in we are still fighting and subject to intrusive inspections by planning officers to try to stop us using our permitted development rights. Throughout this process we have shelved plans for wood fired heating, small wind turbine and a small solar project to progress our energy consumption and have had to aboandon all due to the local authority planning incompetance and obstructions.

here is the typical scenario. We contact the planner for some advice. Is this xyz alteration to our building okay. We then write in after no responce. We are told a load of rubbish that yes we will look at the application and we could not possibly issue a view on it prior to an application. Then as soon as we submit an application they are suddenly 100% sure that all they can do is refuse an application and there is no possibility of passing it. ??Why could they not have said it before. Then we go to appeal and as long as we do not get an x planning officer at appeal we get the permission granted and the planning authority make a fool of themselves lying through their back teeth to back up their reasons for refusal which were all fabricated.

This is all a long and drawn out unnecesary process and we should look at a form of zoning with restrictions on hieght and use in certain areas and alow a certain amount of land each year to be set aside fo new uses close to existing towns. Planners should be forced to represent the law correctly and not lie to applicants and give more honest and less obstructive advice. This unnecesary and overly beurocratic system is holding back business, increasing house rents and capital values andis not deliverying a better built environment or better houses to live in. The system has its head in the sand when in comes to solar gain through south facing windows, solar heating and panels, quality of living space and aspect and beauty.

We need to look at a total overhaul of this sytem and produce a postive progressive, not negative regressive process which encourages people to invest in quality eficient and beautiful buildings which are a joy to behold. When people look back at the buildings from 1960 to 2010 they will wonder what on earth we were doing bar a few fantastic exeptions. Lets make 2010 onwards more progressive, more beautiful, more postive and make Britain a fantastic place to live.

Repeal the Equalities Act

In the near future, vacancies can be filled by cronyism and the making up of quota's rather than employing the best person for the job based on merit and skill. This is not an equality but positive discrimination and any discrimination of any kind, even if 'positive' is wrong. 

Also, businesses will be monitored too heavily due to requirements of the Act and therefore this oppressive bordering on communist Act must be repealed and common sense restored.

Why is this idea important?

In the near future, vacancies can be filled by cronyism and the making up of quota's rather than employing the best person for the job based on merit and skill. This is not an equality but positive discrimination and any discrimination of any kind, even if 'positive' is wrong. 

Also, businesses will be monitored too heavily due to requirements of the Act and therefore this oppressive bordering on communist Act must be repealed and common sense restored.

repeal of certain planning laws

Dear Sir,

Further to your request for suggestions for Nick Clegg, I have the following proposal.

At present any one person may object to any real or imagined nuisance from an established business by appealing to one of the many departments of local Government such as Environmental Health, Planning or Health & Safety. The Local Authority do not have to disclose the name of the objector who may well have personal grievances to air irrespective of the value of a business to any given area in terms of employment, investment and contributions to the local economy not least by way of rates.

If such an objection results in an enforcement notice the costs of bringing the action are born by the Local Authority (the tax payer) whereas the costs of defending it are born exclusively by the business so affected. Such costs, as in the case of an appeal, can be extremely detrimental to the affected business to say nothing of the waste of time and the anxiety which results.

Obviously I recognise that at times a genuine nuisance may arise. In this case I would like to suggest that complaints must first be submitted to the Parish Council or a minimum of say 25 signatures be obtained. Secondly that if unsuccessful in his or her action, the objector should bear the costs of the case.   

I think you will find a level of support for this proposal from many businesses in the U.K.

Regards JOHN GORST

Why is this idea important?

Dear Sir,

Further to your request for suggestions for Nick Clegg, I have the following proposal.

At present any one person may object to any real or imagined nuisance from an established business by appealing to one of the many departments of local Government such as Environmental Health, Planning or Health & Safety. The Local Authority do not have to disclose the name of the objector who may well have personal grievances to air irrespective of the value of a business to any given area in terms of employment, investment and contributions to the local economy not least by way of rates.

If such an objection results in an enforcement notice the costs of bringing the action are born by the Local Authority (the tax payer) whereas the costs of defending it are born exclusively by the business so affected. Such costs, as in the case of an appeal, can be extremely detrimental to the affected business to say nothing of the waste of time and the anxiety which results.

Obviously I recognise that at times a genuine nuisance may arise. In this case I would like to suggest that complaints must first be submitted to the Parish Council or a minimum of say 25 signatures be obtained. Secondly that if unsuccessful in his or her action, the objector should bear the costs of the case.   

I think you will find a level of support for this proposal from many businesses in the U.K.

Regards JOHN GORST

Limit Self Assessment and Record Keeping for Hobbyist and Micro Businesses




Micro Businesses eg crafters and hobbyists for example should not need to keep records of sales and expenses or register for self assessment,unless they are also claiming benefits (whether disability,incapacity,housing benefit,tax credits,pension credits,job seekers allowance etc) or unless they are also working for an employer. If it is their only source of  earnings, they should not need to disclose until their turnover reaches £10,000 per annum.All they should need to do is tell the |Inland revenue  of their start up and sign an online disclosure form each year that there turnover has not reached , or is not expected to reach £10,000 in that tax year.Once this turnover figure is reached in any given tax year they should then begin keeping records ,but discounting the first £10,000 of turnover and related expenses up to the date the limit is reached. Although once the £10,000 turnover is reached capital allowances/gains would still be claimed/disclosed for the whole of the tax year in question. As an over 50 small online crafter/embroiderer,whereby this is my only earnings position,and who's ethic is self reliance , who does not ever rely on the benefit system,and who has set up solely to try to bring in a small supplementary income,( although my actual working day from home is virtually 24/7, so much less than minimum wage) my record keeping is both extensive and much too time consuming .In my opinion all this added paperwork and red tape is uneccessary as my profits are  very low and I would expect to always be well under the Lel for both income tax and national insurance.

Why is this idea important?




Micro Businesses eg crafters and hobbyists for example should not need to keep records of sales and expenses or register for self assessment,unless they are also claiming benefits (whether disability,incapacity,housing benefit,tax credits,pension credits,job seekers allowance etc) or unless they are also working for an employer. If it is their only source of  earnings, they should not need to disclose until their turnover reaches £10,000 per annum.All they should need to do is tell the |Inland revenue  of their start up and sign an online disclosure form each year that there turnover has not reached , or is not expected to reach £10,000 in that tax year.Once this turnover figure is reached in any given tax year they should then begin keeping records ,but discounting the first £10,000 of turnover and related expenses up to the date the limit is reached. Although once the £10,000 turnover is reached capital allowances/gains would still be claimed/disclosed for the whole of the tax year in question. As an over 50 small online crafter/embroiderer,whereby this is my only earnings position,and who's ethic is self reliance , who does not ever rely on the benefit system,and who has set up solely to try to bring in a small supplementary income,( although my actual working day from home is virtually 24/7, so much less than minimum wage) my record keeping is both extensive and much too time consuming .In my opinion all this added paperwork and red tape is uneccessary as my profits are  very low and I would expect to always be well under the Lel for both income tax and national insurance.

Reform building regulations

Building regulations have been left in a mess by Labour. I believe that there are three specific problems:

1. The first is to review and make sensible the requirement for building control inspection for domestic building works. These days you can do almost nothing in your own home without having to pay a lot of money for a building inspector to come and patronise you by reading at you from the rule book. There are of course times when the building inspector is needed and helpful, however their remit has been extended  far beyond common sense. 

2. The second is to alter the fee structure of the building inspectors. The current regime is simply about revenue raising for the local authority and not about value for money. The inspectors charge like architects – i.e. the cost of their visit is proportional to the amount of money you are spending on your project. If you require several visits on a small project their fees can easily run into several thousands, and can be a real burden. This is an unacceptable cost, and a symptom of over-governance.

3. Remove the penalty of committing a criminal offence by proceeding without a building control inspection. It is ridiculous to think of getting a criminal conviction for competently and safely making an alteration to your own home because you did not involve local government. This offence was most likely created to ensure work for building inspectors as part of Labour's Soviet style government job-creation project. Surely the responsibility should lie with the homeowner, as it always has done in the past. 

Why is this idea important?

Building regulations have been left in a mess by Labour. I believe that there are three specific problems:

1. The first is to review and make sensible the requirement for building control inspection for domestic building works. These days you can do almost nothing in your own home without having to pay a lot of money for a building inspector to come and patronise you by reading at you from the rule book. There are of course times when the building inspector is needed and helpful, however their remit has been extended  far beyond common sense. 

2. The second is to alter the fee structure of the building inspectors. The current regime is simply about revenue raising for the local authority and not about value for money. The inspectors charge like architects – i.e. the cost of their visit is proportional to the amount of money you are spending on your project. If you require several visits on a small project their fees can easily run into several thousands, and can be a real burden. This is an unacceptable cost, and a symptom of over-governance.

3. Remove the penalty of committing a criminal offence by proceeding without a building control inspection. It is ridiculous to think of getting a criminal conviction for competently and safely making an alteration to your own home because you did not involve local government. This offence was most likely created to ensure work for building inspectors as part of Labour's Soviet style government job-creation project. Surely the responsibility should lie with the homeowner, as it always has done in the past. 

CRB CHECKS

CRB checks seem to be a good idea.I assume the idea is to check out the person who comes into contact with vulnerable people?

Why then does a person who moves between jobs have to get a new one every time?

This seems very time consuming and a complete waste of time.

My wife even had to get a new one when she moved towns and worked for the same organisation!!

Why is this idea important?

CRB checks seem to be a good idea.I assume the idea is to check out the person who comes into contact with vulnerable people?

Why then does a person who moves between jobs have to get a new one every time?

This seems very time consuming and a complete waste of time.

My wife even had to get a new one when she moved towns and worked for the same organisation!!

Ease the Planning route for recovery

I am professionally involved with the built environment and have, like many others observed the decline in the economic benefits of an active building industry, which is one of the few productive industries that the UK has.

When the recovery starts to take place, we anticipate that many developers will be looking to submit new applications and try to get projects moving but will be hitting brick walls when dealing with planning issues and getting schemes approved.

We need to have a proactive, co-operative Planning system that can process applications quickly so that the industry can start moving and generating income, let alone quality schemes.

Although the 8 week rule applies we have found even getting pre-app discussions and conditions approved can double that time period.

Why is this idea important?

I am professionally involved with the built environment and have, like many others observed the decline in the economic benefits of an active building industry, which is one of the few productive industries that the UK has.

When the recovery starts to take place, we anticipate that many developers will be looking to submit new applications and try to get projects moving but will be hitting brick walls when dealing with planning issues and getting schemes approved.

We need to have a proactive, co-operative Planning system that can process applications quickly so that the industry can start moving and generating income, let alone quality schemes.

Although the 8 week rule applies we have found even getting pre-app discussions and conditions approved can double that time period.

Town and Country Planning Act

The town and country Planning act should be repealed in part or reviewed majorly and a new start initiated. At the moment the act is far too complex and almost impossible for the average man in the street to understand. It gives powers to planners that seem arbitrary and totally subjective. Plans that would be passed by one planner may not necessarily get past another! This causes a great deal of frustration when your application for a small extension is turned down and next door gets permission to build Moonbase Alpha! And why do you have to put in retrospective planning permission for a structure that has stood for over 4 years that enforcement action cannot be taken against? What happens if the planners in their wisdom turn it down. It can't be enforced upon so what's the point? What can the planners do? wag their finger at you? Permission should be granted automatically once the 4 year period  (with no complaints) is up. I appreciate the need for planning laws otherwise the country would be overrun with inappropriate structures but planners should be more consistent in their approval of planning applications.

Why is this idea important?

The town and country Planning act should be repealed in part or reviewed majorly and a new start initiated. At the moment the act is far too complex and almost impossible for the average man in the street to understand. It gives powers to planners that seem arbitrary and totally subjective. Plans that would be passed by one planner may not necessarily get past another! This causes a great deal of frustration when your application for a small extension is turned down and next door gets permission to build Moonbase Alpha! And why do you have to put in retrospective planning permission for a structure that has stood for over 4 years that enforcement action cannot be taken against? What happens if the planners in their wisdom turn it down. It can't be enforced upon so what's the point? What can the planners do? wag their finger at you? Permission should be granted automatically once the 4 year period  (with no complaints) is up. I appreciate the need for planning laws otherwise the country would be overrun with inappropriate structures but planners should be more consistent in their approval of planning applications.

Planning

Streamline and simplify the planning process. The philosophy should be "Trust the homeowner to take decisions as to how to look after his own property. It is not the State's function to second guess."

Planning restrictions should be clear and understandable and PROPORTIONATE!

Specifically: there should be no requirement for planning permission in respect of remedial works which do not change the size or outline of unlisted buildings.

Generally: (and this is a big exercise, but so worthwhile: tear up the labyrinth of arcane and impenetrable rules surrounding the planning system and replace with laws which are clear and understandable.

Why is this idea important?

Streamline and simplify the planning process. The philosophy should be "Trust the homeowner to take decisions as to how to look after his own property. It is not the State's function to second guess."

Planning restrictions should be clear and understandable and PROPORTIONATE!

Specifically: there should be no requirement for planning permission in respect of remedial works which do not change the size or outline of unlisted buildings.

Generally: (and this is a big exercise, but so worthwhile: tear up the labyrinth of arcane and impenetrable rules surrounding the planning system and replace with laws which are clear and understandable.

Retail Distribution Review

The Financial Services Authority have been regulating financial services for over 12 years. During that time, we have seen Equitable Life and Northern Rock nearly go to the wall. We have seen lenders allowed to lend irresponsibly and now hardly lend at all. We have suffered one of the greatest recessions this country has seen and they still think they know best.

The retail distribution review (RDR) is their attempt to stop mis-selling scandals of the future by using a twin approach of increasing the minimum level of qualification for each adviser and by the scrapping of commission.

That sounds fine in principle but like so many of their other ideas for regulation, it won't work. Take commission. The basis for the RDR is that commission makes the adviser bias towards the highest paying commission product. That can simply be countered by having level commission. i.e. products that all pay the same amount.

Again, higher qualifications, sounds good. The difficulty is that as an industry, most 'Independants' are over 50. How would you like to take a degree at over 50 with the threat hanging over you that if you didnt pass you'd lose your livelyhood.

Looking at the number of complaints would give an indication of where financial problems occur. The Independent sector account for about 4% of complaints. About 80% come from advice given by the banks. Yet the proposals will have the effect of closing down 'Independents' and driving customers to the banks.

Why is this idea important?

The Financial Services Authority have been regulating financial services for over 12 years. During that time, we have seen Equitable Life and Northern Rock nearly go to the wall. We have seen lenders allowed to lend irresponsibly and now hardly lend at all. We have suffered one of the greatest recessions this country has seen and they still think they know best.

The retail distribution review (RDR) is their attempt to stop mis-selling scandals of the future by using a twin approach of increasing the minimum level of qualification for each adviser and by the scrapping of commission.

That sounds fine in principle but like so many of their other ideas for regulation, it won't work. Take commission. The basis for the RDR is that commission makes the adviser bias towards the highest paying commission product. That can simply be countered by having level commission. i.e. products that all pay the same amount.

Again, higher qualifications, sounds good. The difficulty is that as an industry, most 'Independants' are over 50. How would you like to take a degree at over 50 with the threat hanging over you that if you didnt pass you'd lose your livelyhood.

Looking at the number of complaints would give an indication of where financial problems occur. The Independent sector account for about 4% of complaints. About 80% come from advice given by the banks. Yet the proposals will have the effect of closing down 'Independents' and driving customers to the banks.

Remove the electrical safety requirements – part P of the Building Regulations

this is red tape gone mad!! You cant even install a basic fan or shower in your bathroom now DIY because of some EU beaurocracy gone made, its elf and safety gone mad, we must get rid of this rule now

Why is this idea important?

this is red tape gone mad!! You cant even install a basic fan or shower in your bathroom now DIY because of some EU beaurocracy gone made, its elf and safety gone mad, we must get rid of this rule now

Cut 95% of the red tape in the NHS (especially the Mental Health side).

I believe that we could cut 95% of the red tape in the NHS (especially in the Mental Health field) and provide a better service to more patients while reducing stress of front line staff and saving money.

So much of the paperwork, audits and computer inputting is not needed to give practical and psychological healp to the patient and is in fact a major distraction and hindrance to this aim.

By using IT systems intelligently and allways focussing on whether an action will benefit the patient or just sustain our own organisation we could be so much more efficient, effective and a better service.

Why is this idea important?

I believe that we could cut 95% of the red tape in the NHS (especially in the Mental Health field) and provide a better service to more patients while reducing stress of front line staff and saving money.

So much of the paperwork, audits and computer inputting is not needed to give practical and psychological healp to the patient and is in fact a major distraction and hindrance to this aim.

By using IT systems intelligently and allways focussing on whether an action will benefit the patient or just sustain our own organisation we could be so much more efficient, effective and a better service.

Remove the Green Belt restrictions

Long term land owners who has ownership for a long time say over 10 years should be allowed to build a residential property.  Why should local government dictate what a land owner is able to do.  Relax this nonsense and allow development for a single residential home.

Why is this idea important?

Long term land owners who has ownership for a long time say over 10 years should be allowed to build a residential property.  Why should local government dictate what a land owner is able to do.  Relax this nonsense and allow development for a single residential home.

Reducing the burden of public consultation

Make public consultation duties and activity more proportionate and value for money or in some cases enable authorities to act first then receive feedback with the ability to make changes if required rather than encourage delay and procrastination with consultation exercises.

Considerable time, effort and public money is spent on listening exercising with little proven benefit. Consultation activity was massively increased in the late 1990s across the public sector.

Quality outcomes can be driven by used of more effective market research and made accountable through a committment to make changes during a probation period, rather than waste time and money on consultation rounds.

For example: changes to waiting restrictions (yellow line restrictions)

To install yellow lines the public are consulted, this work is undertaken by every local council. It would be quicker to install them on an experimental basis, using professional judgement and consulting with local elected members, install them and then seek feedback. At present simple proposals are costly and take consdierable officer time to implement. The Traffic Regulation Order process needs to be simplified.

For example: changes to NHS service provision in Greater Manchester

Millions of pounds of public money were spent on listening exercises with regard to changes to NHS services in 2006/7. The NHS was duty bound to conduct this exercise, but the available options had already been determined by cost and service efficacy reasons. The customer did not know best as often their reasoning was based on emotional reactions or inertia to change. If change is essential, consultation should be limited and the public told what is not on the table for discussion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Make public consultation duties and activity more proportionate and value for money or in some cases enable authorities to act first then receive feedback with the ability to make changes if required rather than encourage delay and procrastination with consultation exercises.

Considerable time, effort and public money is spent on listening exercising with little proven benefit. Consultation activity was massively increased in the late 1990s across the public sector.

Quality outcomes can be driven by used of more effective market research and made accountable through a committment to make changes during a probation period, rather than waste time and money on consultation rounds.

For example: changes to waiting restrictions (yellow line restrictions)

To install yellow lines the public are consulted, this work is undertaken by every local council. It would be quicker to install them on an experimental basis, using professional judgement and consulting with local elected members, install them and then seek feedback. At present simple proposals are costly and take consdierable officer time to implement. The Traffic Regulation Order process needs to be simplified.

For example: changes to NHS service provision in Greater Manchester

Millions of pounds of public money were spent on listening exercises with regard to changes to NHS services in 2006/7. The NHS was duty bound to conduct this exercise, but the available options had already been determined by cost and service efficacy reasons. The customer did not know best as often their reasoning was based on emotional reactions or inertia to change. If change is essential, consultation should be limited and the public told what is not on the table for discussion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow public access to Downing Street again

I would very much like Downing Street to be available once again to the general public.  I appreciate the need for security, but surely we all need the right to be able to stroll down and see the dwellings that are paid for out of the public purse for the Prime Minister of the day to live in.  I remember when I was at school going down past No 10, what a thrill it was!  A policeman on duty outside, who was willing to pose for pictures and the knowledge that this was the house that the prime minister of the day did the normal things such as watching television and leaving his dirty socks on the floor for someone else to pick up.  Such a trip was denied to my children, how I would have loved to take them myself.  Please, David and Nick, open up Downing Street again and let us all be able to take a picture of the famous door, and show our children that this is the place where the Prime Minister ponders over many important affairs of state r during toast and cornflakes,  or while tossing and turning through the night.

Why is this idea important?

I would very much like Downing Street to be available once again to the general public.  I appreciate the need for security, but surely we all need the right to be able to stroll down and see the dwellings that are paid for out of the public purse for the Prime Minister of the day to live in.  I remember when I was at school going down past No 10, what a thrill it was!  A policeman on duty outside, who was willing to pose for pictures and the knowledge that this was the house that the prime minister of the day did the normal things such as watching television and leaving his dirty socks on the floor for someone else to pick up.  Such a trip was denied to my children, how I would have loved to take them myself.  Please, David and Nick, open up Downing Street again and let us all be able to take a picture of the famous door, and show our children that this is the place where the Prime Minister ponders over many important affairs of state r during toast and cornflakes,  or while tossing and turning through the night.

Allow Access to the 1921 Census Now

In times of economic stress such as these the government might be open to any idea that could generate useful revenue and the 1921 census is one such project.

A way to generate income, provide jobs and boost the economy all at the same time without making cuts.
Such a policy must be popular with the electorate.

The National Audit Office report on the release of the 1901 census stated that the internet access to the 1901 generated revenues of £4.5 million by October 2003, less than one year.
In five years that amounts to a conservative sum of £22.5 million and useful figure for even a government to play with.

A group of MPs suggested the 1911 census could develop revenue of 40 million pounds per annum

There were no sensitive questions on the schedule-
Name & Surname, Relationship to Head, Age, Sex, Married or Orphaned, Birthplace, Nationality, School, Occupation, Employment, Place of work, Total Children Under 15, Ages of Children. – so there is no need to redact columns.

In addition releasing the census would purge misconceptions raised by a previous Registrar General, Len Cook when he pledge on the 1981, 1991 census that the schedules would remain closed for 100 years. A pledge he later admitted in a letter to parliament he had no authority to give.

This would not cost goverment or taxpayers one penny as private companies would be queuing up to digitise, transcribe and host the 1921 Census

Why is this idea important?

In times of economic stress such as these the government might be open to any idea that could generate useful revenue and the 1921 census is one such project.

A way to generate income, provide jobs and boost the economy all at the same time without making cuts.
Such a policy must be popular with the electorate.

The National Audit Office report on the release of the 1901 census stated that the internet access to the 1901 generated revenues of £4.5 million by October 2003, less than one year.
In five years that amounts to a conservative sum of £22.5 million and useful figure for even a government to play with.

A group of MPs suggested the 1911 census could develop revenue of 40 million pounds per annum

There were no sensitive questions on the schedule-
Name & Surname, Relationship to Head, Age, Sex, Married or Orphaned, Birthplace, Nationality, School, Occupation, Employment, Place of work, Total Children Under 15, Ages of Children. – so there is no need to redact columns.

In addition releasing the census would purge misconceptions raised by a previous Registrar General, Len Cook when he pledge on the 1981, 1991 census that the schedules would remain closed for 100 years. A pledge he later admitted in a letter to parliament he had no authority to give.

This would not cost goverment or taxpayers one penny as private companies would be queuing up to digitise, transcribe and host the 1921 Census