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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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MP calls for changes in law making

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Meg Munn, Labour and Co-operative MP for Sheffield Heeley has called for changes in the law-making process so that people who work directly with the public would be given the chance to contribute their views about proposed laws and law changes.

Under the current system "experts" often submit information to MPs about proposed changes to law. Occasionally committees are able to invite people to give evidence as part of pre-legislative scrutiny; these are usually the most senior people in their field. So for instance, in discussions about changes to the way hospitals are run, people like Chief Executives of Health Trusts might be invited.

But Meg believes that Parliament should be involving nurses and doctors as well as Hospital managers, PCs and Sergeants as well as Chief Constables, teachers and support staff as well as Education Directors because they know better than anyone whether something will really work or make a difference.

"We can all point to examples of laws that we know are not working and it is often the case that the people on the ground knew all the time that they wouldn’t work. If we involve front-line staff in the process then we can feel more confident that we are producing laws that make sense."

 

Editors Notes:

9th July 2002

"Ms Meg Munn (Sheffield, Heeley): Does my right hon. Friend agree that, in addition to taking evidence from experts in the pre-legislative scrutiny process, there is a lot to be said for taking evidence from practitioners who have experience of the issue being discussed, and who will ultimately be implementing the law? Does he agree that such consultation could result in our being less likely to make laws that are difficult to implement?

Mr. Cook: I totally agree with my hon. Friend. Proceeding by pre-legislative scrutiny, or by Special Standing Committee-or, indeed, both-gives those outside the House the opportunity to comment. It is important for us to remember that pre-legislative scrutiny is a matter not only for MPs but for the wider civic community and for all those involved in the topic under consideration. If we can ensure that that process works satisfactorily, we might have fewer errors on the statute book of the kind of which there were many during the 18 years of Conservative Government.

 

 


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