Bringing voting reform closer to home

Bringing voting reform closer to home

Nearly half a million people signed a petition in the aftermath of the general election calling on David Cameron to reform our voting system and make seats match votes.  The response makes it clear that the government don’t see it is a priority so how can we achieve change? Speaking at the Great Gathering for Voting Reform on Saturday I proposed  using the Sustainable Communities Act to help unlock democracy at a local level. 

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One in five new MPs has second job

One in five new MPs has second job

Analysis of the new register of MPs’ financial interests by Unlock Democracy reveals that 1 in 5 new MPs already has a second job: 34 out of the 182 new MPs reported second jobs, while 80 of the 468 returning MPs reported second jobs. The total number of MPs with second jobs has increased slightly since the election, with 114 MPs reporting second jobs, up from 108 according to a BBC analysis conducted in February 2015. Of the 114 MPs who have second jobs, 84 are Conservative, 18 Labour, 11 SNP and one DUP.

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Freedom of information under threat?

Freedom of information under threat?

The Government have just announced a cross party Commission on Freedom of Information to review the use of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  It is hard not to be cynical when governments review Freedom of Information provisions, particularly when one of the members, Jack Straw is a very vocal critic of the Act.

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The government proposals on thresholds for trade unions are undemocratic

The government proposals on thresholds for trade unions are undemocratic

The government has just published plans to require minimum turnout in trade union strike ballots. The Trade Union Bill would require a threshold of 50% turnout for any strike ballot to be successful. If the strike affects core public services, in addition, at least 40% of eligible trade union members must vote in favour for the strike to go ahead.

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