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Select Committees –  CST Improvement

Morphing them into really useful planning bodies

Select committees have all many of the basic requirements to do long-term planning in key areas (eg Education, Energy/Infrastructure, Health/Welfare).

Lets consider their current useful structure:

 Now, if we could improve them by:

Then, we have an excellent starting point for our 25 year planning groups.  In essence, this way forward is less controversial as the members are already elected.  The system already exists (in the main) and to introduce the new functionality is relatively straight forward.

Their remit would not replace current select committees, new committees would be set up specifically for planning and report to Parliament which would have a statutory obligation to review in detail proposed planning from each committee.  Parliament would scrutinise these plans and (within a particular time frame) be allowed to set out a response and question the committee.

The difficult bit is deciding whether Parliament (ie the incumbent Government) or the Committee has the last say in creating the 25 year plan.  These plans can never be set in stone, more a rolling plan that provides a basis for continual improvement.  It is impossible to create an immovable plan for 25 years as the technology and societal factors may of course change markedly.  So, both the committee and Parliament would review planning on a pre-determined basis.

Even if Parliament has the last say, then due to the rigorous nature of the select committees along with wide media coverage would improve the general thinking behind these complex issues.  If Parliament chooses not to follow key recommendations, then there should also be specific legal responsibility by each Parliamentary member who voted for the changes.  Such legal responsibility could be the reduction of future pension rights.  This would certainly ‘focus the minds’ of parliamentary politicians and prevent some of the worst outcomes that the public have had to suffer over the years (such as not building any power stations, not improving educational standards or removing the apprenticeships from the UK workplace).  

see also : 25 Year Planning

CST's input to Select Committees

CST has provided some ideas to specific select committees. Some of these have been published on the select committee's website and hopefully influenced the critical thinking of the committee as a whole.

CST think that considered ideas should be submitted to relevant committees and their enquiries. Why not add your input to them.

Download the pdf document from the links below:

Energy & Climate Change (Commons):
Inquiry into low carbon network infrastructure Oct 2015 (Published) - 'Future Energy Provision for the UK

Economic Affairs Committee (Lords):
Economics of the United Kingdom housing market inquiry November 2015 (Published) - 'How to solve the housing crisis for the UK as a whole'

Science and Technology Committee (Commons):
The draft Investigatory Powers Bill Nov 2015 - 'The New Scientist has called the government "scientifically illiterate"

Robotics and artificial intelligence inquiry (Published) - "The Next Big Thing - how the NHS can lead the UK (and the world) into the coming technical revolution"



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