I thought I would post this as a good encapsulation of the principles of public consultation, which has been provided by @JustSpace.
The Supreme Court in 2014 confirmed the ‘Sedley’ or ‘Gunning’ principles that consultation must, in order to be considered fair:
- “take place when the proposal is still at a formative stage;
- that sufficient reasons for the proposal be put forward to allow for intelligent consideration and response;
- that adequate time be given for that consideration and response;
- and that responses be conscientiously taken into account”,
and went a step further, extending the interpretation for fairness to include consultation on alternatives.
How many so called Public Consultations, whether relating to Town Planning, or Government Policy, actually meet these principles?
Very few I would say.