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House of Commons Hansard
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British Constitution
29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 624W, on democratic reform, on what date the National Deliberative Event was held; who attended the event; which firms were contracted to organise the event; and at what cost to the public purse. [323650]

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The National Deliberative Event was held on Saturday 20 February 2010. An independent report by TNS-BMRB on the programme of engagement will be published shortly and shows that such deliberative approaches were valued by what were demographically representative groups of participants as a means of building public views into policy making. It shows there is a clear appetite to take further these aspects of the debate on constitutional reform: stating the values that bind us together as a nation, building on the existing protections for individual rights and clarifying our responsibilities.

The following persons attended the event:

110 members of the public (selected statistically to reflect the makeup of the population of the UK) who attended previous deliberative events in October and November 2009.

Myself.

Five officials from the Ministry of Justice and one from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The contracts for these events were awarded to TNS-BMRB, a social research organisation, who developed and delivered the recruitment and research elements of the programme (including chairing the events), and M-is, an events agency, who organised the practical arrangements for the events, including venue hire and participants travel and accommodation.

There were eight deliberative events in total between October 2009 and February 2010: five regional events, two reconvened events and one national event. The total cost for all eight events is £842,111.35. The Government do not hold information on the disaggregated costs for the National Deliberative event as individual costings for each of the eight events were not stipulated in the contractual arrangements.

A copy of the independent report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 624W, on democratic reform, what the cost to the public purse was of the five deliberative events; which companies were contracted to organise the events and to conduct the opinion research; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the findings of the opinion research conducted. [323651]

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There were eight deliberative events between October 2009 and February 2010: five regional events, two reconvened events and one national event. An independent report by TNS-BMRB on the programme of engagement will be published shortly and shows that such deliberative approaches were valued by what were demographically representative groups of participants as a means of building public views into policy making. It shows there is a clear appetite to take further these aspects of the debate on constitutional reform: stating the values that bind us together as a nation, building on the existing protections for individual rights and clarifying our responsibilities.

The total cost for all eight events is £842,111.35. The Government do not hold information on the disaggregated costs for the five regional events as individual costings for each of the events were not stipulated in the contractual arrangements.

The contracts for these events were awarded to TNS-BMRB, a social research organisation, who developed and delivered the recruitment and research elements of the programme (including chairing the events), and M-is, an events company, who organised the practical arrangements for the events including venue hire and participants travel and accommodation.

A copy of the independent report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.