Misappropriation of law

Possibly the world’s most wrongheaded invocation of the Children Act 1989:

Letters page, North Somerset Times, 1 August 2012:

Fixed Position

The Children Act requires that public bodies do what is in the best interests of the child, and in court proceedings a court shall have regard in particular to the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding); and his physical, emotional and educational need.

However, the plans to create two primary schools at the High Down site in Portishead smack of what is best for the council.

How can it be better for the child who lives in the bottom end of town to go to school at the tope end of town, with all of the extra car journeys, CO2 emissions and congestion that this will involve?

What about parents who will have one or more children in a school at the bottom of town, but will have to bring one or more other children to the top of town?

The council needs to take its consultation obligations seriously.

The views of children and parents have to come first.

Local residents are entitled to a say as well.

Councillors should take heed of these views, particularly if they really believe in democracy, and not impose their ill-considered decisions on us. 

After all, it is the council and councillors who have created the shortages of school places in Portishead in the first place, through their inadequate planning.

The appearance that the council has a fixed positions, and is only going through the motions in its consultation, is enhanced by the statement by the council official in last week’s paper saying that “we are aware (that) travel, transport and potential congestion around the schools is one of the concerns and we will do all we can to minimise these”.

Given that the council has done nothing about these problems in recent years, we can take that statement with a large pinch of salt.

Paul Dunn, The Deans, Portishead.

Whilst resisting the urge to comment on the specifics, I do make the general observation that it is the Government’s policy that there should be many many more litigants in person, much much less state funded legal advice, and that a little knowledge of law is a dangerous thing.

4 thoughts on “Misappropriation of law

  1. “it is the Government’s policy that there should be many many more litigants in person”

    You have a smart phone. Generally it works very well, it performs BILLIONS of operations every second and even makes telephone calls.

    Imagine the situation if you go into the mobile phone shop and the salesperson says to you they have lots of phones, but if you make a call you’ll be very lucky to get the person you thought you were calling. However, they say, we can offer you this engineer at a cost of £200 per hour to help you make a call.

    They won’t guarantee you’ll get the right person on the other end and they won’t be responsible when you don’t, but it’s the best chance you’ve got.

    Access to Justice should not be limited to those who can pay and should not be a lottery. Would you hire me to help you use your mobile phone, or would you expect me to make your mobile phone easy to use?

  2. At least Mr Dunn called it the Children Act rather than the Children’s Act.

  3. Mr Dunn’s distorted perception of the Children Act is no more so than that of many judges in the family court.

  4. Wait a second though? Why on earth should the children’s act be limited to promoting litigation between parents alone? Why not also use it to promote litigation against those organizations that infringe on the rights of children in all manner? Why should it only apply to parents? Unless, of course, we live in a time and place where parents are currently having a war waged against them by a political corporatist elite?

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