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A protest campaign over poor walking and cycling safety

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Public bodies should avoid 'The patronising disposition of unaccountable power': the Hillsborough Report by the Right Reverend James Jones
In an attempt to ensure that the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families are not repeated, the Right Reverend James Jones has written a report: The patronising disposition of unaccountable power. It had been commissioned in 2016 by the then Home Secretary, and was published in November 2017.

Some key points are
  • When the Hillsborough families sought to challenge those in authority, they came up against and suffered from what can be described as "the patronising disposition of unaccountable power".
  • When the families asked questions of those in authority, the institution closed ranks, refused to disclose information, used public money to defend its interests and acted in a way that was both intimidating and oppressive.
  • The families know that there are others who have found the same, and that these abuses of power continue.
  • Theresa May, in her recent manifesto, made a commitment to "stand up to those in positions of power who abuse that privilege". This commitment has application in the need to tackle this patronising disposition wherever it is found.
  • The Report recommends a Charter that public bodies will commit to, including that they: place the public interest above their own reputation; approach public scrutiny with candour, in an open, honest and transparent way, making full disclosure of relevant documents, material and facts; and ensure that processes are in place to allow the public to hold them to account.

These point are very relevant to Merseyside road safety as families bereaved by road collisions (and their advocates) have often had similar experiences at the hands of the Merseyside authorities. It is clear that a culture change is needed.

The Report can be downloaded from here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hillsborough-stadium-disaster-lessons-that-must-be-learnt, or from here.

Last updated: 15 Jun 2018