Local inquiries or public hearings: Changes in public consultation over the redistribution of UK Parliamentary constituency boundaries

Ron Johnston*, Charles Pattie, David Rossiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The UK government undertakes a variety of public consultation procedures during the implementation of a range of policies, some of which involve public hearings with varying formats. In 2011 it proposed a major change to such procedures used in the redistribution of Parliamentary constituency boundaries. Local Inquiries were deemed not fit for purpose' and eliminated, because they were lengthy and dominated by the political parties seeking electoral gain. This change was opposed in Parliament and an alternative procedure introduced involving Public Hearings which were to be shorter and less conflictual than the Local Inquiries they replaced. The Hearings for the first round of redistributions under the new procedure have now been held. This article assesses whether they were any fitter for purpose'; there was very little participation by the general public and, as before, the proceedings were dominated by the political parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-679
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


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