Post by Patrick Torsney on Oct 6, 2006 14:48:36 GMT
THIS THREAD HAS NOW CLOSED - IT REMAINS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY
We are now approximately one week from the end of the consultation exercise on the future of Legal Aid
In Forum Update #5, as well as outlining how the forum would respond to the consultation, I began a discussion on what if anything this forum would do once the consultation exercise was over
The following text is reproduced from Forum Update #5
"The future of this forum
I struggle with the question of what to do with this free online forum once the consultation exercise is over – to keep it going or, to say that it has fulfilled its purpose and to leave it at that
Without exception everyone who voted in the poll asking whether it is a good idea has voted ‘yes’, although this can be read that people just thought it a good idea in respect of drawing the consultation out into the open and giving the people who do the work the opportunity to have their say – that they don’t necessarily think there is any need for it after that
It has taken a considerable amount of my own unpaid time creating and then maintaining this forum in order to achieve its original objectives – whatever happens I would like to say a sincere thank you for your involvement and contributions as I believe it has not only met those objectives but has greatly exceeded my own expectations, and I daresay certain individuals and powers that be out there who were originally reticent about its creation
This forum was never about me, but about you and what you had to say – it is in this same spirit then that I will start a new message string and leave it for you to decide
All the best Patrick"
If you have any views or comments on the future of this forum then please reply to this message
I know I haven't commented before about the proposals on this forum and I am sorry about this but I think it would be a great pity if this forum ended after the consutation. My organisation has valued all the information contained here particularly when preparing our own response to the consultation. The views of the people who have put replies and messages have also echoed my own personal feelings and for the first time I felt a sense that there was a cameraderie amongst us.
This forum must not stop now and I hope that Patrick will continue doing this with us. I think it is important to continue and as the last posts also say we need to keep sharing our information. This is only the start of what the LSC are doing - we need to continue to look ahead at how we will all manage once their proposals are finalised. If we do not share our information then many of us will suffer. I think this is the unfortunate thing as I believe many of our organisations are not concerned with us as individual caseworkers and supervisors and administration workers and see LSC money merely as a means of keeping their coffers full and managers reputations intact. Because of this I not only worry about the LSC but I worry about that our own organisations will sell us out if we can not keep up to the deals they sign us into.
I have seen similar sentiment elsewhere on this forum that we do not really know what our networks are doing with this and where they stand. At least here I feel that we have similar concerns and are talking to one another. I think this is a good start.
I would like to see it keep going, at the very least until next April when we should be clearer what we need to be doing (am I being optimistic?).
I think it's been useful for people when responding to the consultation - we've certainly used it and only yesterday I came across someone from a CAB who said her management was flustering on how and who should prepare their consultation response - I was amazed they hadn't heard about this forum and the information here particularly as it has been in CAB Legal.
To respond to the consultation is one thing but it is us seeing the clients and having to go along with all the new rules that are on the way that need the real assistance now.
Post by Colin Henderson on Oct 16, 2006 15:28:44 GMT
We need this forum to continue because: 1 the various NfP national organisations have not set up anything similar. 2 this consultation has demonstrated to me how dangerously disunited and disorganised the NfP sector is compared to private practice. 3 one tactical retreat does not mean the war is won.
Personally, I think that ASA should pay Patrick to maintain and develop it and we should all congratulate him for his efforts so far.