What’s the value of public consultation? 1p and 2p coins and £50 notes saved after overwhelming public support

More often than not, coverage on public consultation describes outrage from campaigners arguing that they feel they are not being listened to, their views were not taken into account during the decision-making process and that consultation does not work, often citing “it’s already a done deal, what’s the point”. Here we have an article demonstrating that if done correctly, public consultation works incredibly well and provides the public with an opportunity to influence decisions that affect them.

The 1p and 2p pieces, and £50 notes, have been saved after the government ditched proposals to kill them off.

The Treasury announced on Saturday that the coins and notes will remain in circulation. The £50 notes will be reprinted in polymer form, like the new £5 and £10 notes.

It had consulted the public over the future of the three cash forms, questioning whether there was enough demand for them. The consultation was seen by some as potentially paving the way to get rid of them.

But a Treasury spokesman told the Standard the public were “overwhelmingly” in favour of keeping the current mix of coins and notes.

The government had faced a particular backlash for questioning the future of the 1p and 2p coins, with many people claiming charities would be harmed.

Others said it would “ruin fun” – such as dumping coins in slot machines in seaside towns.

Meanwhile, the consultation found demand for £50 notes was in fact “continuing to rise”. There are 330 million in circulation.

The Treasury announced new polymer notes will be printed to accompany the new form of £5, £10 and upcoming £20 notes. It said this will increase the security of UK currency, making notes more durable and harder to forge.

Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “Our coins and notes are respected and recognised the world over and are a key part of the UK’s heritage and identity.

“People should have as much choice as possible when it comes to their money and we’re making sure that cash is here to stay.

“Our money needs to be secure and this new note will help prevent crime. This modern £50 note follows the popular new pound coin, which is the most secure of its kind in the world.”

Sarah John, the Bank of England’s chief cashier, said: “I’m very excited to be starting the process of introducing a new £50 note.

“At the Bank, we are committed to providing the public with high quality notes they can use with confidence. Moving the £50 note onto polymer is an important next step to ensure that we can continue to do that.”

What do you think of the outcome? Does public consultation work? Email your views to The Consultation Movement at: theconsultationmovement@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Saturday 13 October 2018 in the Evening Standard. The Consultation Movement cannot confirm the accuracy of this story or confirm that it presents a balanced view. If you feel this is inaccurate we would welcome your perspective and evidence that this is the case.


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