#BBCQT @bbcqt from North London.5th November ~ @bbcquestiontime

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05/11/2015 Thursday 22:35

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from North London.

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“I have concluded that it is now impossible to defend a system from accusations of bias and discrimination if it operates behind closed doors. Even as Minister for Family Justice, I find the rules make it hard for me to establish what is going on.

It is my job to reassure Parliament that the family court system is working properly. But how can I know? I can’t read newspaper reports of cases; I can’t just go and sit at the back of the court, as I can – and do – in magistrates’ courts. And how can MPs hold me to account for a system they cannot see? Parliamentary accountability for the family courts is wholly theoretical while the system remains closed. How can the influential Constitutional Affairs Select Committee conduct investigations into its workings?

And when we debate family law in Parliament, neither MP’s nor Ministers can really know what we are talking about. We have to legislate in the dark”. https://ukfathers.wordpress.com/…/join-us-so-we-can-demand…/Chris Grayling Parental Involvementhttp://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/chrisgraylingparentalinv… The amendments to the Children’s Act which were introduced by the Children & Families Act do not help the parents or the children the family courts are supposed to best serve. I think it’s very sad successive governments even those who pledged to end the misery of the family courts when they were in opposition have failed to provide families with a family justice system they can trust & respect. Once the father is eliminated, the state functionally replaces him as protector and provider. By removing the father, the state also creates a host of problems for itself to solve: child poverty, child abuse, juvenile crime, and other problems associated with single-parent homes. In this way, the divorce machinery is self-perpetuating and self-expanding. Involuntary divorce is a marvelous tool that allows for the infinite expansion of government power

.http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/divorceasrevolutionbyste… One ‘problem family’ costs £250,000 a year

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/oneproblemfamilycosts250… Family breakdown ‘could cost taxpayers £46bn

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/familybreakdowncouldcost… Third of family break-up children lose contact with fathers

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/thirdoffamilybreakupchil… A Fathers role in a child’s life is a very important one

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/afathersroleinachildslif…

UK Family Law Reform

UK Family Law Reform

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UK Haulage Industry Driver Shortage – Why Is This Happening? ~ Concerns over lack of lorry divers!

Hauliers in the south say a shortage of lorry drivers could put deliveries at risk. The Road Haulage Association says the industry is tens of thousands short of the number that is needed. Older drivers are leaving the profession and younger people can’t afford the 3000 pounds it costs to get a licence

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UK lorry driver crisis threatens to cripple Christmas shopping

Jill_Seymour.jpegRetailers could struggle to keep their shelves stocked during the crucial Christmas trading period because of an ‘alarming’ shortage of British lorry drivers, UKIP’s Transport spokesman warned today.

Jill Seymour, the West Midlands MEP, has accused the Government of failing to recognise the scale of the crisis in the haulage sector, and doing next to nothing to encourage young people into the industry. Speaking at the start of the Road Haulage Association’s first ever National Lorry Week, she said: “I have been warning for months that we are lurching towards a massive crisis, and I take no satisfaction in saying that the evidence is now proving me right.

“The Road Haulage Association (RHA) believes the UK is now short of between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers, and says the situation is getting worse by the week. It’s alarming.

“Older drivers are turning their backs on the business due to the cost and bureaucracy of the EU’s unwarranted Certificate of Professional Competence, and potential newcomers can’t afford the £3,000 needed to get their truck licence.

“It will be a tragedy, and a scandal, if the Government waits until shelves are left empty in the shops before realising they must raise this issue much higher up the political agenda.”

She added: “Around 85 per cent of every product brought into the UK is carried by a haulier at some stage in the supply chain – we are talking about an industry which is the lifeblood of our economy.

“If the haulage industry stops functioning, then so does the UK.”

Mrs Seymour pledged her full support to the RHA’s lobbying efforts during National Lorry Week, saying: “I’m in total agreement with the organisation that the Government can, and should be doing much more to help with this driver shortage crisis.”

The Government says it is committed to delivering three million apprenticeship starts in the driving industry by 2020 through its ‘Trailblazer’ programme.

But Mrs Seymour said: “That’s too little, too late. It’s no good setting up apprenticeships, if there is no incentive for the next generation to choose a career in the haulage industry in the first place. It’s all talk, and no action from the Tories – as usual.”

Message from Quentin Willson @FairFuelUK

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The FairFuelUK Campaign

FairFuelUK Campaigning Message from Quentin Willson

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October 2015

Dear FairFuelUK Supporter, Quentin Willson of the FairFuelUK Campaign

Because of your support we are making a significant difference in Westminster. Almost every day we see evidence that our fight for lower fuel costs hasn’t just significantly helped the UK economy but has become something the Government likes taking lots of credit for. Only last week a Conservative MP told Jon Snow on C4 News that the suspension of Labour’s fuel duty escalators has helped everybody not least those likely to suffer from the contentious cuts in income tax credits. The MP didn’t of course mention that No 10 had to be bullied by FairFuelUK (thanks to your support) to cancel those rises in the first place, but the Conservatives are clearly enjoying being on the moral high ground when it comes to transport costs.

The Bank of England continues to crow about low inflation due to falling fuel spend and economists continually tell us that low fuel prices have increased consumer confidence and economic activity. But we’re not resting on our laurels. We have again commissioned the CEBR to analyse in depth the impact of recent lower pump prices on HM Treasury’s tax receipts, consumer spending, inflation, jobs and economic growth. The results will be ready before George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on November 25th. We will keep you informed. In the meantime please read our update below and how your continuing support is vital to address those issues 37m drivers contend with everyday.

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Please take part in our quick Diesel Survey →
We’re now a major voice in the diesel debate advising caution and writing to the Chancellor asking him to resist any knee-jerk duty or tax rises. Our diesel surveywww.fairfueluk.com/dieselsurvey.html already has 3000 responses in the last 48 hours and will give us an accurate snapshot of public sentiment on diesel and emissions. We know we can’t let the media drive this very important debate and are making sure the discussions are informed, fair and sensible. Please can you spend just a couple of minutes in completing this survey. We need to get your thoughts into the media and at Westminster.

Were you aware of the critical shortage of lorry drivers? →
As you know FairFuelUK is partly funded by the leading UK Haulage Associations, the APN, FTA and RHA who represent the commercial heartbeat of our nation. Lorries quite literally move the UK economy – BUT – due to a significant driver shortage that movement is threatened and may impact on shop supplies, inflation, economic growth and as a consequence all our lives. To emphasise the importance of the road haulage industry, the RHA are staging a national awareness campaign, ‘National Lorry Week’, from the 26th-31st October 2015. Please support it by going to the RHA Website.

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At last we have a Pump Pricing Inquiry 
There’s growing anti-car rhetoric out there which needs to be robustly countered by a trustworthy and experienced voice. And that’s us. We’re making history with our All Party Parliamentary Group enquiry into road fuel pricing planned for December (the first truly independent road fuel enquiry ever) and have invited the major players in the fuel supply chain to have their say. We’re anxious that the UK has clear and transparent fuel pricing for consumers and giving the industry an opportunity to explain and clarify the current system will help everybody.

We’re also about to release the findings of our recent FairFuel Motoring Survey – the biggest survey of UK drivers – which will provide hard evidence for our continued lobbying in Westminster. And our lobbying does work. I was talking to an independent petrol retailer the other day who told me that our media activity criticising the Rocket and Feather pricing effect has made a big difference. He admitted that he’s now much more aware that the public doesn’t like the fast price rises at the pumps when oil goes up and the glacial reductions when crude goes down and he’s changed his pricing policy as a result. Surprise, surprise, he’s seeing more customer loyalty and better sales on his forecourt. Our aim is to make the road fuel market in the UK fairer, cheaper, more transparent and better understood by both politicians and the public.

FairFuelUK will continue to make this a reality. Please keep supporting FairFuelUK and get others you know to do the same. The more of us backing sanity at the pumps and supporting the only credible campaigning voice for UK’s hard pressed drivers, the likelihood our politicos will act!

Thank you so much for your support, best wishes
Quentin Willson

PS. Please buy a campaign sticker to help fund FairFuelUK’s work at this link www.fairfueluk.com/campaigndonations.html

The Following Organisations Help Fund The FairFuelUK Campaign
Backers of the FairFuelUK Campaign

Follow us on Twitter
Quentin Willson’s Twitter is www.twitter.com/quentinwillson
Campaign Founder Howard Cox’s Twitter is www.twitter.com/howardccox

www.fairfueluk.comFairFuelUK is the Nationally Recognised Award Winning Campaign fighting for lower petrol & diesel prices and is widely accredited with stopping £30 billion of fuel duty being levied on businesses and the public since 2011. FairFuelUK is supported by 1,200,000 members of the public, founding backers the RHA and FTA, plus Microlise and the Association of Pallet Networks – Over 140 MPs have also declared their support for the FairFuelUK Campaign. The Campaign’s primary focuses are to see a significant cut in Fuel Duty (with VAT the total tax approximates to nearly 70% of the pump price), more pricing receipt transparency and for petrol and diesel to be of equal levels of pricing at the pumps. FairFuelUK will continue to fight against oil speculator profiteering influence and any potential market price fixing at the pumps.

The FairFuelUK Campaign C/O 1 Rammell Mews, Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 3BQ
Tel – 07515 421611
email: campaign@fairfueluk.com

You are receiving this email to add support to the already highly successful FairFuelUK Campaign. Your contact details were obtained from signing up to the campaign in the last 5 years, taking part in surveys or being interested in the campaign. If you dont want to receive any more emails from the FairFuelUK Campaign. Simply unsubscribe below. If you want to change your existing subscribed email address, unsubscribe below and then resubscribe with your new one atwww.fairfueluk.com

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Top judge pledges to end culture of secrecy at family courts………

Sir James Munby: ‘Re B-S ruling has not changed the law on adoption’

One of England’s most senior judges has pledged to expose family courts to the “glare of publicity” to avoid miscarriages of justice and restore public confidence MORE

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said the public had a right to know “what is being done in their name” and called for the courts to adapt to the internet era

Sir James Mumby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, says family courts must be open to the ‘glare of publicity’ Photo: BRIAN SMITH FOR THE TELEGRAPH By , Senior Political Correspondent

One of England’s most senior judges has pledged to expose family courts to the “glare of publicity” to avoid miscarriages of justice and restore public confidence.

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said parents of children taken into care must no longer be gagged by the courts and journalists should be allowed to report on proceedings.

He said that in the absence of the death penalty, removing a child from their parents is one of the most “drastic” actions a judge can take consequences that can last a lifetime.

In a speech to the Society of Editors in London, he said that judges must accept that “human justice is inevitably fallible” and mistakes are made.

He said that both the family courts, which deal with divorce cases and adoption, and the Court of Protection, which deals with decisions about people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, must be more transparent.

Sir James said he wants to make the courts “open to the world”. He said: “It must never be forgotten that orders of the kind that family judges are invited to make in public law proceedings are amongst the most drastic that any judge is empowered to make.

“We strive to avoid miscarriages of justice, but human justice is inevitably fallible. We must have the humility to recognise that public debate, and the jealous vigilance of an informed media, have an important part to play.

“It is vitally important, if the administration of justice is to be promoted and public confidence in the courts maintained, that justice be administered in public.”

His comments come after controversy over a series of cases where the names of social workers, expert witnesses and councils are kept secret. Parents who have their children taken away from them have also been subject to draconian “gagging” orders.

Sir James said that parents should be free to speak out. He said: “It is important in a free society that parents who feel aggrieved at their experiences of the family justice system should be able to express their views publicly about what they conceive to be the failings on the part of individual judges or failings in the judicial system. And the same goes, of course, for criticism of local authorities and others.”

He said judges should be prepared to accept criticism of their decisions. “If there is no basis for injuncting a story expressed in the temperate or scholarly language of a legal periodical or the broadsheet press, there can be no basis for injuncting the same story just because it is expressed in the more robust, colourful or intemperate language of the tabloid press or even in language which is crude, insulting and vulgar.

“A much more robust view must be taken today than previously of what ought rightly to be allowed to pass as permissible criticism. Society is more tolerant today of strong or even offensive language.”

Under a series of reforms, Sir James plans to make judgments available to the public and to open up the courts to reporters. Journalists could be given greater access to court documents.

He said: “We must be open to the world – much more open than at present – in what we do both in the family courts and the Courts of Protection.”

President of the family division at the High Court has emphasised ‘with as much force as possible’ that adoption law remains the same MORE

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The most senior judge in the family courts, Sir James Munby, has reiterated that a recent ruling has not changed the law on adoption.

In a court judgement, published today, the president of the family division at the High Court stated: “I wish to emphasise, with as much force as possible, that Re B-S was not intended to change and has not changed the law.

“Where adoption is in the child’s best interests, local authorities must not shy away from seeking, nor courts from making, care orders with a plan for adoption, placement orders and adoption orders.”

The judgement in Re B-S was directed at practice, rather than law, Munby emphasised.

Munby used the opportunity to address concerns from within the sector that the judgement, handed out in 2013, was being used as an opportunity to criticise social workers and local authorities.

10403121_835942029799859_2612468037682536976_nMyths and misconceptions

While they cannot evaluate the prevalence or validity of these concerns on practice, “they plainly need to be addressed, for they are all founded on myths and misconceptions which need to be run to ground and laid to rest,” he said.

The Re B-S judgement criticised poor analysis and reasoning being put forward regularly in adoption cases, and was attributed as the cause of a sudden drop in placement orders this year, which led the Adoption Leadership Board to publish a “mythbusting” guide about the judgement last month. Munby stressed that this guide was not endorsed by the judiciary.

He stated: “Re B-s does not require the further forensic pursuit of options which, having been properly evaluated, typically at an early stage in the proceedings, can legitimately be discarded as not being realistic.

“Re B-S does not require that every conceivable option on the spectrum that runs between ‘no order’ and ‘adoption’ has to be canvassed and bottomed out with reasons in the evidence and judgment in every single case.”

Clarifying adoption concerns

Munby also used the judgement to address concerns that adoption applications must now surmount ‘a much higher hurdle’.

Alexandra Conroy Harris, a legal consultant for the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, believes this will help clear up “the great deal of uncertainty” that has surrounded adoption for several months.

She said: “This judgement will help both courts and local authorities when making decisions regarding the long term future of these children.

“We support the President’s efforts to improve the standards of evidence and analysis in all cases involving decisions about a child’s future, and welcome the clarification that adoption should be properly considered as an option for those children.”

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