New RED project: DEMOCRACY
How could MPs better connect with their constituents? That's the question we set out to answer in this latest RED project.
We asked constituents to design their perfect MP; ran a design workshop with 15 MPs in parliament; debated the issues on the Today Programme; and we spent an intensive week working alongside a constituency office in Doncaster to develop a new set of services for MPs.
We published our results in the snappily-titled report, 'Ten practical things every MP can do to rebuild democracy in their constituency', which sets out proposals for new services for MPs, a hansard for constituents and a 'Constitupedia' - a resource of consituency best practice.
There's a short film of the project below and if you're interested in the detail a presentation of our Transformation Design process.
The low road to reform
Over the summer RED ran a short design project to reconnect politicians with voters. We did not concentrate on the high road to democratic reform: Lords Reform, Electoral reform, devolution, or constitutional reform. But, focused instead on the low road to democratic renewal. We looked at how voters experience their local constituency MP.
Click here for the publications and film relating to the project RED/democracy
Read on for a copy of a talk given by RED at Labour Party Conference 2006.
The Party is over
RED has been busy during the Party Conference season this year.
Love your MP
'If anything, his friendliness meant that I forgot to pin him down to writing a letter to Tony Blair.'
The email I recieved from Friends of the Earth this morning headlines with 'Not All MPs are Cowboys' - declaring that going to see your MP need not be a 'terrifying' experience nor ' turn into a gunfight'. Then moves on to 'Love Your MP' - linking to Irma's testimonial that MP's aren't, in fact, so 'scary'. They include a guide to lobbying your MP including a step by step guide as to how to meet your MP, when he/she might be on holiday, and what to do when you eventually find yourself face to face.
Kitchen Cabinet on the Radio.
Listen again to Hilary Cottam on Radio 4's Today Programme disscussing Kitchen Cabinet with Kate Hoey MP.
Kitchen Cabinet: New Ideas for connecting people and politicians
It's a busy time at RED and we'll overdue for an update on our Kitchen Cabinet Project.
Tommorrow morning we are holding a Westminster Design Workshop with the Parliamentary Design Group. We'll be sharing our intitial research and working with MPs to generate fresh thinking on the ways MPs can make their hard work visible to constituents, how they can better communicate their role and how they can better interact with constituents between elections and outside of times of crisis.
We're going to be spending next week in Doncaster where we'll be testing out the ideas from the workshop and with the constituents and constituency office of Doncaster North. At the end of it all we'll produce an open resource of ideas that will be avaiblable for all MPs to use in their constituency.
Read more here