Can we discuss current Government policy?
We hope that Conservative Policy Forum groups will provide a space for all kinds of policy discussion – past, current and future; local, national and international – by members and Conservative-supporting non-members alike. Our official remit, however, as part of the open ideas-generation process that characterises effective policy-making, is to help shape the Party's future national policy agenda. This presents Members with an important and exciting opportunity to contribute to wider Conservative thinking and the 2022 manifesto. We hope you will be as enthusiastic about our mission as we are!
If groups choose to hold additional meetings to discuss legislation currently being considered by Parliament, specific local concerns or a current Government consultation, it would be more appropriate for the Group Coordinator to report any conclusions to their MP and/or other local elected representatives.
Do we have to answer every question in the national discussion papers?
No. The more answers we get, the better our summary for the Minister will be. We would prefer, however, that your group enjoyed a lively and thorough discussion of fewer questions than slogged through those that might be of limited interest to some group members.
Can we send in our submission late?
Yes. The last thing we want to do is turn away submissions based on an arbitrary timeline. That said, the later your submission is, the more likely we are to have started writing our summary and the less likely that your group's work will be included in our findings when our Policy Director presents them to the Prime Minister's Policy Unit and Government Ministers.
How long before we get a ministerial response to our comments?
We aim to read submissions in the month after the deadline and then draft a summary for the Prime Minister's Policy Unit and the relevant Government Minister. This gives us enough time to consider each proposal in depth and to consult experts if further detail is necessary. Once the summary has been sent to Number 10 and the Minister, we hope to receive a response within another month but, given the workload of Ministers, this does sometimes slip a little.