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They work for you – MP’s answering your questions

by mel starrs on January 29, 2007

in Uncategorized

I first was alerted to www.theyworkforyou.com via Stuart Bruce, who originally was the one who pointed me in the direction of Simon Dickson, who I believe is instrumental in the design of the site. I was happy today to find a question on there relevant to me (via my bloglines keyword search for BREEAM). The idea of the site is explained as:

TheyWorkForYou.com is a non-partisan website run by a charity which aims to make it easy for people to keep tabs on their elected and unelected representatives in Parliament, and other assemblies.

The question I found was “ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what incentives there are for schools to incorporate micro generation technology and solar thermal panels when spending the additional capital resources announced in the pre-Budget report.” Readers of the site are even given the opportunity to vote if the reply answers the question or not (I haven’t voted). Jim Knight (Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills) has responded in the written answers. According to TWFY:

“The parliamentary question is a great way for MPs and Peers to discover information which the government may not wish to reveal. Ministers reply via written answers, a list of which gets published daily.”

Poking about www.theyworkforyou.com a bit more reveals RSS feeds for every MP and their appearances. So in addition to reading David Miliband’s own blog I can now follow his parliamentary appearances here. I can also ‘stalk’ Yvette Cooper and Ruth Kelly.
If anyone wants to learn more about social media in the UK, I’d highly recommend Stuart and Simon’s blogs as good starting points, be it from slightly different perspectives.