Press Notice 17, Session 2006-07

06 March 2007

PASC to hear from man behind Number 10 e-petitions

There have been recent moves in Government to develop new methods of public participation -  from groups of “ordinary citizens” visiting 10 Downing Street for consultation, to the e-petitions site where members of the public can petition the Prime Minister on issues of their choosing. The site recently generated headlines when nearly 1.8 million people signed a petition to scrap the proposed vehicle tracking and road pricing policy.

PASC - the Public Administration Select Committee  - will be taking evidence from Tom Steinberg, the founder and director of mySociety, who was commissioned by Downing Street to run the Number 10 e-petitions site. mySociety is a charitable project that runs many of the UK's best-known non-partisan political websites, such as

The Committee will also hear from the ICT and public engagement experts Ross Ferguson and William Heath. Ross Ferguson is the Director of the Hansard Society’s eDemocracy Programme. William Heath is the founder and director of Kable Ltd, independent market-research experts on e-government, and moderates the “Ideal Government” blog.

This evidence session is part of the Committee’s ongoing inquiry Public Services: Putting People First? which is considering how to make public services responsive to their users.

The evidence session will take place at 10am on Thursday 8 March in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House.


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005. Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Membership of the Committee is as follows:

Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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