BTEC Public Services, Level 3 Extended diploma, Unit 1 Government. M1, P1

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BTEC Public Services, Level 3 Extended diploma, Unit 1 Government. M1, P1

BTEC Public Services, Level 3 Extended diploma, Unit 1 Government.
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BTEC Public Services, Level 3 Extended diploma, Unit 1 Government.
M1, P1




At the top of the hierarchy of the UK government sits the Prime Minister, Theresa may, who
overseas operations of the public services and government agencies, along with appointing
members of the government (usually called members of parliament or pears). There is only
one prime minister unless 2 political parties gain equal votes in the general election, which
normally happens every 5 years, this would then mean that both party leaders would share
the role of prime minister.
Below the prime minister is the cabinet who are made up of senior members of the
government. There are 21 cabinet ministers and 96 other ministers.
The differences between government and parliament is the government are the people we
have elected to run the country. They are responsible for deciding on how the country is run
while choosing how and where to spend the public’s money, paid through tax. They choose
how much tax we should have to pay each year and decide what the best way the public
services should be run and delivered to the public. They also run councils across the country.
Finally, they are able to delegate power which means they can give devolved parties, like
Scotland and wales, the power to do things in their parts of the country.



However, Parliament (also known as the legislation) is made up of those who we elect from
parties and those who are appointed by the prime minister. Parliament are there to
represent our interests and to make sure the government are taking this into account when
making decisions therefore parliament oversee everything the government do and look
closely at the plans they have for the country. The government cannot raise taxes or make a
new law without parliaments permission while making sure all of the government’s plans
are open and transparent, workable and efficient, fair and do not discriminate and that they
comply with the Human Rights Act. Parliament are made up of the House of Lords, the
House of Commons and the monarch. The House of Lords are those who have been
appointed due to achievements and experience. While the House of Commons are made up
of people we have elected in the general election with members from other political parties.
Every new law must be signed off by the Queen before it can become a new law.
Central government are located in London, the capital city of the UK, within the palace of
Westminster. Central government are responsible for developing new laws, signing
contracts or agreements with other nations and defending our country in matters of
security. They operate at a national level so are responsible for the whole of the UK. With
being responsible for the whole of the UK they are also responsible for how much tax we
pay, our health care service (the NHS), our public services, our motorways and railways,
immigration and electricity and gas throughout the UK. Central government are responsible
for their actions whether they fail or succeed.
Below central government are county councils who take control of one county each in
England. This is because England is too big for central government to take control of and
make sure off of their issues are heard. County councils are responsible for many things
within the county that they run, including; schools and education, jobs, roads within the
area, adoption and social services, history and heritage, broadband, waste disposal and
recycling, fire and rescue services, libraries, consumer rights and planning permissions
within the county. For them to have authority over these things, central government must
devolve power to the counties in England.
Below county councils is the local councils who are responsible for their local area and
community within that area. The smallest towns and rural areas even have councils which
are called parish councils. Parish councils have certain laws that they must abide to and
have very limited power. What the council do have power over is things such as; how much
council tax that area should pay, housing, licencing for alcohol, busses, recycling and
cemeteries.
Both local councils and parish councils can make what we call a by-law which are made by
local authorities for specific things in the area. However this by law must be signed off by
the local legal representative of the area.
Local councils and parish councils have councillors who are elected by residents of the town.
Each ward represents each area of the town and each ward has its own councillor who can
speak out about issues in that ward. Each councillor should stand re-election every 3-5
years.
In the UK there are three main devolved parties; the Scottish parliament, the Welsh
assembly and the Northern Ireland assembly. They are known as devolved parties because
they have devolved powers from central government. This is where power is transferred
from central government to each party along with certain rules and responsibility’s. They all
have the roles of regional assemblies which include; regional planning, policy development
and accountability.
The Scottish parliament was established in 1998 with 129 elected members. They are
responsible for education, health care, civil/criminal law and the environment within
Scotland. They are located in Edinburgh.
The Welsh assembly was also established in 1998 after the welsh referendum. They
currently have 60 members with. They have responsibility over; education, health care,
transport, social services culture and the environment within wales. However they do not
have any jurisdiction over civil and criminal law. They are located in Cardiff.
The Northern Ireland assembly was established in 1998 also through a referendum and long
talks with the British and Irish government. They have full jurisdiction and legislation over
matters which effect Northern Ireland including; health care, education, rural development,
policing, civil and criminal law, housing and the environment.
When central government have come up with a new policy that they would like to make
into a official law it is passed to parliament where the members of parliament must pass the
policy back and forward between the house of commons and the house of lords being redrafted.
During this time, the opposition’s job is to change and challenge what central
government are doing. After both of the houses agree on the re drafted policy it is passed
onto the Monarchy for approval. The Monarch must legislate and sign off every law before
it can become official. This is done so that what the government are doing is within the
peoples best interest while being fair and abiding with the current laws set in place.
The current reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. Every new policy must be signed
off by her before it becomes official. The queen is the supreme governor of the Church of
England. She appoints archbishops and bishops, they must take the oath of allegiance and
cannot resign without royal authority. Being the head of the armed forces means that the
Queen is the only person who can declare if the country is at war and when a war is over.
However she must take advice from the government before doing so. Another thing the
queen must do is sign off documents and reports from government ministers every week.
The Queen also represents our nation at times of great sorrow or celebration.
The European parliament was established in 1962 and is located in France and Belgium.
They are a body of directly elected European Union members with 751 MEPs (members of
the European parliament) from the 28 member states in Europe.
The European parliament’s job is to draft legislations that have an impact on all of the EU
states. They are responsible for policies such as; the environment, equality, transport,
consumer rights, the movement of workers/goods, fishing laws, the freedom to travel
throughout Europe, mobile roaming networks, helping poorer nations and those hit by
natural disaster and work safety regulations.
P3: Explain the electoral processes used in the UK elections
Who can stand for election?
In UK Parliamentary elections, all candidates must be 18 years old or over, along with being
either; a British citizen, a citizen of the republic of Ireland, a citizen of the commonwealth
with right to remain in the UK. As well as this certain groups of citizens cannot stand for
election. These include; members of the police force or armed forces, civil servants, judges
and peers, citizens who are subject to bankruptcy or have had their estate confiscated in
Scotland.
If you have passed the first lot of criteria than you will need to become a valid nominated
candidate which ensures your name will appear on a ballot paper. To do this; you will need
to complete the appropriate forms with a deposit of £500. All candidates also need to elect
an agent who would be responsible for managing the election campaign and financial
matters involving this.
In a local election the same criteria applies for eligibility however you must also meet one of
the four criteria which are:
– You are on the electoral register in the local authority area
– You have lived in the area a full year before election day
– Your main/ only place of work during the last year has been in the local authority
area
– You have lived in the area as an owner or tenant during the last year
As paramilitary elections, you can be disqualified from becoming a candidate if:
– You are employed by the local authority you want to be elected to
– You are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order
– You have been sentenced to a prison term of three months or more
Candidate selection process
If you are standing for an independent party, than there is no candidate selection process;
as long as you meet the criteria to stand for office. Along with this, existing MPs who would
like to stand for re-election are automatically approved.
Most political parties have more potential candidates than they need to fill the seats they
want to win. This is when they implement selection processes to select the best candidate.
There is many methods of doing this is:
– Selecting a list of already approved candidates, which they can then choose an
appropriate candidate
– Mirroring public service selection process with CV’s, application forms and
background checks
– The local branch can draw up a short list and interview potential candidates
Influence of the party system on elections
The influence of the political parties on elections is that the political party in power can call
a general election any time within 5 years. They may reduce taxes, to gain more votes in the
election, beforehand. Along with this, it means that people will vote for whatever candidate
they would like to stand in their local area which results in people voting for a good
candidate in the local area but a bad candidate for parliament.
Representatives
The candidates and political parties who are hoping to get into either the local authority or
parliamentary office will campaign up until polling day. This then leaves it up to the citizens
to make their mind up. Every eligible resident is able to vote once for the candidate they
would like to win. The candidate with the most votes will either become prime minister or
have their candidate represent their area in the House of Commons if it is a local election.
The person who wins will then represent their area of authority.
Period of elections
In the UK, general elections take place in May every five years, unless Parliament votes to
hold an election sooner than this. Elections give the citizens of the UK chance to have a say
about how their country is run and who is running their country.
For local elections, local elections are run every four years however the different local
councils do not hold elections at the same time.
Publicity and electioneering activities under taken
To publicise their party manifesto and goals, political parties will;
– Go door to door in local elections
– Use posters to advertise
– Post leaflets through local area doors, in local elections
– Use TV ads to get their message across
– Negatively campaign against other parties to make others look bad and try and gain
more votes for themselves
Voting processes
There are a number of ways on which you can vote:
– You can vote online
– In a polling station which opens from 7am till 10pm
– By post
– A representative to go out and vote for you
Election Day activities
On Election Day, the parties and candidates don’t do anything but hope they receive the
result they would like. Election Day activities refers to the publicity and electioneering
actives parties and candidates do beforehand.
Responsibilities of elected bodies
MPs are responsible to help with, the local authority they represent, issues that the
government are responsible for:
– Tax (not council tax)
– NHS and hospitals
– Benefits, pension and NI
– Immigration issues and concerns
– School closers and funding
Voting systems
There are four systems which can be used in the UK, however we only use First Past the Post
in the UK electoral system.
First Past The Post:
– The voters place a cross next to their candidates name on the ballot paper.
– All votes are collected, the candidate with the highest number of votes wins, in local
elections
– In general elections, the party which wins more votes than the other parties will get
elected.
– This is regardless of whether or not the candidates have over 50% of the votes as the
party with the highest number of votes will win.
Alternative Vote:
– Voters rank the candidates on a ballot paper in order of who they prefer
– If a candidate receives 50% or more of the votes than they are elected.
– If not the candidate with the lowest amount of votes is eliminated; there second
choices are then redistributed.
– The processes continues until they get one candidate with the majority; who is then
elected.
Single Transferable Vote:
– Voters rank candidates in order of preference.
– If the candidate gains more votes than is needed for the seat then their votes are
transferred to the voter’s second choice.
– This carries on until all seats have been filled.
Proportional Representation:
– Tries to match the proportional number of votes with the number of seats the party
receives.
– If you receive 35% of votes than you should receive 35% of seats
P6, M4 – Analyse how government policies are developed
Development process
A policy comes from an idea of how to change situations currently happening or an idea of a
way to manage a situation. Many groups of people can put an idea forward: the public, the
media, the public services, politicians or people who are experts in the subject.
If change is needed and an idea becomes apparent then it will be taken for discussion in
government meetings such as cabinet meetings and parliaments committees. If the idea
passes through both of these stages without being rejected then the idea will become a
green paper.
A new law or piece of legislation will not be implemented immediately as the public services
must have a certain amount of time to become familiar with the new law and update their
policies and procedures, train their employees and become ready for when the new law
becomes official. The government must offer guidance to all public services effected by new
legislation on how the public service will be affected, responsible or accountable for the
legislation. All new legislation will have an implementation date. As well as the public
services, the general public must have a chance to become familiar with the changes in and
know how they should abide by the law. There are many ways on which the government
promote a new law coming into force. They will use: social media sites like Facebook, TV and
press coverage, radio stations, newspapers etc.
Green paper
When the idea has become a green paper, it will be given to the
interested parties of the proposed change in legislation, which
creates an opening for debate and a time period of consultation will
take place. The opening of debate can be from public meetings,
open enquiries from the public or specialist meetings within
government. If the need for the new policy is not expressed at these
debates then the policy will stop there and become nothing more
than an idea. Although, if the new policy is expressed at being
needed to the UK, then it will become a white paper.
White paper
When the green paper has become a white paper, it will have a formal
set of proposals on the new law or policy which was firstly an idea.
White papers are the first drafts of a new policy or law which has not
become final yet and that may be changed when open to discussion, this
will eventually become a bill when then policy has been changed and
finalised.
Legal process used to create legalisation
A bill is the name for new ideas which may become laws. There are three different types of
bills: a public bill, a private bill and a private members bill. A public bill is a bill which can be
a large piece of new legislation which will affect the country as a whole. These are created
by the current government in power. An example of a public bill is the Crime and Disorder
Act 1998. Whereas a private bill will only affect a certain group of people or area because it
is proposed by a local authority. This may include the local authority having to buy land due
to the construction of a new motorway. Compared to the other two types of bill, a private
members bill is done by ballot. A member of parliament will enter a ballot to guarantee a
certain amount of time in order for the bill to go through for debate. Private members bills
usually fail because they do not have enough time go through parliament for debate,
although they are usually put into a ballot to draw attention to an area of public concern.
The process of a policy
There is seven stages which a new
bill of legalisation or law must go
through before it can become official.
First of all, there will be a notification
sent out to both of the houses that a
new proposal is coming up for
debate. Copies are made available to
both houses and the title of the bill is
read out. This is called the first
reading. Secondly, the bill is debated
in the house and it is decided whether or not it will be put forward to the next stage. This
works on majority terms. This is called the second reading. In the third stage, the bill and its
details must be looked at carefully and the four committees (standing committee, select
committee, committee of the whole house and judicial committee) will consider changes it
feels must be made to the current bill, this will be then sent back to the houses with the
recommendations. This is called the committee stage. When the report is sent back, the
house will debate and vote on the recommendations made by the committees. This is called
the report stage. The fourth stage is when bill is sent back to the house to have a final
debate and vote on whether or not they feel the bill should be accepted. If it is accepted
then it will then be sent to the House of Lords. This stage is called the third reading. The
House of Lords have less power than the House of Commons as they are not elected by the
public so bills are usually not rejected. However, the bill will go through a similar set of
stages to the House of Commons and will then be passed on for royal assent. Royal assent is
the final stage of the processes. This is where the bill must go to the current raining
monarch for approval and consent, the monarch usually accepts most bills. After royal
assent the bill will become a law on a specific date.
M3: Compare the electoral processes used at different levels of government
Local government elections and central government elections are very different. However,
there are some electoral processes which are also very similar.
The electoral processes which are similar in both general and local elections are; who is
entitled to stand for election, the candidate selection process (but can be classed as
different as well), the publicity and electioneering activities used are different but also
similar, how citizens can vote and the voting systems used. The electoral processes which
are different in general and local elections are; the candidate selection process (which could
also be similar), the influence of the party system on elections, representatives, period of
election and the responsibilities if elected bodies.
The processes used to determine if someone is entitled to stand for election has similar
criteria for both general and local elections. However, the candidate selection process could
also be seen as being similar because of the fact it depends on which of the methods the
party chooses to use to select their candidate, although if the candidate is not a part of a
party in a local election than it means that there is no selection process; this is what makes
them different. The publicity and electioneering processes used are similar but also different
as local election candidates use leaflets and door to door calls to gain more supporters in
their area. However, in both elections, candidates will use posters to advertise and
negatively campaign against each other. While only in general elections, TV adverts will be
used. As well as these similarities, in both types of elections, citizens can vote online, in a
polling station, by post and by sending a representative to vote for you. The voting system
used in both elections is also the same as they both use the voting system First Past the
Post.
The differences in general and local elections are that the influence of the party system on
elections would not be used in local elections as they are usually single candidates trying to
represent their local authority. When general election parties are campaigning they are
trying to represent the country as a whole to other nations and countries, however local
elections are trying to elect someone to represent their area in the House of Commons to
raise issues about the area. Along with this, the period of election in general elections is
every five years but the party in power can initiate a general election earlier. This is also on
May in the year the election is to take place. However, local elections happen every four
years and every local authority holds them at different times of the year. Finally, the
electives of local elections are responsible to help with issues about what the government
are responsible for in the local authority they represent, while parties put into power in
general elections are in charge of making bigger decisions and putting issues into discussion
in both houses.
D1 – Evaluate the responsibilities of the different levels of government in the UK
The different levels of government are all accustomed to a hierarchy. At the top of the
hierarchy of the UK government sits the Prime Minister, Theresa may, who oversees
operations of the public services and government agencies, along with appointing members
of the government (usually called members of parliament or pears). There is only one prime
minister unless 2 political parties gain equal votes in the general election, which normally
happens every 5 years, this would then mean that both party leaders would share the role
of prime minister. The reason we need a prime minister at the top of the hierarchy is to run
our country the way we want it run. Because we vote that party in means that the majority
of the country agrees with her political views and wants them put into action.
Below the prime minister is central government which is made up of senior members of the
government. There are 21 cabinet ministers and 96 other ministers. Central government are
located in London, the capital city of the UK, within the palace of Westminster. Central
government are made up of three main parts; the House of Commons, the House of Lords
and the Monarchy. The House of Lords is made up of members who have been appointed
due to achievements and experience. While the House of Commons is made up of people
we have elected in the general election with members from other political parties who will
speak about issues and concerns with what the government are doing and the plans they
have for our country. Central government are responsible for developing new laws, signing
contracts or agreements with other nations and defending our country in matters of
security. They operate at a national level so are responsible for the whole of the UK. With
being responsible for the whole of the UK they are also responsible for how much tax we
pay, our health care service (the NHS), our public services, our motorways and railways,
immigration and electricity and gas throughout the UK. Both the House of Commons and
the House of Lords are needed making decisions because when a decision, like a new law or
policy. The house of commons and house of lords are there to represent our interests and
to make sure the government are taking this into account when making decisions,
therefore, parliament oversee everything the government do and look closely at the plans
they have for the country. The government cannot raise taxes or make a new law without
their permission while making sure all of the government’s plans are open and transparent,
workable and efficient, fair and do not discriminate and that they comply with the Human
Rights Act. When a new law is drafted it must be passed back and forward between the
houses before it can be passed to the monarchy. Without the House of Commons and the
House of Lords, it would mean that each policy would not have been redrafted to the point
where it was fair, equal on everyone in the nation and abide by current laws. If we did not
have the two houses decisions would not be discussed or challenged by the opposition and
the government’s decisions would go without being challenged or changed meaning they
could do whatever they wanted without question. After parliament has agreed with the new
law it is then passed to the Monarchy. The current reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth the
2nd. Every new policy must be signed off by her before it can become official. The Monarch
must legislate and sign off every law before it can become official. This is done so that what
the government are doing is in the people’s best interest while being fair and abiding by the
current laws set in place. This is the reason we need a monarch. They must pass every new
policy before it can become official so that they can check that the government are being
fair, equal, abiding by current laws and in the nation’s best interest. If we did not have a
Monarchy then the government would be able to pass any law whether or not it was fair or
not. Another reason why we need a monarch is because she is head of the armed forces.
This means that the Queen is the only person who can declare if the country is at war and
when a war is over. However, she must take advice from the government before doing so.
Without her the government would be able to declare war on any nation they felt necessary
to attack, which in turn makes the Queen the defender of our nation.
In the hierarchy, below central government are county councils who take control of one
county each in England. This is because England is too big for central government to take
control of and make sure off of their issues are heard. Each county council have a certain
amount of funding sent to them each year, from central government, to develop and fund
the things they are responsible for. County councils are responsible for many things within
the county that they run, including; schools and education, jobs, roads within the area,
adoption and social services, history and heritage, broadband, waste disposal and recycling,
fire and rescue services, libraries, consumer rights and planning permissions within the
county. For them to have authority over these things, the central government must devolve
power to the counties in England. Without county councils in the UK, some areas would be
forgotten or not have their issues heard but also more funding would be sent to one area
while another is left without any. By having county councils it means that every area of
England has its views heard while also being funded correctly and not ‘forgotten’ about.
Only England have county councils as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all devolved
parties.
Below county councils are the local councils who are responsible for their local area and
community within that area. The smallest towns and rural areas even have councils which
are called parish councils. Parish councils have certain laws that they must abide by and
have very limited power. What the council do have power over is things such as; how much
council tax that area should pay, housing, licencing for alcohol, buses, recycling and
cemeteries. Both local councils and parish councils can make what we call a by-law which is
made by local authorities for specific things in the area. However, this by-law must be
signed off by the local legal representative of that area. Local councils and parish councils
have councillors who are elected by residents of the town. Each ward represents each area
of the town and each ward has its own counsellor who can speak out about issues in that
ward. Each councillor should stand re-election every 3-5 years. The main reason we need
local and parish councils are because it means that the citizens of that community can speak
up about issues that they feel are affecting their local area. Each ward of the local area has
their own counsellor who they can speak to about issues. This means issues will be sorted
and listened to about the local area. Without local and parish councils it means that bins
would not be emptied and concerns would not be listened to because the county council
would be too overwhelmed by handling every issue and monitoring every school while still
being able to keep the community’s happy. This way local councils are able to monitor the
community closer as they only have a small area to look after.
P4, M3, D2 – Evaluate the impact of government policies on the public services and
communities they serve
The policies, which are created by the UK government, have a significant effect on the public
services. Some policies can be targeted at the UK public services and some may affect the
whole population. The government can create policies which effect: all the services, the
armed forces or just the emergency services. Most of these policies are created to tackle a
certain issue within the public services and in society. An example of this is the mobile
phone and driving legalisation which came into force on March 1ST. This has affected the
police service and the population because it means that police officers now have the powers
to prosecute someone if they can justify and if they feel that the driver is driving while
distracted. This affects the police service because it means they now have the power to
prosecute but also affects the public because they can now be prosecuted for something
which an officer feels and justifies.
The policies which the government implement must be passed between parliaments and be
authorised by the Queen, which ensures that they feel it is a good idea to put the policy into
place. However, public services may feel as if the government are being too harsh on them
or the government are setting unrealistic goals for them to reach. The communities, which
the public services serve, may feel as if the government are being too harsh on them with
new punishments or legalisation put into place. Although, there are always mixed views on
new legalisation. Some people may feel that the new mobile phone legalisation is too harsh
for those caught, but those who have been in accidents due to distraction while driving will
feel as if the new legalisation is necessary and that the punishment is not hard enough on
offenders.
Policies which affects all of the public services are the human rights. This is because the
public services have a great responsibility for our lives. An example of this is the court
system are able to take away our independence and freedom, the police have the right to
use the information they find against us and we depend on the NHS and ambulance service
to care for us and make the right decisions about our health. However, the public services
are carefully monitored so that our human rights are protected. If we feel as if the public
services have broken our human rights, we can take them to court and prosecute against
the public services. Examples of our human rights are the right to life, the right to a fair trial,
freedom of expression and no punishment without law.
Policies which effect the public services
Declaration of war – This has a major effect on the armed forces because they have to
deploy immediately to the war zone, with their resources and equipment. They will be
fighting for an aim or set of aims passed down by the government and employees of the
armed services cannot choose where they want to serve. With this, there is a risk to the
lives of those that serve as they may be seriously injured or killed. Along with this, war is
very expensive meaning money will be cut from the emergency services if we were to go to
war. As well as funding being cut, the police will be affected because they will have to deal
with people who protest against the war in the UK; the ambulance service will have to deal
with the causality’s from the protests and the fire will also have to deal with any fires which
are caused as a result. Declaration of war would affect the policies on finance as the budget
which provides the funding for the public services will be affected as money will be pumped
into war. This results in the public services having to work harder and longer shifts, but
having less funding to do their jobs with. The communities which they serve will feel as if
the public services are not concentrating on the community they work in as much as they
are for the war which has been declared.
Reserve forces – Reserve forces policies are changing every year. In the late 1990s reserve
forces were never really used in active duty, however, in 2006 36,000 people were in the
reserve forces with around 52,000 regular reserves; those who had come out of active duty
but can still be called upon.
Equal opportunities – Equal opportunities effect all the public services greatly because it
means that the public services must adjust their requirements to join the service and must
also reach targets sent down by the government. An example of this is: letting women serve
on the front line, as well as letting those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender join
the army. The public services will feel as if they are being put under pressure to recruit
certain people but may have recruits which fit all the requirements, although the recruit
may not be female for example. The communities would feel as if the services are being
discriminatory to certain people. Although, as the service should reflect the communities
they serve then the community may feel as if they can use and talk to people within the
service.
Environment – The environment is a policy which affects all of the public services in one way
or another. The environment is an important issue which affects public life, issues must be
tackled by the government to ensure that our carbon footprint stays low, we limit damage
to the environment and allow green area to be protected. The public services must be
aware of the needs of recycling and move towards procedures which limit damage to the
environment. An example of this is: the armed forces must clean up all blank rounds and
rubbish from any training area before they leave. Along with this, the police must reduce its
use of resources to minimise waste as well as reusing materials where possible. The Military
of Defence encourages environmental conservation by holding an annual awards evening
for outstanding efforts in conservation, wildlife, archaeology and environmental
improvement. The environmental project reward was given to a Navy commander for his
work developing guidelines when using certain equipment. The public services will be under
pressure to meet standards in the new policy but the community will feel as if they are
being respected as their community is being respected and looked after as their
environment is.
P5 – Identify how society is affected by government policies
Government policies can be influenced by different groups or social factors because of the
fact we, as citizens have a great impact on the policy’s which the government implement. As
an example, the distraction while driving legalisation was implemented due to many
accidents happening because of distraction while driving but also because people were
worried about the increase in the use of mobile phones while driving. This would be a social
factor which influenced the legalisation. An example of a group of people who encouraged
the government to take action against the armed forces leaving litter in a training area they
used, is the political group ‘Green Peace’ who work to protect the environment. A more
recent protest the group have become involved in is fracking in the UK, which they believe
damage our environment and can cause natural disasters. They are currently working on
getting a new legalisation implemented about this issue.
Society can be effected by the policy’s which the government have implemented. The
budget cuts of the police services mean that community’s feel as if they are not safe in their
own home while the police are stretched, as well as this it took officers longer to respond to
those who need them. Another policy which effects society is the smoking inside public
buildings ban. This resulted in it becoming socially unacceptable to smoke in a public
building while also fewer people decided to smoke. As well as this, when drink driving
became illegal, the creation of designated drivers in society was created and it changed the
way people went out.
Many of the decisions on which the government feel they should implement are open to
public consultation which means the public have the chance to share their views. There are
six ways which the public can share their views on a government policy: civil disobedience,
demonstrations and meetings, picketing, sit-ins, speech’s/writing and terrorism.
Civil disobedience is when a group of people peacefully break a rule or law to highlight the
law needs changing. Even though it is, usually, done peacefully it often requires a
coordinated response from the public services to ensure no one is hurt or injured.
Demonstrations and meetings usually involve the public discussing problems or concerns
with policies or decisions which have been put into place. Sometimes these meetings are
held as a demonstration, such as a march, to show the government how strongly they feel
about the decision.
Picketing is usually used by employees to show that they are unhappy with a decision made.
This can involve decisions about national minimum wage, working conditions or
redundancy. Many of the public services are forbidding from picketing by law.
Sit-ins cause delay and inconvenience to the people who are trying to implement a certain
decision. It is a peaceful form of protest which can be used to oppose against people who
are trying to start building work, e.g. new roads or buildings.
Speech/ writing is one of the more common forms of protest which involves writing or
talking about why the decision should not be put into action. An example of this is: writing
to newspapers/media and starting petitions against what the government want to do.
Terrorism is a very extreme method of campaigning against decisions the government
make. Terrorism involves the use of violence and the threat of violence against the public,
government officials and the military to try and force the government to change the policy
they are opposing. However, the government will not negotiate with terrorists and do not
respond well to this method.

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