The UK's most authoritative champion of public
& stakeholder consultation


Rhion Jones was a Founder Director of The Consultation Institute and has written extensively on all aspects of public consultation. His entertaining presentations and stimulating training courses have assisted thousands of public engagement professionals and enhanced their career prospects.

Recent Blogs

19 July

Is there now a case for faster public consultations?


11 July

When new Ministers know exactly what they want. Is there still a case for consultation?


2 July

Why a new Government should reform public consultations?
And how it might do so.


30 June

Consultation GuRU’s Election Quiz: Whose manifesto commitment is this?


18 June

If Manifestos were Consultation Papers? Would they meet the standard for ‘intelligent consideration’?


12 June

Anti-protest regulations were unlawful because the consultation was one-sided: Closing a Gunning loophole?


25 May

General Election 2024:
Doorstep Dialogues as a form of consultation?


21 May

If a Minister promises a ‘consultation’, is it okay just to launch a ‘call for evidence’?


27 April

The retreat from Gunning? The riddle of the ‘Question Seven’ case


19 April

Football’s new era of consultation kicks off with an Own Goal!


8 April

Will football fans really be consulted?


27 March

Satisfaction with NHS & Social Care: Focus on service users


21 March 

‘Hostile Takeover’ of Police & Crime Commissioner’s role was unlawful due to a flawed consultation


12 March

You WILL increase your productivity … or else!
The case for consulting the staff.


29 February

Martyn’s law, consultation and the perception of risk


18 February

Politics, consultation and the ‘propensity to participate’.

How much does it matter who
participates in our democratic processes?


2 February

Councils in financial distress demand different dialogues; here comes co-prevention!


19 January

Changing the NHS:  Will new Regulations make it harder?


16 January

Gove’s Street Votes: brilliant innovation or irrelevant gimmick?


11 January

Anger-based policy-making: implications for consultation


4 January

Consultation law: the key cases of 2023


29 December

Thank you, Keith McCallum


27 December

Consultation Law latest: six new Court judgments to consider


13 December

Policy-making criteria for a challenging world: Latest thinking from Carnegie UK and from Wales


29 November

Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) survives legal challenge:
consultation held to be lawful


23 November 

Autumn Statement triggers a dozen consultations – including a planning BOGOF


17  November

Government by Announcement:
Suddenly, an extra item of legislation!


9 November

How the King's Speech might have been ... if consultation mattered more!


5 November

Accounting for engagement activities: Lessons from recent FOIA requests


28 October

Non-selective badger-culling through ‘controlled shooting’. Consultation declared unlawful


13 October

Consultation and the ‘Plan for Drivers’ - High on rhetoric; hesitant on content



More here ...


Running Commentary

10 July 

So sorry to hear today of the untimely death of Simon Burall who ran Involve fpr many years. He was a respected and gifted fellow-traveller in the cause of public participation, and will be sadly missed. More here


5 July

Just returned from watching the peaceful transfer of power - just outside Downing Street. This is still one of the most important characteristics of our country.


10 June

Manifesto week. Starting with the LibDems on Monday, I look forward (?) to reading the case put forward by the main parties and forming my view as to the likely implications for public and stakeholder consultation. Watch this space.


25 May

The rushed Rishi elction means abandoning key legislation. Among them is the Football Governance Bill and its provisions for 'fan consultation'. I've agreed to speak at a Seminar/ Workshop to brief the football industry on Sept 10th, and as Labour says it will re-introduce the Bill if elected, I really want to go ahead with this. If interested, put the date in your diary and contact me for details - which will be confirmed after 4 July.

17 May

I have spent this morning attending an NHS event organisated by the ISB for Bedford/Luton/Milton Keynes on the subject of asddressing Health Inequalities - clearly a priority issue. One of the take-aways was the need for primry care consultative machinery to be more representative of disadvantaged communities. A subject requiring further analysis ....

19 April

Having written about fan consultation and the Football Governance Bill last week, I found it impossible to resist a follow-up in the early hours. The failure of the FA and the Premier League to consult over changes to the FA Cup is a gift to critics of the beautiful game!


14 April

I've reposted an interesting consultation on LinkedIn. It's about a proposed closure - once a month - of the road through Cheddar Gorge and seems to me a best practice example others can follow. Active travel policies will mean lots of engagement on issues like this.


19 March

The W Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner has won his case against the 'hostile takeover' of his functions - because the hurried consultation failed the Gunning 2 test. Unsurprising decision - but surprising legal rationale. Standby for commentary


17 March

Unbelievably maladroit attemot to portray itself as the motorists' friend appears this morning in a call for Councils to consult better on LTNs. Of course they should - But see my LinkedIn posting -


4 March

Westco have just publicised the FREE 45-minute Webinar I'm delivering with them on Friday, 8th March on understanding Consultation Law. Details and registration here.


20 February

I have just sat in on Community Matters' (the Yorkshire one) webinar session on the current consultation about the Protect Duty Many volunteer-based organisations and churches feel they haven't been hrard on the issue and I expect to blog about it soon


8 February

Couldn't resist posting on LinkedIn this morning having found a great quote from Councillor Ian Boulton of Sth Gloucestershire Council, referring to a recent consultation as a "judicial review avoidance scheme". Brilliant ... but highly debatable ....!


5 February

Just published the February Catch-up. Click here


30th January,

Louise Reeve has highlighted a Guardian article about the 'Barnet graph of doom' and I have reposted on LinkedIn this morning because it's a timely reminder of the gradual squeezing out of 'aspirational consultation' - asking local communities what the most want - and how. See


7th January 

I've just disseminated my Consultation  Catch-up for January. Lots on the key judicial reviews - also my thoughts on 2 education consultations - and Michael Gove's NPPF changes.


27th December

I know its sad, but I spent some of Boxing Day updating my database of consultation-related judicial reviews, and noted that I've studied 20 judgments in 2023 - and provided commentaries on several of them. Now planning to publish my 'Top 10' in the next few days to coincide with announcing some Briefings and Courses through which I can explain their significance to specific audiences.


7th December

With everyone speculating as to whether the Rwanda Bill can be challenged in the Courts, I'm suggesting that a credible stakeholder - maybe Amnesty International could argue that it had a 'legitimate expectation' to be consulted before the Bill was published. Full text of my case is found here


27th November.

An interesting consultation launched in Wales; "Awareness, engagement and representation on community and town councils: call for evidence"  I'm very tempted to have another look!


23rd November

I've posted my 50th Consultation GuRU blog. Almost exactly 12 months since I launched the Site. Thanks to so many who have provided me with encouragement and support.


20 November

The Environment Agency may shortly need to mount much better and more meaningful consultations on river basin management as a result of a successful judicial review, summarised here. Expect a commentary from Consultation GuRU shortly.


15 November

I have published an interesrting conversation with active travel specialist, Paul Murray of Ridge & Partners. Click here to hear his views on the eyebrow-raising Plan for Drivers.


13 November

A recent judgment of the Scottish Court of Session has considered another challenge against a Low-Emission-Zone (LEZ) - this time in Glasgow. Mr Parton claimed, inter alia trhat the consultation qwas unlwful. Lzady Poole declared that it was!


6 November

The environmental capaigner, Chris Packham has announced that he is going mount a legal challenge against the Government's 'U-turn' on the cut-off date for buying diesel/petrol cars. He will argue, inter alia that there should have been a consultation!




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Alongside Elizabeth Gammell he wrote The Art of Consultation in 2008 and The Politics of Consultation in 2018. Both books are available at AMAZON.


His thought-leadership pieces, particlarly on Consultation Law are universally regarded as the most authoritative anywhere. 


With thousands of significant consultations launched every year in the UK, and even more in other countries, Rhion applies his forensic skills and extensive knowledge to specific exercises. There is no-one better to advise on the quality of a consultation. Just ask


Now, post-COVID, he is able to travel to meet those who share his passion for public engagement. Alternatively, he uses zoom, though confesses to be frustrated by some aspects of an online presence!  


His focus is on spreading the word, and inspiring individuals and organisations with the message that consultation and engagement matters more than ever - and must be done to the best possible standards.


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The Monthly Consultation Catch-up