Do Public Consultations Work? The Case of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill

Axel Kaehne, Helen Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Conducting a public consultation is a popular way to draw on wider expertise in framing legislation in the UK. In Wales, low scrutinising capacity of a relatively small legislative chamber and limited civil service resources to prepare legislation may contribute to the popularity of consultations. Public consultations may also resonate with themes of inclusion and participation in Welsh governance. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill was the first large legislative project of the Welsh Government since gaining primary law making powers in 2011. This case study investigated the public consultation (conducted at Stage 1) for this bill in 2013. It used a coding matrix to analyse the submissions to the consultation. The findings reveal that individuals and organisations may struggle to effectively influence legislation. Using van Damme and Brans’ interpretative framework, the article locates the findings within the context of citizen participation, consultation techniques and discusses the usefulness of analysing submissions as part of consultation evaluations. In addition, the article makes a case for triangulating a documentary analysis of submissions with conventional qualitative evidence in future consultation research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalPublic Policy and Administration
Early online date6 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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