Summary of Key Points and Issues from Workshops on Community Engagement 18 Jan 2014

There was a lot to learn and a lot to think about at this event. Even better, some contacts between CCs were started.

The following is from Edinburgh Council’s CC Liaison Officer, Eileen Hewitt.

How would you establish the views of the community?

  • Hold a public meeting
  • Use libraries
  • IT, emails, survey monkey, website, social media
  • Newsletters
  • Questionnaires (online and face to face)
  • Leaflets and Posters in libraries, community centres, medical centres, places of worship
  • Notices in local shops, local paper, community notice boards/places of worship
  • Household survey
  • Postal drop
  • Focus groups
  • Contact Neighbourhood Partnerships/Councillors
  • Liaise with other CCs
  • Organise one to one Meetings
  • Involve the people who are affected by the issue
  • Intergenerational thinking to assist
  • Apply for partnership funding
  • Find out what groups are meeting in the area
  • Establish CC as a hub for local information

Other points for consideration

  • Management of public meetings is important as they can be acrimonious
  • Making people aware is important as well as gathering views
  • Electronic social media will not reach certain groups
  • Postal drop – need to consider timescale, manpower
  • How do CCs engage with minority groups – go to their meetings?
  • Newsletters can be expensive, content also a problem for CCs
  • Are CCs representative?
  • Important to be pro-active rather than reactive
  • Sustainability, maintenance, management, governing body

How would you evaluate and feed back the results?

  • Needs to be a fair process
  • Group thinking – not just individual
  • Obligation to report breakdown of views of the community
  • Show your working – show how you came to your decision – be open transparent
  • Show the community that their voices have been heard
  • Present information in a way that suits a diverse range of groups
  • Show benefits/negative aspects
  • Present the views to the Council
  • Analyse and present the data (from surveys/drop-ins/activities)
  • Review period
  • Ensure that the feedback is wide reaching – mixed media
  • Require volunteer to collate information/produce spreadsheet
  • Funding available to engage a consultant?
  • Use standard methods for representing views; themes, qualitative and quantitative data, written report on council website and sent to stakeholders
  • Include comments and provide minority report
  • Ensure all views are recorded prior to the decision