Case Study - Council's Charter for Public Particpation - Summary of work from Joe Batty (KCSC Staff Member):
The council published a Charter for Public Participation, which was found to be weak and did not address the fundamental issues of lack of genuine co-production and participation in the North (by extrapolation the whole) of the borough. I called a Grenfell Network Group (GNG) meeting to discuss the proposal and determined that there was an appetite to make our own response to the charter.
With a template provided by Stephen Duckworth (resident and board member of KCSC) I wrote an initial response which the GNG discussed at length and after the discussion I asked for additions and amendments. Subsequent to this I called a meeting of interested parties, mostly local residents who helped me to finesse the final product.The paper was submitted after the council called for submissions, and I then set up a public meeting where the council lead for communications spoke about the council’s own draft and discussed our draft at length.
After this meeting the council substantially redrew their own paper accepting four of the five premises we put forward. Finally I spoke at the Leadership Administration meeting in favour of the new paper but still requesting the last change. The council has agreed to a six and twelve month review. It was considered a considerable result by the community.
One participant was asked, "Do you believe the council would have altered their own paper and strategy without KCSC?"
They replied, "Without question, the paper and strategy would not have changed one iota without the interventions. The council presented their paper as if we were in a financial negotiation in which they wanted to pay the lowest possible price, forcing us to work hard to move them into a position which would be the starting point of any local authority with a sincere intention to consult and empower."