Public Participation Strategy

Our Public Participation Strategy explains how we will encourage and facilitate public participation in the Vale of Glamorgan. The strategy sets out how we will be diverse in our engagement methods, using social media platforms, community connectors and face-to-face engagement, to take an integrated approach to public participation. 

 

Our strategy seeks to provide as many stakeholders as possible the opportunity to participate and become involved in the decision-making process, enabling people to shape what we do and how we do it.

 

 

About public participation

Public participation can be any process that directly engages the public in how decisions are made and gives consideration to how the public inputs into making that decision. Public participation is a process, not a single event.

 

It consists of a series of activities and actions taken over the lifespan of a project to both inform the public and obtain input from them. Public participation affords stakeholders (those that have an interest or stake in an issue, such as individuals, interest groups, communities) the opportunity to influence how decisions are made that affect their lives and community.


Public participation plays a key role in providing better outcomes for both the Council and stakeholders. 


When done in a meaningful way, public participation results in greater understanding of additional facts, values, and perspectives obtained through public input – to bring to bear on the decision process and to shape how the organisation works.

 

What we are already doing

Previously the Council has sought to develop the methods used to engage with stakeholders in a way that is accessible and convenient.

 

This includes using Zoom webinars as means to consult, in which stakeholders were invited to meet and discuss with Council officers in a constructive way. Feedback from these sessions showed that they were well-received and that they could be developed further.

 

The Council has also expanded its use of social media to include social media polls and encouraging residents to leave ‘comments’ expressing their views. Data from both the polls and comment section have then been used in reports. We have also used social media to promote consultations, alongside bespoke videos to promote greater understanding of the issues in question.

 

We still undertake to host face to-face engagement sessions where possible and to provide consultation documents online.

 

What we want to achieve

The Public Participation Strategy contributes to the delivery of the Council’s wellbeing objectives and specifically pursues actions contained in the commitments of Well-being Objective 1 - "To work with and for our communities."

 

The outcomes of our public participation workthat we want to achieve are to:

  • Inform: We want to be transparent about how decisions are made and the role of stakeholders in the process.

  • Engage: We want to encourage and make it easy for stakeholders to take part in the decision-making process.

  • Feedback: We want to improve the way we feed back to stakeholders, so they understand the outcome of their participation.

 

To ensure these outcomes are achieved, the Council has developed a series of actions. Reflecting our organisation’s values of being Ambitious, Open, Together and Proud our Public Participation Strategy reflects the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 and pursue our duties to comply with section 39 and 40 of the Act.