The Engagement Hub
The North Ayrshire ‘Centre of Excellence’ for consultation and engagement includes a bank of trained staff as well as this online engagement hub, which includes information on how to plan and submit a consultation and an online consultation and events calendar.
As well as this, you can use the above link to access our Community Choices website, which provides the opportunity to engage on key topics and take part in conversations about the things that affect you.
This document outlines the current engagement methods we use and the suggested methods for further exploration.
What is consultation?
This is the way public organisations get feedback from people about the work that they are doing. Consultation is carried out in many ways- for example it can be done online, by telephone or face to face. They can be carried out on any topic or subject. They can be national and be about, for example, influencing major policies, or they can be carried out locally to help take difficult decisions or find out what people think about local issues.
Why is it important?
Good consultations make sure that local people and communities are involved in the decisions that affect their lives from day to day. Everyone has a chance to input. Our consultation and events calendar will give you more information about what consultations are taking place now, who is carrying them out and how you can be involved!
To submit a consultation to be displayed on the calendar, simply follow the best practice guide and use the templates and links available below. You can then submit your consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community consultation is based upon a simple principle. By enlarging the circle of participants whilst keeping it relevant, you can access a wide range of views that will enhance and inform your decision making process. A truly honest attempt to engage residents and other interested stakeholders in consultation, will benefit everyone- by giving anyone that is interested an opportunity to contribute and make them feel involved then as a result, you are more likely to encourage them to take ownership of the outcome.
North Ayrshire Council has partnered with the Consultation Institute. This is an internationally recognised organisation with a reputation for best practice in Consultation. As a result it has offered training to officers from a broad spectrum of professional disciplines across the Community Planning Partnership making sure staff are able to consult and facilitate consultations with confidence.
As a local resident you should be able to trust the quality of our Community Consultation Process which has been designed meet the Institute’s Charter Principles;
- Integrity – There must be an honest intent to consult
- Visibility – Communication with all must create a high level of awareness on how to participate
- Accessibility – It must be easy for those who wish to be involved, to become involved
- Confidentiality and Transparency – The Freedom of Information Act makes it almost impossible to keep things confidential between public bodies, but all parties need to be aware of the public interest test and of the principles of openness and transparency
- Disclosure – Both the consultors and consultees need to be totally open with each other and not conceal or withhold information which might prevent dialogue
- Fair interpretation – There is a strict burden upon consultors to analyse and interpret consultation data objectively and present it in the same way (No spin please!)
- Publication – It is critical that everyone who took part in the consultation gets to see what happened as a result. Ideally the consultees will recognise that their input is reflected in any publication and resultant outcome
To consult properly in line with best practice, you should have a mandate to carry out the consultation. Below you will find a blank template for a consultation mandate and an example of one that was recently completed by North Ayrshire Council.
- Example Mandate for Consultation
- Blank Consultation Mandate
- You are now ready to submit your consultation!
If you are unsure of the process to begin your consultation please Contact Us and we will put you in touch with someone who can help.