Communication, Consultation And Engagement Strategy
A fundamental principle behind a National Development Plan (NDP) is that it reflects the opinions, wishes, ambitions and desires of the community as a whole. In order to develop the Plan, its authors must engage fully with the community, conduct surveys to ascertain residents’ views and ideas and reflect those findings in the final version of the Plan. A consultation and engagement strategy that shows how the public will be involved throughout the NDP process is a requirement within the NDP Steering Committee Terms of Reference. Before the Plan can be formalised, we are legally required to hold a local referendum to establish if the community wish to adopt the Plan. Community members are more likely to approve the Plan if they have participated in and contributed to the process of developing it.
The Draft Communication, Consultation and Engagement Strategy for the process of producing the St Goran Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) was presented and discussed at the Steering Group meeting on 5th September 2019.Revisions have since been made to the overall timetable.
3. Purpose of the Strategy
The Communication, Consultation and Engagement Strategy explains how community members will be informed about and contribute towards the process of developing the NDP. The NDP is community-led and requires community engagement and consultation to produce a plan that reflects the views and preferences of community members. Publicity and consultation is a statutory requirement for emerging neighbourhood plans.
4. Phases of Engagement
Three broad phases are envisaged, as below. These may be further sub-divided when planning engagement activities in detail.
- Early engagement – to create awareness and gather broad views that will help to identify key issues and themes. Focus on open-ended questions. October 2019 – May 2020
- Mid-stage engagement – consultation on key issues and themes identified through the early engagement phase. This stage will also involve a householder survey. September 2020 – May 2022
- Consultations on the completed plan – this is the pre-submission consultation that must take place after the NDP has been drafted. January 2023 – May 2023
5. Community members and groups to be engaged
The Strategy will aim to achieve wide community involvement, targeting men and women / boys and girls from different age groups in different ways, as outlined in the matrix in Annex 1. Given that the NDP is a forward-looking document, particular emphasis will be placed on involving those from the younger age groups (10-64 yrs). Both individuals and members of community groups / clubs will be engaged. See Annex 1 for a list of community groups and clubs according to the age groups of their members. Views will also be sought from residents who also work in the Parish, e.g. farmers, fishers, and self-employed tradesmen, gardeners, consultants, artists, small companies, etc.
Key stakeholders to be consulted include representatives from the Gorran School Board of Governors, Hoglets Pre-School, the Gorran Haven Harbour Trust, the Community Bus Association, Playing Fields Trust, Goran Community Land Trust, [others?], local churches, also Three Bays Wildlife Group, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and the National Trust.
Local shops and other local businesses (e.g. camp sites, caravan parks, B&Bs) and key landowners (including Duchy of Cornwall and the National Trust) will be engaged in the latter part of the process, once the key issues have been identified.
6. Overall approach
In the early engagement phase, communication will focus on making people aware of the NDP and the need for community engagement. A wide range of communication channels will be used. Individuals and members of community clubs /groups will be invited to respond to a series of open- ended (qualitative) questions through the data collection channels and methods appropriate to the different age groups (see Annex 1):
- What do you like about living / working in the local area? Why?
- What should we seek to preserve? How?
- In your view, what are the issues that affect the local area and/or the community (now or in the future) that we should seek to address?
- What changes/developments would you like to see in the next 10 or 15 years?
Responses will be monitored from men/women/boys/girls from the different age groups, and targeted efforts will be made to promote additional responses from particular groups where necessary. Feedback to the community on the initial responses may help to promote further responses. At the end of the early engagement phase, responses will be grouped / categorised to identify the key themes that emerge for each age group. It is proposed that a Steering Committee meeting should take place to discuss the results and agree on the vision and objectives for the NDP and the themes to be included. The results will be fed back to the community.
The mid-stage engagement phase will include continued awareness and feedback communications and the collection of qualitative and quantitative data. Further open-ended questions will be used to gather more detailed (qualitative) data to understand the issues and options relating to each of the themes identified. Where necessary, mini-surveys or polls might be used to gather quantitative data on specific issues. Local organisations, local associations, appropriate local businesses and landowners (as mentioned above) will be contacted to explore ways in which these issues might be addressed. The results of the mid-stage consultations will be used to design the (quantitative) questionnaire which individual residents from the various age groups will be invited to complete. Again, responses to the questionnaire will be monitored, and targeted efforts to get additional responses from specific age groups will be made if necessary. At the end of the mid-stage engagement phase, the survey results will be analysed and the results will be fed back to the community. Results will be used to inform the drafting of the NDP.
After the NDP has been drafted, copies of the completed plan will be made available, and a concise summary version will also be shared with individuals and community groups. Consultations on the completed plan will take place through the various communication and data collection channels for each age group. A community-wide meeting and/or drop-in session may be appropriate at this stage. Feedback will be compiled for the Steering Committee to consider the need for revisions to the draft plan.
- All efforts will be made to ensure an inclusive and accessible engagement process; particular efforts will be made to engage with youth / young adults.
- A range of communication and consultation methods will be used. Information provided and data collected will be the same for all age groups and community groups, though the channels of communication and means of data collection will be tailored to each target audience.
- Expectations will be managed to avoid raising unrealistic expectation, disappointment and cynicism.
- The Communication, Consultation and Engagement Team will be inclusive.
- As far as possible, each group discussion will be facilitated by a Team member from the same demographic as the target group.
- All information generated through the consultations will be properly documented, including the gender, age and group affiliation (if any) of the provider.
- The anonymity of respondents will be maintained in all reports and feedback.
- Required data protection policies will be followed.
- Regular updates and feedback will be provided to keep the community informed of progress and results from the consultation and engagement process.
8. Communication, Consultation and Engagement Team
It is proposed that a Working Group should be formed for the implementation of the Communication, Consultation and Engagement Strategy. The Working Group (Team) will likely be composed of interested members of the Steering Committee as well as interested volunteers and those with specific skills (possibly on a contractual basis). Efforts will be made to ensure representation from each of the different age groups. As far as possible, discussions with specific groups will be facilitated by a Team Member who is from a similar demographic as the group members. Working Group / Team members will be briefed / trained by the Team Leader in the required methods where necessary. The areas of expertise / skills will be required for the Team are presented in Annex 2.
Annex 1. Communication and data collection channels for different age groups
This matrix is not necessarily complete – some venues / clubs / groups may be missing. It may be necessary to revise the age groups so that they are in line with the population information currently available.
|Venues / clubs / groups|
|Children & Teenagers
Other Social Media
Other Social Media
Group / club-based
|Gorran School (Year 6)
Blaze Youth Group
Other Social Media
Toddlers Group (Parents)
Groups / clubs
|Gorran School (Parents)
Toddlers Group (Parents)
Nails by Louise
Scrabble Meet Up
Knit & Knatter
Various coffee mornings
Annex 2. Skills / expertise needed for the Communication, Consultation and Engagement Team
- Facilitation of group discussions and participatory methods – several facilitators, male and female, from different age groups will be needed
- Note-taking (during group discussions)
- Website management
- Email management
- Social media management (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc)
- Schools liaison / student supervision
- Communications strategy / oversight
- Drafting of communication materials
- Presentation, editing and lay-out of communication materials
- Data collection methodologies & design
- Online survey management
- Qualitative data analysis & reporting
- Quantitative data entry, analysis & reporting
- Distribution and collection of hard copy leaflets & questionnaires