community engagement for council planS
Place based workshops; ‘a day with the Mayor’ touring smaller townships; online survey; an online forum; and a series of workshops with Councillors and the Executive
Aim: The three aims of our work with Glenelg Shire were to:
- Showcase Councils commitment to engage better with each of its geographically diverse townships
- Gain broad community and targeted stakeholder input into the Council Plan
- Test a vision of the Councillors with the community
Process: Integrated face to face workshops; stakeholder interviews; online survey; an online forum; series of workshops with Councillors and the Executive
- We began a workshop with Councillors and the Executive to: provide input in to the engagement program; set the parameters for discussion with the community; develop a new vision to test with the community
- Design and deliver an engagement program that spanned face to face workshops in each of the townships in Victoria’s south-west most Council and an integrated online component. Questions in the online survey mirrored those in the workshops and stakeholder interviews
- We concluded with a workshop of Councillors and the Executive to report back on what was heard from each of the townships, workshop these inputs and make consensus agreements across many areas of the Council Plan
Outcome: Councillor and Executive agreed vision; themes; plan structure including areas of focus, objective and strategies/actions; and community stories about place and the townships they love.
Importantly Council have been back to many of the community they visited and delivered on promises they made during the engagement process. This should be standard practice however sadly it is not always the case, well done to all involved at Council for doing this.
Council Plan Engagements:
At Liminal by Design we designed and delivered engagement for five Council Plans in this round of Victorian Local Government Plans. Each engagement is unique and responds to the context of the organisation, it’s engagement history, will of Councillors and the communities they represent. A big decision is whether to engage before or after Council elections, and there are arguments for both options. We supported two organisations that engaged before Council elections firstly the City of Greater Bendigo with its citizens’ jury and secondly the City of Darebin which ran a series of ward based workshops that we delivered with Martin de los Rios. The workshops integrated with an online engagement process led by OurSay. The three Councils we delivered engagement for after elections were Brimbank City Council, Surf Coast Shire and the Glenelg Shire. For Brimbank it was the first time they had Councillors after an extended period of working under administrators. There was a focus on ward based workshops and workshops with some of the many cultural and linguistically diverse communities. Surf Coast had a survey and a series of age specific engagements (that they ran), and a series of workshops with Councillors. In the workshops with Councillors they set the structure for the Plan; agreed themes, objectives, outcomes and strategies based on input from the community; innovatively we had Councillors actually write parts of the Council Plan collectively using an online platform. Surf Coast have an engagement report which can be a useful way to communicate back to the community what was heard during the engagements.
For Glenelg Shire the series of engagement we designed and delivered with some highly competent Council staff were intended to demonstrate the new Council’s commitment to better quality community engagement, which is the focus of this page