The aims of our community engagement strategy are to engage the different groups of residents in our parish so as to:
- foster a sense of community in the parish.
- understand differing needs and expectations through two-way conversation and feedback.
- be openly accountable for the parish council’s responsibilities and funding.
- consider and communicate parish priorities.
- inform residents regarding key information.
Our communication is designed to:
- reach different sections of the community.
- be mixed mode.
- provide regular opportunities for formal and informal feedback.
- be cost-effective and sustainable over time.
The agenda of forthcoming meetings is displayed in a timely fashion on the parish noticeboards. Small posters relating to specific items or parish events are also displayed.
The noticeboards are to be well maintained and kept up to date.
A central point of information and contact is the parish council website which is be a comprehensive and definitive source of information (with appropriate links) and is updated regularly.
The website provides parish council meeting agendas and draft and confirmed minutes, council contact details and the opportunity for feedback.
All written communications encourage consultation of the website for further information.
While the council does not maintain a discrete social media stream, social media sites hosted by other organisations are used to distribute key information including publicising meetings and events and passing on relevant information for parish residents.
One site used is NextDoor
where over half the households in the parish have an account – on this site, posts may be limited to parish residents or, more widely, to the parish and neighbouring parishes.
The parish church has a monthly magazine which includes regular items from the parish and district council. This is an important communication channel as it reaches many of those households that do not regularly use digital communications.
From time to time, the council writes directly to all households in the parish with a newsletter. As with the parish magazine, this is an important part of a mixed-media strategy.
The council encourages public participation at its monthly meetings – whether in person or through written communication to the Parish Clerk.
An annual parish meeting is convened by the parish council – this meeting is open to all parish electors who may speak upon local matters.
An annual survey precedes the parish meeting to gauge matters of current local interest and concern and to seek input into development of the priorities of the parish council for the coming year.
The council holds an annual event, such as a parish walk, to provide an opportunity for residents to come together and engage with each other and councillors at an event with a parish focus.
Informal discussion will typically take place during chance conversations as well as via telephone, email and other digital communication. The council discusses any issues through councillor updates at each monthly meeting and reviews themes arising from such conversations as part of its discussion on parish priorities.