North Somerset Council Launches New Citizens’ Panel – Have Your Say
North Somerset residents, students and workers have the chance to get involved with local decision making through the Citizens’ Panel.
The group of volunteers who make up the Panel will give regular feedback on local services and issues, helping to shape the future. From bins and roads to social care and planning, the Panel will be able to influence how services are run throughout North Somerset.
It is hoped that by collecting opinions of residents who actually use services and experience changes, the Council will receive diverse and useful feedback. Therefore, volunteers on the Citizens’ Panel do not need to be familiar with the Council or local authorities, and instead just regular residents who are representative of the local people.
The panel will act as a complement to the formal consultations run by the Council, giving residents an additional way of getting their opinions heard.
Feedback will be collected via regular online surveys; the first expected to be in autumn. There will be additional opportunities to get involved with focus groups.
About Citizens’ Panels
A Citizens’ Panel is a group of people who live, work or study in an area who agree to take part in research and consultation with the local Council on a regular basis.
They operate throughout the country, with North Somerset recently launching its own. It is hoped North Somerset Council will accrue a volunteer Panel of around 1,500 people.
Members of the Citizens’ Panel form a representative sample of the people who use local Council services, helping the Council make informed decisions. A Citizens’ Panel is just one of numerous ways in which a Council can consult with local residents and get feedback to shape the future.
To volunteer to be on the Citizens’ Panel, simply fill in an online registration form by 5th October 2020. Here is the sign-up form.
Panel members much be aged 18 or over, and living, working or studying in North Somerset.
North Somerset Council Executive member Cllr Caritas Charles said: “We have a new corporate plan for North Somerset which includes the commitment to be fair and open.
“We are determined to be more transparent and involve our residents in decision making so that we can tackle issues together, and this panel is an essential part of making our ambition happen.
“By joining the panel members will get the chance to influence and inform how local services are delivered.
“No knowledge of the council is needed to sign-up, we are looking for members from across the community to get a true representative picture of what the people who live, work, and study here want and need from their council.
“This is a great opportunity for residents to make a significant impact on the future of their local area.”