Please supply the public with a copy of the guidelines used throughout the council regarding the operation of Public Consultations.
Are there any rules / guidelines laid down for these by Central Government / in law?
How are these followed?
How are public consultations always publicised - where / how?
How are they supposed to be conducted?
How are public concerns / ideas taken on board?
What happens to their responses (questionnaires / surveys etc /
letters / emails)?
Please supply any related documents in any recorded or active form.
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding the operation of public consultations at Brentwood Borough Council.
The information you have requested is as follows:
Are there any rules / guidelines laid down for these by Central Government / in law? Consultations conducted by Planning and Housing are in line with Government guidelines. In addition to this, the Council is also in the process of reviewing its consultation guidelines. These are likely to reflect the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation and the Consultation Institute’s Consultation Charter.
How are these followed? Where appropriate, the new guidelines will be adopted by the Council.
How are public consultations always publicised - where / how? Public consultations are publicised in a variety of methods depending on the type of consultation; usually online, using local media, posters, email or by direct mail.
How are they supposed to be conducted? Consultations will be conducted in line with the new guidelines and relevant government advice/criteria. Consultations are made as widely available as possible, targeting those most effected and including those indirectly effected. Consultation results are then reported in a variety of methods – online, through committee report or directly to respondents. In addition to this, the new guidelines will ensure that all consultations are publicised and results reported through a central webpage.
How are public concerns / ideas taken on board? Public concerns are always considered and reported when decisions are made.
What happens to their responses (questionnaires / surveys etc / letters / emails)? In line with the Council’s document retention policy, responses are held for an appropriate time after the consultation has closed and the results reported.
Please supply any related documents in any recorded or active form. This is our current Consultation Strategy, however, this is likely to be replaced with new guidance shortly (as outlined above).