Meeting with Guy Thomas, the Communities Area Manager at Cornwall Council
Monday 5th February 2018
Rory Jenkins & William Rogers from the Perranzabuloe NDP
Given the progress that Cornwall Council has accepted that Perranzabuloe has ‘Designated Area Status’ for a NDP, that we have a Steering Group and Focus Groups, it seemed appropriate to have an update with Guy Thomas. He will be one of our primary contacts in Cornwall Council for the duration of the project.
Rory (NDP Chairperson) and William (NDP Secretary) met Guy at the Cornwall Council offices in Truro.
From having been involved with many NDP’s around Cornwall Guy had the following advice:
- Spread the load. If the project is taken on by too small a group, this has elsewhere lead to it stalling or collapsing.
- St Agnes have stood out for their level of on-going information to their community. Their almost monthly updates to the community is yielding dividends with them typically getting around 20% respondent rates to their consultations. This is apparently high.
- Don’t attempt community consultation in the holidays. Spring and Autumn work well.
- Always keep evidence of all engagement and responses. Both the quantity and the quality. Without the final NDP being backed by evidence of being the wishes of the community it won’t get through
- If we feel we might need external experts, ask Guy and his team first. They might have the skills we need, for free or cheaper than elsewhere. Or they might know where best to get the best skills at the best price.
- Immogen and her team is their expert on policy. So not only can she help with what we can and can’t influence, she will also be there to help write up the NDP so that it fits with existing planning policy.
Progressing this, Guy suggested the following 2018 time scale.
Feb / March
Engage with the community to say that work has started on a NDP. Explain what this is. Say we want everybody’s views, input, help etc. Give contact details. (Website, Facebook, email list, notice boards). Say that from the initial group and meetings, which we hope will grow as more learn about it, the initial TOP 5 issues are …… Ask what they think about these. Ask if what issues, if any, they would put instead of any of these issues. Have it so that responses are dropped back to drop off points at local shops, pubs etc.
Late April / May
Have the first community engagement meetings. Having these where the community naturally meet apparently works well. eg a local pub.
This would involve the first questionaire to establish top concerns.
Get together events.
July & August
Consolidate and analyse the responses.
Use the analysed responses to start a second round of questions and engagement.
In relation to the overall plan and next stages, Guy in particular mentioned the Consultation and Engagement Toolkit and the Project Plan links which are to a PDF and an Excel template:
– Project Planning – PDF
– Project Plan Template – Excel (which William has already started looking at)