Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Public Services Board Support Officer (copy enclosed) which describes the engagement approach undertaken to inform the Well-being Assessment.


The Chair welcomed Fran Lewis, Conwy County Borough Council, Head of Corporate Improvement & HR (HCIHR) to introduce the agenda item (previously circulated).


The HCIHR guided members through the report and the process undertaken to inform the well-being assessment 2022. Members were reminded that it was a statutory requirement for each PSB to produce an Assessment of Local Well-being. The approach as previously had been to consider the views of the community and the data research and demographic trends. It was noted that during the time of Covid restrictions engagement had been more challenging. Members heard officers adapted their approach to engage with the community.


It was realised that the engagement process had to be completed remotely. Officers were conscious whilst in general people had adapted to virtual working it had to be balanced with Zoom fatigue. It was stressed officers worked hard to promote the engagement and complete a dual track approach to not digitally exclude people.


Members heard that the development of ‘county conversation’ had taken place in Denbighshire and Conwy. The approach had been slightly different but adapted to suit each county. Within Denbighshire a series of virtual meetings were held by geographical area, with Conwy taking the approach of holding virtual meetings by particular citizen well-being theme. Each approach had produced the views of the community.


Officers felt the approach had been successful although it was noted the take up had been limited. A piece of work had been undertaken to analysis the previous engagement work completed in the previous 18-24 months to support the virtual engagement sessions.  To ensure individuals were not excluded, both authorities held an online survey for communities to complete with hard copies made available for those that requested.


It was highlighted that the regional event that was commissioned to seek the views of the seldom heard had worked well. The event was held with the support of the Community Voices forum. The event was attended by over 40 organisations.


Members heard that engagement with a number of different community groups had taken place, with particular emphasis on the importance of seeking the views of young people. Members heard it had been challenging during this review but engagement had taken place with Denbighshire Youth Council and youth groups within Conwy.

Through the process the HCIHR stated officers had been able to collate the views and place in themes and corroborate that with the demographic and research information.


Members heard that included in pack had been information on the demographic breakdown (appendix to the report).  


The Chair thanked the HCIHR for the detailed introduction and reminded members that the agenda item was specifically looking at the engagement process.


Responding to members’ questions the Head of Corporate Improvement & HR advised:

·         It was unclear why there had been a difference between the authorities take up. In terms of advertisement and promoting the events a very similar model was adopted. Social media platforms had been used by both authorities as was the support of members promoting the engagement.

·         It was hoped holding events at different times would encourage further participation. It was noted the uptake had not been significantly more in the evening.  Going forward, public engagement and consultation may be an area of work where the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee could help officers to achieve greater and wider participation.

·         Members thanked the officers for the hard work in arranging the engagement events. It was felt that often residents did not want to engage in events and that was reflected in the uptake numbers.

·         Residents generally engaged better on matters of specific interest to them rather than on broader strategic issues.

·         The Strategic Planning Team Manager (Denbighshire County Council) stressed the importance of engaging, consulting and involving residents in designing solutions in the future as the well-being plan evolves. Consultation and engagement was a commitment by PSB and officers for future work.

·         Members appreciated it had been difficult times to hold engagement events but the Covid restrictions in place had also opened opportunities for holding events remotely.


At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:


Resolved:  subject to the above observations to support the engagement approach undertaken to inform the development of the Well-being Assessment, and receive the data and breakdown on the responses received.


The Chair thanked the officers for the report and acknowledged the difficulties associated with public engagement. 


Supporting documents: